HYPERMATES is a constantly evolving list of organisations working in defence of the rights of cultural workers in Europe and beyond, which has the ambition to become a network. If you would like to add your organisation to HYPERMATES, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLOK (founded in 2001) is a curatorial collective whose work focuses on the democratization of culture and art, as well as on the articulation of resistance to the processes of privatization of culture, which fundamentally reorganized the field after the restoration of capitalism. Their activities range from the production and research of socially engaged artistic practices, to publishing, to political and artistic education, to the organization of cultural workers who fight for better working conditions. Since 2016, they have been managing the BAZA art and activism space, located in Trešnjevka, the largest district of Zagreb. In 2018, they launched a long-term project called THE TREŠNJEVKA NEIGHBORHOOD MUSEUM, a way of working with the local community through the construction of a virtual collection, artistic productions and various socially engaged cultural and artistic programs. Collaborations with cultural and educational institutions, as well as with artistic and activist initiatives, locally and internationally, are an intrinsic part of their activities.
PAAC (Assembly Platform of Artists of Catalonia) is a non-profit organisation that ensures the social and professional cohesion of visual artists. The association provides legal and fiscal advice, an education programme and serves as an intermediary between artists and institutions. PAAC is part of the Union of Contemporary Artists (Spain) and Culture Action Europe, networks that both represent the rights of the artist at national and European levels.
Platform BK deals with the role of art in society and takes action to improve art policies in the Netherlands. The group represents artists, curators, designers, critics and other cultural agents and has been committed since its foundation to ensuring fair pay for artists. Platform BK is among the co-initiators of a rate card that aimed to professionalise the contractual practice between institutions and artists, helping to improve artists’ incomes.
State of the Arts (SOTA) is an open platform to reimagine the conditions that shape the art world today. SOTA operates through the collaborative minds of independent artists and art workers, but it is open to all individuals and organisations that seek to co-create a fairer and more diverse cultural scene in Belgium. For SOTA, change can only take place by including people, concerns and viewpoints that are still too often marginalised or unacknowledged by the ruling circles of the cultural field. This is what SOTA seeks to engender. Finally, SOTA believes that a transition of the art world can also serve as a catalyst for structural change in society at large.
TRABAJADORES DEL ARTE
Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela
Trabajadores de Arte Contemporáneo develops tools for a system that recognizes the economic value of the labour of art workers. The project was conceived in 2012 with the publication of the Art Workers Agreement in Argentina and Chile. Subsequently, it organised public meetings to establish a minimum wage for Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and Mexico. In 2020 the initiative was revitalised by a permanent network of more than 300 participants, which led to the development of the Action Manual for Workers’ Rights in Contemporary Art and the Second Census of Latin American Art.
UKS (Unge Kunstneres Samfund / Young Artists’ Society) is an institution for contemporary art based in Oslo. Founded by artists for artists in 1921, it has since established itself as one of Norway’s core experimental venues for the arts. UKS convenes, exhibits and supports the critical voices of contemporary artists in order to have an artistic and political impact within and beyond their region.
The Association of Fine Artists of Serbia (ULUS) is one of the main and oldest associations of professionals in the artistic sector in Serbia. It celebrated its centenary in 2019 and represents over 2,500 artists. Its mission is to promote and protect the work, rights and professional interests of visual artists, and is also responsible for organizing exhibitions and discussion tables. The specific interests of ULUS in the local and international context are the defense of fair practices and the improvement of the social function of the visual arts, thus improving the position and status of artists.
Verdensrommet is an artist-powered mutual support network by and for non-EU/EEA creative professionals based in Norway. The network is a grassroots and volunteer-led group of 200+ creative professionals across the country. The network was initiated in March 2020 to address the precarious conditions of visual artists whose citizenship led them to slip through the state’s support net. The low-income levels, highly bureaucratic regimes, unrealistic immigration policies, limited accessibility to social assistance, and the cultural deficit in public life accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic have worsened the already precarious cultural workers’ economy.
Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) is a New York-based activist organization founded in 2008. Its mission is to establish sustainable economic and contractual relations among artists and institutions through the introduction of self-regulatory mechanisms in the field of art that have lead to a more equitable distribution of its economy from a collective perspective.
Trentino Alto Adige / Italy
Weigh Station is a cultural association located in Bolzano, Italy, that works on the most current issues of work and innovation, as well as on the needs of all categories of cultural operators in Trentino and Alto-Adige. Weigh Station creates spaces — online and in person — for encounter, exchange and collaboration, and provides concrete support through professional workshops, expert advice and open calls. The association operates with the support of the Youth Policy Office of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano and the Municipality of Bolzano.