I espouse fair labor initiatives like W.A.G.E. to pay artists. However, my own projects are often un- or under-funded; if a stipend covers a significant portion of my expenses, that seems like a success, even if I take a loss on my own time and labor. As a consequence, I’m unable to pay myself, much less collaborators, contributors, or volunteers. In return, I try to offer sincere thanks and credit lines, as well as social media links. First, how do I navigate this paradox? Am I being a hypocrite? What more could I do to support fellow artists? How will I know if I am taking artists’ energy in exchange for an exploitative promise of “exposure”?
Art Workers’ Assembly in Berlin
As neoliberalism holds a tight grips over our societies, its violent symptoms have become normalized for all of us. While exploitation and censorship are commonplace, the ingenuity and creative abilities of art workers are hijacked by cultural managers and institutions. In this context, the reassessment of the situation of precarious art/workers, already undertaken by international groups of art workers, continues to be a pressing issue. How can we further challenge ourselves to re-imagine fairer relationships to institutions, organizations, networks and economies involved in the production and consumption of art and culture? What joint actions are possible in our collective search for cultural spaces and educational platforms beyond the logic of neoliberal economy? What new ways of unionizing precarious labor exist and could they be adapted to cultural workers?
Presentations by members of ArtLeaks (Corina Apostol, Vladan Jeremic, Federico Geller), AG Arbeit (Haben…
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“There are expectations in the arts, as with any other industry, to value the time, effort, and labor of others. It’s just harder to figure out how to go after fair payment by arts institutions when the promise—of even a meager stipend—remains an uncommon practice.”
Why art doesn’t pay by Corinna Kirsch on Art F City:
*thank you Claudia Sandoval for the link!
This Thursday is May Day, international workers’ day.
Across the globe workers will celebrate May Day in various ways, organizing street demonstrations and protest marches in their communities, demanding justice and freedom for all oppressed people.
With this occasion, ArtLeaks will inaugurate a visual archive dedicated to art workers’ pride, which will continue to gather material throughout the year.
We invite you to submit visual documentation of protests/performances/comics/banners/short texts related to art and cultural struggles. Please send the material to firstname.lastname@example.org or @Art_Leaks, including the credit information and a title or very short description. Both signed and anonymous entries welcome.
Our aim is to create a visual archive of different actors and movements around the globe focused on art labour. We think this is will grow into a great resource and encourage all persons working in art and culture to submit their materials to this public archive.
Happy May Day International…
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