December 4, 2012

Artist Collective update
Union Group Update
Yasmin Ramirez Talk: The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers
Yale Panel
Mapping the Art World
Labor Panel Update.
Cooper Union

Agenda Items


Group facilitated, Minutes BR & AS


CO: Artist Collective update. Sent a lot of emails out to groups that people suggested last week, waiting to hear back.

TJ: Union Group Update- Pamphlet Idea. Open it back up to the group and see who else wants to be involved in putting it out?

BR: Yasmin Ramirez Talk: The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers. We are confirmed. Next Wednesday December 12 at Taller Borica. Need projector possibly. Annie has one and will bring. Who can videotape?

AS: Yale Panel. ND (in art history dept.) is organizing a panel with the grad student union. LP, MS, and AS and JK from Intern Labor Rights are going. Need to figure out how public it really is and how to announce.  Happening this Saturday. Record the conversation so we could bring it back to the group. Report back from A&L website.

- Mapping the Art World. We have a session this Sunday.

AS: Labor Panel Update. January 6th & 10th. Panel discussion over 2 nights. 1st night will take place at Projects Projects, that panel will feature worker centers and taxi worker, ROC, Freelancers Union, Sotheby’s, MOMA Sotheby’s Handlers. Second night January 10th.

Projects Projects, WAGE, Creative Capital, Queens Museum, possibly The Base.

TJ: Swedish Union Representative. Formal invitation has been sent – not until the spring.

AS: Cooper Union. 12 students have occupied a room in Cooper Union in the historical building. Are demanding that Cooper remains free, grad student classes that they are starting cost $, also demand that the President resign. Press conference today. Occupiers are locked in the room. Reps of them read a letter. Declaring a letter that they are not going to leave, despite attempts by the institution. ABC news was there. Not a huge amount of people. Faculty came out and read the mission, and stood in solidarity with the students.

AS: As an administrator, was concerned that there were any conversation about what free education means in terms of worker representation. We did a mic check encouraged how freedom should also be apart of labor exploitation. Afterwards we talked to press. This made me think that if this continues. Do we want to say something about this?

TB- Very rich topic. Playing out in a larger sense of what is happening in America. CU is paying for ridiculous real estate by charging students. Putting banks and developers over the needs of the students. Articulating that is really important. Could be great if it was a multi-pronged but united front. Developer is relatively progressive and ethical. Johnathan Rose. Would be interesting to get the developers perspective on this.

TJ- A friend I know thinks that because this whole thing was so F’d, that it could have been anything other than intentional to change the structure of the school.

TB: When you get a loan, you have to say that you can pay it back. What did CU say that they would use to pay it back? Tuition was probably part of that.

BR: Anonymous letter? Would it be useful?

TB (or AS?) Statement about real estate issues. This is happening in every university. There is also a labor front. We as art workers support this. This is about showing solidarity, but also that there is a price for free education. The students want free classes, so therefore the workers can’t get paid fully.

BR: If you want something free, somebody has to pay. Grrr

AS: That’s when Arts & Labor can bring that level of conversation to the forefront. Labor front is not addressed. Going to be risky for CU labor union to vocalize it.  Students are demanding the impossible. It would be something to have from the art workers perspective.

TB: Who made this decision? President. The people that need to bail out a risky labor. That is the narrative that we could illustrate.

CO: Boycott the building? Plan massive art worker walk out. Student Walk Out in a concrete way.

BR: What is next?

AS: Its unclear. People are testing the water. KP sent a quick email. President is aware that people can’t keep it up.

TB: if it is about rising tuition than its going to loose. If its about the students taking the heat for a bad decisions, then it makes a lot of sense.

BR: What is in the gallery right now? Should we do something? Open a thread about what to do… Email thread. Reframing the narrative. CT is a cooper alumni. GS is alumni. Open letter that people would sign. Published in Hyperallergic or AFC?

TB: Wouldn’t mind drafting the letter.

AS: I feel emotionally invested enough that we can do a rough draft.

AS & TB will get temp check on letter, and draft.


BR: Last meeting was great. Was big and fun. Felt supported and good about the group. I think that was because we took time off. The weekly meeting schedule is not sustainable. People are already not attending, and it puts unfair pressure on those who are actively working on projects for A&L who feel like they need to go.

TJ: What are you proposing?

BR: Meet every other week. Less meeting so that the meeting can be actually more meaningful and less burnt out. Every two weeks — one more discursive meeting — about our lives and topics; the other work meeting where tasks are decided and worked on for the coming month. People continue to work on projects on their own. We have trust.

CO: Looking for productive space, not just discussion.

TJ: All for it.

TB: Are we enough people to decide

AS: totally support

BR: also wants to step back from A&L in 2013. Time off to evaluate, and bottomline less for the group.

BR: will draft proposal to group and send to list. WIll bring it forth next meeting. AS will propose for BR since BR is in’t going to  be there.

New schedule would start in January.
FUNRAISER (Agenda Item)

BR: Fundraiser: This started because it’s time for us to start paying people for the time they spend to speak to us and our audience. Yasmin panel. Would like to donate $100 to Taller. Labor Panel $75 per person about $1000. People have always asked us how to contribute. We need to have something to show, like an appeal letter.

TJ: Rolling Jubiliee good example

TB: Key to online fundraising is concrete message and getting lots of people involved; one way or another, it’s a lot of work but it worked. Might take more time.

BR: Donation button, Website, Facebook call to our general followers. Lets just do an end of year eppeal and keep it simple. If we could raise $1500, that would get us where we need to go for now. We can decide on larger fundraising strategy later if we want.

AS: We don’t want more money than we can handle. Would be destructive for group.

Consensus on sending end of year email & Facebook appeal. TB & BR & AS & CT will work on it. Send end of next week.

Meeting end.

One thought on “December 4, 2012

  1. sorry to miss this meeting… forgot my plane flight dates — anyhow, i am in town until 12/14, invite anyone interested in exchange with Madrid to contact me… i am arranging an Archive 15M show at Bluestockings in January — a modest first step towards the exchange i hope we can build

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