— bureaux de vizKult

Since the NYC artzines haven’t followed up, below is the original manifesto left behind after the action by “9271977″. Also, here are follow-ups from Big Bend Now’s journalist John Daniel Garcia on the March 9th guerrilla action on the Prada Marfa store: March 11 http://bigbendnow.com/2014/03/9271977-makes-contact-with-sentinel-reporter/  ( March 13: http://bigbendnow.com/2014/03/guerilla-artist-stirs-it-up-with-prada-marfa-vandalism/ 

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9271977's guerrilla action at Prada Marfa

Bigger Than The Brand

March 9th 2014, 3:33AM Texas Time.

BIGS UPS Michael Elmgreen, Ingar Dragset, Art Production Fund, Ballroom Marfa and the “Art World” of 2005 for interest towards the lands of West Texas providing a temporary structure as a canvas for a much more suiting to 2014 exhibit. A true collaboration; or appropriation? Perhaps a symbol of decay? Thanks to the land donators for not posting keep out signs. Thanks to TXDOT for deeming Prada Marfa an illegal road side advertisement. This is dedicated to all art makers that inspire artwork to “get out” of the studio, and into the streets.

Spring has Sprung, One for one, Here comes the sun, Lets have some fun!

Nearly nine years since the inauguration of Prada Marfa, an investigative viewer can only assume the structure represents the reflection of a contemporary moment that catering to a society designed to respond to branding, consumption and money. Blended with narcissism and unethical hedonism, this is the society’s apocalyptic theater.

Imagine being an investigative explorer from the future stumbling upon the ruin known as Prada Marfa. Questioning the structure as a place of indigenous commerce pre-apocalypse; later becoming a place of nostalgia and shelter during a time of nomadic travel through the death and dust of a temporary Utopia resistant to reorientation, that would have sustained its future.

The irony of Prada Marfa, it’s fake. Prada Marfa has no representation of Texas and Southwest North America. Prada Marfa is a relic of a Bourgeois not so distant past; serving today’s hyper reality as a blank canvas. Out with the old, in with what’s next.

Today – hipster travelers – the Adams & Eves of now in their hybrids search for the meaning of life, discovery of the unknown and mysterious! Answers to what is art, they GPS their way through the great social check points, updating Facebook and twitter.

Prada Marfa in its past existence served its purpose; but today in 2014 – for better or worse – society has seen advancement in social connectivity, global war, entitlements, corporate austerity, poverty, destruction of nature, desensitization of life, faltering education, sickness, substance and food abuse, exploitation of indigenous nations, corrupt banking systems, gone amuck free market neocapitalism, disharmonious politics and impudent religions… just some stewing ingredients of  Earth colonization.

In the spirit of all of the above moving in is, Save-the-world-through-shoes-company known as TOMS. TOMS Marfa is under fire by the TXDOT as illegal roadside advertising. People are concerned that the life of TOMS Marfa will end. As referenced from “Save Prada Marfa” FB Page: Texas House of Representatives member Poncho Nevarez says this Art installation is vital to the tourism in the greater Big Bend Area. TOMS owner (and Texas Native) Blake Mycoskie agrees and insists TOMS Marfa is not an advertising tool, nor is it a prop to exploit the people of developing nations facing extinction.  Simultaneously in the United States, at large education systems are facing cuts, ethical fundamentals are at a loss with apparent signs of social inequality. All the while Mycoskie focuses his attention in developing nations, though not to alleviate poverty through the company’s estimated 250 million in sales for 2013, as reported by Fast Company. TOMS shoes has been under scrutiny for its business model. Referring from a 2013 article by Adriana Herrera of the New York Times, she states, “The root cause of poverty in many developing countries is a lack of access to fair-paying, sustainable employment. Imagine the positive impact TOMS could have if it were to use every decision in its supply chain to address the causes of poverty. Sebastian Fries of Toms, responded that TOMS is not in the business of poverty alleviation.”

·         TOMS are currently produced in China, Ethiopia and Argentina.

·         TOMS have been accused of favoring evangelical groups as giving partners.

·       Haiti with roughly a population of 10 million, of which 77% live in absolute poverty, equating to less than two dollars a day US. TOMS is set to open a factory there in 2015, employing only fifty people.

·         It is said TOMS should view the fair trade, bio material business model of SoleRebels.

·        Time magazine has recognized that charitable gifts from abroad can distort developing markets and undermine local businesses by creating an entirely unsustainable aid-based economy.

Nationally, TOMS has done well by promoting its brand through social media and college campus networks. Yet through the years TOMS has drawn away from its locally owned businesses giving major attention towards large corporate retail locations such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, essentially putting small community based businesses out in the cold due to volume based contracts and discrepancy based return policies that favor a much more powerful buyers. Small community based retailers are left with shoes that can’t be returned, previous year styles and limited selections. All which do nothing to support a local economy. In a disclosed interview, a local retailer confessed a story of being shipped “new” TOMS that carried the Neiman Marcus store label, when TOMS has been quite strict about their NO return policy.

Mycoskie whom lives in Los Angeles amongst the aristocrats, stars and ever so ever drought (both in water and spirit) hopes that TOMS Marfa  will bring greater inspiration to consumer Americans to give all they have to developing nations that suffer disease, starvation and corruption. It’s nearly impossible to clean up the effects of colonization; the many centuries of rape, slavery, pilferage, death, suffering, manipulation and occupation. Americans should feel guilt in their lifestyle as they are a direct product of all the past. As well Mycoskie wants all Americans and World to know the good and love in the hearts given by the people of Texas and Christian faith. Under the saving grace and salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the full Globe can be brought to a new day of love and surrender. So long as you buy TOMS shoes, and endorse Christ as your savior, welcoming the “white” him into your heart. So help you God, otherwise you’re damned to hell.

This life evangelist and art activist says, quoting from a wise woman that resides in Texas. “Creativity is the salvation of mankind.” Keyword: Creativity. I couldn’t agree more. So suggestive and subjective. Through this installation, really take the time to open up and examine yourself. Examine where you came from, your ideas of community, wealth and sharing. Examine health, locality, nurturing the youth, education, intellect and both the ideas of developing and advanced nations. Examine the blueprint of life and the impact you have on that. Examine nature, become it. And think – find that love – feel… and ask yourself; how do I truly make the world a better place and provide stewardship to this Planet we call Earth? Perhaps then discovering the God in you, the Universe, Cosmo, the unraveling of time, DNA, and what brought you here to this heaven in the first place; a transformative state, the magic of life will begin.

Welcome to your APOCALYPSE?

 http://9271977.com/biggerthanthebrand

This statement from the Ukrainian Autonomous Workers Union was posted on Avtonomia February 19th, 2014, just 3 days before Yanukovich stepped down. Whether Yanukovich or the Opposition prevailed, they predicted that there will be nothing good for the workers in either of the two directions.

Ukraine Maidan - Autonomous Workers Union

 ”We cannot call the proletariat to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the Opposition and its interests. “

 

Statement about the situation in Ukraine from AWU (Autonomous Workers Union).

Civil war began in Ukraine yesterday. A less than peaceful demonstration clashed with state defense forces and divisions formed by the adherents of the current government near the Vekhovna Rada (Parliament). On February 18, police, together with the paramilitaries, arranged a bloodbath in the governmental quarters during which numerous demonstrators were killed. Butchers from the special divisions finished off arrestees. Deputies of the ruling Party of Regions and their bourgeois lackeys from the “Communist” Party of Ukraine fled from the Parliament through an underground tunnel. The vote for constitutional amendments, intended to limit presidential power, did not take place after all. After their defeat in the governmental quarters, demonstrators retreated to the Maidan. At 6 P.M., the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Internal Security Bureau (SBU) declared an ultimatum to the protesters, demanding their dispersal. At 8:00 P.M., special police forces and paramilitaries, equipped with water cannons and armored vehicles, began their raid on the barricades. Police, the special divisions of SBU, as well as pro-governmental troopers made use of their firearms. However, the protesters managed to burn down one of the armored police vehicles, and it turned out that governmental forces were not the only ones in possession of guns. According to the data released by the police (on February, 19, 4 p.m.), 24 people were killed: 14 protesters and 10 policemen. Thirty-one policemen received gunshot wounds. Even if their estimate of losses on the side of the police is accurate, the number of victims among the protesters was definitely diminished. Maidan’s medics cite at least 30 killed.

One gets an impression that President Yanukovich was certain that by morning the resistance would be crushed, and so arranged for the Opposition leaders to meet with him at 11 A.M. on February, 19. As the negotiations did not take place, we can conclude that the government’s plan had failed. During the unsuccessful operation to clear off the Maidan, the citizens of several western regions occupied administrative buildings and chased away the police. At the moment the police, as an institution, do not exist in L’viv. According to the SBU, protesters have captured 1500 firearms. In less than 24 hours, the central government lost control over a section of the country. Right now, the only solution may be the stepping down of the President, however, that would mean that he, his family, and their multiple acolytes and dependents, which form a rather large group in the ruling government, would lose their source of profit. It is likely that they will not accept this.

In the event of Yanukovich’s victory, he will become a ruler for life, and the rest will be doomed to a life in which they face poverty, corruption, and the abolition of their rights and freedoms. Rebellious regions are now experiencing massive restorations of “the constitutional order.” It is not improbable that the suppression of such “terroristic groups” in Galicia will have the character of ethnic cleansing. Mad Orthodox radicals from the Party of Regions have, for a long time, seen the conservative Greco-Catholics as the aids of “Eurosodom.” Such an “antiterrorist” operation would be carried out with the assistance of the army, as the Minister of Defense, Lebedev, has already announced.

Today, Ukraine experiences a tragedy, but the real horror will start when the government breaks down the opposition and “stabilizes” the situation. Signs of the preparation of a mass-cleansing operation became noticeable as far back as early February, when criminal cases were opened against the Maidan self-defense divisions as illegal military formations. According to Article 260 of the Criminal Codex, members of such divisions may face imprisonment for 2 to 15 years. This means that the government was planning to put more than 10 thousand citizens behind bars. In the regions, as well as in the capital, special “death divisions” are acting as a supplement to the usual police forces. For example, responsibility for burning alive a Maidan activist from Zaporozhye was claimed by such a “death division,” calling itself “Sebastopol Ghosts.” They announced that they are ready to subject Maidan participants in the East to similar treatment.

In the event of the Opposition’s victory life would be far from perfect as well. Although fascists form the minority of the protesters, they are quite active and are not the sharpest tools in the shed. A few days of truce in mid-February lead to conflicts between the rightist groups, resulting in several pointless and violent confrontations, as well as attacks on ideological ‘heretics.’ Besides the fascists, old and experienced Oppositionists will also attempt to seize power. Many of them already have some experience with working in government and they are no strangers to corruption, favoritism, and the use of budget funds for personal purposes.

The “concessions” that the Opposition is demanding in Parliament right now are pitiful. Even the Constitution of 2004, that they are trying to restore, gives too much power to the President (control over the riot police and special forces is one example), and the proportional electoral system, with closed listings, hands parliament over to the control of a group of dictator-like leaders, who can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Together with the President they will rule without obstructions.

Their second demand – the appointment of a Cabinet of Ministers composed of Opposition leaders – is altogether shameful. Are people risking their health, freedom, and life for the sake of someone becoming a prime-minister, and someone-else getting an opportunity to control the flow of corrupt-money? This is the logical outcome of preferring pathos-ridden conversations on “the nation,” and focusing on vertical structures tied to the same hated politicians, instead of developing ground-up organizations around financial and material interests. This is the main lesson that Maidan is yet to learn.
However, we will be able to apply this lesson in practice only if the current government loses the battle.

The Opposition inside and outside of the Parliament is broken into multiple hostile and competing factions. If it wins, the ensuing regime will be unstable and lacking in coherency. It will be as bourgeois and repressive as was the Party of Regions before their first show of force against the protesters in November.

The guilt for the spilled blood is partially on the EU which gladly receives money from the corrupt scumbags in Ukraine, Russia, and several African countries, while diligently neglecting to check the source of such “investments.” It is only after seeing the dead bodies of the victims of such “investors,” that it gets so very sentimental and full of humanitarian pathos.

This is not our war, but the victory of the government will mean the defeat of the workers. The victory of the Opposition also does not promise anything good. We cannot call the proletariat to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the Opposition and its interests. We think that the extent of participation in this conflict is a matter of personal choice. However, we encourage all to avoid being drafted to serve in the internal military forces controlled by Yanukovich, and to sabotage by all means available the actions of the government.

No gods, no masters, no nations, no borders!

Kiev organization AWU (Autonomous Workers Union).

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot Collective Open Statement Release, Feb 6, 2014
(English version via Global RevolutionOriginal Russian version here)

We, the anonymous participants of Pussy Riot, would like to say a huge thank you to all who supported us during this time, those who demanded the release of our participants, those who sympathized with us and share our ideology. We are very grateful to you all, we deeply appreciate and have respect of everyone who contributed to the overall support of the collective of Pussy Riot in this difficult period of time for us.

And our efforts were not in vain: Putin still had to bend to the pressure of international public opinion and give freedom to Nadya and Masha.

So, on 23 of December was for us a real treat — Liberation Day of prisoners of conscience and the victory of the freedom of the entire collective of Pussy Riot.

But Amnesty is certainly not the limit of our dreams. We demand justice – the complete abolition of the sentence and the recognition of the illegal case against Pussy Riot. And we hope that the restoration of justice happens February 21 – the anniversary of our fervent words stated inside the CCS with the song “Dear Mary, Mother of God, Chase Putin Away, Banish Him!”.

We are very excited about the release of Masha and Nadya. We are proud of their resistance against the harsh trials that they endured, their determination by all means and continuation of struggle began during their stay in the colonies.

Unfortunately for us, they are so deeply involved with the problems in Russian prisons, they seemed to completely forgot about the aspirations and ideals of our group: feminism, separatist resistance struggle against authoritarianism and the cult of personality, because they have faced this unjust punishment.

It’s no secret that Masha and Nadya have left the group, and will no longer be joining in on actions. Now they are engaged in a new project. Now they are protecting the rights of prisoners.

And as many of you know, human rights is incompatible with radical political statements and provocative art-works that raises the conflict topics in contemporary society. As well as, gender conformity is not compatible with radical feminism.

Human rights work cannot afford to be in a spotlight of criticism under rules and regulations that underlie the modern devices of a patriarchal society, because it is an institutional part of society and may not go beyond the established rules within.

Yes we lost two friends, two ideological fellow members, but the world has acquired two brave, interesting, controversial human rights defenders – fighters for the rights of prisoners in Russian prisons.

Unfortunately, we can not congratulate them with this event in person because they refuse to have any contact with us in our World. But we look on at their choice and sincerely wish them success in their new endeavors.

At the moment we are seeing an outrageous conflict for us also:
on the one hand Nadya and Masha now have huge media attention and attention of the international community, they can give their public opinion at press conference to a crowd of journalists, people hear each word, but so far no one hears them and what they say.

In almost every interview they repeat that they have left the group, they no longer represent Pussy Riot, and are acting on their own behalf and that they would no longer pursue provocative art actions etc. But article headlines so far appear with the name of the group, all of their public appearances announces them as Pussy Riot and announcements of withdrawal by them is interpreted as termination of the activities of the entire group of Pussy Riot, ignoring the fact that at the pulpit and solea there were not two but five women wearing Balaclavas and at the initial meeting was our full participants of eight.

The conclusions of misunderstandings was the announcement of their acceptance speech for Amnesty International as the first legal performance of Pussy Riot in a concert at the Barklay Center in New York, which in itself is simply outrageous, after all, everyone knows that Pussy Riot never speaks at legal concert venues, with a preliminary advertisement of appearance.

In addition, on the Billboard of the event, instead of the names of Nadya and Masha was an image of a man in a balaclava with and electric guitar and under the inscription Pussy Riot and organizers cleverly advertised for people to buy expensive tickets.

All this is contrary to the principles of the Pussy Riot:
*We are a women’s separatist group, so a man can not be representative of on a Billboard or in real life;
*We are left anti-capitalist ideology and therefore we never take money for views of works, all performance clips are distributed free of charge on the Internet and audience performances are always done by seemingly random people and more importantly, we do not sell tickets to a “show”.
*Only illegal irregular appearances and performances in unexpected places, not at expected and intended for actions in public places and share pieces and clips of actions – on open public sources.

We are anonymous because we oppose the cult of personality, against the emerging hierarchy, including on the grounds of external data, age or other social characteristics. We cover our faces because we are against the use of a woman’s face as a brand for the promotion of any goods or services.

Combining the image of a protest feminist punk band and law-abiding defenders spoils the image both for us and the new role of Nadya and Masha.

So hear them finally!

Please treat them with respect for their choice.

Since we now find ourselves with Nadya and Masha on opposite sides, disconnect us. Remember, we’re not Nadya and Masha, they are no longer Pussy Riot.

The Collective, “Free Pussy Riot” has ended and now we, as a collective provocative artist group, have the ethical right to preserve art practice, name and visual identity apart from other organizations.

Anonymous Pussy Riot:
Cat, Garaja, Fara, Puck, Seraph and Shumaker”
Blog of the feminist punk band PUSSY RIOT: February 6th, 2014, posted 02:59 am

To Recapture The Dream by Julius Lester 1969

“We Must not mistake an organization, a gun, or even an ideology for a revolution. They are only a means towards it. Revolution is first and foremost a question of morality, a question of values, a question of the inner life of people.” - Julius Lester, “To Recapture The Dream,”.Liberation AugSep1969, pp26-30

“The War Here and Abroad: CUNY and U.S. Empire”
Wednesday, December 4
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth ave, rm 5414
3:00-5:00pm

RSVP/share: https://www.facebook.com/events/581438331904816/
A panel and discussion with Graduate Center professors David Harvey and Ashley Dawson, student Faris Al-Ahmad Zwiran, and Ali Issa of the War Resisters League and Jadaliyya.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, the Middle Eastern Studies Organization, Free University NYC, the Critical Palestine Studies Association, and the International Socialist Organization–CUNY Graduate Center.

Among the issues at hand:

1. As commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq from June 2004, Petraeus collaborates with U.S. military officers who organize commando units that kill upwards of 3,000 people a month and torture many others in secret locations.

2. Petraeus directs the CIA, which oversees U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen, among other countries, from Sept. 2011 to Nov. 2012. In 2011, there were an estimated 64 such attacks in Pakistan, with 435 casualties; in 2012, 64 and 304, respectively.

3. CUNY hires Petraeus to teach at Macaulay.

4. The NYPD brutalizes CUNY students protesting Petraeus’s hire.

5. CCNY seizes the Morales/Shakur Community and Student Center, pepper-sprays an alumnus, suspends two students, and turns them over to the law.

6. Meanwhile, a right-wing think tank urges the military to recruit CUNY students.

7. And ROTC returns, after being pushed out in 1971. Its headquarters? CCNY.

Flyer attached. See you Wednesday

War Here Abroad - CUNY and US Empire - flyer
twitter: #CUNYwar

[ originally posted on http://opineseason.com/2013/10/29/open-letter-to-the-walker-arts-center-12-years-a-slave-steve-mcqueen]

Open Letter to The Walker Art Center
October 29, 2013

By Chaun Webster, Jeremiah Bey Ellison, Arianna Genis, Shannon Gibney and Valerie Deus

To Whom It May Concern at The Walker Art Center,

We have learned that on October 30 The Walker Art Center will be showing the film, 12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen, and followed by a talk with the director on Nov 9. This film is perhaps one of the most honest and visceral visual representations of the horrors that were part and parcel of the institution of slavery. Furthermore from the beginning, 12 Years a Slave has been, from its firsthand account, to the writer, to the director and leading actor, one of the most highly recognized, fully Black cinematic collaborations in the history of film.

We are concerned that though this film is being shown, that peoples of African descent, whose ancestors’ lives and histories were disrupted by the slaveocracy, will be largely underrepresented in the audience. Our position is that equity is not just about the diversity in the art being shown but the material work of creating greater access to exhibitions to ensure that audiences are representative of the subject matter.

We understand that these events were publicized to members of The Walker and on The Walker’s website. As you may or may not know, when marketing strategies are limited in media and points of origin, the race, class, gender and other layers of social location are also limited.

Within the Walker Art Center’s Mission Statement the institution is described as “a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences” and having programs which “examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures and communities.” Which communities do you seek to inspire and what questions do you seek to examine with the creative expression of artists?

Over the years we have become acutely aware of the way that art institutions are guided by an exceptionalism that will welcome works of art by select artists of African descent and other historically marginalized groups but will largely have little to no relationship with members of those communities. This in no small way contributes to the issue of representative audiences.

Representative audiences insure that narratives are not placed in a vacuum where art institutions can be absolved of responsibility to the cultures and traditions that those stories come from. When white-dominated spaces, often of a homogenous class, bring work like McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave in, they in many ways manage the narrative and the way that it gets interpreted. In these spaces the participant/viewers are freed of any responsibility, social or otherwise, to historically marginalized groups and in so doing re-inscribe the roles of colonialism in art production, distribution, and consumption. In other words, in this case, African art can be present and maybe even a few “exceptional” African artists, but by and large African bodies are unwelcome.

In light of all of this we are calling on The Walker Arts Center to recognize their exclusive practice of not intentionally involving historically marginalized groups at the table for this occasion. This recognition can in part take the form of publishing this letter as an addendum to the material circulated at the screening of 12 Years a Slave and director talk.

We urge The Walker to open up more ticket space for both the screening and the discussion with Steve McQueen. This ticket space would be freely given to reputable organizations of our choice that work with underrepresented youth.

We urge The Walker to arrange another screening and talk with the director that we would host in a community space of our choosing.

Lastly we are calling on The Walker to host a panel discussion at The Walker where we can convene a public conversation on art and social responsibility as it relates to the artist and art institutions.

The tremendous contributions of Africans, on the continent, in the United States, and other parts of the diaspora cannot be understated. These contributions stand in chorus with that of other historically marginalized groups whose communities continue to be denied access to tables carved from their own wood.

The Walker can serve a role in equity as it relates to the production, distribution, and consumption of art in the Twin Cities, but that will require a resolve to listen to its diverse constituents who represent a variety of cultural and ideological perspectives. We write this not as disgruntled individuals wanting access to one event. We write this as a collective who are asserting their voice to hold the institutions in their community accountable to a higher responsibility of service. It is our belief that this is not only possible but imperative as we move forward.

 

 

Letter from OWS Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies Group posted on Embros website along with others like Raoul Vaneigem and Jenny Marketou. It goes without saying that any government that seeks to criminalize and arrest artist along with members from the supporting community is a government that should be declared illegal and it’s acts of repression should be condemned. For culture is the one thing in life that requires nothing and gives everything. And perhaps this is one of the most threatening aspect of art which governments seek to crush within its citizen.  Furthermore it is through cultural platforms like Embros that the people and culture will persist in this transitional anti-capitalist period of Athenian history as well as in other parts of the world…

 

Letter in Support of Embros  from Arts & Labor Alternative Economies
November 12, 2013, New York

We stand in solidarity with the Embros Theater community and condemn the persecution of the two performers arrested for rehearsing in the theater on October 31, 2013.  All charges brought against these individuals should be dropped and their court cases should be dismissed. [1]

Artists Against The Police State

The work that is currently being done at Embros embodies some of the most fundamental aspects of fostering a creative and responsive cultural space in which alternatives to the current system can be explored [2]. In this time of urgency and economic crisis around the world, Embros is forging new directions that should be enthusiastically supported and celebrated by the local and national government rather than aggressively repressed and threatened.

Culture is a basic sign of being alive, a space of reflection and growth, and most importantly it is the place where the processes that define democracy such as freedom of speech,  expression, and criticality, is apparent in more ways than a set of law books can ever describe. Governments from Russia to China, United States and Europe [3] seek to crush within its citizens the freedom of cultural expression. It has become apparent that the democratic, life-expressing aspects of art are being systematically repressed and commodified into pure spectacle and entertainment by these governments, institutional bureaucrats, and their capitalist cohorts. We will not stand-by as they reduce culture to an admission fee, VIP bonus, or something you can buy at the gift shop. We wish to dance, to perform, to visualize, to speak, all without being restricted by the amount of money we have or the so-called credentials and permits that these institutions have invented. Because for us, this is true freedom, this is true a democracy that no currency can equate.

Embros helps to provide much needed free and open community space that brings people from all walks of life together to learn, engage, and create. Therefore, we ask artists and communities around the world to look closely and continue to follow these events as you would a canary in a coal mine, so that we may provide support for artists and cultural spaces when similar events that arise. Furthermore, these instances should provide a lens to reflect on the situation in our cities and to better understand the mechanisms of cultural control, repression, cooptation, and exploitation so that we can continue, through this solidarity network, to expose and ultimately overcome this political, economic, and cultural crises that has become the marker of our times.

Arts and Labor Alternative Economies
Maria Juliana Byck, Emily Baierl, Antonio Serna and Laurel Ptak
www.whatdowedonow.info
www.artsandlabor.org/alternative-economies

[ photo above: Arts & Labor March in Solidarity with Quebec Students (March Against Anti-Protest Laws) and Protesting the Arrest of Takeshi Miyakawa (‘I (heart) NY’ light artist) May 22, 2012. Photo by: Stacy Lanyon]

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[1] Communique from Embros on the Arrest of 2 performers. October 30, 2013
www.embrostheater.blogspot.gr/2013/10/blog-post_31.html

[2] On October 19, 2013, as part of ‘What Do We Do Now?’ the first annual Alternatives Fair in New York City, we invited members of Embros Theater to participate in an international panel on autonomous spaces along with members from other autonomous spaces in Mexico. Through this panel we hoped to learn how autonomously run cultural spaces function to provide a more horizontal way to operate while remaining inclusive to all members in the community. From this exchange we learned how Embros’ organizing by way of a weekly general assembly has become a dynamic and invaluable community-run space in which creativity and innovation is encouraged to thrive.

‘What Do We Do Now? Alternative Fair’ was organized by Alternative Economies, a subgroup of OWS Arts and Labor. Alternative Economies working group explores alternative methods of sustaining the livelihood of artists, art-workers, and other communities interested in alternatives to the current system. We view the concept of labor through the lenses of time, choice, and value, and we research the ways that ideas like the commons, solidarity economies, precarious worker centers, and participatory budgeting can nurture more sustainable art worlds. Believing that vibrant creative communities come from the bottom up, we encourage relationships based on mutual aid rather than competition, and we advocate for cultural institutions rooted in a framework of social, economic, and environmental justice.

[3] Links to similar crack down on autonomous cultural spaces and artists:
- ZAM is Culture, Eviction of ZAM by Milan Police, May 2013
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2013/05/zam-e-cultura/
-Footage of Police Eviction of ZAM w/ minute by minute account, May 2013
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2013/05/zona-autonoma-milano-eviction-today
- Missing Pussy Riot Inmate Turns Up at a Tuberculosis Hospital, Nov 14, 2013
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/missing-pussy-riot-inmate-turns-up-at-a-tuberculosis-hospital-20131114
- Extreme show of force by of Swiss police at Basel, May 2013
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2013/06/artists-activists-make-art-come-alive
- “Art Makes Money” Communique from ‘Basel Will Be Occupied’ after the Art Basel raid:
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2013/06/communique-art-makes-money
-NY Police Arrest of artist in Brooklyn for Decorating the Street  “I (heart)nyc” bags, May 2012
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2012/05/ny-goes-hard-on-street-art/