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Notice: what might have to change individually, interpersonally, and institutionally to make this practice possible on a daily basis? Locate these generative contradictions.



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What Are The Politics Of Production?

We aim to provide a manual for practicing diverse economies in the arts. We believe that we can connect our own networks, people, and institutions to build a more equitable arts economy. With so many arts graduates working random day jobs, there must…


If to change ourselves is to change our worlds, and the relation is reciprocal, then the project of history making is never a distant one but always right here, on the borders of our sensing, thinking, feeling, moving bodies. — J.K. Gibson-Graham

Art Worlds

What makes a work of art legible, as art? Martin Irvine writes that “what makes something an artwork is not an observable property in an artwork itself,” but instead “an interdependent network of social- economic actors who cooperate–often contentiously or…

Solidarity Economies

The solidarity economy emerged in the global South (economia solidária) and is known internationally by different names: the workers’ economy, the social economy, the new economy, the circular economy, the regenerative economy, the local economy,

Solidarity Art Worlds

The solidarity art world includes the ways in which artists engage in the solidarity economy, including sliding scale pricing, credit unions, worker cooperatives, and collective housing. An economy that embodies principles of mutual aid, social justice, democracy

Supply Chains

To create a supply chain for the arts that includes solidarity art economies, the traditional supply chain becomes a closed loop representing one life cycle. This makes room for many forms of transfer and distribution, and the use of waste as a source…


Many artists and designers define their practices based on the way materials for projects are obtained. Artists may choose to focus on the source of their materials for conceptual, environmental, social, economic, cultural, formal, or process-based reasons. Read More →


Labor practices determine the speed and scale of an artist’s production. For example, artists who work in groups can share skills, labor, and time. Collectives often acknowledge that in working together ideas coalesce; labor and creativity cannot be disconnected. Well-known contemporary artists often reach beyond the scale of their own labor in order to meet the demands of galleries, non-profits, or commissions, relying upon contract workers, apprentices, or interns. Recall the fantasies that for many arts graduates begin inside art schools, of endless circulation and visibility: ten new artworks, twenty artists talks, and three solo shows annually. This necessitates labor practices that are impersonal and potentially exploitative. Read More →


Tools and technologies determine the scale, quality, and formal constraints of projects. For example, Impressionism developed with the invention of the portable paint tube, which allowed artists to work outside. Medium-specific artists often acquire the tools necessary for their work, but public artists and project-based artists often require tools for projects that change with each project. When form follows concept, artists often rely upon work for hire contractors or fabrication companies whose tools are not available to the artist beyond the fabrication contact. Read More →


All original work that you create is automatically copyrighted according to United States law and cannot be copied, distributed, built upon, or shared unless you allow it by license or assignment. As the Digital Media Law Project explains, “owning a copyright also gives you the exclusive right to prepare "derivative works," which are the original works in new forms – for example, a translation into another language, or a movie made from a novel, or a revised or expanded edition of an existing work. Someone who does these things without your permission is infringing your copyright, and the law provides you recourse.” Read More →


Narration is the term we use for the way a project is represented. We narrate our projects when we create a website, show documentation, give a lecture, talk to friends, or in any way describe our projects. Artists and designers who desire that their projects be written and spoken about in a manner that aligns with their intentions can work with communities, businesses, and institutions to shape each project’s narration. We believe that by actively taking responsibility for narration, we can impact the life cycle and circulation of our projects. Read More →


Artists and designers create work with the intention that their projects will be seen by other people. We call this an “encounter” with the finished project. The encounter might occur after months or years of preparation with the maker’s hopes that their desires to express truths, offer a vision, refine a craft, build community, or communicate without words is acknowledged. Read More →


Acquisition legitimizes projects by providing storage, maintenance, and visibility for the project so that it will be available to current and future generations. Artists and designers often dream that their projects will be acquired by an influential institution, typically by a library or museum. While museums may not pay artists to acquire their projects, and have been known to obtain the objects in their collections illegally and to deaccession artworks without contacting artists or collectors, artists’ resumes which list artworks held in public collections represent enormous cultural capital. Read More →


Departure is the word we use to describe the final resting place for a project and the materials associated with it. Departure is where project materials go when the author and the public no longer wish to give them attention. Art students are familiar with the dumpsters that overflow with paintings, sculptures, and disclaimed artworks at the end of each semester. Read More →


As artists and designers, we use cash non-cash transfers to get our projects done. We often gift, barter, and lend to one another because we do not typically work for a wage as artists. Some artists make projects that are not for sale, some artists are contracted by art institutions or collectors but are underpaid, and some artists are entrepreneurial and dream of future purchases, relying on non-cash exchanges while they build their businesses. Read More →


We use the word “support” to consider the ways in which each artist or designer meets their own needs each day, in order to have time and resources to dream, practice, and work on any project. Support extends beyond the life of any particular project because support is necessary for livelihood and for social reproduction. Support ranges from past sales or grants, cash gifts, inherited wealth, and income generated by rental property and financial investments to credit card debt, student loans, mutual aid, and day jobs. Read More →

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Of Supply Chains is a project of BFAMFAPhD, made by contributing members Susan Jahoda, Emilio Reynaldo Martinez Poppe, and Caroline Woolard with a CC-BY-SA license. The site was designed and built by Ben Lerchin and Kieran Startup. Please email us at for more information.