From our friends at Art Practical, today we bring you a publication that is more archive than article: Value/Labor/Arts: The Manifestos was one part of the spectacular issue “Valuing Labor in the Arts” that was guest-edited by Shannon Jackson, Director of the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley. Compiled by Jackson and artist Helena Keeffe, Value/Labor/Arts: The Manifestos presents seven “recent and… not-so-very-old manifestos of artists who found themselves asking how they wanted to be valued and wondering whether the available value systems were up to the task. Some worried about authorship and ownership, some about invisibility, some about whether an artists’ union could combat a highly individuating art market that kept artists from working with each other.” From the Art Workers’ Coalition of 1969 to today’s Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), this collection of declarations provides ample food for thought.
W.A.G.E. (WORKING ARTISTS AND THE GREATER ECONOMY) WORKS TO DRAW ATTENTION TO ECONOMIC INEQUALITIES THAT EXIST IN THE ARTS, AND TO RESOLVE THEM.
W.A.G.E. HAS BEEN FORMED BECAUSE WE, AS VISUAL + PERFORMANCE ARTISTS AND INDEPENDENT CURATORS, PROVIDE A WORK FORCE.
W.A.G.E. RECOGNIZES THE ORGANIZED IRRESPONSIBILITY OF THE ART MARKET AND ITS SUPPORTING INSTITUTIONS, AND DEMANDS AN END OF THE REFUSAL TO PAY FEES FOR THE WORK WE’RE ASKED TO PROVIDE: PREPARATION, INSTALLATION, PRESENTATION, CONSULTATION, EXHIBITION, AND REPRODUCTION.
W.A.G.E. REFUTES THE POSITIONING OF THE ARTIST AS A SPECULATOR AND CALLS FOR THE REMUNERATION OF CULTURAL VALUE IN CAPITAL VALUE.