Why is it so hard to find committed, radical/anarchist artists–committed, both to making art, AND to working together to find ways to make art outside the capitalist, gatekeeper, gallery to investor system? Cause no one can do this alone.
One of the factors in what makes me so discouraged, and depressed in my efforts to make art.
It can’t be just talk. It has to be action–discovering, creating through action. It has to begin with saying: we can’t do this anymore! We can’t work within the system anymore! Enough!
And then–looking at what we CAN do–and doing it!
Though the material and social problems involved are unique to each medium and form–this is something that should be addressed by artists of all kinds–dancers, theater people, poets, musicians –together, as a collectivist work.
11″ x 11″ Acrylic, Ink. Brush and pen.
A tribute to graffiti artists–whose art is mated to destroying the value of property. The capitalist, Gallriest-Gatekeepers, and their non-profit mural arts sidekicks, try to defang them, prettify them, sell them to investors, but they slip out the door of the Great Western Art Narrative, to appear again on walls above the street–nameless as ninja warriors.
Paint this over fascist Rizzo’s face on 9th Street!
View more work at SaatchieArt, and on my web portfolio here ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll down.
Bend over, artists, bare your butts and smile to the sizzle of the Branding Iron!
This is everything that’s wrong with the “Art World.” This abominable piece… empty of irony or insight.
” To start, it is all about thinking differently. You are not just an artist. You are an artistic entrepreneur and your art is your big business. As CEO, it’s time to take a note or two from the owner’s playbook of art business and marketing on developing your brand identity.”
The other thing I object to in that ad/fomercial, is the message that if you follow those tips, you too, can become a ‘successful’ artist-CEO; that is precisely analogous to advising poor people, that if they work hard, follow the rules, and stop drinking coffee, they won’t be poor, when the reality is, that the system CREATES poverty, and prevents it’s elimination to insure a ready supply of low wage labor, just as the system PREVENTS all but a very few artists from becoming self-supporting, and then, at the cost of their creative freedom for most of those who do get that far. So the promise offered in that piece, is a lie–bait for those whose need to believe exceeds their desire to see through the sham.
“Thinking differently” is NewSpeak, for, Stop thinking, and submit to the Capitalist cult!
Fighting for our Lives
Fifteen years ago, we published the following text introducing anarchism to the general public as a total way of being, at once adventurous and accessible. We offered the paper free in any quantity, raising tens of thousands of dollars for printing and even offering to cover the postage to mail copies to anyone who could not afford them. In the first two weeks, we sent out 90,000 copies. It appeared just in time for the “People’s Strike” mobilization against the IMF and World Bank in Washington, DC; the pastor at the Presbyterian church that hosted anticapitalist activists in DC preached her Sunday sermon from the primer as she spoke to her congregation about the demonstrations. Over the following decade, Fighting for Our Lives figured in countless escapades and outreach efforts; read this story for an example. In the end, we distributed 650,000 print copies.
Fighting for Our Lives has been out of print for several years, as we’ve focused on other projects such as To Change Everything. We’ve now prepared a zine version for our downloads library. From this vantage point, we can appreciate both the text and the project itself as ambitious and exuberant attempts to break with the logic of the existing order and to stake everything on establishing new relations. We’ve learned a lot in the years since then—but we haven’t backed down one millimeter.
I seriously ask myself, why do I bother to make art when there will be no humans on this planet in another generation?
Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.
New York Magazine
I keep reading comments about protests, where peeps blame everything they don’t like, everything they think excessive, violent… on ‘anarchists.’
When they know nothing about actual anarchists, but what the enemies of actual anarchists have always said about them.
There is a rich history of a very diverse stream of anarchist ideologies.
It can be complicated. For me, it’s complicated only in the doing… which is always actions and decisions made with others.
No gods, no leaders… no representatives” … Nehil de nobis sin nobis… nothing about US… without us. We are capable of taking care of ourselves, and one another, without hierarchy, without institutionally mandated leaders.
I am an anarchist.
That is my manifesto. Read it well, read it with care, turn it and turn it, cause everything is in it.
As for how we get there?
Solidarity, Love, Imagination, RESISTANCE!
I have this dream… of a collective of artists, who don’t “sell” their work, but … sort of… ‘rent’ it. That is, Someone who makes a contribution (sliding scale) has right to the work in perpetuity… but not ‘ownership.’ the collective, legally, retains ownership. What that means, is the one who takes the work, agrees never to sell for profit. They can exchange for another work, or accept an exchange at current value, if they want to offer it to someone else–ok…but wherever the work goes, the collective retains “ownership” rights.
The idea being, to prevent a work from becoming a commodity, an item of exchange value taken in expectation of profit by future increase in monetary value.
A network of such exchanges–drawing in more artists, removes more and more art from the fucked up , utterly corrupt gallery to investor gatekeeper system we have now.
The idea–however this might actually work out, is that artists take control of the distribution of our work, withdrawing our work from the market system, but creating together ( I envision networks of these collectives), a system outside the capitalist system.
No artist has any hope of bucking the system alone. This can only happen if enough artists come together, and work out a system of distribution, and sustainability–by consensus. By USING OUR CREATIVE IMAGINATION for how we LIVE IN THE WORLD, and not exclusively in devotion to our work.