Monday, October 18, 2010

REGISTER YOU COMMENTS TO NY ART INSTITUTIONS

W.A.G.E. HAS NEGOTIATED TO INLCUDE AN ARTISTS FEE FOR EACH ARTIST PARTICIPATING IN THE NEW MUSEUM'S SHOW "FREE", RUNNING OCT 20, 2010-JAN 23, 2011. PLEASE REGISTER YOUR COMMENTS BELOW REGARDING THE NECESSITY OF ART INTITUTIONS TO PROVIDE FEES FOR ARTISTS, PERFORMERS & INDEPENDENT CURATORS.

5 comments:

  1. I was so glad to see this sign at the entry to the New Museum show.

    if an institution uses an artist's time and labor to draw crowds, gain prestige and make money, the artist should be compensated.

    you wouldn't ask a roofer to fix your roof for free (but now the whole block can see your work on our highly visible roof!) or an electrician (but we'll tweet about you to hundreds of followers!)....

    artists are people too. we're not mythical beings, floating above the banal world of commerce. most of us don't have patrons or even enough sales to break even.

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  2. They already do this in Canada. Look up CARFAC.

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  3. Not that I do not sympathize with the starving artists, but I have come here to register my disagreement. Have we forgotten that artists make "art for art's sake"? Katie, a roofer demands compensation for fixing roofs because he can plausibly argue that no one would fix a roof for free. I can find plenty of artists who would gladly work for free in order to have their works exhibited in the New Museum. That is not the case for roofers.

    We function in a market economy, and this thinly-veiled attempt to unionize the production of art is just another sign that artists today are less interested in producing art than they are in making a living doing something that comes easily. I am extremely skeptical of attempts by established but unrecognized artists to collude, because most often it means they feel threatened.

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  4. Thank you all for your comments. They provide a perspective that motivates W.A.G.E. to continue our work, advocating that institutions compensate the artists they choose work with. Visual artists, arts writers, performers and independent curators (cultural workers) function within the market economy in for-profit, not-for-profit and/or non-profit schemes. Artists work doesn't come more or less easily than the efforts expended comparable to roofing, gardening, teaching, cooking, stockbroking or any of the other occupations we participate in. Most actors, writers and musicians would also work for free as speculators if their efforts weren't overseen by labor laws, best practices standards, unions and guilds. The reason people make things (whether artists or otherwise) and how those things function in the larger scope of society's culture is not something that can be defined in one simple sentence such as "making art for art's sake", unfortunately; and the resulting money that's circulated in cultural production economies is part and parcel of an artists survival, no matter which type of institution it's derived from. The arguments posted in Mr. Boyd's commentary are exactly why W.A.G.E. exists, and we are glad to connect to people both inside outside the cultural economy. And Mr. Boyd, thank you for letting us know that you sympathize with starving people.

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