Minimum Wage For Artists?

Hyperallergic just ran this fascinating interview with the folks of W.A.G.E, aka "Working Artists for the Greater Economy".

The heart of the idea is to stop the race to the bottom when nonprofits pay artists by basing compensation on the company's overall annual expenses. (As well as the race to the top interestingly enough..)

As someone who has participated in art shows for "exposure" and done excruciatingly low pay design work for nonprofits before, this seems like an amazing idea because at the very least it's a place to start.

A lot of time these companies are good at valuing other services-- accounting, legal, even catering-- but anything remotely "artsy" becomes a too nebulous for them. "What is art worth?" they start asking, when really they should be asking, "What is this person's time and the function of what they will produce for us worth?"

It reminds me of all the important issues Robert Levine brings up in his amazing book Free Ride: How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business, And How the Culture Business Can Fight Back.

Check out the full interview here.