[The Seven by Nine Squares home page] [YAWN 9] [Art Strike 1990-1993]

Last Gasp of the ASAC East Coast USA

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 " cultural" questions. 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.