A Modest Occupation

Photo: Luminary Center for the Arts

Right now we’re part of a little show in St.Louis, at The Luminary Center for the Arts, that focuses on the recent boom of art subscriptions and art CSA’s and takes a look at the work that is being produced through this model.  It is curated by Abigail Satinsky from threewalls.  The exhibition is part of The Luminary Center for the Arts’ How to Build a World That Won’t Fall Apart  Exhibition Series, a year-long exploration of the ways that artists and alternative spaces sustain their practice in times of social and economic uncertainty. The series, a product of an institution examining itself in a time of transition, resonates pretty strongly with us right now as they are exploring of the role of alternative spaces within a broader ecosystem and the collective identity that arises through collaboration.

The show features works from Alula Editions (Bay Area, CA) Art Practical Mail Art Subscription (San Francisco, CA), Community Supported Art ChicagoCommunity Supported Art Philadelphia,Community Supported Art MinneapolisThe Drop/NOLA (New Orleans), The Present Group (Oakland, CA), Regional Relationships (Chicago), and The Thing Quarterly (San Francisco, CA), along with a special reading room in the window space by Silver Galleon Press (Chicago).

Photo: Luminary Center for the Arts

If you aren’t in St. Louis between March 15 – April 12, 2013, you can still catch the show in other locations as it travels around the country:
June 28 – August 3:  Threewalls, Chicago, IL
September 14 – October 26:  Transformer Gallery in Washington, DC
possibly then to New Orleans hosted by The Drop

Abby also worked with projects included in the show along with designer Working Knowledge to create a publication featuring essays and profiles from participating art subscription services.  A physical copy of this publication can be ordered for $3 from Luminary Arts or you can download a pdf version by clicking on the image below.

Photo: Luminary Center for the Arts


Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists

Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

New Media, New Modes: On ‘Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media’

Nathaniel Stern takes a look at this new book by Sarah Cook and Beryl Graham, co-editors of the CRUMB site and list (the Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss

Reading List: Picturing the Art World Infrastructure

New Langton Arts’ Archive for Sale: A Sacrificial Act by Tercerunquinto (a collaborative group), 2008

Thinking about new models of funding and new ways that the art world could work is not new.  But recently, whether because the economic climate has forced us to rethink our methods, or simply because it’s time in some larger cycle, there has been not only a birth of new models of funding art projects, but also a lot of writing and energy about it.

Part of this effort is simply to understand what is happening now and in the past.
The Art Spaces Archive Project is a non-profit initiative to help preserve, present, and protect the archival heritage of living and defunct for- and not-for-profit spaces of the “alternative” or “avant-garde” movement of the 1950s to the present throughout the United States.
The California Cultural Data Project is an online data reporting system that was created to produce a variety of reports designed to help increase management capacity, identify strengths and challenges and inform decision-making for California’s Cultural Institutions.

But the other part is writing about and archiving what is being borne out now.  This is a list of some of the writing I’ve come across in the past month that works towards an understanding of how the funding mechanisms are changing in the art world, envisions how it could be, and starts to catalog the new efforts and models that are emerging today.

How Things Work by Aimee Le Duc, Art Practical
Part 1, Part 2, Part 2 cont.
Le Duc investigates the trajectory of more established art spaces in SF, their success or failure, and follows up with a look at new spaces/organizations are utilizing hybrid models of funding and programming.

A Catalog of Strategies, Proximity Magazine #7, Summer 2010
The Catalog is a special annotated directory of inspirational groups, organizations, projects, and individuals from around the world. With over 350 entries the directory features the best practices and celebrated failures of interventionist art practitioners.

Survival Strategies for the Arts, on Blue Avocado, 2009
Though aimed at non-profits, the thinking behind these strategies applies to everyone.  John Killacky, artist and arts funder, not only knows that we need the arts now more than ever, but gives us ten survival strategies for arts organizations and one for audience members — and reminds us that all of us are audience members.

Project Space Survival Strategies:  a research project by the artist Elysa Lozano for Autonomous Organization, produced in collaboration with Invisible Venue.  I found this idea especially striking: “The motivations behind these initiatives are inextricably linked to the manner of funding them. What constitutes an acceptable way to get funding is as much a question of the integrity of the intention as it is a question of survival.”

Art Infrastructure, cmagazine 103, Autumn 2009
A bunch of articles discussing exhibition strategies and platforms that provide alternative models for how art is exhibited and experienced by its viewers.  If we take the idea from Lozano (above,) then these alternative models would inevitably be thinking of new funding models as well.

Web hosting that supports artists.


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Lego Hello World
I wish all my printers were made of legos.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Coming Face To Face With The President
Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

In California, Pot Is Now an Art Patron
A new funding source for the arts – reaping big rewards and funding many projects.  It’s pot.

Notes on Portraiture in the Facebook Age

Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists
Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

Are "Artists' Statements" Really Necessary?
The pros and cons about that nemesis for most artists.

This to That
You tell it what you’ve got and it’ll tell you what to glue them together with.

Work of art: Online store for buyers, sellers
Not the TV show!  Kelly Lynn Jones from Little Paper Planes is interviewed on her project, gives us a cheat sheet to local affordable art resources.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months