July 25, 2012

Report Backs

  • Intern group
  • Union/ Worker Collectives
  • Arts and Democracy
  • 99 pickets:

AGENDA

  • Proposal for BIG work day
  • Strategy for Teach-in Julia Brian Wilson
  • Discussion of what we want to do
  • S-17
  • MOCA
  • MFTA
  • Christopher Columbus Day- Art funding
  • Invitation
  • Reading Group

Present: AS, EG, BR, WS, MB, MP, DM, JF, M, S, K, AS, YA, PC, BW

Report backs
EG – Intern group reached out to local politicians- no response to NYFA letter – gets
money from city, so involve elected officials. Interesting promising communicating
with council members, already intern cause taken up – already on radar
Talked about opening up dialog= open facebook group is a possibility
Meets every Wednesday- at AS’s studio

DM -Local Teamsters want to organize one major shop of art handlers Sotheby
workers working with guys who have been around a while (worked with Cesar
Chavez) presented whole different approach- but might be something appealing to
this group- different model different way of organizing- once plan it out will present

BR – AS, myself and KP are going to talk with ROC and taxi worker alliance do some
research with worker centers, making it public share the research. If people want to
join follow up with them

BR- Arts and Democracy – is doing a cultural organizing workshop- using culture as
an organizing tool- not organizing artists.

MP- 99 pickets: different worker struggles, low wage worker struggle – if want
to come out for this kind of stuff – passed around sign up sheet. Yesterday
was low wage action- Great coalition of groups- organizing did not seem
transparent=sucked. Had tour of low wage worker places, super broad scope.,
police started kittling- then fizzled out. Inspiring to see everyone there- just not well
executed and dictates from above, launch of bigger campaign

New email list—signals Online

Proposal for BIG work day — doodle poll to find day to get in room together to
talk about what it takes to make group function on admin level- look at website,
calendar, twitter, nuts and bolts stuff to check off list and do training- BR will make
doodle poll—passed!

Strategy for Teach-in– One teach in that is going to happen: Sept 9 morning with
Julia Brian Wilson, connected to LW. organized event on Sept 8 with Vera List C
about what it means to produce objects that have politics. Next morning will be
breakfast with Julia did not want to do public thing.-
Julia writes about craft and was part of artworkers- wanted to do something with
us but did not work out so now it is happening. Do we want to document? So we can
share.

Summer take time not react – but research. What do we want to do.?
Teaching good get bang for buck

General discussion on what we want to do.

S – have workshops during free university week. Sept 17-22
Could do something for s-17 .
WS – thinking about grand fury teach in- put things out in terms of visual culture-
put out visuals that spoke to people- design poster and then print and screen paste.

JF – collaborative nature of things and solidarity what group is

MB – doing stuff on Art and the commons experimentation on what other
relationships in the art world will look like, explore between art culture,artists

Sept 17 is week long debt strike fold are working on something

BR – produce visual materials- Rad arts is doing that as well. Ways we are working
less admin/process more empowering each other to act- how support each other—
really good at doing education= solidarity in group. Come up with series of teach-
ins—everyone can plan one.

EG — make meetings more collaborative- how go from sense of wanting to do
something else- what is stopping us? how do we address that and make it happen?

MB – maybe we should look at the expertise within the group not always look to out
side what do we have to share.

DM – friend in Detroit – artist took over house and community liked it so the city or
cops could not take away. Make something together.

MP – not visual but actions and presences- precarious worker center that is mobile,
more stuff on streets or going into work places. Change hearts and minds slowly.

AS – first thought make big sign- really big– but think we need simple easy
actions—what if on Sept 17 just bombed city with art worker buttons- to start
conversations. Openings will take place in Fall- active art scene- just be present with
buttons.

WS – hesitant to focus on S17. Rather focus on our campaigns like interns.

AS- go back to squatted art thing- just matter of connecting people—there is
possibility of outdoor space- takes really long time.

YA – don’t want to focus on S17 burnt out after M1= detriment of group- there are
groups that don’t have support from group—like intern group – wear t-shirts and
tote bags and come to happy hour for interns. All ideas sound great, but want to
make sure what we are doing is working and being supported.

EG – MP. brought up mobile precarious workers. Foundations that fund occupy
projects- maybe drop proposal . make A&L mitzvah tank and take around to
different places in NYC.

DM- direct action stuff is happening- Anarcho- somethings- do weird crazy stuff at
protests with water. Make something cops would not want to smash. Successful
action- in Chelsea on night that all galleries are open- infiltrating with flyers and
talked about things- small thing is huge thing. Paula Cooper tried to end sotheby’s.

MP – agree don’t attach too much importance on s17 potential for press coverage-
only something that works on our campaigns. Love doing something simple –
outreach – personal interactions.

JF – power of the piñata. did wall st bull piñata= most positive response ever got
- beautiful delicate object that draws attention to violence. Think about things we
can do – like unpaid internship walk out on Thursday night- give leverage- make
demands- something more miltant than stickers.

YA – organizing other people is hard need to organize ourselves first- don’t have
faith –until we are organized – focus on ourselves first-

BR – don’t have an agreement in this group to organize- I want to – want to talk to
people – an other speak out- piñata- artworker button—have to organize self but
don’t want to be too hard on ourselves

BR – woman who knows about art workers from Puerto Rico – perhaps do teach in
about it- in labor world all the time.- hard to schedule- is there interest.
Labor issues in cultural industries – but don’t want it to be a bitching session.

S-17
MOCA
MFTA
Christopher Columbus Day- Art funding
Invitation
Reading Group

[JF taking over minutes here]

YA: Do teach-in about labor conditions in cultural industry – bitch for half hr,
then have a discussion about what we can do. Bring our answers to a wider group
(interns, gallery workers, artists, etc.)

BR: Potentially … this could be a series. Different types of workers (critics,
filmmakers, etc.)

YA: list of potential venues from group? Where is it?

BR: we should re-post it to the group

??: dig up the thread with ideas brainstorming for teach-ins. Or maybe it’s in docs.

BR: at some point we have to get a sense of who actually wants to work on each
teach-in, so we actually move forward w them.

AS: Oct 18 weekend – thinking of doing a panel looking at different grassroots
models. Walid Raad teach-in about neo-liberal interventions in 3rd world countries.
Talking about it at next Alt Econ meeting… prob aug 5.

Talk about Sept 17 for 5 mins:

AS: wants us to be together!

MP: likes idea of dropping /handing out art worker & unpaid intern buttons all over
the city. Think about what things we want to do any way

JF: piñata!!!

BR: another occupy lunch or a speakout. We should do something. Sept 17 is a good
goal

DM: particularly in Chelsea – wheatpaste posters all over Chelsea about Arts &
Labor

BR: follow up on this at next rad arts?

AS: BTW!! Rad Arts are going to the Step Up Revolution this Sat at 8 pm. We’re doing
dinner and a movie and it’s gonna be awesome.

BW: 1st or any weekend in August at my studio in Jersey City for Rad Arts meeting?
Very close to PATH train.

AS: let’s make plans on Sat at the movies for the following week.

BR: We have set the 1st Sunday of august as making meeting for Rad Arts.

AS: Rad Arts never brought back to the group, report back, etc. How do we hook into
it without going to meetings? Do you guys report back? Are you autonomous?

AS: Not autonomous, we should report back more. We haven’t done anything since
May.

BW: This segues into the discussion about the googlegroups. Not comfortable
posting my studio address to the whole big list.

Transition to convo about the googlegroup

AS: Felt there were a lot of people on the group … lots of connections in the arts
scene. Talking to ppl like they are an audience. Want ppl we know, rather than
strangers.

BR: there is a finite # of ppl actually doing stuff. AND people’s employers are on that
list. We would still use the big list for announcements of meetings etc, but smaller
and more private list for details, planning etc.

MP: What are the specifics of this proposal from last meeting?

BR: we didn’t talk about guidelines, but in general if you are showing up to meetings
and/or working on a project, that is a very clear criteria. Also talked about it so that
we deliver the message so that it makes the larger list more productive so that the
people who just want to see what’s up don’t get too many emails, etc.

WS: was this an approved proposal?

BR: yes, consensus. Tho not that many ppl there.

BW: Was there also a discussion about when ppl would be removed from the list?
People could be in the group but have turned off their email alerts. For new one, if
you’re inactive, do you get removed?

BR: didn’t discuss this

MP: it’s weird to tell people no if they ask to be put on the list.

AS: ask them why they want to be on the list?

MB: What were people’s reservations? What criteria did they have problems with?

AS: No guidelines … what does it mean to leave people out.

AS: it was supposed to be thought through more, not yet blurted out to the list. We
were supposed to formulate the announcement so it wasn’t controversial. Didn’t
really work out that way.

BR: the idea was that if you are in the grind, and you want to be in the grind, here is
where you can work without your employer knowing

YA: should we just take emails at each meeting and add them to lists? It will be slow
and maybe cumbersome, but maybe that’s the way

PC: agree – that makes sense. The list should be formulated of participants.

YA: give it a time limit, sept 15 or SEPT 17

WS: thinks it will be fluid … the Whitney curators, etc aren’t actually going to go
through the trouble of switching lists. This might also be a good point to think about
other ways of using tech.

BR: POI – the list is already made and it’s on riseup. But it’s only 3 ppl.

EG: Occupy Tech is working on this too – finding alternate ways to communicate
outside of corporate media

AS: I support separate list, but I don’t think we really have to worry about ppl
jumping on. Besides, if ppl go around saying they’re with a&l, and they say it with
pride, then that’s great. There should be 2 criteria: 1) respectful, 2) if someone’s
presence threatens another’s livelihood, then they are off. Ex: a boss? We have to
think about that …

BR: this is an opportunity to have a list agreement (step up, step back, etc. basic ows
principles.) Create safer, productive space with guiding principles.

YA: Jerry Saltz reached friend limit on fb and deleted ppl he didn’t recognize and
who weren’t part of his discussions. Maybe we want to consider being very clear
about assessing contribution and booting ppl regularly.

BR: who will moderate?

MB: in response to AS … it gets into the moderation thing. Some people are ok with
some people, etc. We need clear and straightforward criteria. Want to go back to
proposal that YA made about setting time limit for people to come to meetings, etc.
(If someone emails and says she can’t come during august, but comes regularly, then
that’s ok, etc.) Need to set straightforward criteria and general agreements. Make it
happen by sept 17.

EG: someone posted something v snarky about 2nd gg on the 1st gg. Sort of
hypocritical and upsetting. When someone does this at a meeting, we can address it.
But what procedures do we have for addressing such stuff on the gg?

MB: email is a hard place to address something when there’s conflict … we need a
procedure.

MP: let’s use YA’s idea. Call it the ‘working email list’. For ppl at meetings and in
groups. And then see how it goes? Maybe we won’t need rules?

AS: has a hard time with making rules for list. Clarify YA’s idea?

YA: what if we become a 100 person working list … (not her idea, a problem)

MP: worry about it later

YA: deal w it now

AS: think it is super impt to have a very basic thing about how the group has to
function. Respect, community members. Needs to be established in the beginning.
Feels like we won’t ever even get to 50. If we get there, we can evaluate. If we hit a
certain number, we can re-evaluate. Most important aspects are respect and the fact
that ppl are working. I’ll be away in China in a few months but I want to know what’s
happening.

WS: we had huge meetings back in Nov, but that prob won’t happen again

BR: to proceed: for next week ppl who want to can work on a general, simple
agreement. In terms of booting ppl off, ppl who are here working can evaluate.

AS: it will happen naturally

BR: yes, but let’s concretely say that we’re going to look at this again. Somebody can
do the work to make a proposal.

MP and MB volunteer. It will be a googledoc.

AS: what if the requirement is that you sign up for one project? We make a list of
what we’re working on and ppl sign up.

AS: good idea

MP: the idea is to come up with a coherent proposal for next week.

BR: I think showing up as a body is something, too.

AS: I love the idea to give ppl work (virtual even) that can be part of the criteria.
Then you can be out of town and be involved.

TRIP to Materials for the Arts?

Max doesn’t have car .. going to be vehicle-less. BR can lend car but can’t go. MB
wants to go.

MB: what do we need?

AS: good things! For banners, big sheets of papers, props for signs, etc. cardboard

MOCA mobilization ? Tabled to next time.

Christopher Columbus Day Public Art Fund

xx: working with Indigenous People’s group in Occupy. They are asking how artists
can support them. Japanese artist has been hired by PAF to ameliorate the Columbus
statue. The Native Resistance ppl are not interested in celebrating Columbus or his
statue. As artists, where do we position ourselves? They can’t stop the PAF from
funding this project, but they want to issue a statement about Columbus not having
discovered the Americas, that he was a capitalist, etc. Also is anniversary of treaty
with the Dutch, which was violated.

YA: did anyone talk to the artist? That is step one?

xx: not yet

MP: we have to know about the art to make a comment on it

xx: his statement is to create a surrounding for a sculpture to look at it in a different
way

MP: is it anti-Columbus? Or?

BR: we need to read info about the project on line

EFA invite

BR: curator is curating a 2 wk thing at EFA about debt. Wants to make a formal
invite to A&L. 3-5 hr event at EFA, whole framework is around debt. We don’t have
to decide tonight. It is in Oct. One of my initial thoughts was that this could go to
strike debt. Does A&L have to participate? On the other hand, maybe it helps us
articulate our relationship to debt. It would be helpful to know what ppl’s thoughts
are. Do we want to explore this further?

AS: Value in participating. It would be nice to get different members to talk about
debt. What is the structure? Is there an honorarium?

BR: $500

AS: YES, then. DO it. $500 to A&L!

S: is it debt-in-the-art-world, or just debt?

BR: general so far. We could add that to the convo.

S: it could be very interesting … considering how artists go into debt for their own
work

YA: great opportunity to explore labor in the culture industry. We can never get out
of debt unless we succeed at the superstar level. EFA is a good context for this, esp
bc they are a nfp running off low and unpaid workers.

AS: I want to bring in MOCA mobilization, then. Any kind of non-profit, grant,
trustee, structure as something that doesn’t actually embrace equity. In support of
doing EFA thing.

EG: To what YA said … if we could use the invite and address their own unpaid
labor there. Could be very interesting. Raises a lot of questions that don’t have
clear answers. Like precarious worker brigade at Tate. We should look at PWB self-
analysis as starting point to walk into this one.

MB: yeah, they’re offering $500, but how much time do we invest in making this
happen? How much would it cost if we were paid minimum wage for doing this
event? Keep track?

JF: we could present them with a bill, their debt to us

BR: OK, so we want to participate, it sounds. I’ll tell her. If ppl want to work on this,
they can think of proposal for the group.

AS: ‘Clearly‘(?) wants to interview us for ows livestream. Should I invite this person
to a meeting?

Yes

Reading Group Discussion.

BR: we were going to read S.L. but we haven’t met yet. We could just set a date to
talk?

YA & BR: 2nd wk of august.

OK

Doodle poll? MP will make one.

Thank you PC!! for photocopying cards w 5 ways to act

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