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The list that follows was initially inspired by curator Renny Pritikin’s text, Prescription for a Healthy Art Scene, that often circulates within the Bay Area art community. The list defined “health” as the existence of ample art production, spaces for critique (such as publications, educational institutions, etc.), and an active art market. Joseph del Pesco surfaced the document while studying with Pritikin at California College of the Arts, and printed it in the May 2009 issue of Proximity. KADIST and Southern Exposure also made posters of the Prescription piece in 2013 and it was often seen hanging in artists’ studios, on refrigerators, and on office walls.
I believe it is time to rewrite this text. The original limited its focus to the enduring stability of traditional support systems for art production—such as a commercial market, art schools, and museums—without attempting to imagine alternatives beyond that horizon. This revised list proposes something more anti-capitalist, feminist, and utopian.
A “prescription” only allows one path forward, instead we need a “recipe”—one that can be changed and modified according to the interests and needs of a particular community. (No one should have a final say.) The adjective “braver” relays a need to challenge and take risks in order to create a more ethical and compassionate world.
This text is influenced by the deeply promising creative community in Los Angeles, especially the numerous artist-run and artist-led organizations.
Ceci Moss is a curator, writer, and educator based in Los Angeles. She is the founder and director of Gas, a mobile, autonomous, experimental, and networked platform for contemporary art located in a truck gallery and online. Her first book, Expanded Internet Art: Twenty-First Century Artistic Practice and the Informational Milieu, is forthcoming in the Bloomsbury series International Texts in Critical Media Aesthetics.
This article was originally featured in
Carla issue 16