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

Last Sundays – A&L’s Alternative Economies Meeting April 28th

OWS Alternative Economies Meetings April 28th
LAST SUNDAYS
Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies
Monthly Meeting
Sunday April 28th –> 11am-2pm
Roebling Tea Room
143 Roebling St @ Metropolitan Ave
Williamsburg Brooklyn
L to Bedford/G to Metropolitan
open meeting = open agenda
resource guide booklet
new collaborations
new partners
new projects

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

Arts & Labor 2-Day Strategy Discussions

[From OWS Artsandlabor.org]

Do you need two or three jobs to make ends meet? Do you run from one workplace to another, or juggle a series of temporary “gigs” throughout the year? Are you overworked? Is your boss also your peer? Are you owed money from an employer? Do you feel unsafe, abused and dispensable at your job? Do you feel like if you stand up for yourself, the future of your career is at risk? Are you worried about getting sick because you don’t have good health insurance or that you will never be able to retire? And if you do have a stable job, are the benefits dwindling? Do you want to make change but don’t how?

Arts & Labor presents a two-part discussion series, bringing together workers, community organizers and culture producers to discuss how precarious conditions are impacting our culture at large. Moderated by Tammy Kim with an introduction by Arts & Labor, we will learn how worker centers, arts organizations, coalition groups, and independent workers are developing strategies to build community and labor power, more equitable work environments, and a just and habitable city for all people.

DAY 1: Workers Unite!
Monday, January 7, 2013. 7 p.m.
P!
334 Broome St, Manhattan

Day 1 Facebook Invite: http://www.facebook.com/events/557881620908504/

Members of worker centers, unions, and coalition organizations share how to create infrastructure and build leverage within industries and communities that are traditionally considered difficult to organize. With workers from Domestic Workers United, Taxi Workers Alliance, Teamsters Local 814 (Art Handlers from Sotheby’s campaign), Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN).

 

DAY 2: Strategies for the Arts
Thursday, January 10, 2013. 7 p.m.
CUNY Murphy Institute
18th Floor, 25 W 43 St, Manhattan

Day two Facebook invite: Strategies in the Arts here: http://www.facebook.com/events/401369849943937/

Members of the arts community respond to the Day 1 discussion, and talk about strategies used to build community, advocate for artists and create sustainable institutions. They will also examine the challenges and strengths in navigating their roles as activists, precarious workers, job providers, and culture producers. With workers from Queens Museum, Creative Capital, ProjectProjects, and WAGE.

The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition

Via OWS Arts & Labor
The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition: A Talk with Yasmin Ramirez

December 12, 2012 at 7PM
Taller Boricua
1680 Lexington Ave
New York City

In the late 1960s, art workers in New York City came together to demand reforms to the exploitive and exclusionary practices of the art world. The Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition (PRAWC), founded in 1970, followed the 1969 formation of the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), a group aimed at pressuring city museums into implementing policies such as paying artists for exhibiting their work, better representation of art by women and people of color, and free admission. Members of PRAWC were active in founding El Museo del Barrio (1969), and fought to establish institutions that reflected the culture and needs of Latino artists in New York City. Join Arts & Labor for a presentation by Yasmin Ramirez about the history and legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition. Founding member of the PRAWC Marcos Dimas will also be present to participate in the discussion.

Yasmin Ramirez Biography
Yasmin Ramirez Ph.D. is an art historian and independent curator.  Growing up during  heyday of the Alternative Art Space Movement in New York, Yasmin Ramirez has worked at Taller Boricua, El Museo Del Barrio, The Studio Museum, The New Museum, Art in General, and Alternative Museum, Franklin Furnance and the East Village Eye. She is currently writing a book based on her dissertation: Nuyorican Vanguards: The Puerto Rican Art Movement in New York.

Tonight 7pm: Arts & Labor Art Writing Roundtable

[via OWS Arts & Labor]

Art Writing as Craft, Labor, and Art: An Arts & Labor Roundtable
Thursday October 25 at 7 p.m.
Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore
126 Crosby Street New York, NY
Admission: a book donation to Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Art writing is hard work. However, it is often framed as a mythic activity, replete with benefits such as “the power of the pen,” the authority of the critic, and the allure of earning a living while doing something exciting, and meaningful.

The realities of writing about contemporary art include a precarious living, high attrition, hard deadlines, and the charge that criticism is “massively produced, and massively ignored.” Rather than being treated as an art form or a skill developed over time, art writing is frequently viewed as a tool of the market and an index for valuation and canonization, with art writers functioning as cogs in the vast cultural machine.

So why do people continue to write about art? Why does one aspire to become an art writer in a field that has shrinking prestige and financial returns, and when chief-critic positions are becoming scarce? And why, in this economic climate, is art writing thriving online and degree-programs devoted to the field have begun to appear?

Join Arts & Labor for a roundtable to discuss labor conditions in art writing. Hear how various writers’ practices began, how their careers evolved, and what they think about the current state of art writing. Together we will attempt to imagine how writers could develop new networks to support one another, and to practice their art and craft in a sustainable and generative way in the future.

Art writers include: Ben Davis, Kareem Estefan, Ken Johnson, Paddy Johnson, Omar Lopez-Chahoud, Walter Robinson, Mira Schor, Martha Schwendener, and Christian Viveros-Fauné.