Examines the way recent artists have incorporated concepts of generosity into their work.
Through a variety of lenses, this book examines contemporary artists' use of the "gift"—the distribution of goods and services—as a medium for artistic production. Featuring a detailed survey of over fifty artists' projects from fifteen countries, What We Want Is Free explores how these artists use their projects to connect participants to tangible goods and services that they might need, enjoy, and benefit from. Samples of these various projects include the creation of free commuter bus lines and medicinal plant gardens; the distribution of such services as free housework or computer programming; and the production of community media projects such as free commuter newspapers and democratic low-wattage radio stations.
“If you are an artist, read this book. No matter how you define and structure your practice, the essays within What We Want Is Free will lead you to consider important questions about how you work and what kind of life a project can lead.” — Nailed Magazine
"What We Want Is Free makes a genuine contribution to current discussions and debates concerning art, politics, and culture." — Ron Scapp, coeditor of Eating Culture
Contributors include Bill Arning, Stacy Asher, Kate Fowle, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Jessica Ingram, Mary Jane Jacob, Ben Kinmont, Lars Bang Larsen, Carolyn Mackin, Francis McIlveen, Jarrett Mitchell, Cesare Pietroiusti, Ted Purves, Shane Aslan Selzer, Susan Sobeloff, Josho Somine, and Jörgen Svensson.
Ted Purves is Chair of the Graduate Program in Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts.
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