FREE-Lances Volume 1

FREE-Lances Volume 1


FREE-Lances is a publication by and for a community of artists and cultural workers who are articulating their experiences and thoughts in/on/around freelancing. Developed in a period of isolation, limited mobility, and extended job insecurity, the first volume taps the value and direction of the hyphen between “free” and “lances”. It highlights the inter-inventive work and the interdependent position of a freelancer.

The inaugural issue of FREE-Lances has invited practitioners mostly based in Southeast Asia and Japan. They are frequently associated with freelancing or self-identifying as freelance workers. Each of their contribution has a different relationship to the concept. And while they carry the label in various degrees of commitment before the pandemic, the term now unravels into a language that unifies the diversity in interests and understanding of the word. Some believe this to be a gesture of solidarity. For our purposes at FREE-Lances, the collection of personal reports and professional reflections accounts for the active participation of freelancers to the past, present, and future of business-as-(un)usual, at least in contemporary arts. Who could be the most professional today but the freelancers.

Through the sharing of various experiences in/on/around freelancing in a publication format, we hope to express our solidarity with efforts on organizing alliances and discourse in the freelance community.

—FREE-Lances Team

With contributions from local practitioners in Southeast Asia and Japan, some of the keywords discussed include: #artsmanagement #disability #audiencedevelopment #collaboration #devotion #obligation #repurposing #tools #weapon

FREE-Lances is an initiative by curators Con Cabrera, Renan Laru-an, and Jaime Pacena II

Tanya Villanueva, SALN (Shadow Work on Assets, Liabilities & Net Worth), 2020, graphite and digital drawing on paper. Courtesy of the artist.
"When discussing the economic position of performing arts, we often talk about the commonality between said arts, such as their ephemerality. When a show starts, the performance continues until the end. And once it ends, the opportunity to sell tickets does not return." - Taufik Darwis

FREE-Lances, gathers public reflections of artists and cultural workers in a period of isolation, limited mobility, and extended job insecurity. The goal might be as direct as connection; but ultimately it promises an opportunity to listen to an elaborate response to, How have you been? I hope this email finds you well.

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