1:00 – 2:30 PM
Session B
Gauging the Grey Area: A Human Spectrum 
Lauren van Haaften-Schick & Helena Keeffe

We exhibit, we speak, we perform, we write, we produce — we love what we do. And often we feel compelled to say yes even when we don’t feel comfortable with the terms of an opportunity. Which opportunities actually serve our work and support artists, and when can saying no to an invitation be a generative response? How can refusal lead to a conversation where both parties gain a greater understanding of their mutual stakes?

We will begin this workshop by reading from Non-Participation, a collection of letters in which artists decline to participate in various exhibitions and other events due to ethical, political, and personal reasons. These letters will serve as a starting point for discussing our own limits for participation.

Next, we will create a human spectrogram, where workshop attendees will position themselves along a spectrum to determine how they measure the value of various hypothetical opportunities. The hypotheticals presented will deal with the vulnerabilities and potential payoffs that come with taking risks in the art market, donating work and volunteering labor, and the creative and ethical choices one makes when resources are limited.

Finally, we will present the Artists’ Rider, a template developed by Lauren van Haaften-Schick and The Luminary in St. Louis, modeled after a format typically used by musicians to negotiate terms with performance venues. With the complexities of the grey area in mind, we will endeavor to collectively modify and fill out the rider to reflect the ideal working relationship with an institution committed to truly supporting both art and the artist.

Lauren van Haaften-Schick is an independent curator and researcher from New York. Her current interests concern critical forms of circulation, and the legal and economic factors that influence the conceptual and material manifestations of art, with a focus on early conceptual art and institutional critique.

Recent presentations and articles include  “Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies” at New York University, “Valuing Labor in the Arts” at UC Berkeley, and “Cariou v. Prince: Toward a Theory of Aesthetic-Judicial Judgments,” co-authored by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, and published in the Texas A&M Law Review. Her major exhibition and catalog “Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures,” first exhibited at the Center for Book Arts, NY, in 2012, has traveled to Albright College, Reading, PA, Smith College, Northampton, MA, and The Goethe Institut, New York, NY, among other venues. She is currently completing “Non-Participation,” a collection of artists’ letters of protest and refusal, to be published by Half Letter Press (Chicago/Copenhagen), and first presented at the Luminary Center for the Arts, St. Louis, MO, in June 2014. In 2011 she served as a research and database assistant for the late curator Seth Siegelaub and his work on art law and textile history.i

Additional post-graduate academic activities include the Art & Law Program in 2012, The Gallerist Programme Workshop at de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam, the e-flux Time/Store and the workshop “Market, Alternative” at Trade School, New York. She was a founding director of Gallery TK in Northampton, MA from 2004-2006, AHN|VHS gallery and bookstore in Philadelphia, PA from 2009-2010, and the independent curators group Extra Curricular from 2013 to the present. She received a BA in Art History and Studio Art from Hampshire College in 2006.  She is a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Visual Studies program at Cornell University.


Sesión B
Evaluando el área gris: Un espectro humano
Lauren van Haaften-Schick


Exhibimos, hablamos, representamos, escribimos, producimos, amamos lo que hacemos. Y en muchos casos nos sentimos obligados a decir que sí incluso cuando no nos sentimos cómodos con los términos de una oportunidad. ¿Cuáles oportunidades realmente apoyan nuestro trabajo y a los artistas, y cuándo es que el decir no a una invitación puede ser una respuesta generativa? ¿Cómo es que una negativa pueda llevar a una conversación donde ambas partes obtengan un mayor entendimiento de sus intereses mutuos?

Comenzaremos este taller leyendo de Non-Participation [No-Participación], una colección de cartas en las que los artistas declinan participar en varias exhibiciones y otros eventos debido a razones éticas, políticas y personales. Estas cartas servirán como un punto de partida para la discusión de nuestros propios límites de participación.

Luego, crearemos un espectrograma humano, donde los asistentes al taller se ubicarán a lo largo de un espectro para determinar cómo miden el valor de varias oportunidades hipotéticas. Los casos hipotéticos presentados tratarán las vulnerabilidades y las potenciales recompensas que resultan de tomar riesgos en el mercado artístico, donar obras y el trabajo voluntario, y las decisiones creativas y éticas que se toman cuando los recursos son limitados.

Finalmente, presentaremos el Artists’ Rider [Contrato del artista], un patrón desarrollado por Lauren van Haaften-Schick y The Luminary en St. Louis, modelado siguiendo un formato usado generalmente por músicos para negociar términos con los lugares de las presentaciones. Con las complejidades del área gris en mente, intentaremos, colectivamente, modificar y llenar el contrato para reflejar la relación de trabajo ideal con una institución comprometida en apoyar verdaderamente a ambos: al arte y al artista.


Lauren van Haaften-Schick es una curadora independiente e investigadora de Nueva York.