Arts and Labor Minutes 1/31

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Report backs and announcements

ES and AS co-facilitating
LS took stack.
we didn’t keep time
AG minutes

Judson meeting

CK –GA talking about events leading to May 1 . show the city wha we can do as movement, instead of being protesty. Wanted for people to take info to groups, back to meeting 2/10. C cannot attend. The term strike re: may 1, educational, celebratory. Debt forgiveness jubilee…

CSWA detention rally

AA – tomorrow 12pm 26 federal plaza, rally for CSWA. Drivers rounded up, put in detention. Demand for investigation of collusion between boss and Dept. of Labor agents. Happened 9 months ago, didn’t get press… HQ of  ICE, NYS-DOL, rally at noon. Meet beforehand at CSWA, 55 chrystie. Need as many people as possible.

OWS messaging, signs are OK…. Outreach to immigrant justice group, LOC. Occupy showing would be fantastic.

Afterwards, meeting at CSWA (wing m???)  talk on history of organization. Small, non-union, workers’ center type organizing.  Call or email Arlen for details.


Anti-displacement group

ND – anti-displacement group meeting w/ NMASS at 345 grand st. b/w Ludlow, Essex. Important meeting. See Nicole to get caught up. At 6:30pm.


MoMA, Popup Occupation, Oakland Solidarity March

YM – MoMA collab w/ Occupy Sothebys, 814 was awesome. On teamsters website, everyone’s pumped. New liasons w/ labor. Popup occupation at Wash Sq… Occupy town square… people were tabling. We should table at future popups… These are temporary camps, mini Zuccottis, only last a day, ending w/ a march. Oakland Solidarity march started at Wash Sq.

Occupy town sq. consensus on lang for M1… MAYDAY 2012, day w/out 99%, standing in solidarity w/ general strike… indebted to immigrant rights movement for language. Final meeting re: strike at 7, other DA meetings to follow.


Alt Econ

ES – 2/19, alt econ teach in. 2/12, meeting at rachel’s, 7PM.


Occupy Sotheby’s

TB – Harrison Magee requested people join Occupy Sotheby’s action on Friday. Lunchtime action, wear semi-formal clothing. Will post on thread. Call Harrison.



CW – If anyone is interested in Little Sis (Like facebook for power elite) and missed last tutorial, we can have another one… useful to understand how board members have influence in real estate… use our power in arts to shift what boards have influence over…



Nolan – Friends went at 10:45, moved from Driggs to empty condo they were able to get inside and stay for 30 mins.  Driggs and 8th. Arrests. Felony arrests. Confrontation w/ police, makeshift barricades… handful of slow people who got scooped up.  $1000 bail.  (Mayan spring raised bail for 4 people.) Spray painting inside building. “Life is protest” “Cannibalize the crisis”

YM – Tomorrow, banner making session in Wburg somewhere. Around Wburg, posters of art/culture workers… May 1 is everywhere. Disseminate idea of General Strike…. What would a gen strike look like now? For students?

CK – are unions onboard? TWU?

YM – yes… Not officially yet. Unions likely to do their own thing.


Radical art

JP – Met Saturday to discuss actions. Moving forward w/ some ideas. Meeting again in 2 wks. Thinking about different types of projects involving public space. Involve people, getting word out . People come w/ ideas sketched out, what steps to take to move ideas forward. Trying to make tents we can set up in various places using fabric and wheat paste/glue… quick/portable. How to fight the idea that occupy has stopped?

TB – Maureen O’Connor offered her space for next meeting. Everyone should come. We’re gonna do stuff.

JP – making while talking, talking while making. Making signs, prop closet, so we have stuff for events beforehand.

TB – this group can help produce A&L actions… we can facilitate.



End whitney 2014, protocol

Nyfa letter!

Deleting threads?




End Whitney, 2014

LS – Why is this happening? End Whitney thread was deleted…

ES – Posted end Whitney 2014… friend wrote on blog about white Whitney, bringing back identity politics. Whitney started 1914, moving to new building corporate backing… instead of alternative list, let’s have broad frame, long term project bringing role of institution, gentrification, artist fees, under one umbrella. Yates suggested separate closed thread cause of outsiders…  Lise got left off by accident. We met on Saturday, tossed around ideas, decided at meeting to delete the thread.

YM – idea was we said we’re closing this… need to be separate to be strategic, honest, avoid lurkers. Everyone added, except for Lise. Concerned about Lise’s affiliation with K8 & WAGE and Thomas with Biennial. This is a protocol issue… bad decision, took it to group.

LS – there was no more discussion on thread about Biennial because convo had moved to secret thread, so no need to shut it down. Wouldn’t accept belated (Sunday) invite until there’s a protocol decision because I thought that other people weren’t included as well, all needed to be included in order to accept invite. Have been transparent about WAGE w/ A&L to a fault… what happened erodes trust.  There’s been so much discussion of protocol, deleting thread without consensus is insanely contrary to how group functions. Still not clear what the intention was. Frustrated by being shut out.

AS – we didn’t have long enough conversation about this process. All happened very quickly. Didn’t know about meeting until 9PM. Some of this is the immense speed… people were left out by accident. Similar things happened w/ Baldessari action as well… People fell off reply-all/forward thread. We agreed to do reportbacks on Tuesdays… The thread was deleted to avoid lurkers, assumed we’d return Tuesday for full reportbacks, breakout groups.

TB – don’t take this personally: people who removed thread not acting in name of A&L… We didn’t come to consensus. No consensus on protocol for how this could happen in future where security is an issue. For a young group, still forming, the possibility of fear and mistrust to enable an exclusive action can undermine the group. Has slowed down actions this group has taken in past or may take in future. Hope we can do badass shit at WhiBi. If curators are on thread, it can be resource. It shouldn’t stifle our action. If they’re going to report to bosses, fuck ‘em. If they change what they’re doing because of A&L, we’ve had an impact.  More actions, more open.

WS – no protocol in place for DA. Transparency. If we’re going to DA, questions of security. Occupy Opera got stopped. How do we operate securely? The list has just been brainstorming, and still intends to be sent to consensus.

YM – protocol for DA is key. Implicit decision by people who wanted to make another document. Not A&L thing, maybe something else involving Occupy Museums and allies. (not A&L specifically)  People get excited. Can be hard to negotiate, become negligent. Can understand why problematic, had intent to bring to group. Agree we need protocol on DA. If not A&L, be explicit.  Should not do it again.

Nolan – Push back on protocol… if something’s brought to A&L, it can’t just be extricated. Issues when open movement tries to do private stuff… double vouching system. Other groups having problems, too. Issue w/ Thomas (curator) being on thread but these people are on the mailing list, and are friends w/ many of us.

ND – DA is hard. Going to sub-DA group meetings, no one plans them over the internet.  Should meet in person, so nice to meet and hang out on Saturday. Google group sucks and leads to so many problems.

CK – confused during much of WhiBi conversation. Recognize yr feelings, would feel same. I feel horrible! It was a mistake.

LS – I wish I’d been able to go to bar too.  Irony: so much discussion about precarious labor and artists occupying multiple positions in art world at same time, double roles, compromise involved so should be possible to navigate dual affiliations in context of planning DA. No one should deign to decide who can and cannot navigate those positions. Not defectors because we have affiliations. Capable of being critical and involved at the same time. It’s a form of elitism– acting as gatekeepers, deciding who’s involved and who’s not.

ES – A&L dropped protocol conversation , now having fallout.  If people show up and are part of A&L, they can be involved in decisions, but people can’t just show up. This should be part of criteria. DA has had a lot of problems w/ people who’ve never showed up blocking or proposing.  There’s a google doc w/ protocol ideas. This must be hashed out… should know what we’re doing so we feel confident.

TB – There’s strength when you don’t give a fuck about who participates. Get blocked, whatever. Propose to put it back on Google Groups as proposed meeting time, involve anyone who wants to show up.

AS – we have to weigh the speed… fast people need to wait for people who take longer to find out. I trust everyone, even 200 lurkers.  Issue of timing and error… everyone should have given more time to communicate.

Claire: disappointing. If people want to come and are coming to meetings, why exclude them? We shouldn’t have to delete threads on GG. I feel like we’re in middle school.

CK – Was resistant to protocol document, but now I’m all for it. Hopefully navigating mistakes can build more trust down the road.

YM – Teachable moment

ND – need to set specific protocols or you get paranoid. Meet separately to plan actions but always bring back to group for consensus.

LS – It can be dangerous to have group break off in name of security… maybe seen as avoiding dissenting voices. Why not hear what T. Beard has to say? He has contributed a lot to the community, should be heard.

AS – Needed to become in person conversation.

LS – Proposal for protocol: invite everyone to in-person meeting, let them and group decide if conflict of interest based on criteria: blood, love, or money. Vetting transparently.



EndWhiBi2014 report back

Not agreeable, nothing planned.

ES – long term, start small, gain trust, not big protest cause that’s what’s expected and doesn’t make sense as tactic. Chris K. wants to bring in labor. How does it fit into M1 plans? Google group is too combative, look for where plan fails rather than looking for alternatives.

AS – my interest is in what we do after. Action can take all energy we have.  Talked about starting to write a letter, an idea of what it means, to reach out to artists, make t-shirts “art killed my dreams”, talk to past artists tiny stickers, small actions… etc. no one agreed.

CK– write an alternative press release, history of exhibit. What it was vs. what it is now. Corporate sponsors, what they’re involved in.  etc.


NYFA Letter

TB – Craigslist ad for unpaid interns for unpaid internship letter.

WS – OWS PR. Working group that just does pr… if we want the mailing lists, we could sync up w/ them.

AS – Should there be da?

Nolan – present equivalent letter?

CK – talked about sending out black fax…

AG – I will send out the email

LS – go on NYFA and find galleries posting currently and send it out.

ES – post action ideas at top of minutes, let people sign for roles.

Nolan – GG is good for exactly this kind of thing… producing lots of documents.

WS – Antonio and I will add info to website about current projects.

TB – Sending the letter not sufficient… to bring critique, action should accompany. Occupy Lunch should happen every month, next one should happen at NYFA offices. Happy to post and take it on.

LB – announce future action w/ letter?

AS – would group be interested in doing something else? To do an action would be better.

WS – like idea of action, but against action “against” NYFA… Should be more collegial. We can critique, don’t feel as antagonistic.

ES – Seems like more ideas are coming up, so we should make time to agree on these things.

CK – It’s just a letter, let’s send it out. There have been lots of related ideas, but we need to get momentum… we can do other things. But no reason hold it up. Maybe NYFA responds.

LB – +1 CK. Need to put pressure, awareness, supplementary material. … Not super militant.

ND – More important to think about actions at galleries w/ unpaid internships.  Consensus is being undone.

Claire: These things are not at odds. We can send out the letter, but we can just do more sutff. Having no response we can do more.

LS – Don’t do during Biennial, no one will notice. Give NYFA time to respond. If not, apply pressure. Reach out first,  give them the chance to do something.



YM – this is horizon of movement for a while, call will be a big deal. Everything will be swept up in this narrative, Spring,  May, beyond… But there’s also specific projects, NYFA, gentrification, etc.  How do we weave together diff. scales and temporalities of actions? Media and radical arts, how do we as A&L contribute to messaging/imaging and also on the actual day of action… to build momentum.

When official call comes out, inescapable. Nuts on Facebook! Do we want to weave it into the Whitney?  Other people are messaging this w/ their own narrative… Mayan spring, Spring Offensive.

ES –  I miss being part of OWS, not just A&L.  would like to take cue from a larger action… be part of a large meaningful protest.

JP – smaller projects are how we’re reaching out to more people. If we stop those, we can’t bring those people along. Smaller things underway are very important, then scaling up each month. There are bigger plans in radiacl art we’re working toward, so show up and help make things.

LB – excited about May 1. Feel like Radical Arts  wants to do our own projects, signs, sculptures. Oakland photos are captivating. Unified peace signs as shields.

WS – last week brainstormed engaging outside of professional milieu… ending capitalism isn’t necessarily why everyone was at Zuccotti. Is it a 99% thing? Can we have longer-term goals but message around stuff easier than ending capitalism?

AS– All thinking of the same thing, work towards growing toward M1, impetus for us to do a few actions to grow community.

CK – on Friday at Judson, was taken w/ how many people had ideas for ‘being the change you want to see’ presenting a better way to do things, more and more leading up to M1. Hope it’s beautiful and positive. Groups fetishizing 1968, like a Godard movie. Bummed about Occuparty. To respond to violence of state w/ violence is a losing battle. Can’t work. Feeling more resistant to that aesthetic, that tone.

Nolan – being the change requires… when was the last general strike? There’s a lot we need to learn. The next few months are a really serious time. Things are different now. People are not working the same way anymore. What does a general strike even look like? Always been skeptical of artist strike. We need to discuss what it means for us if we’re going to join the broad movement. How can our community participate? What does it mean to us when institutions or galleries are open on M1

Yates – in terms of precedent: immigrants march in 2006 was similar to general strike. Crucial constituency. Other groups working on it outside of M1. Art strike in 1970, Robert Morris, etc. “Radical” but not a general strike. This is different scale. Unions are on board. Artists all over have potential, how do you mobilize that?  How do we contribute to larger effort? What does the city look like w/out the 99%

CK– Transit strike in 2005. Was working for Emily Fisher Landau, had to get to work in Queens strike or not. Had to walk to Queens and back home. We go about our commutes every day, but during strike people were in the street talking about it. Feel so inundated w/ 1968, what are alternatives to that vision? Look to other models besides RAF/BR.

LB– Gran Fury… Radical artists, aids activists. Offshoot of ACT-UP . Free medication… Amazing theater. We should be unified in appearance, build coalitions w/ union groups, MoMA, Sotheby’s.  Black Bloc will be there, but we should not engage them and their macho bullshit violence.

ES – went to Occupy Wburg meeting, recoiled. Need to have strong visual language… how do you work w/ precarious immigrant labor? Can you mark space? One good thing that was brought up at Occupy Wburg, if you do nothing in your studio no one cares, but if you all do nothing in one place, then people will notice.

TB – get people you know out for M1. We need visuals, but we need people more. We need more quantity and quality of people.

Nolan – power outage in 2003, everyone outside… other ways to imagine no one working. Develop those narratives.

JP – think it’s great we’re talking about this, but I still feel like we need to start planning it. In 2 weeks we’ll do x…




AG– 2 mailing lists. One for info/logistics, one for discussion: breakout group next meeting, alternatives to GG.

YM – meme affinity group… Actually not a proposal.

CK – phone list. Collect numbers after meet.

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