August 20, 2003
Can artists survive a corporation?
A new satiric play looks at art and the
contemporary corporate workplace. Playwrights Randy Kapelke and Char Miller
wrote "Cubed" over their lunch hour at a technical writing firm. The show
addresses two crucial questions: "Can artists survive a corporation?" and "Can a
corporation survive artists?"
After sold-out performances at the Minneapolis
Fringe Festival this month, Kapelke and Miller visited KFAI with their cast to
perform an excerpt. The actors are Kelly Clark, Eric Penniston, Sarah Ross, Hope
Moy and Jeff Jesmer.
The director is Anthony Stanton; the assistant director, Chris Durant; and the
stage manager, Eve Gibson.
Designers compete in company bathroom
Desperate for any diversion from their deadly
dull jobs, one firm's workers found a creative outlet . . . in the lavatory!
That's where they designed elaborate structures from rolls of toilet paper. From
his new home in Chico, California, essayist Anthony Peyton Porter recalls the
Handbook a management nightmare
A Detroit-based monthly magazine called Labor Notes published the Bible on workplace art in 1991. In the Troublemakers' Handbook, author Dan La Botz explored creative strategies for rank-and-filers to build solidarity, organize unions, keep the boss at bay, and win strikes.
Now an all-new edition of the handbook is in the works. Julie McCall, a song-parody writer in Washington, D.C., has written a chapter focusing on labor art and culture. She shares stories of her favorite workplace art projects, from unauthorized music to an embarrassing new company mascot, from Elvis impersonations to a newsletter column called "Turkey of the Month."
All of the projects undermined management authority and helped workers establish or strengthen their union. The new handbook will be available next year though
Cartoonist Creates Screen Saver
Newspaper Guild members at the St. Paul
Pioneer Press have been working without a contract since last summer. Talks with
the newspaper's owner, California-based Knight-Ridder, are stuck on pay, health
insurance and the Guild’s ability to go on strike in support of other Pioneer
Hoping to avert a strike, Guild members are getting creative.
Their tactics have included a screen-saver that showed up on computers
throughout the building last winter, slamming management's contract offer. The
screen-saver consisted of a searing editorial cartoon by Pioneer Press
cartoonist Kirk Anderson. He tells why he stuck out his neck for his co-workers
and responds to speculation that this union work explains his "layoff" in April
after eight years as the paper's cartoonist.