Monday, January 26, 2015

'Art School Mentality-The Indentured Culture'

I was a discussion a few days ago with an artist friend. We were talking about the business of art, and how difficult it is for artists to make an working wage, and about the lack of support given to artists in society, which plays out in terms of not considering the artist to be the essential if not the sole contributor to the cultural economy. There are certainly those who are making money, but unfortunately it is not the artist.

Today I read a great article that really sparked my interest, on this very topic, by Hrag Vartanian on the Hyperallergic site concerning The Artist As Debtor Conference held recently in New York City, at Cooper Union. 

Hrag's article describes an overview of the purpose, objectives and goals for this Conference that took place on January 23 2015. Unfortunately the recording of the conference, by LiveStreaming, that was provided, was very poor sound quality of the video presentations, which made it next to impossible to make out what was being said.

Hrag Varanian's article is excellent, and relays some very pertinent, and insightful information from artists Coco Fusco, and Noah Fisher who organized and presented The Artist As Debtor Conference with the featured speakers, Julieta Aranda, William Powhida, Martha Rosler, Gregory Sholette; writer Brian Kuan Wood; W.A.G. E. and BFAMFAPHD, and cultural theorist Andrew Ross.

There are some interesting links in Hrag Vartanian's article such as W.A.G.E. a similar non-profit artist organization much like CARFAC.
 I am a proud Canadian artist who is very grateful and happy to know Canadian artists do have some significant representation through Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC). 
However the fact is, we still have much work ahead to make the life of the working artist comparable, and on par with other professionals.
Art while it is pleasurable, it is work. Artists should be recognized and remunerated appropriately, for the work that they do, and work hard at creating.

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