We are not surprised.

We are not surprised.

We are artists, arts administrators, assistants, curators, directors, editors, educators, gallerists, interns, scholars, students, writers, and more—workers of the art world—and we have been groped, undermined, harassed, infantilized, scorned, threatened, and intimidated by those in positions of power who control access to resources and opportunities. We have held our tongues, threatened by power wielded over us and promises of institutional access and career advancement.

We are not surprised when curators offer exhibitions or support in exchange for sexual favors. We are not surprised when gallerists romanticize, minimize, and hide sexually abusive behavior by artists they represent. We are not surprised when a meeting with a collector or a potential patron becomes a sexual proposition. We are not surprised when we are retaliated against for not complying. We are not surprised when Knight Landesman gropes us in the art fair booth while promising he’ll help us with our career. Abuse of power comes as no surprise.

This open letter stems from a group discussion about sexual harassment within our field,

© Jenny Holzer, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


It is the system

Jacques Rancière on the representative democracy, professional politicians and the french election. Applies to much western democracies. via verso.

Édouard Louis echoes critiquing the system, of a failed Left, from which the far Right seems hopeful. via guardian.

Journalism can help with a deeper probe of the politics, numbers and language of the system. via On the Media.

Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a guide (as a PDF) that gives travelers the facts they need in order to prepare for border crossings while protecting their digital information.

From the guide:

At the U.S. border. Agents may ask travelers to unlock their devices, provide their device passwords, or disclose their social media information. This presents a no-win dilemma. If a traveler complies, then the agents can scrutinize and copy their sensitive digital information. If a traveler declines, then the agents can seize their devices, subject the traveler to additional questioning and detention, and otherwise escalate the encounter.

Border agents cannot deny a U.S. citizen admission to the country. However, if a foreign visitor declines, an agent may deny them entry. If a lawful permanent resident declines, agents may raise complicated questions about their continued status as a resident.

Your response to this dilemma may vary according to your risk assessment. However, all travelers should stay calm and respectful, should not lie to border agents or physically obstruct them, and should plan for this dilemma ahead of time. Try to document or politely ask for the names, badge numbers, and agencies of the government officers you interact with.

Rosi Braidotti – Organize

“DON’T AGONIZE, ORGANIZE!” by Rosi Braidotti.

Braidotti argues for a need to form an inclusive “We”.

We find ourselves in a “democratic” political regime where factual truths play no role at all: in Brexit, as in the Trump campaign, people were shamelessly lied to. What mattered most to them was expression of negative emotions and violent passions, like hatred, intolerance, rage, cynicism and opportunism. As a teacher, I believe firmly that my task is to fight untruths and injustices with the instrument of critical reason, but also by speaking truth to power both in classrooms, and in the public sphere. Lies are lies, no matter how many may actually believe them, or much backing they get from the powers-that-be. It is important to advance a radical critique of the vulnerability of representative democracy as a system, starting from two main sources. On the one hand a critical reappraisal of collective action aimed at affirmative forms of social and ethical interaction and the respect for freedom, and on the other hand the historical experiences of feminisms. We need to move beyond dialectical oppositions, beyond the logic of violent antagonism, to develop an operational politics of affirmation. This requires accurate political cartographies of the power relations that we inhabit and by which we are structured. That’s hard work.

More than ever we need forms of political opposition that are rich in alternatives, concrete in propositions and attached to everyday projects. This is not a simple or pain-free process, of course, but anger alone is not a project, as Hillary Clinton so lucidly put it. Anger needs to be transformed into the power to act; it needs to become a constitutive force addressed not only “against,” but also in favor of something. It is obvious that Trump and Johnson represent the pit of negativity of our era and that, faced by their dishonesty and violence, we will echo Deleuze and say: No, thank you, we would prefer not to follow you. The crucial question however is: who and how many are “we”? “We” may well be against the alliance of neoliberalism with multiple fundamentalisms, but we need to compose together a plane of agreement about what our shared hopes and aspirations are. We need to agree on what we want to build together as an alternative. Critique and creation work hand-in-hand

The way to handle these issues is to start from the project of composing a “we” that is grounded, accountable and active.

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr. in St. Augustine, Florida

Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy in St. Augustine, Florida

Martin Luther King Jr. in St. Augustine, Florida
June 12, 1964

On June 11, 1964, Dr. King and several other activists were arrested for attempting to integrate the Monson Motor Lodge. When interviewed during his brief incarceration, King pledged to challenge segregation in St. Augustine “even if it takes all summer.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Center - Miami

Miami-Dade Junior College. February 15, 1972.

Even the dead won’t be safe… via itself.blog
Avowed socialist… via Jacobin