Week 16: Collective Foundation

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Joseph del Pesco about three experimental grants developed by the Collective Foundation.

As recently mentioned in Art Work newspaper:

The Collective Foundation (CF) describes itself as “…a research and development organization offering services to artists and arts organizations. The Collective Foundation focuses on fostering mutually beneficial exchange and collective action by designing practical structures and utilizing new web- based technologies. Ultimately the central concern of the Collective Foundation is to serve as an ongoing experimental process and catalyst for new ideas. CF proposes ‘bottom-up’ and decentralized forms of organization and investigates the formation and distribution of resources. This means inventing new forms of funding and new ways of working together. Like the Art Workers’ Coalition, who proposed pragmatic solutions to problems faced by artists, the Collective Foundation seeks alternative operational solutions, while reducing the bureaucratic formalities of overhead and administration.”

In 2007, this San Francisco-based group issued three separate $500 grants to artists using a variety of creative fundraising strategies. For the Collective Library Grant, Collective Foundation solicited donations of 100 art catalogs from ten area art spaces that were sold as one Collective Library. Sales of the library paid for an artist grant to facilitate research and participation for a web-based audio project that Collective Foundation hosts. Uncirculated or old exhibition catalogs are a very common surplus item at art spaces. A particularly sweet result of this sale was that the library was purchased not by an individual for private consumption, but by the San José Institute for Contemporary Art, which turned the books into a reading room.

The $500 YBCA Grant drew money from three separate sources in conjunction with an exhibit that Collective Foundation participated in at the Yerba Buena Center for Art (YBCA). Memberships sold during the exhibit opening, part of the sales from the Co-op Bar (another CF project created with artist Steve Lambert), and some of the sales from CF’s printing press generated a $500 grant for an artist. The final jurors of the grant consisted of YBCA guards.

The $500 Collective Hosting grant generates funds from fees paid by artists who host their websites on CF’s web server, paying a $100.00 fee into a fund used for grants rather than giving it to an internet service provider. Those who pay into the fund then become the jurors for the grant. Source: www.collectivefoundation.org