Arts and Labor Minutes 3/6/12

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OWS Arts & Labor meeting
Tuesday, March 6, 7pm at 60 Wall
AS & MP facilitated, CK stack, IE timekeeper, LVHS minutes
*Reportbacks & Announcements*
LB: Occupy Museums and A+L and Sothebys at Whitney Biennial – union presence on Tuesday, GA on Wednesday – handed out A+L letter,
Union Letter, Occupy Museums letter
YA: Intern meeting tomorrow, the commons on Atlantic and Bond at 7pm. Sunday – 2nd Alt econ
workshop.
ES: 4th st ars block – neighborhood tour, heard about history of block and neighborhood. Caroline woolard and Erin talked about potentials for solidarity – ways to mutual trust – to ways to support each other – AA videotaped it, will make presentation online.
Unknown: a part of occupy museums. having an action exchange/art fair at the armory. inviting people to exchange – to exchange in dialogue / exchange of ideas – fliers.
BY: Whitney Biennial, first night “Quit Sothebys”, “occupy wall street” banners were outside.  Banners left as gift to museum 2nd night.
AS: NYCGA – Workshops about Solidarity – producing a list of small workshops going on throughout OWS groups. Working on other ways of funding OWS projects – looking to expand outreach, kind of like a craigslist for OWS, way of reaching out. Next printing will be 10,000 copies – meant to hightlight relationships between working groups.
AS: Radical arts group – 20 Dean St – Saturday 12-6pm
CK: Issue 2 of Tidal Magazine
AG: Mayday meeting report back?
LW: seems that everyone is doing their own projects – have their
own approach to it.
ES: Stepping away from official GG email responses and FB – same with W and AS.
AS (ii): We need to start thinking what kind of statement to make and how.
CK: Point of information, the official call for action will happen soon.
AS (ii): We should have letter in about 5 weeks.
ES: One joint A&L thing, maybe we all meet up that day – otherwise autonomous actions occurring that day.
TB: We need to think about what our call to action really is. Calling on art workers and cultural producers – to meet at one place, on a work day. What is the call?
LW: In the letter there should be a call for what people can do on that day – a call for action – need a separate meeting to discuss the call to action on that day.
CK: Were in that public conversation – do we call it a strike or
not.
MP: We should think carefully about what we can actually prepare for and think about actions that will actually be successful.
DG: Many unions are organizing a general strike – maybe there is a kind of event to do for this specifically.
BY: we need to be clear about what we’re calling for – are we calling for an Art Strike (artists withdraw their work, museums close) OR do workers strike and not go to their jobs.
MP: A General Occupation
ES: Still like idea of Charras, to take over and turn into another space, to use the space.
LB: Also involved in Occupy Sunset Park – idea of the day without the 99%.
Unknown: Frieze fair – starting around May 4-8, May 1 then will be a major day for art working. Maybe this is an opportunity.
[Documentation of Whitney Biennial actions on website?]
BY: It was consensed that the MoMA action documentation could go online, but it’s not all up yet. I’m happy to help with that.
LB: I’m for documentation of WB actions on the site, with the language “an action was carried out by autonomous members of Arts and Labor”.
ES: The A+L FB page should not used for promoting autonomous actions.
BR: In Occupy Museums there was a vote that FB posts be approved by consensus.
ES: Doesn’t appear autonomous if it goes through A+L FB.
AS (ii): We need to break it down into what did and what didn’t work in this process – we need a way of discussing the process for this – we need to figure out how to present the language of it. The two days of what has happened is a small percentage of what has happened so far. Today is maybe not the day for us to start looking forward, but we need to.
LB: Last Sunday I wasn’t there – didn’t realize that it was offensive to post autonomous actions.
CK: If we post it as A&L we can control the messaging around them and their circulation. re: facebook policy, where do you draw the line?
MS: Strike the word “autonomous”. It’s simply “members of” A+L. The whole thing is of a piece – the whole thing from start to finish was exactly what we should be doing. It got written about in many major papers. The images should be up on the site.
AS: I assumed it was a consensus event – the fact that it was ticketed made it difficult – if we are to put something on the site it should not be central – “some members” sounds misleading when its on the website.
Unknown: As an outsider, as someone who heard about the Whitney action but did not participate – is the issue that since all members did not participate that they cannot support it or be affiliated or is it that everyone doesn’t agree with it?
ES: First there was an idea on the Google Group and it turned into a private conversation/a private group.
Unknown: It’s a major rift in the group – it’s the elephant in the room.
ND: We’ve been talking about how to decide on direct actions, how to decide who is included – what we’re really talking about is developing a firmer protocol for determining how these campaigns will develop in the future.
LW: Our Google Group is completely public – if you’re doing something that is potentially illegal we need to keep a level of secrecy. This issue was not consensed on.
AG: The action on Wednesday was not consensed on – planned in one week – we actually had a meeting that night – it was a matter of getting people together in a very short amount of time – I hope we did represent Arts and Labor well as a group. The appearance of autonomy was used – as was the appearance of group. Wednesday was a total clusterfuck – a sheer miracle that it worked out. If we are going to do such actions we need to be disciplined and do stuff on time, do what we say we’re going to do.
Unknown: This is a learning experience, a chance to develop things better in the future.
AS (ii): I want to emphasize the organizing aspect of these actions – until you are there you don’t know what to expect – its much more on the ground and unintentional – we need to get better. That said when it comes to direct actions we need room to digest and to think – a process needed to consense on images and videos.
MS: With this one the proposal was in the Whitney Biennial – one of the curators of the show wrote on the Google Group thread “i’d love to be a part of the conversation” – made it reach this level of realizing that the direct action was not something to discuss in such a public forum. People are unsure how to negotiate their professional affiliations.
IE: Secure thread thing – if you’re gonna do it please ‘reply all’.
C: I had said I wanted to be on it and then I was left out of the thread.
LB: It was just poorly planned because we’re new at this, hard to
organize on the fly.
Unknown: MS was the most explicit with pointing out people’s
relationships with power structures.
[Occupy Museums Art Fair]
TG: Conversation about Occupy Museums event on Sat/Sunday at the
Armory – there is a role for A+L to play in this.
TG: (What I said before) Occupy Museums is hosting or calling for a Fair Art Fair ,”free art for fair exchange”, questioning the role of money in the exchange of art. A mobile art fair, constructing art-selling apparatuses, a mobile gallery space. ex. Trenchcoats with paintings hanging on the inside. Some asking for favors, some asking for 1% of your total wealth. There is a great deal to say about the exchange of ideas, the exchange of culture. Is there a role for Arts and Labor? Sat. and Sun. 1-4pm.
Unknown: Encourages people to bring and share their ideas — there will be a notary there, and an exchange appraiser. Thinking about why we exchange, who we exchange with. There will be costumes, stuff like that.
AG: We won’t have time for consensus tonight, but I encourage
people get in touch with Occupy Museums to organize something
individually.
Unknown: It’s just an invitation; we don’t know what it’s going to be.
Unknown: Is there a list of events or organized booths?
TB: Outside the Armory, piers 92 and 94, you bring/wear your booth.
[Alt Economies discussion]
ES: We need to decide on a date. March 11th or March 25th in the evening. Commons forum: the making worlds. The commons forum are putting together a list of people who are partners, should we be included as supporting/coalition?
AS: Last week I put forth that we work in coalitions on these meetings, building solidarity on this. Alt econ workshops wanted to organize with Occupy Museums and Arts and Labor. Interested in working on this in real ways.
TB: If there was at any point a missed opportunity it was only
because of being busy.
AS: Asking for coalition, not collaboration.
TB: It was not a matter of ill will, happened very quickly.
AS (ii): This action is such a short time, when there is such a crunch on time we have to give room for autonomy. The language, if we’re
asking for solidarity and coalition,  we need to watch.
BR: This keeps happening, everything gets organized at the last minute. Maybe we can use May 1 at a way to put into action the coalition model. We’re repeating a lot, we need to move past this.
ES: Can we make public that there is a coalition between Alt Econ
and A+L?
[Proposals]
BP: Friday night event at Spring/Break – involve Arts and Labor – maybe we can bring letters, things produced for the groups actions,  just to talk about the group.
MS: C does not know too much about OWS and Occupy Museums – the T-shirts, the letters we’ve produced.
LW: We don’t have time to go as a group but would be great to go autonomously, good to have a sheet of the A+L general info and
website.
AS: Maybe it could be an autonomy thing, the people who have
concerns will not be heard.
MS: Who’s the audience, who’s organizing it?
BP: Organized by two curators – there’s a suggested donation – was
invited by Artlog – not affiliated with Armory.
LB: What are the outside issues? We are at the beginnign stages
of Arts and Labor and what we can call autonomy.
BR: A larger comment, goes along with back and forth on Occupy
Museums issue: One thing i’m curious about is how we can figure out
how to use each others connections and figure out a way that we’re not
ghettoized. It is about the cult of celebrity.
LW: If consensus is something we want to do can we agree that
printed materials will be on view?
ES: Can we see the show of hands of people who are available to go
on Friday?
IE: An open discussion, no panel? Should be a social activity. Social conversation and draw on each other as collective voices – having some sort of consensed on discussion, not formal.
LW: Just bring materials and speak as yourselves.
CK: Whoever brings material be well versed and ready to defend it.
AS: When we did Occupy Town Square it was very important to have
answers for questions – know the material well.
AS (ii): Do we feel good about the people who will be going this Friday?
MS: I just want to add the T-shirts to the things we have at the
table. Table will have suggested donation $10 for T-shirt.
LB: I’ve handed them out for free, they can be donated.
LW: Re-state. Arlen and Woody should get reimbursed for T-shirt expenses. Whoever goes to this should dissemtiate materials we have consensed upon and
the T-shirts.
Proposal reached consensus.
[Whitney action on website]
Tabled.
[Announcement]
DG: We are proposing a sculpture park between on Chelsea Cove (between 22nd and 26th Street) on Hudson River Park. In 2005 the city re-zoned West Chelsea and protected the art gallery district. Chelsea Sculpture Park put together a non-profit board and an art advisory council. The plan is to present a 9 month show every year (like storm king). It would have a robust public art education program. Marlborough Gallery offered the inaugural show, when they found out that the Chelsea Sculpture Park had gathered the support of the community, Marlborough decided to offer the show directly to the Hudson River Park Trust.  Marlborough Gallery, a commercial business, is going to be using a public park as its own private space to showcase works that are for sale. Furthermore, Marlborough Gallery has stated that it has no intentions of donating a portion of the millions of dollars in profits from the sale of these works to the Hudson River Park Trust. One of the main objectives of Chelsea Sculpture Park is to help raise funds for the long term maintenance of the 9.2 acre site. This objective addresses the legislative intent of the Hudson River Park Trust which specifies that the park must be financially self-sustaining. Chelsea Sculpture Park is committed to help raising funds to maintain and preserve the Chelsea Cove site for future generations. Marlborough Gallery will be using a public park to make millions of dollars.
DG: Last night Congress passed a law on congregating in public places when the Secret Service is present.

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