Thursday, February 19, 2009


Yes, I went into the women's bathroom and was brushing my teeth with my fingers because I misplaced my toothbrush. The women's bathroom has like 8 stalls and the men's only has 2. It seems a little unfair. And by the way, check out the picture of this looks like it would use more energy than its worth.

Those are some really great points you make about art practice and company practice. I definitely don't feel that I SHOULD be paid for what I do, however I would love if there was some system in the United States where artists could get some sort of basic income for being an artist. That would mean that tax payers support artists, and I understand that would be an extremely difficult thing to convince people that artists should be funded that way. I think if I weren't in this field, I probably would not be interested in funding artists with my taxes. This actually brings up "customer satisfaction" and what you were mentioning as part of sustaining a company. The customers, in the case of an artists basic income, would in a sense be the taxpayers. Some countries in Europe support their artist through taxpayer money and I can't remember the name of this particular artist, but one of the artists being funded through the government went around and cleaned taxpayer's dishes for free. I think that's a nice way to give back to those who are supporting you.

Another difference between an art practice and a company practice is that a company usually is providing a product or service that is tangibly fulfilling some sort of need or want to its customers. There is some sort of utilitarian value, even if the service is to provide leisurely activities. Art is not as easily quantifiable. I do believe that a lot of my work is didactic and that what I have to say is useful, important, and generally refreshing. I'm not selling anything though, so it's difficult to make any money doing what I do. I actually wouldn't mind getting a job where my creativity is being utilized for some sort of good, and then I can take my artistic practice into a company.

Again, I don't think that I'm entitled to a fair income just for being an artist, however I would love if there was a better system in place. I've thought about researching things like CARFAC, the system set up for Canadian artists that pay them for showing work, giving lectures, etc. But the more I looked into it, the more I realized that this was not what I wanted to do with my time. It's sort of a catch-22; I have a desire for something to be different but no desire to make that change. I don't feel like I'm being ripped off by society; going to grad school and choosing "the artists life" is a decision I made. I'm fine with it. There is a group, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), that is attempting to institute something like CARFAC into the United States.

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