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Doing it Together - Collective Answers to the Precarious Position of Artists

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Low incomes, juggling jobs, uncertain futures, and a constant need to be social, available and willing to move: it is fair to say that performing artists live in precarious conditions. But what can be done? How can the position of artists in the field be more sustainable? What will this new, alternative and bright system look like? How to start this paradigm shift?
In fact, this system shift may already be happening today. So many individuals, organisations, artists and art workers from across Europe are responding with a multitude of initiatives that span across funds for artists with families, artist lobby organisations, alternative currency systems, space sharing platforms, fair practice labels, and more. At the same time , there is no list or clear overview of all these initiatives. There is a lot of research and reflection about the issue, but it’s difficult to get an overview or keep track. In a session at the IETM Plenary Meeting in Bucharest, Delphine Hesters and I organised a workshop to stimulate exchange about current collaborative experiments to strengthen the position of artists

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Doing it Together - Collective Answers to the Precarious Position of Artists

  1. 1. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE1 DO IT TOGETHER (D.I.T.) Collective answers to the Precarious Position of Artists IETM Plenary Meeting - Bucharest - 21 April 2017 Delphine Hesters & Joris Janssens (Flanders Arts Institute)
  2. 2. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE2 Introduction • A working session mapping initiatives that create more sustainable working conditions for artists • Hosted by Flanders Arts Institute / Kunstenpunt • Research into career development of artists & postion of artists in the field • Stimulating the development of new working models • Today = sharing • our research and your experiences & ideas (10:00-11:00) • developing a collective learning environment, creating connections (11:00-13:00)
  3. 3. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE3 Previous research Flanders Arts Institute & VTi Download everything on http://www.flandersartsinstitute.be/specials/perspective-artist • Foto perspective artist • Screenshot survey • Tekst ash > reframing
  4. 4. Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  5. 5. Structure of the presentation 1. ‘Freedom & Frenzy’ - research on the precarious position of the performing artists 2.‘Do it together’ (D.I.T.): mapping solutions - building a collection of inspiring experiments - discussion in small groups - sharing: live & online
  6. 6. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE6 Freedom & Frenzy Research on the precarious position of artists
  7. 7. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE7 Freedom & Frenzy 1. Dominance of flexwork • System change: from companies with ensembles and long-term engagements to project-based work • Individualization and uncertainty 2. High demands for non-artistic skills • networking, entrepreneurship… Research on the precarious position of artists
  8. 8. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE8 Freedom & Frenzy 2. The ‘Slashers’ — Multiple-job holding • Inside and outside of the arts, artistic and non-artistic activities • Evidence from Flanders: • more than 50% engaged in more than 4 productions in 2014 • 1/4 has a job outside of the arts Research on the precarious position of artists
  9. 9. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE9
  10. 10. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE10 Freedom & Frenzy 4. Socio-economic precarity Evidence from Flanders: • Performing artists living solely from core artistic work = 10% • Performing artists living solely from work in the arts sector = 27% • Net income performing artists (employees, 2014) Population Belgium Performing artists Actors (2014) PC 25 11.360 14.017 Median 24.664 17.142 19.000 PC 75 24.000 24.000 % higher education 40% 85% - Research on the precarious position of artists
  11. 11. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE11 Freedom & Frenzy 5. Fragmentation of means across more and more players 6. Precarization of supporting organisations 7. Inflation of coproductions • More partners = more coordination and risk of 
 thinner engagements Research on the precarious position of artists
  12. 12. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE Number of coproducers in productions http://data.kunsten.be 12
  13. 13. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE13 Freedom & Frenzy 8. Dominance of ‘project’ logics • short term horizon • focus on production and outcome > development or ‘practice’ • how to build a sustainable career in a flex-work context? 9. Peer space under pressure of market logics • Cf. Gielen: a healthy artistic biotope = balance in 4 spheres: private / peers / market / civic • Peer space = space of building and sharing knowledge, negotiation and discussion, ‘internal’ focus Research on the precarious position of artists
  14. 14. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE14 Do It Together Working together to create more sustainable working conditions for artists
  15. 15. Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  16. 16. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE16 OK, well, we’d be glad radically change the system, but how do I do that?
  17. 17. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE17 Maybe we start with exchanging experiences: start from concrete examples, try to get an overview of the many experiments happening today, understand why they inspire us, see how they resonate with local contexts, and then see how we can move on.
  18. 18. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE18 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level Add examples to this Facebook Group
  19. 19. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE19 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level http://blog.kunsten.be Contribute to our blog.
  20. 20. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE20 1. Organizing the artist community in order to give voice, to share, to reflect
  21. 21. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE21 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  22. 22. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE22 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  23. 23. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE23 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  24. 24. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE24 Watch the 19 talks here
  25. 25. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE25 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  26. 26. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE26 2. Re-valuing non-economic currencies – online platforms sharing resources
  27. 27. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE27 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  28. 28. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE28 TimeBank screenshot
  29. 29. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE29 3. Strengthening the artistic peer sphere
  30. 30. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE30 PAF Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level — PAF
  31. 31. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE31 The Award Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  32. 32. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE32 4. Fair practices in the arts
  33. 33. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE33 Veem Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  34. 34. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE34 5. Work-life balance – artists as human beings
  35. 35. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE35 Work-life balance Subtitle • Sustainable etc • FOAM
  36. 36. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE36 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  37. 37. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE37 6. Breaking taboos
  38. 38. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE38 Title Subtitle • Dilemma in art competition • Idleness Academy • Dat ding van Hans Bryssinck • Performing Arts Exploitation Fund. - Second level • Third level
  39. 39. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE39 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  40. 40. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE40 7. Artist-run self organisation
  41. 41. –Johnny Appleseed “Type a quote here.” – L’Amicale de Production, Germinal
  42. 42. –Johnny Appleseed “Type a quote here.”
  43. 43. –Johnny Appleseed “Type a quote here.” – Diederik Peeters/SPIN, Hulk
  44. 44. –Johnny Appleseed “Type a quote here.” – SPIN, Imagine Work, 2013
  45. 45. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE45 8. Connecting to contexts and communities
  46. 46. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE46 Pogon Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level – POGON, Zagreb
  47. 47. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE47 Breaking up in working groups Building a collection of inspiring examples
  48. 48. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE48 Title Subtitle • First Level - Second level • Third level
  49. 49. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE49 8. Connecting to contexts and communities 7. Artist-run self organisation 6. Breaking taboos 5. Work-life balance – artists as human beings 4. Fair practices in the arts 3. Strengthening the artistic peer sphere 2. Sharing non-economic resources 1. Organizing the artist community 9. (…)
  50. 50. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE50 - Now: two light bulb moment from every group - Write a blog post: http://blog.kunsten.be Share your learning curve! Contribute the collection of examples - Share the initiatives you talked about on the Freedom & Frenzy FB Group - Send us a mail with links and examples: joris@kunsten.be
  51. 51. FLANDERS ARTS INSTITUTE51 DO IT TOGETHER (D.I.T.) Answers to the Precarious Position of Artists IETM Plenary Meeting - Bucharest - 21 April 2017 Delphine Hesters & Joris Janssens (Flanders Arts Institute)
  52. 52. Evidence from Flanders (2016) CUDOS research group UGent (sociology) - Jessy Siongers, Astrid Van Steen, John Lievens Commissioned by: Flemish government, Kunstenpunt, SFP, Kunstenloket, oKo, ACOD-cultuur, VAF, VFL 2706 respondents (in analysis) • 716 visual artists • 392 directors & script writers (film) • 899 musicians & composers • 308 writers & illustrators • 391 performing artists • 457 actors (survey 2014) Online survey individual invitations to identified ‘professional artists’ + open call (90/10% in response) On the socio-economic conditions of artists Themes: activities (artistic and non artistic), time, income, costs, job satisfaction, need for support etc.

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