Art Fag City is dedicated to trying new things, so tonight we will physically and mentally eviscerate artist John Powers. It’s all part of Flux Factory’s new program: Death Match. The arts organization asks four participants to discuss a given topic—tonight it’s the effectiveness of art strategies employed by OWS—and we hurl insults at one another until a victor is announced. Or something like that. Tonight’s lineup includes myself, Hrag Vartanian, John Powers and William Powhida. Vartanian and I will take the high road and champion the OWS Arts and Culture group, while Powers and Powhida will discuss the various ways the group sucks.
Admittedly, I’ve misrepresented nearly everyone in those last few sentences to communicate the satire driving the event; Powers and Powhida will take a less generous stance on the OWS Arts and Culture group, but both support the Occupy movement. Still, we hope the discussion will shed light on the complexities of occupation, as seen from an outside perspective. The debate does not include actual OWS members (insofar as they can be identified. There’s no membership process.)
I don’t want to give too much about the night away, but I can tell you that the structure of the evening will begin with two participants (in this case, myself and John Powers), making a definitive statement about their relationship to OWS. After this point, moderators will chose an online quote from each of the participants, the merit of which will be debated.
I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink on the subject, so I’ve put together a summary of what’s been written on the blog for the moderators along with content summaries. Most of what’s been written relates to Occupy Museums—a focus on the blog—but we like the broader Arts and Culture group just fine.
The Deal With Occupy Museums
A bombastic call to action raises questions amongst many online. But were people responding to one person’s call rather than the movement as a whole? That was my take.
Why Karen Archey is Wrong About Occupy Museums
Archey thinks Occupy Museums is misdirecting their energy. Here’s why she’s wrong.
Why Splinter Movements Don't Take Away Credibility From Occupy Wall Street
This title should really read “factions” rather than “splinter movements”, since the OWS arts and culture group is working with the same set of values. What I would like to see: A unified movement from the arts community that pushes banks to provide services that better match the needs of their clients. Museums should move their money to credit unions.
Occupy Museums: Splinter or Faction
Comment highlights from Occupy Museums thread.
Professors, Artists, Workers, and Activists Rally Inside MoMA
A summary of quotes from the MoMA rally. A few choice statements below:
On free Target Fridays, a woman speaks from the crowd:
I would like to know why we have to depend on the beneficence of an entity like Target. What kind of economic system lets one company or person amass so much wealth that they get to decide what is free and what will cost? Who gets health care? What African countries get aid? What diseases get researched, who gets educated, what kind of technology forms our culture? Can we imagine an economic system that would be based on something besides amassed wealth and the concentrated power that now proceeds therefrom?
From Occupy protestor Noah Fischer:
”¦we would like the lock-out of the art handlers at Sotheby's to end today. The Museum of Modern Art has the power to do that. There are two people on the board of trustees at MoMA who are also on the Sotheby's board. This is a conflict of interest, but it could also be an opportunity. Put our brothers and sisters back to work. We are calling on this lock-out to end today, Friday the 13th, 2012.