The Social Life of Artistic Property (2014)

12 November 2017, dusan

“In the wake of Occupy Wall Street, 12 artists gathered for 20 meetings over two and a half years, discussing property both physical (studios and homes) and artistic. Rather than present raw transcripts of their conversations, the authors individually or collaboratively penned chapters on relevant issues. We get historical case studies alongside a host of topical issues affecting artists’ abilities to work, such as the French droit de suite, the right to resale royalties of artists and their heirs. Michael Mandiberg offers a significant oral history of 135 Rivington Street, a collectively artist-owned building purchased in 1981 by a group of art school alumni, a virtual impossibility in today’s real estate game.” (ArtNews)

By Pablo Helguera, Michael Mandiberg, William Powhida, Amy Whitaker, and Caroline Woolard
Self-published, 2014
Creative Commons BY-SA License
ISBN 9780984475025
110 pages

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PDF, PDF (22 MB)

Precarious Workers Brigade: Training for Exploitation: Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education (2017)

4 March 2017, dusan

“This publication provides a pedagogical framework that assists students and others in deconstructing dominant narratives around work, employability and careers, and explores alternative ways of engaging with work and the economy. Training for Exploitation? includes tools for critically examining the relationship between education, work and the cultural economy. It provides useful statistics and workshop exercises on topics such as precarity, employment rights, cooperation and solidarity, as well as examples of alternative educational and organising practices. Training for Exploitation? shows how we can both critique and organise against a system that is at the heart of the contemporary crises of work, student debt and precarity.”

Foreword by Silvia Federici
Publisher Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Press, London / Leipzig / Los Angeles, 2017
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License
ISBN 9780615590110
95 pages

Publisher

PDF, PDF (4 MB)

Trebor Scholz: Platform Cooperativism: Challenging the Corporate Sharing Economy (2016) [EN, DE]

16 January 2016, dusan

“The “sharing economy” wasn’t supposed to be this way. Aided by the tiny computers most of us carry with us all day, every day, we would be free from the burdens of ownership and making money in our spare time by renting out our unused possessions. The vison was—or at least appeared to be—an idealistic one. Even before they enter kindergarten, every child learns the value of sharing, and here were the beneficent forces of Silicon Valley bringing us innovative new tools to strengthen our communities, disrupt outdated ways of doing business, and maybe even reduce our carbon footprints.

The reality turned out to be a little different. Sure, Uber and its ilk offer remarkable convenience and a nearly magical user experience, but their innovation lies just as much in evading regulations as in developing new technology. Behind the apps lies an army of contract workers without the protections offered to ordinary employees, much less the backing of a union. This new economy is not really about sharing at all. Rather, as Trebor Scholz argues in this study, it is an on-demand service economy that is spreading market relations deeper into our lives.

With these new middlemen sucking profits out of previously un-monetized interactions, creating new forms of hyper-exploitation, and spreading precarity throughout the workforce, what can we do? Scholz insists that we need not just resistance but a positive alternative. He calls this alternative “platform cooperativism,” which encompasses new ownership models for the Internet. Platform cooperativism insists that we’ll only be able to address the myriad ills of the sharing economy—that is to say platform capitalism—by changing ownership, establishing democratic governance, and reinvigorating solidarity. In this paper, Scholz breathes life into this idea by describing both actually existing and possible examples of platform co-ops, outlining basic principles for fairly operating labor platforms on the Internet, and suggesting next steps.”

Publisher Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New York Office, Jan 2016
27 pages

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Platform Cooperativism (English, 2016, PDF, 6 MB)
Plattform-Kooperativismus (German, 2016, HTML, added on 2016-6-19)