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

Next Wave of Work

“As the Occupy movement considers how to expand the influence and energy of last fall’s uprising into the next wave of work, it is looking at strategies for social transformation that combine a commitment to deep democracy, equitable economics, life-sustaining interdependence with the natural world and a liberatory remaking of social relationships”- Alexa Bradley*

If visibility, public awareness, and outreach were among the important aspects in the first phase of Occupy Wall Street, then I am beside Alexa Bradley’s suggestion that the next wave is working together to build these new worlds. We hope to continue to bring the Art & The Commons workshop to various communities in the next couple of months for community investigation into these ideas. Soon we will be participating in the Wall Street to Main Street (WS2MS) art festival in the Catskills and eventually along side workshops and teach-in with Arts & Labor‘s Alternative Economies group.This is an open invitation for anyone interested in joining us in these efforts.

Making New Worlds Possible
A report from the Occupy Wall Street forum on the commons
By Alexa Bradley

[*Alexa Bradley writing in response to her experience at "Making Worlds" a 3 day forum on the commons organized by several OWS Working Groups of which Arts & Culture members Maria Byck (@maria) and I (@antonioserna) held a workshop called Art & The Commons on day 2.]

 

Art & The Commons (Friday 8pm Workshop)

Art & The Commons: Workshop 1

Art & The Commons
Friday Feb 17th, 8pm

a workshop as part of…
Making Worlds:
An OWS Forum on the Commons

Feb 16-18th, 2012
Church of the Ascension, 122 Java St, Bkln (G train to Greenpnt Ave.)

THURSDAY  Feb.16th, 5-10pm – SPEAKERS
Intro to the Commons by Silvia Federici, G. Caffentzis, J. Quilligan, C. Rude, A. Godberg

FRIDAY  Feb.17th, 5-10pm – WORKSHOPS
Global Commons, Environment & Sustainability, Arts, Culture, & Education (8pm)*

SATURDAY  Feb.18th, 10-9pm – WORKSHOPS & CLOSING ASSEMBLY
Race, Gender, Language, Enthicity, Economics of the Commons, Money and Banking,
Nurturing the Commons, and Closing Assembly

*** FOOD SERVED & CHILDREN WELCOME***

COMPLETE INFO:
http://makingworlds.wikispaces.com

Also visit thematic page:
Art & The Commons