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August 2013

Abandoned Subway Stations in New York City

David-Pirmann-NYCSubway.org-91st-Street-Subway-Station-AbandonedUntapped Cities has a great post on 7 NYC abandoned subway stations. Eerie and mysterious, these stations found themselves unneeded over the span of years. Some of them are time capsules of wonderful graffiti such as the #1 train's 91st street station, visible to passengers as they head uptown or down while on the train.

I recall going to high school in the 1970s and seeing the most amazing subway stations covered floor to ceiling with graffiti. I wish I had a digital camera in those days so I coupld capture all of it. Some of my favorite stations were 145th Street and 157th Street. Those subway stations are still in operation but they are all renovated and "cleaned up".I guess you could call it progress but I miss those gorgeous stations.

Project Neon!


Project Neon is a tumblr blog that celebrates old New York City neon signs. Beautiful glowing sentinals of the past, they are fast disappearing. Catch them here.

About Project Neon

Follow a girl as she follows the glow in search of New York's best neon signs. Every week I'll visit another one of New York City's neon-clad establishments and post a photo & story, and tell you more about why I'm traipsing around this metropolis in the cold & dark to visit pharmacies, shoe repair stores, and bars with good neon signs to buy cough syrup, get my shoes repaired or have a drink.

Yarn Bombed Bridge in Pittsburg


The Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburg has been decorated with beautiful knitted tapestries, done by over 1,800 volunteers and team members to celebrate the city’s history. This large scale public art project, entitled Knit the Bridge, brings together several art communities across Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania.


Read more on PSFK.

Surfing the Trash Filled Waves in Indonesia

I post this without comment... only to say that while the photography is brilliant, the situation is horrible.

Once known for its pristine beaches, Untung Jawa Island, just an hour ride from Jakarta, is now known as ‘trash island’ with hundreds of tons of plastic, styrofoam, and the occasional dead body washing ashore, according to The Asia Sentinel. Indonesia is a paradise for surfers that travel to remote islands to surf perfect waves but the idilic scenario you’d expect is ruined here with the repulsive debris floating around like the native fauna.

Hawaiian based surf photographer Zak Noyle captured in stunning shots of how the ocean swell brought massive surges of trash when he was shooting Indonesian surfer Dede Surinaya in a remote bay near Java.

Surfing trash filled waves Surfing trash filled waves


Artists Need to Get Paid For Their Work

How many times have you been asked to pay for submission to a gallery? Or pay for "hanging" fees? Or for marketing materials? Or for inclusion into a book? It costs a lot for someone to be an artist! The economic model is really not very good. Which is why we usually say that being an artist is driven more by passion than by economics. Is it possible to carve out a living wage for your work as an artist? Maybe. Here are some suggestions from Alexis Clements of Hyperallergic:

1. Traditional Labor Organizing and Contracts

Artists’ guilds morphed into labor unions as part of larger national cross-industry labor struggles, many of which still exist today. Their primary mode of ensuring that members get the money and services is through standardized contracts and working to create closed or mostly closed shops (i.e. only union members can work in certain places) or preventing union members from working in non-union establishments. Many musicians, actors, writers, people working in film, people working behind the scenes on stage, and some museum employees are in unions today. You can view a sample/standard Actors Equity Contracts for union members here.

2. Lobbying / Professional Associations

Organizations such as the League of Independent Theater New York (LITNY), are focusing on influencing local politics by lobbying politicians directly. Their list of political demands focuses mainly on organization-level needs, but they are explicit in seeking affordable housing for working artists, and their demand for affordable facilities would have a direct impact on rehearsal costs which are often born by individual artists working across theater, dance, and music.

3. Certifications / Change from Within

Detail from W.A.G.E. survey results. View the full survey report here.

Detail from W.A.G.E. survey results. View the full survey report here.

One group that has received a lot of interest in the US over the past couple years is Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.). Founded and led by artists, W.A.G.E. has adopted a somewhat novel model. Rather than work from the outside in, they are proposing a certification program whereby willing visual arts and performance organizations would agree to abide by “ethical payment practices,” which amount to a custom artist fee and production support structure based on the budget and level of activity of each organization. This model has similarities to the work of the Canadian group CARFAC, which managed to get minimum payments to visual artists whose work is being exhibited written into copyright law in the 1980s. But currently W.A.G.E.’s version relies on organizations opting in or large groups of artists refusing to exhibit in spaces that don’t have certification.

4. Revolutionary Demands

A fourth method of seeking access to money and services, or, perhaps more importantly, decision-making power, is to put forth a set of revolutionary demands. One of the most well-known examples of this in the US in the 20th century was the Art Workers’ Coalition (AWC). Though it was short-lived, operating under that banner between 1969 and 1971, the AWC did put together a compelling list of demands that not only addressed payment to artists for use of their work, but also things like one-third representation of artists on all museum board, representation of artists of color on staff and in galleries, equal representation of female artists, and perhaps most revolutionary, the decentralization of museums.

5. Going Off the Grid / Alternative Economies

From cover of OWS Arts & Labor publication. Download the full publication here.

From cover of OWS Arts & Labor publication. Download the full publication here.

With a similarly revolutionary viewpoint, Occupy Wall Street’s Arts & Labor working group has, over the past two years, been engaging in serious questions about how to rethink and rebuild the contemporary relationship between art and labor. Ultimately, according to the OWS Principles of Solidarity, they hope to “imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality.” And so, Arts & Labor is committed to looking at alternatives to capitalism that don’t always associate dollars with labor. Their latest publication, What Do We Do Now: Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies Resource Guide for Living in New York City, is filled with links to organizations or resources focused on everything from affordable housing and squatting to free and alternative health care to worker cooperatives and barter networks.

It’s All in the Mix

The reality is, of course, that these five categories are not really distinct or separate — they intertwine and overlap, and each relies on a viewpoint that believes the opaque and laissez-faire realities of the current arts landscape are not only detrimental to individual artists, but that they are part of a larger system that is detrimental to all people. In the coming months I’ll be doing more research on these ideas and others and in September will publish a follow-up piece with more specific examples of models that are working for US artists.

Alexis will be facilitating a class on this subject, titled Rights, Demands, and Radical Reimaginings: Art and Labor in the US at the Hyperallergic offices starting August 27. Registration info is here. Hyperallergic readers can get $15 off with the code HYPER.


Brooklyn Street Art Newsleeter for this Week


Street Walls and a Boat Too, Alice Pasquini Paints Around London

Alice Solo and New Video of Group Painting on a Moored Boat
New work from Alice Pasquini in Shoreditch, Sydenham, Camden, and boatside along the River Thames where mud boots are required and someone to hold your ladder is appreciated .
Jessica Stewart shares these images with BSA readers of Alice in distinctly different areas of London, ...

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BSA Film Friday: 08.02.13

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: Dylan on Deitch: Reinventing the Experience of Art, and SANER MXDF .
BSA Special Feature: Dylan on Deitch:
Reinventing the Experience of Art
“The best art re-invents art for the next generation, but in addition, it references the long tradition ...

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Various, Gould and CHULA Pay Homage to Magic Johnson in Berlin

Various and Gould have been hitting up billboards in Berlin this summer purely out of the love of the sport. Today take a look at the homage they are doing to a basketball legend – with a V&G twist of course.
“We are aware that Johnson is wearing the wrong team colors,” says Various while recounting ...

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Wall \Therapy : Street Art Final Shots From Rochester

Diagnosis One: America’s deflated rustbelt cities can expect a deteriorated dust bowl demeanor until bankruptcy, followed by tumbleweeds.
Diagnosis Two: Street Art and graffiti are inextricably entwined with and contributing factors for broken windows, societal disarray, economic and moral decay of the aforementioned cities.
Both are failed and need to be re-examined.

Francey. Detail A. WALL\THERAPY. Rochester, NY. ...

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New from Lodz in Poland; ETAM Crew and MCity

New Additions to the Great Open Gallery of Polish “Urban Forms”
As an update to our posting a few weeks ago about Urban Forms we have here some exclusive images of new work in Lodz from some local Street ETAM crew and M-City.
The ETAM crew are Przemysław Blejzyk (“Sainer”) and Matthew Gapski (“Bezt”) and are both ...

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ROA Diary : New Work from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and Panama

“I felt an intimacy with them…bordering on frenzy [that] must accompany my steps through life,” said the celebrated John James Audubon, the French-American naturalist and painter more than 200 years ago of his deep love for birds that began as a teenager and lead to his illustrations of the still revered book The Birds of ...

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Images of the Week: 07.28.13

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring bACK eAST, Bask, Dabs & Myla, HDL (Hygenic Dress League), Judith Supine, Mr. Toll, Pose, Revs, RVMP, Sean Mahan, Tom Fruin, and Windsor.
Top image is by Miss Me. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miss Me. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miss Me. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sean Mahan. ...

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Labrona and Friends: Non-Lazy Days Of Summer in Montreal

Canadian Street Artist/graffiti artist/fine artist Labrona has been maximizing the beautiful summer weather by doing some murals at the festival in Montreal (our coverage here) and along with Mu-art. Since it can get rather dull and old when you are painting by yourself all the time, he also hit a wall with buddies Produkt and ...

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Wall \ Therapy 2013 Friday Update 07.26.13

Skunk in the tunnel. ROA is back in Rochester.
But he’s not alone – a number of new artists arrived mid week to get the aerosol festivities reinvigorated. Not that they were flagging.
WALL\THERAPY has been up on a record number of walls all week – a rolling panoply of artists and organizers and volunteers and paint ...

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BSA Film Friday: 07.26.13

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: Bomb It 2 by Jon Reiss launches and Sampo Graffiti: Ignoto from Brazil. 
BSA Special Feature: Bomb It 2
by director Jon Reiss

About to debut in August and through the fall, the sequel to the global graffiti documentary Bomb ...

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Sarah C. Rutherford Flies High at Wall\Therapy

One criticism leveled at Street Art events around the world (and they are around the world now) is that sometimes the invited artists work is stylistically or thematically so foreign to the local taste that the piece does not resonate, or worse, it rattles nerves. A seamless cultural match is not likely when you are ...

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Wall\Therapy 2013 Wednesday Update 7.24.13

Conor Harrington’s right hook is emblematic of the impact that the huge number of artists are having on Rochester right now for WALL\THERAPY. “It’s been a very well organized event and painting side by side with this line up of artists has been a blast,” says NYC graffiti veteran and globetrotter DAZE as he improvises ...

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Wall\Therapy 2013 Tuesday Update 7.22.13

The sun is not as hot as it has been, but don’t tell that to the Conor from Cork (Ireland), who is turning as red as a tomato nonetheless.  Not that he minds. “I love the way random people say hello to you in the street in Rochester,” he says on his Twitter feed from ...

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WALL\THERAPY 2013 Daily Checkup and Scan of Founder Ian Wilson

WALL\THERAPY began in earnest this weekend with a Friday kickoff party that welcomed arriving artists and the local community together and then jumped directly into the making of art with many murals going up on walls around town in Rochester simultaneously Saturday and Sunday. The dual pronged focus of WALL\THERAPY is a mural festival that ...

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Massive Installation by Isaac Cordal in Nantes “Follow The Leaders”

New Installation Expands His Critique of Global Capitalism and Its Soldiers
Street Artist and Public Artist Isaac Cordal has just finished his most expansive installation of his little corporate and military men to date in Nantes, the city once known as the European capital of the human slave trade. “Follow the Leaders” is “a critical reflection ...

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