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About this working group meeting

Join Michelle Millar Fisher, co-organizer of the Art/Museum Salary Transparency Project, for an open discussion about museum administration and wage labor following a summer of intensified advocacy for labor conditions in art institutions. An open-source spreadsheet launched this past May, the Art/Museum Salary Transparency Project compiles data about employment, salary rates, and demographics in art museums around the country, revealing an institutionalized system of wage inequality and precarity. Following a presentation from Fisher on the project, our discussion will consider how the politics and economics of museum employment reveal the ethical positions of the nation’s leading art museums, often in contradiction with these institutions’ professed politics.

This is the first session in the semester-long working group, Institutional Apparatuses, or, Museum as Form. Taking place Fall 2019, this working group will be meeting bi-monthly to read and discuss topics exploring the sites and structures within which museums reflexively grapple with their ethical obligations. While the exhibition has come to define the profile of curating as the primary site of the museum’s social or political engagement with the public, a number of art workers and contemporary visual arts organizations endeavor to shed this inheritance. Instead, they pursue their missions through close, revisionary engagement with the administrative, logistical, and programmatic armatures that prop up cultural institutions. Unlike the temporary exhibition, this working group proposes, these function as primary sites of the institution’s politics, knowledge production, and sociality.

This event is free and open to the public. If you are interested in participating in the semester-long working group, you may find more information and RSVP here. Space is limited and priority will be given to those who can commit to suggested readings and to being part of the conversation over the course of the semester.