On October 12, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley and the Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts are partnering to host a live-streaming of the Creative Time Summit, an annual conference in New York that brings together cultural producers--including artists, critics, writers, and curators--to discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, attendees have been asked to submit a paragraph on a keyword associated with one of the summit themes: Inequities, Occupations, Making, or Tactics. This posting is by Andrew Marston, American Cyberculture student at UC Berkeley.
Occupation has always been and will continue to be a controversial word. At its most innocuous, it refers to a person's job or calling - the way someone occupies their time. Arguably the more common use, is in referral to a military occupation or occupation of a space by protesters. The latter here, is what I wish to write about. Occupation is a derivative of occupy: a term put to use quite recently by the Wall Street protesters to give a name to their cause. The Occupy Protest emerged (to some extent) in response to the financial collapse of 2008 and the later revelations that the greed and recklessness of Banks and Financial Executives had largely caused the worst economic meltdown in almost a century. The anger of Occupy Protesters was justified, their cause however was far from easy to describe.