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.
W.A.G.E. believes that the promise of exposure is a liability in a system that denies the value of our labor.
As an unpaid labor force within a robust art market from which others profit greatly, W.A.G.E. Recognizes an inherent exploitation and demands compensation.
W.A.G.E. calls for an address of the economic inequalities that are prevalent, and proactively preventing the art worker’s ability to survive within the greater economy.
W.A.G.E. advocates for developing an environment of mutual respect between artist and institution.
W.A.G.E. demands payment for making the world more interesting.
The gesture is designed, and indeed intended for, reiteration. In fact, its functionality cannot continue without reiteration. In that situation, the man greeting me with his hat above would be interpreted only on the basis of his formal movements, and not on the culturally determined meaning of the particular act. This meaning can only be generated over time; I cannot simply decide to start using some new gesture in everyday life – I will be greeted with suspicion and most likely alienated. The same cannot be said of contemporary art. The formation of a new ‘gesture’ remains fully possible; certain artworks take as their subject matter the iterability of the work of art. In doing so they aim less for the eternal return of the same, and more for the sedimentary evolution of gesture, which punctuates not only contemporary cultural production, but also life itself.
Excerpt from The ‘Iterable’ Gesture from Das Superpaper