DO LESS WITH LESS
With this special-issue bulletin, we at FUSE have embraced the motto “Do Less with Less.” Along with our peer organizations within artist-run culture, FUSE has endured chronic underfunding for many years. Of the long-term effects of underfunding, the most morbid are burnout, organizational self-censorship and a loss of institutional memory. Rather than attempt to keep up appearances under these conditions, we offer you a pared-down issue of the magazine, with modest materials to match the modest resources we have to produce it.
The contents of this issue present labour-side perspectives on austerity from inside the artist-run sector in Canada. Our feature essay was collectively written and edited by an anonymous, temporary collective of directors and curators from some of the most active artist-run centres in Toronto. They begin by outlining the relationship between self-censorship in the arts and conservative fiscal policies and social values, and end with a prescription for proactive, grassroots change on a structural level within the sector. Accompanying the essay is a new version of the Ladies’ Invitational Deadbeat Society poster DO LESS WITH LESS / DO MORE WITH MORE (2012), a dualism that expresses a no-nonsense refusal of a core demand of austerity policies. To help combat the spread of unpaid internships, we present a letter adapted from the Precarious Workers Brigade’s toolkit, specifically for the Canadian (and Quebecois) context.
These materials frame our occasion to inform you, dear readers, that FUSE is coming to a close. After much careful planning and consultation with our elders, we have come to the conclusion that this is no longer a viable project under current conditions. With this in mind, we are planning a very special year with some dramatic shifts in what we do. Most significantly, we will not be producing a quarterly magazine, instead focusing our time and energy on two exciting projects: a commemorative issue of the magazine to be published in September 2014, and the development of an accessible web-based archive of FUSE content going back to our first issue in 1976. The commemorative issue will include newly commissioned art and research on our planned editorial themes for volume 37: the Idle No More and Indigenous Nationhood movements; Pan-Africanism; and HIV/ AIDS globally. In addition, we will be working with a host of collaborators to select material from our archives to reprint alongside the new commissions. Between now and then, we will be publishing regular reviews and extra media goodies on our website.
The FUSE archive will be available cost-free on the World Wide Web, offering a fully indexed resource on some of those most significant moments in the history of contemporary Canadian art. We are currently planning launches for the archive and the commemorative issue to take place across the country in the fall of 2014, and we’d love to work with you. If you would like to be involved in this celebratory process, or if you have anything you want to share with us about the changes at FUSE, get in touch! We are always happy to hear from you.
— Gina Badger
Editorial Director and Publisher on behalf of the Board of Directors and Editorial Committee