May 8, 2012

Reportbacks

  • Liberation Summer initiative
  • teach-in on May 23rd
  • Intern media coverage
  • alt econ RB. Group revisiting resource list,
  • MAY DAY

Agenda

  • W.A.G.E. SURVEY ON WEBSITE PROPOSAL
  • VISIONING PROPOSAL
  • COPENHAGEN PROPOSAL
  • OUTREACH DISCUSSION

REPORTBACKS
[First, MP RB on notes]

LW: Liberation Summer initiative – started as OWS working group. Coalition around police violence and mass incarceration. Probematic early on, seemed top-down, alienated some
invitees. Got lots of feedback, OWS planning group took it to heart, seems like next meeting willbe more of a listening session. If people want to get involved, best way is probably to join theOWS working group Liberation Summer (distinct from initiative but part of). LW will post to on listserve. Next meeting is this Friday (May 11).

AG: teach-in on May 23rd, Taylor law re: public unions, Taft-Hartley for private, teach-in on
labor law. Sponsored by OWS labor alliance (formerly labor cluster). At CWA 1180. AS thinks we should post on website.

YA: Steve Greenhouse contacted Intern Labor group via phone. Interviewed PW, DS, EG
for article on unpaid interns. Third major headline on NYTime website, frontpage of Sunday
times (print). Regurgiation of recent unpaid internship stories. Followed by a NYTimes blog
post linking to A&L intern labor rights poster, other projects. Comments to each article wereinteresting. AS, MP discussed posting on website. AS: should be proactive mention, not just “we got press” but actually how to get involved.

RH: alt econ RB. Group revisiting resource list, + consensed to take out the lengthy/problematicsection on residencies, and provide external links instead. LW: group decided that philsophically it should only include genuine economic alternatives.

MAY DAY
AS: Awesome!!! LW: Somewhat frustrated: permitted, controlled protest. Was great to be
together, and with coalitions. YA: Heard a lot of depressing unpaid intern stories. Signs gavepeople a way to plug in. AS: OK with the permitted nature, but furious about how it was notcovered, at all. Find it disturbing as a citizen of this world. Radical Arts group – a place couldexist where people could meet together and create together, in a much quieter way, allowingmultiple voices. Really valuable to her. About solidarity in larger sense, inclusive. The spacetogether was possibly more valuable than what was actually being said. Never knew what signswould create a huge response – real grievances.

LW: Would like to see that dynamic continue, but also projects that are large-scale, carefully planned, consensed-on, ambitious. AG: Element of surprise connections is valuable outcome of haphazard nature of Rad Arts. Consensus can make ideas overwrought – the idea is almost dead before it manifests itself.

AG: May Day was terrific. Lots of outer borough people, labor. Biggest march since maybe
2003. Permit creates the space for people to come.

MP: Press blackout par for the course in re: protests. We need permitted marches sometimes for familes, undocumented immigrants, &c.

BR: Spent a good chunk of the day at the Free University, very exciting. Well-attended, exciting, and in light of ongoing A&L discussion about pedagogy, etc. we should plug in to them. AS: We have a lot to learn from them, they deal with issues like adjuncts, etc.

AS: Would like to think about how to remember May Day. How to show the vastness of this event, how to utilize our platform to represent the day. Showing also that it was a global thing. Collecting testimonials that Intern Labor group received in response to signs on May Day. Also, before May Day, a lot of random people not involved in OWS were asking what A&L were doing – this is very encouraging and shows we’re not just talking amongst ourselves.

DOCUMENTATION OF MAY DAY
LW: Tumblr of “What May Day meant to me”? MP: What about joining current tumblrs
(non A&L)? AG: In general we should do more joining and less creating. For the purposes of broader public awareness, we should plug into as many other things as possible. BUT we should have a blog post, FB photo gallery, nothing serious. Not a strong A&L for May Day, just to commemorate that we were there.

BR: In order to move this topic forward, there needs to be a point person to gather the content and put it together. Pro-blog post, and/or statement about media blackout, links to alt media.

YA: Occupy Your Inbox people sent list of May Day reporting. MP: Also on May Day.

AS: Will volunteer to be a point person. MP will also do that.

LW: funny SNL sketch re: OWS. MP didn’t like it.

W.A.G.E. SURVEY ON WEBSITE PROPOSAL
BR: WAGE (Steiner) asked us to put the surveys on our website. We should put it on our
website, maybe in the “In Solidarity” section.

AG: Information design is a little unclear. We should link to it as an item of interest, that we’re in solidarity with the group, it’s something we’re interested in.

RH: No reason not to post. If we feel compelled, we could write some questions that we could follow up on.

AG: Have a dialog with them, great idea.

AS: Art Union group also trying to do a survey… a general conversation about that would be great, would love it if more A&L peeps could be at survey session.

AS: Comparing WAGE survey with Adjunct project – which is undigested data, just people
filling that form in. The transparency is valuable.

BW: People who had no income got thrown out… missing important component.

BR: Will tell WAGE we’re posting, invite further dialogue if they’re interested.

CONSENSUS reached on posting in the “In Solidarity” section.

OUTREACH
BR: Our groups are getting really solid, which is a good thing. Want to keep doing things that are reaching out to other artists, wanted to activate artists, to organize.

VISIONING PROPSOAL
BR: We could do it on a Tuesday. AG: Before June 10. YA: Last Wed. of the month. More
people come to Wednesday meetings. RH: Suggest not use the White Horse.

COPENHAGEN PROPOSAL
BR – A friend of mine is part of Danish Art worker group UKK… Two a.w. groups in
Denmark: Union for established artists in market, UKK for younger, emerging artists, outside of market… They’re not antagonistic. Invited A&L to participate in series of events at a space in Copenhagen… Need answer soon. Timeframe: End of June, flexible—17th-24th… have small budget, enough for plane ticket + small artist fee. Open to having as many people come but funds are limited to above. Propose we agree to do it this week, agree to figure out representation next week.
LW – Is it just to participate in dialog or is it a public presentation?
BR – Public presentation, but system is very different in EU. More a conversation. Could be whatever we want. A contemporary art space. Well-regarded. The space itself isn’t giving money, UKK is raising their own budget.

AG: Will you still be in Europe at that time? BR: Depending on the timing, yes. A number of
people will be in Berlin in June, that’s one way of getting more representation at the event.

LW: No objection to presentation of what A&L does, straightforward about our activities. Slight discomfort about this being a public presentation in a contemporary art center, this becoming an ongoing, co-opted institutional critique thing, but not too concerned.

AG: Re: the co-opted i. critique thing, we’ve adopted a number of strategies to avoid that
problem. In general we should get out and tell people about what we’re doing, that we’re
competent to represenet ourselves well. Avoid becoming a dog-and-pony show for institutions.

BR: This space is a kind of space where you present a proposal, get a budget… we’re being invited by people who made proposal not the institution.

RH: Invited by group that does similar work, not the institution.

LW: Why does it need to be a public event at an institution? Why not just a conversation with UKK?

YA: Problems we have in the States are foreign to those in other countries. Incorporate our own conflicts, goals but not accomplishments. Look at our minutes and see what the bulk of our time is being devoted to.

AS: We can learn from them, they can learn from us, that people are already there is a good thing… not JUST flying someone out to do a presentation. Give opportunity to someone in the group that’s been in the group for a long time but doesn’t talk that much.

YA: How is the process going to happen as far as deciding who’s going to go, who will be in Europe.

BR: My idea is get consensus on participating, brainstorm process after that, but maybe that doesn’t make sense. Thoughts?

AG: Maybe establish who can’t go, who doesn’t want to go, and those people make the decision about who is going to go.

BR: Suggest we assess who can go, those people make a case for why… think about it with open heart and generosity.

JP: Agree we consense now that we want to participate.

YA: Do you think someone from A&L can DEFINITELY go. As long as there’s a fallback.

JP: Likes idea of virtual component, maybe not whole thing, but so they can get idea of what the group is (ex. Skype, webinars, etc.) and the idea of working together is good.

BR: Not as interested in doing this if we don’t have a virtual component as part of the
presentation.

CONSENSUS on participating in event, but next week we will decide who’s going to go,
and what will be presented. People that want to go will say why at the next meeting, and
present why. We will post this in A&L GG.

ANNOUNCEMENT
YM: Space for art-fab, banner-making for the week for those that are interested, not as A&L necessarily but as artists individually. Get in touch with YM or LB for more info.

OUTREACH DISCUSSION
YM: Flyer for all arts groups in the movement, basic info, good messaging, so we can pass out to arts students, arts friends, etc. Intersects with Arts Cluster, Arts Assembly, etc. Overlap with cool Labor Cluster flyer that shows all the labor orgs.

IE: Arts Cluster, there is a plan to bring all news, etc. together in printed form. Maybe the cluster meets every three months.

YA: In the intern group we’re planning a happy hour for unpaid interns, to give info for their
rights. Focused happy hours. The summer is coming, we may have more time, and how should we capitalize on it.

RH: More successful outreach are the events we’ve been doing. We have a broad base of friends and supporters, but don’t have time to attend meetings. Find ways to connect people that support us. Flyers, one and one conversations. Like idea of throwing more parties.

JP: More than drinking, important that people have a chance to do something if they want to, maybe different things.

BW: Teach-ins have been really effective, and panel discussions. Great way to engage people. Maybe combine bar event with guest speaker, a less rigid format than panel discussion.

AS: 2 purposes for outreach. 1. Messaging, 2. Bringing more people in, so we can carry out larger projects. What is the purpose of the outreach? Or is it a celebration, which is legit, but th reason needs to be defined. If it’s to expand the group, we need to be open to that.

BR: I feel like we don’t need that much of a plan. There are places, even geographically, or kinds of artists, that we’re not currently targeting. Important to keep that process going. If more people come into the circle, it will change what’s happening, that’s the OWS organic thing. Interested in a party a month throughout the summer. Parties are fun, and NYC has a massive lack of dance parties.

BR: Looking at other institutional left websites, a “Take Action” button that lets people do
something really simple. Talk to your boss. Use intern messaging, clearest that we have maybe.

MP: Two categories: activists, core group + peripheral supporters.

AG: Teach-ins great because of a low commitment way of getting involved. Meetings are never going to be a lot of people, for many reasons. The thing we did that had both was Occupy Lunch. That can be a form that some of the parties take. In urban, left-wing organizing, the classic way to get people in your tent is to put beer in it. Some people will stay without the beer, and that’s how we can convert outreach into recruitment.

LW: Who are we outreaching to? Let’s be deliberate. Parties will attract people in the art worlds we are currently in. There are other art worlds out there… Community arts programs, after-school arts education. If that’s not of interest to this group, that’s OK, but let’s be explicit about it. Do we want to make this group broader to encompass other ways of producing art, or not?

YM: This group could engage these other art worlds, and would require a lot of deliberate
work. Needs more than just going to another neighborhood, probably more through institutional channels. Agree that Occupy Lunch was great. The people’s mic, GAs can really empowering just to experience. Easy, fun, festive entry points are really important. Experiment with different spaces, beaches, central park, etc. Visible, participatory and cool. Demographically the group hasn’t really changed – people in the institutionalized art world and academia. That’s OK,

it’s a good entry point for the movement in general. Sectoral organizing. Focus on the popup occupations.

IE: We need to address alliances with int’l and U.S. occupy art-related organizations. On
website, instead of “In solidarity” we call it “We’re Organizing”, people will see the breadth of all the work that’s being done throughout the world and be inspired.

BW: Mayday media blackout didn’t include arts media. They were great, wanted to know A&L take on what’s happening. We have a big soapbox for our size.

YA: Question: I wonder if Occupy Lunch had its moment in the fall. The people’s mic tactic might be marginalizing us, making us very specific to Occupy. If we want to reach beyond 60 Wall, we may need a variety of tactics.

AS: Seeing sparking of conversations in the mainstream on workplace ethics, new, wasn’t there last year. These aren’t fringe issues. Mainstream, relatable issues. How to continue whatever we’re doing to enter mainstream dialog. It’s global.

ANNOUNCEMENT
AG: This Saturday: OWS Labor Assembly at Zuccotti.

(Outreach cont’d)
AG: We should express our solidarity with nat’l & int’l arts groups, yes, but we need to
express solidarity with all labor in NYC, where we live. The community that we’re in is the
professionalized arts community, we should absolutely go outside, the Bronx, etc. and but we also shouldn’t stop critiquing where we are (Columbia, Frieze, etc.)

AG: Maybe we can deploy our skills, arts skills, media outreach to help other groups. Ex. The labor flyer that had 5,000 copies announcing our meeting time. We have less power in the South Bronx than our own communities… if we can’t help ourselves how can we help other communities.

ANNOUCEMENT
LW: Going to a high school class, doing teach-in re: visual activist strategies. Interested in idea of building this up a bit, creating a curiculuum on visual strategies to share with other groups.

BR: Occuprint is doing this exact thing as well. Group poster critique and talked about different strategy. Connecting with them would be really perfect. They’re connected with the Interference Archive, resource of protest ephemera. Archive is open every Sunday in Gowanus.

Meeting adjourned!!!!!!!!!

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