Monday, March 29, 2010

Next JOB action: Wednesday, March 31







We'll have two JOB distributions this week. A future post announcing location two to follow.
This Wednesday, if you want a JOB, look for me at Farragut Square, most likely near the NW portion of the square. Again, JOBs are available while supplies last.

In the mean time, images from last week's JOB (laissez) Fair(e)

photos by Jesse Kimes

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

JOBs at Gallery Place Metro

Today represented the second artistic act of job distribution, this time at the Metro entrance at 7th and F streets, NW, Washington, DC (Verizon Center/Gallery Place/China Town).

Because of a slight snag in my commute, or my planning, I started about 5 minutes late. Interestingly enough, more people took JOBs at Gallery Place, despite coming up the escalator at a trickle. They were friendlier than Dupont Circle's audience, and within 30 minutes 200 people had JOBs.

Photos will be posted by Saturday. And, at some point, I'll have a response to a criticism questioned by a granting committee that denied funding for the project: "What is the definitive artistic merit of this project?"

To put it another way, as a friend of mine once asked, "what makes this art and separates you from any other ass hole handing stuff out?"

An answer to come in the near future.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

JOB (laissez) Fair(e) - rehearsal notes

Yesterday, March 17, between 8 and 9 am, I handed out JOBs at both entrances of the Dupont Metro Station in Washington, DC, and at one point also near the fountain.

The responses of passersby were interesting, and in some respects, expected.

At 8:00 in the morning, anyone headed to work is in iPod Land, even those without earbuds plugging their external auditory canals. iPod Land is easily identified by the haze that only one cup of coffee alone cannot cure. It's like a hangover, only without the alcohol. Essentially, it is an aura, projected by the passerby that sighs, "leave me the f--- alone."

I stood at the Q-Street entrance saying, "JOBs?"

I got the following responses:
ignoring downward glance
the polite no thank you wave
the second glance
the hesitant grab
the oooo free stuff grab (sorry. no coupon. enjoy the button!)
and the get-out-of-my-way or I am going to run you over while I clutch onto my rolling briefcase and triple-shot-tall-soy-mocha-no-whip.

Conversations I had with people include:
"What is this?"
It's a JOB.

"You gave me two."
Give the second to someone else.

"Can I have one?"
Yes.

"You gave me two. Now I am over worked."
Laughter (this was from the woman handing out free copies of contemporary Irish literature... I regret not grabbing one)

"What are you doing?"
Handing out JOBs.
"Damn right!"

When I got bored, I moved locations.

One of the people handing out Washington Examiners looked a little irritated by my action.

Two (illegal?) immigrants thought about getting JOBs, until they realized they were JOBs and not jobs.

Some people received the JOBs with a smile. A couple people gave thumbs up, or said "all right!" Some people laughed out loud after reading a quote on the card clipped to the safety pin. Those who were awake, and paying attention, seemed to embrace the spirit of the project: a mildly intelligent critique wrapped in dumb irony.

What is missing is the pitch. That comes with the next action.

In other news, Congress just sent an $18B Jobs bill to President Obama, and it has been signed in the Rose Garden. One Republican lawmaker is quoted as saying it is "an $18B debt bill, adding debt, debt, and debt." "And the beat goes on," as Sonny and Cher once sang.

To learn more about the JOBs Creation Project, and to see images from the actions (as they become available), go to www.jobcreationproject.info The FAQ seems to be popular.

Why (dot)info? Because the utility of my money spent on a (dot)com is better spent elsewhere.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

JOB Creation Project


Sometime in 2007 I came up with the idea of distributing Jobs on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This artistic action would have been under the umbrella of the US Department of Art and Technology. However, after some procrastination (largely due to conflicts of time), the idea was dropped.

Until now.

Beginning tomorrow, March 17, 2010, I'll begin distributing JOBs to anyone who wants one (while supplies last) at the Q-Street entrance of the Dupont Circle Metro Station (Washington, DC).

This will be the first of several artistic actions to take place on successive Wednesdays (while supplies last), which I am calling JOB (laissez) Fair(e)s. Each action is a part of the JOB Creation Project.

Each JOB consists of a 1.25" button, and a card with quotes about government, labor, and economics from various politicians and economists.

The motivation for the project is two fold. First: Politicians fondly champion job creation, yet opposing parties have different perspectives on how it is done, reducing the process to incoherent and conflicting sound bytes, and reducing the word "job" into a platitude. The JOBs I create are, therefore, worthless; they are buttons, after all.

Second: (as often is the case) is the pun – a reference to the book of Job, and the thinking that those who keep searching for work, in the face of adversity (high unemployment, recession, etc), must have the patience of Job. And, considering some of the jobs numbers are padded by those who are underemployed, the idea that a person has a job can also be relatively meaningless if that job does not enable an individual to pay the bills.