Announcing Field Perspectives 2019

Field Perspectives 2019 is a co-publishing initiative organized and supported by Common Field inviting thinking that reflects on the future of the artist organizing field. The program, a collaboration between Common Field and nine arts publications, is published in two parts. Part One includes texts by Chicago Artist Writers (Chicago, IL), The Rib (Boston, MA) and Sixty Inches from Center (Chicago, IL). Part Two includes texts by The Artblog (Philadelphia, PA), BMore Art (Baltimore, MD), Momus (Canada), Terremoto (Mexico), The Third Rail (Minneapolis, MN) and Title Magazine (Philadelphia, PA).Generous support for Field Perspectives is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.


The Artblog published Logan Cryer's piece "Revisioning and setting boundaries in our artistic practices," an essay that deals with the anxiety young artists feel about stepping into a world with expectations of success that possibly won't be met. Logan asks many questions about how an artist might juggle the "gig" economy of working multiple jobs and still keep up an art practice. They question how or whether it is possible to set boundaries and continue to grow as an artist while juggling other roles.

BmoreArt published Cara Ober’s essay “Artspeak and Audience: Language as Bridge or Barrier,” an argument for clear, compelling, and jargon-free art writing. Ober considers the negative impact of International Art English upon potential audiences for the arts and advocates for a more generous and less insular language to broaden and deepen the relevance of contemporary art.

MOMUS published Catherine Wagley’s essay "But Can a Spirit Burn?": Alternatives for Art Under Capital. In this essay, which weaves historical depth with a probing of the author's personal experience, Catherine G. Wagley queries the recurrent urge for artists to envision utopian alternatives to the way we live and work. Pulling from her experience of participating in an artist-driven and collective social project in Portugal, she looks to ways that artists have attempted to employ dialogues and conceptually-driven gatherings to disrupt the world. Wagley also describes her frustration with the logistics, the predictable bickering, and the vagueness of such enterprises - the ways in which such banal impasses can weaken the utopic urge. Despite her critical distance from the more quixotic impulses of these gatherings, Wagley's article is imbued with a deep care for the principles at their heart. Scanning the horizon for ways to live outside of the oppressive, browbeating reality of hopelessness, high rent, and low wages, she shares the impulse to find meaningful alternatives for the artworld as we know it.

Terremoto's Editor-in-Chief, Diego del Valle Ríos, wrote the essay "The Possibility of Uncertainty" in which he reflects on the condition of precarization shared within the art community in Mexico as a consequence of an imposed model of professionalization that normalizes and promotes individuality and relations of competition and abuse.

The Third Rail published Johanna Hedva's essay, "The Mysticism of Mosh Pits, Or, The Mess of Sociality, Or, Have You Ever Seen Lightning Bolt Live?" The band Lightning Bolt has created and fostered an independent scene of artists and musicians for the last 25 years, while staying decidedly human-scaled. This essay uses the experience of seeing the band live as a way to talk about the inherent mess of sociality and the role catharsis plays in how we belong to each other, for better or worse. Foregrounding types of mysticism that highlight sociality rather than reject it, Hedva proposes we can look to sonic harmony as a way to think about social harmony.

The Third Rail also published Yasmeen Siddiqui’s "An Art Press for the Ages," a declaration of purpose and method about Minerva Projects and Press. This cartographic text examines how the new press approaches historicizing and theorizing artists who draw on difficult and unfamiliar histories. In effect, Siddiqui proposes ways to address the challenges inherent to inclusivity and how the field can recenter experimentation, collaborative authorship, and context.

Title Magazine publishes "(INDEX ( MODEL ( POSSIBLE ART WORLDS)))" by curator, writer, and artist Kelsey Halliday Johnson, an essay that excavates the conceptual art collective Art & Language’s 1970 call for a plurality of art worlds. Exploring anecdotes ranging from the personal to socioeconomic, Johnson critically evaluates how contemporary art worlds are constructed through words, privilege, and organizing tactics.


Chicago Artist Writers commissioned artist-educator, writer, and researcher Kristi McGuire to write her essay "artists-run futuresex, or, on the husbandry of the libidinal economy" that considers how capitalism warps the experience of time, making even notions of "the future" suspect. McGuire humorously traces the issue through finance, museums, pop culture, and music history to arrive at some speculative suggestions for artist-run culture.

The Rib publishes "Aren't We Supposed to Live on the Moon? And Other Unanswered Questions in a Waning Art World," a meandering conversation between Corey Oberlander, Lindsey Stapleton, and Leah Triplett Harrington that considers the side project hustle. In "Aren't We Supposed to Live on the Moon? And Other Unanswered Questions in a Waning Art World," we ask: what are we working towards?

Sixty Inches from Center published Tempestt Hazel’s essay, “Artists Gotta Eat--and Other Things We Forget To Remember,” a look into what it means for institutions and the cultural workers making moves within them to advocate for fair pay for artists, illuminate invisible creative labor, and an ecosystem that forefronts ethical compensation practices for artists.

Generous support for Field Perspectives is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.