This paper presents the conclusions of the Trondheim Seminar on transformative art production and coalition-building, curated in September 2015 by Rena Raedle and Vladan Jeremic as guest curators at LevArt.
As early as 1984, the art historian Carol Duncan pinpointed a fundamental, though typically overlooked feature of high culture: that the majority of professionally trained artists make up a vast surplus whose utter redundancy is the normal condition of the art market. …Let’s Talk About The Debt Due: Art and Debt in The 21st Century
In this essay, I will endeavour to outline the connection between the contradictions of the social development of artistic labour in capitalism and the formation of the aesthetic subject in modernity as the displacement of labour from the category of art, bringing it into closer affiliation with the speculative forms of capital valorisation. …The Politics of Speculative Labour
Imagine that you are in your studio, or at the desk of the office where you work, or in the classroom where you study. You are temporarily lost in thought about your creative process, thinking about what you will work on next, trying to make something of value. …The Dark Arts
On Karl Marx’s birthday this year, a six-month public reading of Das Kapital was iniated not far from a video-installation documenting the thoughts of two leading Marxists of our time – Stuart Hall and David Harvey. On the same day, the same artist who initiated these politically-charged projects launched a preview of a new film. …When Politics Becomes Form. The Venice Biennale, 2015
During the recent years in Sweden, one of the major issues discussed regarding artists’ conditions has been the MU Agreement, which guarantees payment to the artists for the work done in the framework of exhibitions. This is not just an exhibition fee, but also an hourly pay for all work that the exhibition requires. …Gallery Rent Model: Owner-Tenant Relations in Exhibiting
It seemed necessary to describe a few personal works and approaches towards a given logic of production, embedded in common formats. The projects Employer and Employee and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday will serve as examples. …Staging Dislocation: Notes on Finished and Unfinished Work
Let me start this reflection about reputational economies with a telling example. In 2011, together with my fellow collaborators from the Free/Slow University of Warsaw (F/SUW), 1 I organized a conference titled “The Labour of the Multitude? The Political Economy of Social Creativity.” …Cruel Economy of Authorship
As I will lean on example of F/SUW, it is important to present it briefly. F/SUW is a project-based mock institution. It came into being as a result of a cooperation with Bęc Zmiana Foundation, a small but vibrant NGO in Warsaw. F/SUW’s program consists mainly of research-oriented activities, both publically funded or not funded at all. F/SUW is run by a collective of fellow cultural producers, of whom it is important to mention Michał Kozłowski, Janek Sowa, Bogna Świątkowska, Szymon Żydek, Agnieszka Kurant, and Krystian Szadkowski, among many others. ↩
When working with art, you are not doing it for the money. But all people need to eat.
Most people would presume that if an artist is having a lot of solo shows with established institutions and is participating in group shows during the year, it would secure her or him an acceptable economical situation. …Notes on Artists, Workers and Cooperation in Norway
In the backstage of art fairs, biennales, shows, before artworks are exhibited, sold, collected or gifted, artists, interns, assistants, handlers, curators research and plan, they acquire working materials, necessary tools, to draw, to write, to build, to rehearse, or to film, to publicize and invite audiences on social media. …Art Workers Between Precarity and Resistance: A Genealogy
This text aims to revisit a cycle of struggle that politicised a spectrum of art practitioners in Tallinn and Estonia during 2010–2011. The struggle played out as a collective process of self-organisation, addressing issues related to unpaid labour and lack of social guarantees in the contemporary art sphere. …Art Workers’ Movement in Tallinn: The Politics of Disidentification