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.

Twice the Work, Half the Pay: Entrepreneurship and Exploitation in the Music Industry

[This Thursday. Via Arts & Labor, OWS Arts Network Group, posted on October 4, 2012 ]

1942 Recording BanThursday, Oct. 18, 6-8pm
Judson Memorial Church, Assembly Hall (239 Thompson St., New York)
Facebook invite:

The annual CMJ Music Marathon comes to NYC October 16-20, with panels on the music business promising to “help make sense of the current climate.” But what does it really offer musicians? How does the industry itself, which promotes ideas such as the “super-entrepreneur,” contribute to the difficult conditions musicians face?

Musicians regularly surmount these myriad problems: working for tips, below minimum wage or nothing; misclassification/1099s; inconsistent gigs; multiple employers; a lack of respect for their profession; and a byzantine system of agents, contractors, media and tech companies climbing over each to profit from musicians’ work.

Individually, we make it work because we have to. We have to survive, we have to make a living, we have to perform. The industry leads us to believe that there is no other way to do so. And while so much of our career is social (performing and networking), we are on our own when it comes to the business side. This hardly allows us to see the big picture. Who’s making the money? Why should musicians take on so much of the risk, but little of the reward?

These issues are not unique to the music industry. Many people in professions deemed “entrepreneurial” or “independent” experience similar conditions, including visual artists, taxi drivers, childcare workers, truckers, freelancers, construction workers, domestic workers, writers, and others. How are they addressing these problems?

Join musicians and other workers for a facilitated discussion and strategy session to explore ways we can act together against the systems that keep us isolated and divided.

A collaboration between OWS Arts & Labor99 Pickets, and the Musicians Solidarity Council.

Image above: The 1942 Recording Ban and the ASCAP/BMI War

Tonite: Happy Hour for Intern Rights!

Pay Your Interns - Happy Hour June 28thOccupy Wall Street’s Arts & Labor subgroup on ‘intern rights’ is hosting a happy hour event for interns, this Thursday June 28, 6-8pm… More info on their announcement below. Also be sure to visit their website to find more info on how they are pushing back on the free labor that capitalism enjoys!

Thu, Jun 28, 2012, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Double Down Saloon
14 Avenue A, at Houston
NYC [Google Map]


Current, former, and future interns and sympathizers – JOIN US FOR A DRINK!
$2 beers? 2-for-1 well drinks? Yes please!

On Thursday, June 28, 6-8PM we will meet at Double Down Saloon (14 Avenue A, at Houston) to chat about unpaid internships over appropriately affordable drinks.

Come swap stories about past and present internships, learn about intern rights in the workplace, and what we can each do to make the internship a better (and legal) experience in the long run.

Drop by if any of the following applies to you: Are you an intern now? Were you ever an intern? Do you work with interns? Would you like to learn more about the rights of interns? Do you want to meet people who have come together to learn about legal internships? …in other words, you’re all invited!

We’ll see you there! (Look for us in the back patio, weather permitting)

Related Websites:
Intern Labor Rights
OWS Arts & Labor

reblog from:

Arts & Labor in the Age of Occupation

[With around 5+ subgroups each tacking different issues concerning the labor of artist, Art & Labor is perhaps the only arts working group within NYGCA that is still holding regular meetings. If you would like to join, they meet every Tuesday 7pm @ 60 Wall St, with the exception of the last week in every month when they meet on Wednesdays]


Publication: Afterimage
Author: Schwendener, Martha
Date published: March 1, 2012

In the fifteen years I have been writing and publishing art criticism, I’ve seen a few shifts in the art world. There was the rise of participatory art and social practice, and a version of these that flourished at biennials labeled “Relational Aesthetics,” which a fellow critic, Howard Halle, recently called “conceptualism for oligarchs.”1 There was the rise of interest in performance and calls to end object-making – although an artist friend recently asked, “Does that mean we’re going to leave it to Nike, Sony, and Walmart to put all the objects into the world?”

And then came the worldwide Occupy movement, influenced by the Arab Spring, the European Summer, and, in the fall of 2011, Occupy Wall Street (OWS). I was not involved in earlier iterations of OWS, like Bloombergville, an encampment near City Hall in New York that started in the summer of 2011. I became involved with OWS shortly after September 17, when the occupation started, and some of the questions it raised, naturally, involved how it might relate to the present and future of art. Continue reading

Tonight: Gran Fury Teach-In, March 23rd 7-9pm

Occupy Wall Street // Arts & Labor
Teach-In with Gran Fury

Friday, March 23, 7-9 PM
Einstein Auditorium, Barney Building,
34 Stuyvesant Street between Second and Third Avenues, NYU

What can the Occupy movement learn from the intersection of visual
arts and direct action in groups like Gran Fury and ACT UP? To explore
this question, please join Arts & Labor for a teach-in and discussion
with members of Gran Fury, an art collective active from 1988 to 1995
that grew out of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power).

Some of the questions that might emerge from this discussion include:
How did ACT UP and Gran Fury target not only broader cultural
attitudes about AIDS, but specific laws, regulations, and government
policies, and did that require tactics different from those of OWS?
How were specific targets (for instance, access to healthcare and the
price of prescription drugs) part of a larger economic system? How did
ACT UP and Gran Fury critique these systemic problems, and how can
this critique be advanced today? How did a movement that began largely
through the efforts of white, gay men deal with issues of diversity?
How can activist groups build alliances and coalitions? How do we
navigate the relation between a smaller affinity group and a larger
social movement?

Central to our discussion is the question of how artists and art
workers participate in social movements and how art, activism, and
direct action functioned then and now.

About Gran Fury
Gran Fury originally formed as an affinity group to organize an
exhibition on the AIDS crisis at the New Museum, “Let the Record
Show. . .” (1987), and went on to create numerous media interventions
in the form of posters, billboards, and public service announcements
aired on television. They produced such visually striking graphics as
“The Government Has Blood on Its Hands,” “Read My Lips,” “Kissing
Doesn’t Kill,” and “Women Don’t Get AIDS (They Just Die From It).” An
exhibition of their works is currently on view through March 17 at
80WSE, New York University.

An online archive of their work is available from the New York Public Library at:

For a brief summary of their history, see the interview with Douglas
Crimp here:

This event is part of an ongoing series of educational initiatives and
direct actions organized by the Occupy Wall Street Arts & Labor group.

more info:

Today: Arts & Labor Teach-In 3-6pm

SolidarityNYC posterAlternative Economies: Seeing, Naming, Connecting, Strengthening, Creating

March 4, 2012, 3-6pm
Location: 66-68 East 4th Street, Manhattan
Contact: owsartsandlabor@gma*

#OccupyWallStreet has cracked open a little hole in history, creating a moment where some of the very core institutions of our economy are called into question. Along with indignation and outrage, there is a certain excitement in the air. Things that have been terrifyingly stuck seem to be moving. Something seems possible today that wasn’t just a month ago. In this space, our conversations and our imaginations are buzzing. What are we doing? What should we do? What’s coming next? -Ethan Miller, Occupy! Connect! Create! Imagining Life Beyond ‘The Economy’

Fourth Arts Block


Arts & Labor: Alternative Economies

Arts & Culture + Arts & Labor: Occupy Tompkins Sun Feb 26 11-5pm

Arts & Culture + Arts & Labor: Occupy Tompkins Square Park, Feb 26, 11am-5pm

Arts & Culture + Arts & Labor:
Occupy Tompkins Square Park (map)
Sunday Feb 26, 11am-5pm

as part of..
Occupy Town Square III
Facebook invite:

Look for us!!!