Readings for Artworkers 2014: on poverty of project-making
READING # 2: NEVER WORK! THE ART STRIKE AND REFUSAL OF LABOUR IN INDUSTRIES OF CREATIVITY.
Time: 29tf of April 2014, 6 pm
Venue: Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Pańska 3
Discussion on manifestos of Goran Dordevic, Kazimir Malevich and Mladen Stilinovic and texts by Gerald Raunig and Stevphen Shukaities.
During the seminar, we will reflect upon art as a 'praise of laziness', artistic strike and refusal of labour in late capitalism. At the foundations of modern concept of art lies a conviction that making art is quintessentially different from alienated forms of labour. Art, in contrast to typical work, is a self-directed activity, which fulfils existential and creative impulses of artists.
On the other hand, despite such romantic idealisations, art and artists always function in a specific social context. An artist, even if s/he is commonly believed to be a non-working person, is dependent on the system facilitating production and distribution of artistic works. This structural arrangement might be and usually is disadvantageous for the majority of involved artists, subdued in mechanisms of exploitation, which often provoke their resistance. Precisely in response to the poor conditions of (non-)labour in the art world, politicised artists organized numerous art strikes. The notion of artists on strike adjusts strategies of refusal of labour developed by industrial workers to the specificity of artistic vocations, resulting in several paradoxes.
Despite the internal contradictions of this concept, contemporary theoreticians and activists regard artistic strike as a valid point of reference in reflecting upon strategies of refusal in late capitalism. They argue that flexible and creative vocations, characteristic for contemporary networked factories, are similar to the models known from the art world. Consequently, they contend that contemporary forms of strike need to acknowledge and respond to the paradoxes inherent for art strikes.
The meeting is part of the cycle “Readings for Artworkers", organized since 2009 by Free/Slow University of Warsaw. This year, our conversations circulate around crucial theoretical texts concerning various aspects of artistic production in late capitalism. Not only are the seminars an occasion to learn of these theories, but also an opportunity to exchange experiences and collectively reflect on the conditions of work and life of contemporary cultural producers.
This year’s series of seminars is focused around such issues as: project-making as mode of cultural production; the dark matter of art; the factory of creativity and an artistic mode of production; poverty, precariousness and costs of project-making; bio-political work and sabotage of artistic production; art as a common resource.
The series is convened by Kuba Szreder, one of the founders of Free/Slow University of Warsaw, independent curator and art theoretician.
Readings are organized in cooperation with Free/Slow University of Warsaw, Bęc Zmiana Foundation and Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
The seminar will be preceded by a short introduction, which brings closer the texts and the subjects discussed.
Texts for the seminar:
Kazimierz Malewicz, Laziness - the Real Truth of Mankind
Gerald Raunig, Art Strike for All! z książki Factories of Knowledge Industries of Creativity, str. 137 - 148
Stevphen Shukaities, Strajki w sztuce i metropolitalna fabryka z książki Wieczna Radość. Ekonomia polityczna społecznej kreatywności, str. 385 - 399
<<< Photo: Mladen Stilinovic, Artist at Work