No Artist Left Alive: Speculations on the Post-Pandemic Struggles of Cultural Workers Within, Against and Beyond Capitalism - Max Haiven
I really like Max Haiven's Art After Money, Money After Art which I feel like is a great art historical work in that it covers a variety of art that dealt with work, money and finance, but it is also great at explaining the contingent financial arrangements that seem like the natural or inevitable functioning of society, of "being realistic," and the amazing restructurings of our cultural and social lives we can start to imagine when we realize how artificial, and frankly, historically recent, many of these aspects of our lives are. I found it really inspiring, and it totally changed my perspective.
This article covers many of the same ideas, applying them to the various responses to the coronavirus epidemic this year. In some ways, things like Universal Basic Income, and the potential of directly meeting people's needs rather than redirecting increasingly meager state functions through a bunch of cynical means testing and business-oriented initiatives that are, being real, just a massive amount of waste that serves only to keep people in a fame of mind where scarcity and competition is inevitable and natural, seemed possible early in the lock down period.
The UK has mostly given up on any of the trends that had the potential to keep people safe and healthy in the early stages of the pandemic, instead opting for it to be another opportunity for unaccountable corporations to rob the public and small business tyrants to endanger workers with impunity... But in Scotland we sometimes do get a glimpse of things reflecting these sort of "unrealistic" demands becoming policy. Menstrual hygiene products, for example, are now a right here, and as a resident (but not citizen) I have the right to vote in local elections at least.
But it really feels like there is no one making these demands in the arts, with exceptions of projects like Not Going Back to Normal. We're all just supposed to be 'hanging in there' and entering gladiatorial combat with 300 other precariously employed people over the shitty, temp contract and low wage jobs that show up in a trickle. The absolute balls of this awful job ad, advertising its "0.8" FTE "Real Living Wage" job made me want to slam my head against a wall. But no worries, they have an "easy application process!" Fuck off. These organizations are so complacent, when we should, at the very least, be demanding they cut expenses and board salaries until they can provide real, equitable contracts and salaries for the work that ALREADY is going into them, or turn themselves over to the public. No more letting them get away with these exploitative "opportunities," it's making me crazy.
And that's just a start... Anyways... lol. This is just a quick post to highlight this cool article and say that I now have all the parts I ordered for the Tandy WP-2, so I should be able to make a longer post about trying to modify it later this week. I also should read this extremely long interview about Max Haiven's new book, which also looks super interesting! Max Haiven, if you're reading this... start a zonelet...