The groupings I’ve created reflect what I see as the projects’ underlying structural similarities and differences.
My overall thesis is that these projects use bonding and reciprocation procedures that exist in theories of generosity and the gift economy, but also exist as products of artistic labor, even if they call themselves as works of “administration” rather than “art”.
In this way, these works are dependent on the structures originating from minimalist and conceptual art, in which the artist is privileged as the sole purveyor of a knowledge-based “art” product, and which sets forth language-based parameters or the artist’s “intentional premise” as the foundation for production.
The use of generosity and bonding procedures is important to how all networks grow, but particularly networks that are predicated on immaterial, anonymous, and affective labor, like the internet, and code language more generally.
Bernice Radle, Sugar City’s Buffalo Sunday Soup, screen capture of photograph, Sugar City, <http://www.buffalosugarcity.org/> Sunday Soup! Created by InCUBATE or the “Institute for Community Understanding Between Art and the Everyday” - a group of several self-defined “radical arts administrators” Sunday Soup is essentially a fundraising event, in which members of the community gather to eat an inexpensive meal centered on soup cooked by a guest chef. InCUBATE has franchised the Sunday Soup project into an “International Soup Network” which has its own website, and encourages others to adapt the model, allowing the individual projects to have some degree of autonomy.
Ithaca Hours currency http://alt-money.tribe.net/photos/ac104b58-9039-4928-b69b-7c9709df4dca Initiated by Paul Glover.
Our Goods – Our Goods describes itself as “a barter network for the creative community”, which it seems to define quite broadly. Time Banks – (specifically e-flux’s time/bank), based on the Marxist notion of “time chits” in which exchangeable vouchers would be bestowed based on hours of labor time.”. Contemporary time banks are based upon the idea that barter can occur in an expanded network of participants by having a centralized means of “banking” hours earned.
There are over 100 contemporary iterations of specifically time-based currencies (with many micro-currencies in addition)… “Fiscal localism”. •http://community.timebanks.org/findtimebanks.php
TINY (time interchange NY)
Fawn Krieger’s COMPANY – This project by sculptor Fawn Krieger, is influenced by Claes Oldenberg’s 1961 project Store, in which the sculptor filled an entire storefront on the Lower East Side with sculpted version of commercially produced objects, all in his signature paper-maché and painted plaster style. In Krieger’s version (supported by Art in General) objects and services are available from a variety of artists, including Krieger herself. Many of the objects chosen for sculptural recreation in COMPANY are those that would not normally be available in a commercial setting for reasons of hygiene or legality: old band-aids, prescription drugs, passports, and credit cards are a few examples.
March 29, 2014 W.A.G.E. (or Working Artists and the Greater Economy) - Influenced by the Art Workers Coalition (formed in 1969), W.A.G.E., intends to pressure various New York City based museums, galleries, and auction houses into enacting reforms. Demands include the payment of artist fees for inclusion in museum shows and the fair treatment of unionized auction house workers and art handlers.
GULF (Global Ultra Luxury Faction) – an affiliate of Occupy/Occupy Museums agitating against labor practices being used to build the Guggenheim Museum franchise in Abu Dhabi.
The following are some examples of recent
artist-produced economic systems and
The groupings I’ve created reflect what I see
as the projects’ underlying structural
similarities and differences.
I see these works as falling into four
I. Alternative or “Democratic” Funding Models
II. Experiments in Extra-market Modes of
Exchange or Distribution and Parallel Economies
III. Warped Iterations of Standard Market
IV. General Agitation
Democratic Funding Models:
These projects generally aim to provide
financial support for specific art projects or
individual artists, while circumventing
institutional structures such as universities or
non-profit grant making bodies. Many of them
use food as a resource for community building.
Sugar City Buffalo Sunday Soup event at Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle -
612 Fillmore Ave, Buffalo, NY.
Photo by Bernice Radle at the Sunday Soup and Buffalo Barnraiser’s Birthday
Experiments in Extra-market
Modes of Exchange or Distribution
and Parallel Economies:
These projects and groups attempt to develop
alternative structures for the distribution of art-
goods, outside of the commercial art market.
Rather than funding the production of the projects
themselves, the finished goods are circulated in
order to build community and networks.
Warped Iterations of Standard Market
These artist-produced versions of market
structures (a store, a factory) draw attention to
the anomalous nature of the commodity art-
market, whose institutions and systems of
value often function in contrast to
contemporary capitalist institutions. They also
caricature capitalist modes of production and
These groups are engaged in protest against
specific art-institutional practices that they see
as unfair or immoral.