We were mentioned in enemy of the show the New York Times by friend of the show Zachary Small! The movement to organize art and cultural workers has been steadily growing despite pandemic setbacks, how do we feel about it? We promise to never do the cis white art bro thing and claim to be an authority on this subject, even though we literally have dedicated our lives to studying it every week lol. We will, however, always advocate for better pay and workplace conditions for all workers, labor aristocracy be damned!
ALERT: JOIN OUR SCHOOL, NEW CLASSES DROPPING SOON! Please reach out to join the discord for “Constructing the Real” NOW!
We go through the demands of Bad Art World’s A contribution towards a programme for the arts on a brutally hot August evening in NYC. It’s a contemporary application of Trotsky’s manifesto on revolutionary art. “Eighty years ago the world was entering another great opening. Then, too, there was a gap between what was necessary to defeat capitalist catastrophe and workers’ general political understanding.”
We yelled at the mayor! This episode is a response to a recent Chapo Trap House interview about music, identity politics, and activism (listen here: https://soundcloud.com/chapo-trap-house/unlocked-amber-interviews-aaron-j-leonard). We want to challenge the podcast left to do better coalition building, and to think more critically about art’s potential in revolution. We encourage folks to consider Rivera’s Manifesto: Towards a Free Revolutionary Art, and will be posting another episode where we read the whole thing.
The department of defense, the CIA, and the FBI have all had a hand in influencing art, culture, and academia. We discuss the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Marvel movies, Rockefeller, modernism, futurist fascism, and Mexican muralism. Are you bummed about MFAs and institutional partnerships with banks? Us too buddy. If you like us please consider donating for bonus writing, memes, and art:https://d.rip/art-and-labor
Episode 7 - Museums in an Age of Planetary Civil War
Art is being used to fund and perpetuate war. The stateless wealthy use the art market as a tool to extend and maintain the class divide. Learn all about it in this mostly serious and depressing episode. My cat lightens the mood at one point. I wonder if the next 20 episodes of the show will just be us discussing a different Hito Steyerl essay every week.
We had a tweet go viral! Artnet published a pseudoscience garbage article claiming that artists’ brain chemistry causes them to not what to be paid for their work, we told them to fuck off with that noise. This episode breakdown the discourse, and get into plenty of tangents along the way!! This episode was recorded on the streets of Chelsea and Bushwick. Later doodle-bitches!
Welcome new listeners! Art and Labor focuses on the on-going struggle to survive as an art or cultural worker. We chronicle the stories of social justice organizing within the arts, and believe in centering the human cost of the “art world” and advocate for fair labor practices for artists, assistants, fabricators, docents, interns, registrars, janitors, writers, editors, curators, guards, performers, and anyone doing work for art & cultural institutions.
Helpful links that provide context for this episode:
HITO STEYERL DANK MEME STASH! Hey ya’ll, we’ve got some FEELINGS this episode. Half this episode is venting about some strange/shitty art world jobs we’ve had. We also mention decolonization practice, Walter Benjamin, cultural Marxism, and Imperfect Cinema as a foundation for Steyerl’s In Defense of Poor Image. Accessibility is the key word of this ep. It’s extremely hot in New York City! It’s punishingly hard to focus. We drank a couple cold ones and left the AC on so this is a long ep with a little rumbling sound in the background. I’m not going to apologize, we needed that AC to pod.
*UPDATE* ICE has cancelled all hearings for Monday June 25th at 201 Varick in response to #OccupyICENYC. Follow @MACC_NYC for updates. There are other sites of deportation in the city the protest may move to. Apologies for the sound quality of this episode, we decided it felt better to just continue to hold space at the occupation (please see the previous episode for our conversation with some of the organizers). Lucia is back from Berlin and imparts some insights from collectives over there; from the recently raided anarchist library Kalabalik to the direct action performance art group Center for Political Beauty. We also get into tricky intersections of rainbow capitalism and the potentials of queer liberation and socialism (for more come to this discussion: https://www.facebook.com/events/187818712052570/) Oh, and we started a Lupin the Third section.
Article referenced about murderous white supremacists groups that have never been held accountable:
Call us Anna Delvey ’cause we’re delving into Soho. We get into the early days of some of the most powerful people in the art market, and how their greed has gone on to destroy neighborhoods and countless lives. This episode we try to demystify the “Art World” to better understand its influence. Art has a complicated role in gentrification; the Grayson Perry cartoon about artist neighborhoods has resonated with millions of people in its second life as an internet meme. We tie the idea of Artwashing to precarious economic situations exemplified by Richard Florida and Mistressvilles.