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Art Workers Won’t Kiss Ass

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This Is Our Real Job

We can see how the collapse of the economy is affecting everyone. Something must be done. Let’s talk. No, it can’t wait. Things are bad. We have to work things out. We can only do it together. What do we know? What have others tried? What is possible? How do we talk about it? What are the wildest possibilities? What are the pragmatic steps? What can you do? What can we do?

We know that larger numbers of people find themselves increasingly shut out of the American “promise” of wealth and security.

Art Versus Work

In the 1960s art workers theorized how modes of human making are affected by specific economic strictures, the aestheticization of experience, and the production of sensibilities. What makes the coherence of the phrase art worker challenging – even oxymoronic – is that under capitalism art also functions as the “outside,” or other, to labor: a non-utilitarian, nonproductive activity against which mundane work is defined, a leisure-time pursuit of self-expression, or a utopian alternative to the deadening effects of capitalism. While his writings on the matter vary over time and are by no means unified, Karl Marx’s contributions to this subject have been among the most influential.


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