artCommons Begins Pilot Program in Jackson Heights

artCommons comes to Jackson Heights. photo by Fran Simó 2012 CC-by-nc-sa 2.0

photo: Jackson Heights photo by Fran Simó 2010 CC-by-nc-sa 2.0

“This month we took a leap from idea to action. After a year of  talking with people in various communities about the possibility of creating an “art commons”, we decided to start a few pilot programs in various neighborhoods in NYC and see how it goes. First stop Jackson Heights!” -Art & The Commons (affinity group)

Learn more about the artCommons project this Saturday July 27th (10am-1pm) at Espresso 77 in Jackson Heights.  

Read the background story at:
Art & The Commons http://www.artandthecommons.org/artcommons-jackson-heights.

“How Are Artists Getting Paid?” Answer #5 Alternative Economies

5. Going Off the Grid / Alternative Economies “With a similarly revolutionary viewpoint, Occupy Wall Street’s Arts & Labor working group has, over the past two years, been engaging in serious questions about how to rethink and rebuild the contemporary relationship between art and labor. Ultimately, according to the OWS Principles of Solidarity, they hope to “imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality.[...]”

read the entire article:

Photo from the spring 2013 strike by the San Francisco Orchestra. (Source)

How Are Artists Getting Paid?
by Alexis Clements on July 22, 2013
http://hyperallergic.com/75549/how-are-artists-getting-paid/

More info on A&L’s Alternative Economies:
http://www.artsandlabor.org/alternative-economies

 

Report Back From Arts & Labor: Another Art World Is Possible (workshop)

[report back from Arts & Labor Alternative Economies group in regards to the workshop Another Art World Is Possible May 11th, 2013 at NUTUREart in Bushwick]

Alternative Ecnomies - Another Art World Is Possible - workshop, May 11, 2013 at NUTUREart NYCArts & Labor’s Alternative Economies Workshop at NURTUREart, Bushwick.

On Saturday, May 11th Alternative Economies facilitated a workshop as part of the “Cashing Out” exhibition curated by Petrushka Bazin Larsen at NUTUREArt in Bushwick.   A diverse group of roughly thirty artists came together to discuss our enchantments and frustrations with the art world as it exists, and to brainstorm how alternative economic models could be applied to the current system, or replace it altogether.

The workshop was structured into two parts.  In the first we listed what we liked and didn’t like about the art world.  Many agreed that we liked art, being artists, and the artist’s lifestyle.  We value the autonomy that being an artist affords, the opportunity to experiment with social forms, and the ability to create new, non-normative identities. On the other hand many expressed frustration with the art world’s exclusivity, it’s lack of transparency, exploitative working conditions, it’s resistance to organization, and it’s competitive individualism. We also disliked our powerlessness in the face of corporate media, and the ways that capital exploits art and artists for it’s own ends, including the use of artists as gentrifiers, and the use of art as a means to create financial gain within speculative markets.

In the second part of the workshop small groups discussed existing alternative economies and how these could be applied to the art world, in our own practices as artists, and to communal life.  Thirty-six ‘stepping-stones’ developed by the Center for Popular Economics were distributed among the groups.  Each ‘stepping-stone’ is a card which summarizes an alternative approach to the economy and gives examples of how it is currently being used in contemporary society.  These cards cover a wide range of examples including: legislative proposals such as the ‘Tobin Tax’ on financial transactions, social movements such as the Zapatistas and Brazilian Landless Workers Movement, co-operative forms such as producers co-ops, land trusts, fair trade and co-housing. The cards also gave examples of labor activist strategies such as worker’s centers and factory take-overs, and forms of communal resource management such as participatory budgeting, creative commons, and common property management, plus many more.

Much enthusiasm was generated as we discussed the possibilities of these new forms of practice and institution building.  The workshop was a great way to introduce ourselves to the range of possibilities that already exist and the implications for art and artists.

Alternative Economies is planning to put new economic models into practice. Anyone who is interested in working on a project that experiments with economic structures should come to our next meeting, Sunday June 30th at noon.  Contact us at al.altecon@gmail.com for more information. Now’s a good time to get involved as we’ll be brainstorming new projects to work on over the next year.

Another Art World Is Possible: Workshop May 11th

Another Art World Is Possible

Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies Workshop
Another Art World Is Possible
NURTUREart
56 Bogart St
Brooklyn NY 11206

May 11, 2013   3-6pm

The economic and social realities of the art world as it exists can often be a source of frustration for artists, but what might an alternative model look like? In this workshop we’ll discuss the things we like and things we don’t like about the current art world. Then we’ll learn about various alternative models and discuss amongst ourselves how they can be applied to or replace the current system.

Facebook invite: NutureArt/Arts & Labor Workshop: Another Art World Is Possible
http://www.artsandlabor.org/alternative-economies

May Day Free University today @ Cooper Union

Free University May Day

In solidarity with all the students, faculty and staff who believe that knowledge is a commons.

MAY DAY – GENERAL SCHEDULE EDU BLOC at Cooper Union

10am – 3pm: Cooper Union Free University @ Cooper Square

3:00pm: NYC EDU BLOC Convergence + SPEAK OUT!!! @ Cooper Square

4:00pm: March to Union Square to join the May 1 Coalition rally & March to City Hall

9:00pm: Dance Party to Free Education @ Washington Square Park fountain

 

FREE UNIVERSITY CLASSES AT COOPER UNION
Schedule of NYC May Day events organized by Free Cooper Union and the Free University of NYC - check for updates!

Open Arts & Crafts Session
10am-3pm
Book Shields! Banners! Placards! Sidewalk Chalking!

“Space, Design, and the Everyday”
Matthew Bissen
10am-12pm
This course explores fundamental concepts of space and design with particular attention focused on how as designers and citizens we participate in the everyday design, reproduction, and production of our current and future realities. This course session will focus on architecture and counterculture and support the continuing development of semester long student projects.

“Organizing a NYC Student Movement”
Discussion with folks from Free University-NYC and All in the Red
11am-12pm
Join students from around NYC to explore concrete ideas on how to organize a city-wide student movement that can build on lessons from mass mobilizations in Quebec, Chile, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere, while also envisioning our own locally specific forms of student power.

“Understanding Basic Economics and Finance”
Ron Rubin
11am-12pm
There is a clear distinction between Economics (Main Street) and Finance (Wall Street). In order to understand how and why more and more of the value created by Main Street is flowing into the hands of Wall Street it is absolutely necessary to understand the distinction between these two related but different institutions and how they function in today’s world. Otherwise no real change will be possible.

“Watch the Gap: How Income Inequality and Poverty are Hurting America’s Kids”
Anthony Zenkus
11am-12pm
Poverty and Low Socioeconomic Status can cause significant challenges to the cognitive, emotional and physical development of children. They increase the risk factors for everything from child abuse to school failure. With one of the highest gaps in income equality in the world, and one of the highest child poverty rates in decades, the United States is creating a lost generation that will grow up with less opportunity and more risk- unless we act. Income inequality must be addressed as a public health problem with repercussions that effect the entire community.

Tidal: Occupy Theory Occupy Strategy Conversation”
12pm-1pm
TIDAL has held significant conversations with Free University. The discussions in Washington Square Park led to Strike Debt. The S17 event expanded our horizons. Now, as TIDAL seeks to internationalize and nationalize its project, we want to re-open the conversation. How do we learn from Detroit? From Athens? From Tunis? From Cairo? What are the means of that learning? How do we ensure that this conversation is mutual and beneficial to all? An open workshop for all hosted by Team TIDAL.

“Writing for Home, School, and Everyday Life”
Susan Naomi Bernstein
12pm-1pm
For new and experienced writers: This course presents the processes of writing for anyone who struggles to write. Together we will develop our own practices of writing for audiences and purposes that connect to our visions of social transformation for home, school, and everyday life.

“Imagining a Student/Worker-Run University”
Various Participants
12pm-2pm
This will be an open discussion that is meant to encourage the development of a vision of a Free Cooper Union run by students and workers. We will talk about precedents in the form of student-run coops, cooperatively run schools, worker takeovers, the tenets behind the wages for schoolwork movement, and the legal and ideological strands that can link Cooper’s past to this future.

“People Power and Politics”
Dominique Nisperos
12:50pm-2pm
Introduction to the Gay Liberation Movement, discussing Carl Wittman’s A Gay Manifesto.
Reading materials and outlines will be provided.

“NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium”
Ben Katchor
1pm-2:30pm
Discuss and share new models for the distribution of text/image work.

“Climate Debt/Climate Justice”
Andrew Ross
1pm-1:45pm
Climate debt is not yet part of the political architecture in the U.S. Where does it come from? What kind of justice does it involve? And why is it so important?

“Towards an Alternative School of Art”
Collaborative workshop with folks from vizKult, OWS Arts & Labor, and Making Worlds
1pm-2:45pm

The economic and structural realities of art schools as they exists today can often be a source of anxiety and frustration for artists, teachers, and staff alike, but what might an alternative model look like? In this workshop we’ll discuss the things we like and don’t like about the current art school system. Then we’ll learn about various alternative models and discuss amongst ourselves how they can be applied to or replace that system.

“Love Spam”
Barbara Browning
1:30pm-2:30pm
About a year and a half ago, I initiated an experiment in creating a surplus of sentimental value. I began by spamming random individuals with personally targeted, hand-crafted ukulele covers I made of sentimental songs. Victims ranged from an obesity doctor in Winnetka, Illinois to the anarchist anthropologist David Graeber. In this workshop, I’ll give an update on the results (thus far) of the project, and I’ll give participants some ideas for possible similar projects of their own.

“Presenting the New Edition of the Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual”
members of Strike Debt
1:30pm-2:30pm

“Art, Design, Architecture, and Activism”
Benjamin Young
1:30pm-2:50pm
What do art, design, and architecture have to do with activism? How can artists, designers, architects, and other cultural workers contribute to a radically egalitarian and democratic public sphere? How can we imagine other forms of communication and design outside that of advertising? What forms of public discussion, critical thinking, and social and political activism can take shape against or through mass culture, and how can art and design disciplines contribute to them?
Participants are asked to come prepared to discuss the following readings: Mira Schor, “Lowering the Bar on Activism,” Huffington Post; Mira Schor, “Books are Like People,” A Year of Positive Thinking; Reinhold Martin, “Occupy: What Architecture Can Do,” Design Observer; Reinhold Martin, “Occupy: The Day After,” Design Observer.

“Building the Commons in NYC”
Making Worlds
1:30pm-2:30pm
Join an open conversation about the commons and education.

“Why We Need to Break Up the Megabanks”
Cathy O’Neil, OWS Alternative Banking Group
2pm-2:30pm

“Song Share”
Everybody Now!
2:30pm-3pm
Want to learn the May Day song? Want to sing but feel afraid to? Want to have a rockin’ good half hour? Then this is the class for you!
Throughout the day many will be singing the May Day song “We Stand for Justice.” This class is to help everybody feel comfortable, confident, and excited about singing during the rally and throughout the day. No singing or music skills needed, for we all are singers. We welcome and invite you to join us. Let your voice be heard!

“Sociology of Race and Ethnicity”
Dominique Nisperos
2:15pm-3:30PM
Introduction to Colorblind racism, using excerpts from Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s Racism Without Racists, Ch 3 and Conclusion; Brown et. al’s White-Washing Race: The Myth of a Colorblind Society, Ch 6. Reading materials and outlines will be provided.

Move your class / teach your own class at the Free University! Sign up here.

What Do We Do Now? Resource Guide Available Friday & Saturday

[from Artsandlabor.org ]

WhatDoWeDoNow? Arts & Labor Alternative Economies Resource Guide Edition 1 Fall 2012What Do We Do Now?
Alternative Economies Resource Guide
Edition 1, Fall 2012

booklet launch at:
Building The Commons, Making Worlds Commons Forum 2
March 29th & 30th
Fri 6-10pm / Sat 10am-8pm

The Commons Brooklyn
388 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
*Children Welcome / Wheelchair Accessible / Free & Open to the Public*

Join us this Friday & Saturday for the first edition release of “What Do We Do Now?” Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies Resource Guide. Input for subsequent editions is welcome; we plan to update periodically!

Over the course of several months in 2012, members of Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies group decided to research and compile a list of alternative resources for living in New York. This resource guide contains examples of barter for health care programs, times banks, workers coops, community social services, alternative transportation advocates, and more. We are now ready to distribute the resource guide throughout the city at various events and with friends whose work forms part of building an alternative economy in New York City.

*A brief introduction to the guide will be made during Friday’s potluck Dinner 7-8pm and Saturday’s potluck Lunch Noon-1pm.*

Hope to see you there!
Arts & Labor Alternative Economies
http://artsandlabor.org/alternative-economies

Hide-and-Seek for Free Art Education

[ reblogged from Bureaux de vizKult ]

CooperUnion-dis

A little game of Hide-and-Seek ensued yesterday morning at Cooper Union by it’s Board members. Just like the last minute plans by Obama to move G-8 talks to Camp David last year fearing confrontation with the people it is supposed to be serving, the Cooper Union Board decided to change location of their meeting to an off-site undisclosed location, avoiding the presence of students, faculty, and community members.

Why hide? In yesterdays meeting the board was to decide the fate of free education at Cooper Union. News is now coming out from undisclosed “sources”  that the Board decided to put the onus on the faculty of Art, Engineering, and  Architecture, forcing them to find sustainable ways of funding the program. But some like the Cooper Union Student Action Group are suggesting the faculty was threatened by holding back fall admissions.  Ironically the current ideas for keeping education free at Cooper Union is to charge others for education – like charging for a pre-college program, undergrad summer program, and MA program.  Let’s see what else they come up with, until then back to the drawing board.

follow: @freecooperUnion
facebook: FreeCooperUnion

Students Rally in Unity as Board Meets in Secret
by Cooper Union Student Action to Save Our School
March 6, 2013

Cooper Union Art School Agrees to Explore Revenue Options
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 – 09:01 AM
By Beth Fertig

Why is Cooper Union Being Occupied?
December 4, 2012
by group affect

Obama Moves G-8 Summit from Chicago to Secluded Camp David
Monday, March 5, 2012
by Common Dreams staff