Wall Street to Main Street Meeting at School of Visual Arts 01/13/12

[NOTE: Comments and suggestions welcome]

Note-taker: Imani

Many proposals for work but not for space

Space on food and land issues
Space on constitutional issues
Study center

Each space may have a workshop and different ways to engage the audience
Way to understand issues at the heart of the movement from going from space to space

Paul- map of Zucotti park from pre-tent and post-tent times; breakdown of different community points in that space. May be a good guideline
    Media center
    Info center
        Restaurant space?

Fawn- new grocery that sells produce from his farm, etc. if we have a

Imani- re-create the park in an abstracted way
Paul- very abstracted. Whether or not this literally has to be used, it gives us a starting point. Includes the working groups as well in terms of 60 Wall Street. Depending on whom we are working with, eg. OccuPrint, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the map as a guide but perhaps the NYCGA working group list. Virtual component is significant enough that, with photography, there are big photo pools with the library, ows photo team WG. Looking at how different structures work could give us a starting place. Begins a mapping process that is dimensional. On national A+C conference call there was a site called Archive of Desire. Into new kind of cartography that is very art-inspired. They collaborate with people all over with that in mind. S in a way we can use cartography as a way to transpose the structure of ows and start thinking of spaces as gourds or receptacles or containers that could stay or turnover. Easier to reach out to specific groups that want to participate.

Fawn- Let me tell you what I’ve gotten.

Fawn- Gallery Director at Green County Academy of Arts. Wall St to Main Street project would be our 4th presentation. Offer vacant storefronts to students and recent graduates at studio programs around the country. It’s been a dual goal in creating interest in Main st and opportunities for artist. Gives new opportunities to new artists with fresh ideas. First time that we have not exclusively shown student or recent graduate work. More exciting for local artists. Hudson Valley area is swimming with artists. Local artists see it as a way to take part and see the movement rolling toward November elections. Music, events, outdoor events in May. Jackie working on a film fest on the 29th. Geno is former director of the Alternative Museum. He has agreed to organize the exhibit at Bric Gallery. Big, beautiful space. Also a Print show in the adjoining space.

Paul- co-organizer of Occupy With Art. Art for Humans. Working artist for 30 years now. Many exhibits. Writer

Awn- Paul has been primary liaison with occupy artists

Emir- from Bosnia to New Zealand. Moved here in August. Writer/ Reporter. Have been covering ows for independent media since day one. Painter/ illustration artists.

Nikki- Freelance piano and flute teacher. Been involved with Music working group since October. Excited to work in collaboration for a festival. Jackie- work with Fawn on Masters on Main. Video artist.  Background in Arts and Education. Taught high school for eight years.

Geno- I co-founded the Alternative Museum and ran it for 22 years. Put up over 350-400 exhibitions; 500 concerts. Working artists for many years NEA fellowship award for Photographic arts. Pissed off with the way that this country and the way is heading. Would like to put the brakes on it. Here because I read an article with Paul online. Retired but voluntarily pulled out of retirement. Severed all ties with arts community.

    For almost any show you reject thousands of artists. Hate that artists were slaves to the 1%; manufacturers of entertainment for the rich. Come from working class family. And no working class people I know don’t buy or support contemporary art. Strictly a manufacturing process for the rich. How do we bring together angry artists with angry people to say enough is enough for an arts convention where we redefine what is art, what it’s for, how we integrate into society. I’m guilty of this but one makes a work of art that is a product that goes into one person’s home and is not shared. Very little public art in America. I’m a pissed off kind of guy. Administrative experience for many years. Thought we’d have 40-50 people here excited and wanting to throw things on the table. I’m a natural pessimist.

Fawn- Happy to have you all here.

Paul- Yaelle said this week that post-holidays we should be cautious that this might be the turnout for the holidays.

Fawn- introductory space

Paul- where did that gallery go with all the images?

Fawn- On Main Street is Bric Gallery. Big Space with smaller space attached

Small space- OccuPrint Big space- photo exhibit

Geno- Don’t know how people will be selected. Concerned about the word selected, but there can’t be free-for-all pandemonium. Concerned because you could come up against the wall.

Nikki- Same problem with a benefit album. Want to include everyone but can’t. Quality of work had to be recordable. Level had to be ready to go studio-wise, but other than that it was volunteer based. 10 hours of community service got you on the album. If you could swing that- personal contribution besides the work.

Geno- Don’t like to use the word quality, but there’s a problem because volunteering and good intentions do not promote and provide a goal. What do we want to achieve. Magnificent opportunity. They’re giving us a town. If we don’t now what we want to achieve, we could end up anywhere. You have to know where you want to go

Fawn- Goals are listed here. Use art as language. Talk about role of artists as important and significant. Model a peaceful partnership. Explore ideas that talk about real change.

Geno- good but it doesn’t solve how to create a discourse, but the discourse has to have a goal. What you want to convince the other person of. Ego is big. Most artists’ egos are. Anarchists on Main Street. But maybe that’s what we want

Nikki- That’s what’s happening in the movement. Everyone wants different things

Fawn- I would love the project to be accessible to lots of audiences. Sophisticated art audience and pedestrians that I want it to be accessible to. All walks of life and all interests. Want this to speak to the 1% as well. All issues focused on. Projects that don’t raise awareness- wouldn’t want to include those.

Geno- Received four photographers so far

Paul- Alternative Museum closed in 2001. Art for Humans in Chinatown in 2007 was innovative. Social media tools allowed for quality entries from all over the world. 2 weeks total to build a program.

Fawn- Key is to have core artists who you can depend on. Plus more inclusive, bulletin board style presentation. Events around the world in descriptive form. Experience as an art form.

Paul- Kind of photography. New iteration of photography that has happened here. Integrated into protest usage of cameras to document police brutality. Camera has fundamentally changed into a utility for protests.

Fawn- a different witness to the world

Jackie- Lots of work being made in response to the immediacy of the media and social media in general. A show of media

Fawn- Facebook site We Are the 99%

Paul- opportunity t

Gino- Not 100% sure that I’m going to do both Photography and Print. Why make the separation? Word documentation has come up a couple of times. Do we want a hybrid of documentation? Most people have seen those images at Zucotti Park. Wall space to present this again? It’s a question. Or want to go beyond? Not the style or the hanging; it’s more to do with breaking away from the expected and presenting something that is unique

Paul- Cameras in balloons in US Davis during GA. Starts with cameras over the head, goes up and up til a scale of thousands of people. I’m a dimensional artist. Wire frames, thinking in terms of multiple usage of space, simultaneity, and time as the object. When you have an impetus to do something, it is to create the time in the space for now. What is ows now? Not what it was four months ago, but now.

Geno- google the Great Tortilla conspiracy. Big print company. At DIA museum they buy lots of tortillas and silkscreen onto the tortilla.  I like it because it gets everyone involved.

Paul- To jump with this—OccupyGeorge with dollar bills. In terms of gelling an idea of the central space, there are lots of small projects

Emir- Talk about discourse. From a perspective of an activist, what is the goal? Do we have the possibility to mobilize—people not usually involved in arts. Not just a show to entertain ourselves but to bring people in.

Fawn- One proposal from a Catskill artist who wants to photograph 3000 local protestors. Takes the portraits for $1. Green screen photobooth; pick your background. Environmentalist and kayaker. Active photobooth.

Paul- Lots of room for little variations. Enough variations that we need to find the connecting thread. How is it that so many different artists and performers find themselves drawn to this and apply it to what’s happening

Emir- People want to identify with occupy because it’s seen as a movement. Draft of working class ideas in the art world. Some people like to be involved for this

Geno- Lots of projects that draw people in and start conversation. Dialoguing for a reason/ for a purpose. Paul- suggestion for you. Bric Gallery should be given to Paul? Instead of thinking of just photography or print show…would free me up to work with an activist. We don’t have to be locked in to photography and printmaking. You know occupy and have your finger on it. Don’t want to use you as a filter.


Geno- Fawn- Director at Arts Council. What is allowed to do or not do. Inviting people to occupy Catskill.  Don’t like to the word occupy. Sounds violent and aggressive. Don’t know if we

Paul- Keen understanding on how this could turn into something special. When those connections start to be made again. If we maintain a space of comity, we are in a position of sharing. Not afraid to use the best. Great painters in the movement but they bounced because of the perspective on what is high art.

Fawn- place for all of it

Geno- So long as they serve the purpose, I’m not bothered by it. Alternative Museum was one of the only places that was doing socio-political art. Based on ethnic stereotyping. When the Arts Council and patrons of the arts realized they picked up the axe but they were lost for 25 years.

Imani- Reaching out beyond A+C cluster?

Paul- Have a strategy folded into the position of what Occupy With Art is trying to do—navigate in Occupy Wall Street.

Nikki- All call for artists.

Paul- Reached 40,000 people. Hitting art press and major media

Geno- Contact Greg (Sholette) at Queens College (LI). Tim Rolands, Hans Haacke

Paul- Viral usage. In ows, concentric circle model is the way to maximize communication models.

Geno- Dissention with the museum curation process

Imani- clarification

Geno- Concerns with quality, but I think that something is coming out of it. Care about using the artists as a tool to make the art better. I’ll be your bitch.

Paul- What I’m writing about is the expectation of art being used by the protest movement without reciprocation. Great projects that have happened, for example art is my occupation. Occupy Arts and Culture has gotten $5,000 out of all of it.

Imani- Not many proposals for funding

Geno- Artists have always been abused and exploited. What we have to do it turn it around because 1. A+C is being abused by the larger group; let A+C use the larger movement. This is going to be some of the best positive PR during the lull until the Spring. This could be extraordinary publicity.

Emir- When it comes to exploitation we have to look at the biggest picture here. I don’t mind contributing anything I can.

Paul- Proposition that anyone who we work with in an alliance will be expected to investigate their acting principles and practices. We have to ask the same questions of ourselves. What art can do for social movements. You ask art to do this this and this for you, but what are you doing for art.

Geno- What do you think could be done for art by the larger group?

Paul- Give-give situation. Creating alternative economies.

Geno- What would you want? Is it about respect? Funding? Most artists have put themselves in the position of servants of the rich. It’s a choice people often make. The question is about fair share.

Paul- What this has to do with. Architecture and Town Planning. Not just a protest but also an expression of free speech. Changed tone of discussion. Are we acting as a utility for protests or are we trying to fundamentally re-examine what democracy is?

Geno- We do best what we know best. Guerilla Girls wanted a piece of the pie even though the pie was rotten. Not right time for this conversation. If we can get the GA to agree to come up with funding…they should understand that this is a brilliant idea for funding.

Fawn- interested in all forms of organizing the spaces. I’m open to it taking any form that it takes. Need one solid thing for a press release. Don’t care if it’s curated, organized or whatever. Other spaces are granted to artists who have an idea. If there’s a way to accommodate all, let’s do that. Want to accommodate ideas that are powerful and engaging

Nikki- How long? 2 ½ months. We can be rotating works.

Fawn- Would like Bric to be the same throughout because the owner would like that better. Need to maintain goodwill from owners. Can’t have people occupy spaces, but people can be accommodated with hosts.

Geno Met Frank at the gallery. Found him to be very likeable and a good partner, but was into the idea of a curator.

Fawn- Work is according to an aesthetic that one can get behind. Have shown work that was not completely curated before.

Geno- Curatorial practice and curating is often misused. People may not have the expertise to do so. Curating is based on experience that one has had

Fawn- logistical problem because of time and space. I know the spaces and what they can accommodate. Not every space has great light, some are active retail spaces. Has to mesh with the owners’ ideas of what works in the space.

Geno- Has to be a Wall Street to Main Street

Fawn- wants an occupier artist for every space.

Nikki- Bring to the GA for travel expenses

Geno- Panels, etc. How to get people up there? Costs money. Need food, accommodations.