What is a work of art in the age of $120,000 art degrees?
Artist and Organizer, Brooklyn Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium January 26, 2015, 7:30-9:00pm The David Brower Center, Berkeley CA Lectures are free and open to the public. Co-presented with the Art Practice Department.
Please note, seating will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 7:15pm. For those that cannot attend, the video will be posted online as soon as possible.
Often legitimized by its relationship to elite institutions of higher education, a work of art in the United States today is a product of the classroom, the loan repayment, the lecture-hall, and the homework assignment. But before the 1950s, becoming an artist had nothing to do with a BFA or an MFA. As Mark McGurl points out in The Program Era, what is novel about our time is not that it’s hard to make a living as an artist (that has always been the case), but that so many young people go to school, and often to expensive art schools, to try to become artists.
What are the implications of debt, rent, and precarity on culture in the 21st century? This talk presents recent findings about the poverty rates, rent burdens, and actual occupations of artists by BFAMFAPhD, as well as the power of solidarity art economy institutions to reproduce artists and art works that embody principles of cooperation and justice. Outlining the contradictory ways in which artists navigate solidarity economies within capitalism, the talk is an encounter with mutual aid networks, open source software, and community land trusts.
Caroline Woolard graduated from the only tuition-free art school in the United States with a strong commitment to the solidarity economy movement and to conceptual art. After co-founding and co-directing resource sharing networks OurGoods.org and TradeSchool.coop for the past five years, Woolard is focused on BFAMFAPhD.com to raise awareness about the impact of rent, debt, and precarity on culture and on New York City To Be Determined to create and support truly affordable, community land trusts for cultural resilience in New York City.