With the ﬁnancialization of the capitalist economy we see not only a continued abstraction of work from its useful function, but also a tragic distancing of contact from its embodied dimensions. Operating through the lenses of artistic labour, debt, and work itself, the artists in At the end of the day, at least we have each other experiment with modes of interacting with these conditions, with each other, with the tragedy. Moving beyond this reconciliation, these artists broadcast their actions and ﬁndings to future audiences as a means to both disrupt and reframe present expectations of value. Part two of Emerging Tactics features features Cassie Thornton, Ariana Jacob, and the Lower Mainland Painting Co.
Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence, nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden. Sighing, he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost plank; repeated the operation; did it again; compared the insigniﬁcant whitewashed streak with the far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed fence, and sat down on a tree-box discouraged.
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The LMPC would like to invite you to join us in the construction of a set for a movie about its own making. Through the implementation of an architectural score, free of any purely vertical or horizontal lines, participants and collective members will enact feats of mutuality and patience in the construction and whitewashing of a fence-coliseum. During discussions about the efforts and metaphors at play in the work, members of the LMPC will be accumulating footage for the a production of a movie about how our conceptions of obligation and politics are shifting in relation to a broad reordering of our individual public/private architectures. For information about auditioning with us please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Littman Gallery during gallery hours in September.
The Lower Mainland Painting Co (LMPC) is a workers’ collective that seeks to bring shape to contemporary confusions between symbols and materials in search of "the actual sociality of art.” Their work problematizes hierarchies of publicness and objecthood in negotiation with the limitations capital places on our expectations as to the location and legibility of meaning. Past projects include “Culture Makes Others Not the Other Way Around” (2012) at VIVO (Vancouver BC) and “What is Not a Part of the Art” (2011) at Shudder Gallery (Vancouver BC).
Through conversation, Ariana is investigating people’s different experiences of work and lack of work and how it affects their sense of self. Drawing on Studs Terkel’s classic book, “Working” this project revisits his approach to the role work has in our lives considering the growing precarity of working conditions since the 1970s. Our relationship to work has had to change to deal with an increasingly globalized economy and far less stable job possibilities for most people. We now expect multiple career shifts within our lifetimes. We brace ourselves for high unemployment and the threat of downward mobility across the ﬁrst world. And yet, we still regularly ask each other, “what do you do?” meaning what is your job, and deﬁne people accordingly. This project explores the basic realities of what people do for work these days, the place work has in their lives, and how contemporary work and economic realities are affecting how we understand ourselves.
Ariana Jacob makes artwork that uses conversation as medium and as a subjective research method. Her work explores experiences of interdependence and disconnection, questions her own idealistic beliefs, and investigates how people make culture and culture makes people. She received her MFA in Art & Social Practice from Portland State University. Her work has been included in the NW Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum, Disjecta’s Portland 2012 Biennial, The Open Engagement Conference and the Discourse and Discord Symposium at the Walker Art Center.
The Debt 2 Space Program is a multifaceted effort to export the behavioral, psychological and emotional ramiﬁcations of all types of ﬁnancial hardship - from the ﬁscal landscape of earth to outer space. In the great unknown beyond the ﬁscal landscape/college campuses of earth, deﬁcits, guilt, and success has no matter. D2S uses screaming as a method to transmit feelings of limitation as inspired by student debt to space. Recordings of screams based on speciﬁc ﬁnancial woes will be delivered beyond the debt ceiling (just beyond the ozone layer) when aired on a local radio station.
On September 21-25, the Feminist Economics Department (the FED) will host a scream at 6:30pm, launching from Pioneer Square. Individuals and groups may call in their screams to 1-707-8-ENDebt and more information can be found at debt2space.info
The Feminist Economics Department (the FED) is a physical manifestation of the hope for a different, non-monetary value system for labor. The FED began in 2011 by hiring an actress to play a ﬁctional MFA student who performed breakdowns about the value of her debt at California College of the Arts. Collective projects include the BEAUTY SALON, hosted by Ictus Gallery, San Francisco, offering services by artists that heal economic wounds; and the ﬁrst iterations of Poets’ Security Force presented at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and California College of the Arts in 2012. The FED was developed by artist Cassie Thornton out of a desire for a collectivity based on her interest in the debt industry which promotes individual liability and denies trust and interdependence. Cassie graduated from the CCA Social Practice Program in 2012 and currently lives and works between San Francisco and NYC.