The FUBAR Manifesto
“If you don’t know
what you’re doing, they’ll rob you blind.”
WE, the artists of the FUBAR Coalition, faced with the abysmal and oppressive circumstances of creative life in these United States, feel it necessary to publish our analysis of current conditions and assert the artist’s right to live and create free of Corporate Domination and with reasonable expectation of fair remuneration for one’s work. (See the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of The Artist)
1. The circumstances of the Art World: that constellation of social and economic institutions and practices, which includes, but is not limited to Museums, Galleries, Alternative Spaces, Museum & Gallery Directors, Critics, Arts Administraitors, the Art Supply Industry, Art Supply stores, Frame Shops, Art Book and Art Periodical Publishers, writers and editors, Arts Commissions and Government Arts Agencies; and finally, practicing Artists [i.e. Those individuals who make this entire edifice possible], is FUBAR.
2. If you can’t figure out what FUBAR means, go read something else.
3. In all human activities involving creative work, the creative individual is relegated to the bottom of the food chain.
4. No Artists, no Art World!
5. Art, like
life, is all too often a power struggle. Those who lack power struggle.
6. We find it absurd and unjustifiable that those individuals, who take the greatest risks, incur the greatest expense and sacrifice many of the conditions and material comforts generally considered necessary for a decent human life, receive the smallest of rewards.
7. The symbiotes and parasites who exploit the creative activity and energy of artists have engineered an invisible coup; placing themselves in positions of power and skimming off the great majority of cash generated by art and artists. This is simply colonialization masquerading as High Culture.
8. These conditions are generally true of most human activities, particularly in commercial activities, whereby those who do creative work receive the least pay and have the least power within the organizations they work for.
9. Sweat Equity generally means my sweat and your equity. FUBAR says, “No Equity, No Sweat!”
10. Art is one of the few remaining human activities, which is ideally conceptualized as non-alienating labor. Value derives from the artist’s work and skill rather than an external abstracted value system [money]. Once an artist accepts the commodification of art, he or she loses the power to confer value upon the work. Its value then becomes arbitrary and tied to the price it can bring. Thus the artist relinquishes the inherent quality that makes art worth doing.
11. The majority of profits made from art often occur long after the artist is safely dead, and often involve the unjustifiable extension of copyright and licensing of all names, likenesses and reproductions. These profits generally accrue to corporations and wealthy estates that provided little or no support to living artists.
12. The Art world is a democracy of exploitation for all artists, regardless of their racial, social and national origins, in which the massive rewards received by a few artists supposedly justify the exploitation of the rest.
13. Don’t piss down my back and tell me its raining!
© 2004 by Lawrence Jasud, Minister of culture of the FUBAR Coalition. All artists are free to affirm, quote and practice according to these principles. No one may use any of the above material for profit making activities without prior permission.