Hello, everyone. Welcome to The ART of the MOOC, Merging Public Art and Experimental Education. My name is Pedro Lasch. And I'm Nato Thompson. Today, we will focus on a particular area of a socially engaged art that basically uses the structures in society as a very medium of the work. We're not necessarily talking about elaborate or experimental structures, but structures of the everyday like churches, the state, the mail system, all kinds of things that you can think of that you confront in your everyday life. And the history of that is vast because, of course, people do it for different impulses. So, some people are trying to react against, or to critique, or to reform, or to reflect upon, whereas perhaps others are literally trying to produce a different world to live within. And these examples can run the gamut from artistic actions to perhaps just citizens that are trying to construct their own lives. For example, I worked on a project called Black Radical Brooklyn. It was the history of African-Americans, actually because of the history of slavery having to produce their own worlds. So these kind of opportunities to produce their own schools, their own land reform, their own structures. This is an opportunity that is beyond the arts. It's everyday life and kind of social structures. And it particularly makes sense in our area of study for this MOOC, right? Socially engaged art and public art, because by the very word social, we can imply that there's a collective, collaborative endeavor. And so, that's why these artists, even if they didn't start out there, they end up arriving in these social structures and realized, "Oh, maybe I should do work about it, right?" Absolutely. So, Nato, can you talk to us about like, perhaps, let's start with markets or like the currency system? Sure. So, let's go there. Why don't we go over to the green screen? Markets. It affects all of us. Markets and economies. The one thing that's interesting is a lot of artists and radicals have often tried to come up with new ways in which we exchange goods. And of course, we often think of money as the thing that we do that with, the dollar bill, or the Peso, or the Yen. But there are artists of course that have tried to think through other ways of doing that and civic people. An example I have is a guy named Paul Glover, who in 1990, came up with what's called the Ithaca dollar, in Ithaca, New York. A very magical place. And in Ithaca, New York, he actually established what is the largest alternative currency in America right now. And it was basically $10 of Ithaca money equaled one hour of labor. And the idea of correlating labor, time one hour, to a certain kind of currency, ten dollars, has a long history. In fact, there was an anarchist commune called Modern Times outside of New York as well that also kind of produced this idea of tying labor to money because, of course, as you can imagine, someone that's worked for minimum wage, their one hour is not worth as much as like a CEO's. The other impulse sure to do with the Ithaca dollar was that it kept the money within Ithaca. So, Paul Glover ran around and said, "Hey, Harbor store, will you accept the Ithaca dollar?" "Hey, guy fixing your porch, will you accept Ithaca dollar?" "Hey, local doctor, will you accept it?" And within the community, had $110,000 of Ithaca money floating around. So, that's one example of a kind of alternative currency. And that's a great example and there are so many cases we could study of alternative currency systems. And it basically highlights how circulation is crucial, right? In this case, circulation of money. But it can be about circulation of goods. Artists have dealt with bartering systems. And many of these artists have been heavily influenced by anarchist theory. So, Lucio Urtubia Jimenez is actually another fantastic example of the most radical manifestation of this type of anarchist philosophy. He was actually a mason his entire life. He kept a full time job and on the side, he forged bank cheques. He was involved in bank robberies, and he even met at one point with Che Guevara even though he was from Spain. He went to Cuba to propose a world plan of how to bring down the capitalist system through basically forgery. And Guevara wasn't interested. This is a very romantic man. Very romantic. And only his closest friends knew that he had his print shop on the side where he basically would crank out all these bank cheques and so on. One of his scams involved over $3 million of fake cheques. And they were never able to imprison him because he never benefitted himself for it. The term that we often use to talk about this type of practice is expropriative anarchism. But other radical groups were involved in it, too. For example, the Black Panthers had a moment where they were robbing banks. They weren't about enriching themselves, but it was about feeding back into the alternative society that they were trying to build, right? So, there are two examples. The Ithaca dollar is one of like trying to play with alternative systems of circulation of money. Another one is to try to subvert what the official state structure is of basically holding the money, right? The banks. Of course, money is power, so of course people are going to re-think what that is, and how we can work through that. Another social structure that many of socially engaged artists have been interested in is communications technologies and social media platforms. And its very tempting to look only at the most recent technologies, whether its Facebook or the internet, but there is still a long history of this. And since we're focusing on art from the last few decades and also social movements from the last few decades, perhaps a good place to start is the mail system. There's all kinds of amazing mail art projects. From Fluxus, a very famous network, or a conceptualism, to Eugenio Dittborn, an artist who, the only way in which he was able to get his work out, his subversive work out of his totalitarian country, was precisely by folding his artwork in an envelope and getting it out and then it would be exhibited what we call now pop-up exhibitions. I would love someone to send me some mail art. How awesome is that? Well, and for a lot of these artists, they basically wanted their art objects to circulate differently. Not just for an artist to make them in studio, put them up on the wall in a museum and that's it. They wanted art to surprise you. It was like gift giving. And so, another really important case is the idea of radio. In Japan, particularly, pirate radio boomed in the 1980s. While it was not legally permitted, there were hundreds of radio stations, mini FM and pirate radio stations in Tokyo at one point in the 80s. And Tetsou Kogawa is kind of the front figure in this movement and you can learn from him how to build these radios online. We have that on our wiki. But something that's important to think of this, it wasn't just about distributing alternative content. They were thinking of the very structure of radio and using it in ways that nobody does. So, for example, they would do what we called daisy chains, which is, you broadcast something in one frequency, let's say from this building, and then your neighbor who also has a pirate FM receives it in their standard radio and then rebroadcast it in the next frequency. So, in that way, they were able to switch from like a mini community radio to like a city-wide network whenever they wanted. Like if they had a really important message, they would go through the entire daisy chain, and if they only had one thing, then they would stick to their neighborhood frequencies. And just to say, revolutionary movements often, I mean this isn't the social movements section but it is used to know. Radio has played a powerful role in terms of communicating alternative messages in producing community. And that's a great point there because actually, Tetsou Kogawa was friends with Felix Guattari. He was very inspired by Radio Alice, The Autonomous Radio in Italy. And so, there's definitely a connection. And one of the things that we'll consistently learn in this MOOC is that the relationship between art and social bodies and social movements is fluid. So, of course, many of the examples we could learn in this module are not necessarily started by artists. They have artists as participants. Alternative currencies also, it's the same. The last example or case study in our in our idea of communications technologies is the idea of TV. Well, TV may already seem outmoded. Radical works in that medium. It's funny. People think TV is dead. But it's like, TV is king. Science has failed. Heat is life. Time kills. Science has failed. But a good example is like Chris Burden, an artist will realized that TV is about money. Many artists have tried to get on TV by doing something that calls everybody's attention and then the reporters will come to you. But basically, if you weren't born into the group that has access to broadcasting, how do you get on TV? How do you get your message there? And Chris Burden realized, well, How do you get your 15 minutes of fame? You pay. I would like to be the first artist to make a full public financial disclosure. My gross income for 1976 was $17,210. My business expenses totaled $16,156. This left me with a net profit for 1976 of $1,054. Thank you. So, Chris Burden basically paid for airtime. So, he was doing his radical performance pieces like crawling on broken glass and doing all kinds of strange things, almost getting himself electrocuted because there was a wire in the water like a floor full of water. These strange performance pieces, right? But they were broadcast on TV because he paid for airtime. And so, just imagine, you're watching your normal TV show, your newscast, or your soap opera and here's Chris Burden crawling on glasss. And New York City Alternative Television was chock full of things, a paper tiger television. There's a wonderful radical history of public acts on television with incredible programs. In fact, Gorilla TV is part of what we would call this movement.