What does commencement mean for artists in the billionaire feeding frenzy of the Trump era? Commencement symbolizes the entry of studied, curious individuals into a world that they have been prepared to influence and impact. But what is this world into which graduates are entering today, and what impact can they have amid a reactionary crackdown on art and cultural difference, saddled with backbreaking amounts of debt?
On #J20- the day of Trump’s inauguration ceremony in Washington DC, I co-organized a speakout with artists, poets, and activists responding to the following questions at the Whitney Museum.
Occupy Museum’s project Debtfair will be included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. The first stage is a national open call to collect profiles on art and debt. We will then sift through the data and create a platform of artwork “bundles” to be installed in the museum and presented online in March 2017. DEBTFAIR OPEN CALL
“Last night, in a visually dazzling act of public protest, the artist-activist groups Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.) and the Illuminator turned the spiral facade of the Guggenheim Museum into a projection screen.
A People’s Monument to Anti-Displacement Organizing by BETTY YU AND NOAH FISCHER
As a member of Global Ultra Luxury Faction/ Gulf Labor participating in the 56th Venice Biennale, I worked with S.a.L.E Docks to stage an occupation of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice following the May 1 action in New York. Together with Marco Baravalle of S.a.L.E, I organized much of the action and designed flags and other graphics.
On November 6th, the Guggenheim Museum will host one of the premier fund-raising events for New York’s high society. Guests will be feasting royally at $75,000 tax-deductible tables. On the other side of the world, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s migrant workers are being exploited while having meager rations on their plates and very little time to prepare their meals after a punishing 12 hour workday.
I smelled manifesto when Brian Unger asked me to write “some kind of aesthetic-philosophical commentary on Zen art in America” for this issue of Zen Monster. It is a daunting subject, but I had actually been waiting for someone to request this.