On 12/14/13, I went to an all day symposium in NYC, the ICP-Bard Symposium called Building a New Art World: Rethinking Conventional Practices, which I mentioned in an earlier post. I had a wonderful experience and am still thinking about all that was discussed. You should eventually be able to listen or watch to the program here since it was live streamed. I believe they will also be putting out a book summarizing the event.
I couldn’t possibly summarize everything I took away from the symposium. If you could not attend or tune in, I encourage you to check out their website. There were three panel discussions: Boundless Communities, Life/Work, and Spheres of Exchange. Each of these topics comes with a reading list on the site, which I have yet to begin, but it is all relevant to the Artist Stories site. Spheres of Exchange was a candid discussion about the socioeconomics of artists – covering many of the questions I posed to you in my call for submissions. During Boundless Communities, the panelists and audience members discussed the role of community for artists and whether the oxymoronic term boundless community is even possible. And in Life/Work we were given some very honest, helpful, practical and soulful tips about what living and working as an artist really looks like.
I think my biggest question during and after the event is, Where do we go from here? I think that question involves a few things, including but not limited to the following: It means realizing where our issues overlap with the larger economy’s and how we can get involved with already existing activist efforts. But it also means identifying what challenges are unique to the creative class so those do not get lost. It means meeting others who have an activist spirit and want to change things for the better for artists so that we can take action. And it should also mean knowing what already exists among artist groups who are working to improve working/living conditions for creative workers, and possibly getting involved with and/or supporting them somehow.
I believe that it is important to collect our stories in one central location so we can have an impact on ears that are historically reluctant to listen. Or maybe, more positively, so we can connect to each other and take charge of our lives.
If Artist Stories resonates with you, please consider submitting your story. We are seeking written or video submissions for our upcoming online library, a social justice project, and would love to hear from you.
Photo credit: Janne Toivoniemi