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: Arts Cluster 3, @7pm

Occupy Wall Street - Arts Cluster 3, Sunday July 15, 7pm - The Commons Brooklyn

We cordially invite you to the third meeting of the Arts Cluster! initiative to bring together the creative community of OWS. We think that this opportunity to share information, resources, grievances and sympathies can strengthen all of our participation in the huge work… at hand.

The first Arts Cluster was in April. More than 60 people attended, representing 20+ creative projects from the occupy universe, as well as OWS sympathetic creatives who wanted to get plugged in. We learned more about one another’s work, had discussions about common challenges, and shared needs and resources. It was pretty great, but it was just the beginning. The group agreed that we should try to meet bi-monthly and the second meeting was held on June 10th where an amazing range of subjects were discussed

We then decided to go for #3 so PLEASE COME with a topic you’d like to introduce to discussion!

Three easy request:

1) It will be a potluck, so please bring some food to share if you can!
2) Please bring ideas about what to discuss! For much of the meeting, we will use the Open Space model, so that everyone has the opportunity to bring their priorities to the group.
3)Please let us know you’re coming, and invite your friends!


Online Auction to Benefit Wall Street 2 Main Street

Art work by Jerry Kerns, part of the portfolio for auction.

Online auction to benefit Greene County Council on the Arts’ Wall Street 2 Main Street project in Catskill, NY.

The auction closes tomorrow night at 11pm!  (Friday May 11th)
Click here to bid on Ebay.

“Originally created to support the Alternative Museum in 1992, the portfolio includes works by ten contemporary artists of international reputation whose work is focused on social and humanitarian issues; Ida Applebroog, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Leon Golub, Luis Jimenez, Jerry Kearns, Komar & Melamid, Adrian Piper, Ben Sakoguchi, Andres Serrano, and Lorna Simpson with an introductory essay and rare print by former MOMA curator, Robert Storr.”

It’s The Political Economy, Stupid (Curator Walk Thru at 5pm Today)

It's the Political Economy, Stupid - installation view

It's the Political Economy, Stupid (installation view)

It’s the Political Economy, Stupid
Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Gallery Talk and walkthrough of the exhibition, “It’s the Political Economy, Stupid” with special guest, co-curator Gregory Sholette. The show brings together an international group of artists who focus on the current crisis in a sustained and critical manner. The Village Voice featured the show in its Best in Show column, and Art in America called it “compelling,” and “well-curated.”

Austrian Cultural Forum
11 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022
event website

It’s the Political Economy, Stupid is on view daily from 10AM – 6PM, through April 22nd, 2012. Admission is free.

OWS Poetry Group: An OWS Arts Cluster Highlight

[youtube TixX5ywVq1I 450 autoplay=0]

“A Collage of OWS Poetry Collective Assemblies” video/editing by Vivian.
Footage from the Occupy Wall Street Poetry collective done in and around Liberty Park in Wall Street. Fall 2011 – Winter 2012

Occupy Wall Street Poetry Facebook

[During the OWS Arts Cluster on April 1st, several of the many artist groups inside OWS came to connect and share with each other their experiences in the first six months of OWS.  Below is a video submitted to Arts & Culture for the cluster from the OWS Poetry Group, unfortunately we couldn’t present it at the cluster due to lack of time and a last minute change of format. As a thanks to all the OWS Art groups that took part in the OWS Arts Cluster, I’ll be presenting each of the groups through their words, images, and texts.]

Save the Date: April 1st – OWS Arts Cluster!

OWS Arts Cluster April 1, 2012Calling all OWS Arts Groups: The first OWS Arts Cluster has been announce for the evening of April 1st, 6pm @ The Commons Brooklyn.

We are asking all Art Groups to RSVP to present their work from the last 6 months & help plan for the future. More info here:

**we also need volunteers to help with the event and outreach.


The Significance of Art in the Occupy Movement

Panel this weekend at the Left Forum, with a few good friends of Arts & Culture…

Saturday March 17th, 2012
3:00pm – 4:50pm / Session 3

Pace University
1 Pace Plaza
Room W605, 6th fl.
New York, Ny

The Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) has altered conceptions of the international socio-political environment on the left, and has accordingly sent shock-waves throughout the realm of art and culture. In solidarity with OWS, artists took their work to the streets, creating on-site carnivalesque performances as forms of protest. Artists globally designed posters and logos to collectively construct the aesthetic appeal of the movement, and more significantly, diverse groups of artists organized to “Occupy Museums,” such as the MoMA, the Frick Collection, and New Museum, critiquing them as as “temples of cultural elitism.” Occupy Museums claims that the mainstream art world circuit is complicit in neoliberal capitalism and caters to the interests of the “1%.” Overall, OWS has renewed a sense of political urgency within the art world that has up to now been relegated to the margins. This panel critically investigates the role of art and culture in the Occupy movement, and how OWS has affected the infrastructure of the mainstream art world. What role does art play in the political struggles that OWS seeks to accomplish? In what ways is OWS a resource for creating change in the way art is produced, received, and distributed? These questions, among others, will act as the touchstone for artists and cultural theorists to asses how art and politics affect each other as the OWS continues to take form.

Sponsoring Journal: Platypus Affiliated Society
Moderated by
Chris Mansour.
Panelist include: Karen Archey, Noah Fischer (@noahfischer), Maria Byck (@maria), and Blithe Riley (@blithe)

more info and bios: