[The Seven by Nine Squares home page]
[Art Strike 1990-1993]
This text was drafted immediately before 1990 and is being distributed
from P.O. Box 22142, Baltimore MD 21203. The Art Strike Action
Committee which operated from this P.O. Box has ceased to "exist" with
the beginning of the strike and will suspend its actions of public
agitation and debate over "political" and "
The P.O. Box will remain open and revert to use by its former owners
who will mail one copy of this text and one Art Strike flyer to anyone
who writes concerning the Art Strike. This is basically to get such
correspondents off their backs. The primary functions of the Art Strike,
as formulated by the various groups involved, were to increase the
presence of critical political attitudes in certain sections of the
political and art communities, make the cynical positions of certain
careerist hacks less tenable, and to demoralize any naive "artists"
who might otherwise go their entire lives without having the content
of their religious/ruling class attitudes called into question. On all
these counts, the pre-strike response has shown hilarious success.
On the other hand, there has been an unfortunate momentum, internal
and external, to mystify the strike by comparisons with other
cultural events (of course, in a certain sense the strike is a
" cultural event", albeit one which reverses the values put forth by
nearly all other
" culture"). The most typical formation is to see
the Strike's primary organizers as "Artists" for whom the public
strike is a "conceptual art piece". The mystifying actions of some
organizers have tended to promote this reading, most notably those
who have acted without anonymity and those who have "aesthetically
elaborated" the Strike, fetishizing it. It is apparent that the
socially constructed attitudes which surround "Art" are well
reinforced in certain populations and many people find it difficult
to shift away from them.