4C’s Archive 2019

4Cs – Jan. Money

Facilitated by Dawn Dale: Money
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 – 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Dawn writes:


It influences our decision$

It affects our choice$$$

It persists, thru capitalism, in framing our very existence $$

A discussion process based on the feminist adage “The personal is
political, the political is personal”, our gathering is an opportunity for each participant to consider our relationship with the “Lubricant of Capitalism”, MONEY.

The format will be a feminist circle with each person having 5-7
minutes to talk about their take on money. The objective is to listen to
each other’s perspective, the sources of that perspective and how it
affects our relationship with our art processes. The time frame will be strict (a timer in hand) so that each participant is heard.

The objective is to share our stories, to listen and go away and think about all of the perspectives as we weave together an effective group moving through 2019.
Possible topics to frame your 5-7 minutes time depends on # of people

– The “value” of art in relationship to your life.
– The “value” of artists in society – Culture, culture, kulture, kitsch.
– How do you value the environment in relation to your material
process?? Has it changed the way you work??
– The value of your work, how do you decide the value of your work in
terms of dollars when someone wants it.
– Talk about your relationship to money vis-a-vis your art practice in       the past/ the present/ the future both in terms of concept and materiality

From Art and Environment by J K Grande:

“The words ecology and economics derive from the same Greek word, oikos, which means household or home. Ecology (logos meaning study) is the study of the home, and economics (nomics meaning management) is home management.* The forces of economics and their consequent exploitation of the environment in this period of late capitalism have done nothing to enhance the management of our true home, the planet Earth. Instead, nature and life itself have been regulated into a small corner of our experience. To create evidence of disarrangement of the self, by the forces of our consumer-based ephemeraculture, is the most abundant kind of art today. It denies the process of living within a permaculture and perceives expression in relation to the ephemeral dictums of material growth.”
*from David Suzuki’s book, Inventing The Future


Artists whose practice is based on subjects within Capitalism
(please add names of artists that work in a similar vein):

Mark Lombardi


“Lombardi’s spidery, elusive diagrams describing the evolution of the shadowbanking
industry from a decades-old alliances between intelligence agencies, banking, government and organized crime, may have made him unique in art
history as the only artist whose primary subject, the CIA, has turned around and
studied him and his artwork.” Paul DeRienzo

Sue Coe


Freda Guttman Montreal

Diego Rivera


Honoré Daumier


Franciso Goya

Kathe Kollwitz


Martha Rosler
Joseph Beuys
one of the founders of The Green Party


faux documentary Exit thru the Gift Shop

Ron Benner London, Ontario


Rebecca Belmore Racism, colonialism

Kara Walker Racism

Beehive Design Collective they were at Gallery 101

Marc Adornato


My latest Sweet Oblivion 2017-2018
artist statement on request

Partial Bibliography – not laid out in the academic format

Nelson, Joyce Beyond Banksters: Resisting The New Feudalism,
Watershed Sentinal Books, Commox, B.C. Canada 2016
Piketty, Thomas, Capital in the 21st Century, Belknap Harvard 2014

Grande, John K. Art And Environment The Friendly Chameleon, Toronto

Schumacher, E.F. Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As IF People
Mattered, Abacus, Sphere Books Ltd. London 1974

Wright, Ronald, A Short History Of Progress,  Anansi Press , Toronto 2004

George, Susan, A Fate Worse Than Debt: A Radical New Analysis of theThird World Debt Crisis Pelican Press, London England 1988

George, Susan, How The Other Half Dies: The Real Reasons for World
Hunger, Pelican Press, London England 1976

George, Susan, Another WORLD IS POSSIBLE IF… Verso Books London/
New York, 2004

Klein, Naomi, This Changes Everything, Vintage Canada 2015

George, Susan, Ill Fares The Land Essays on Food Hunger, Penguin
Books , London England 1984, 1990

Ferguson, Niall, The Ascent of Money, Penguin Press New York 2008

Hedges, Chris, Death of the Liberal Class, Vintage Canada, Random House
Toronto 2013

Perkins, John, The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman,Berrett-
Koehler, Oakland, Caifornia 2016
Galbraith, Kenneth, The New Industrial State, Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Company, 1967


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ The_New_Industrial_State
Harari, Yuval Noah, Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind, McClelland &
Stewart Penguin Random House Canada 2014 ( Part Three The Unification
of Humankind Chapter 10 The Scent of Money pg. 173-187)

Harari, Yuval Noah, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century Penguin Random
House 2018

*Goldstone, Patricia, Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of
Mark Lombardi, Counterpoint 2015

Wolff, Richard, Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global
Economic Meltdown Haymarket Books 2016 (not read yet)
Wolff, Richard, Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism Haymarket
Books 2012

Thompson, Don, The $12 Million Dollar Stuffed Shark: The Curious
Economics of Contemporary Art and Auction Houses Aurum Press 2010
and so many more …please add to this list and share

from The UTNE Reader
“2/3 of men consider their paycheque to be their own, while women
consider their wages to be their family’s “
Online Resources


The Corporation 2003

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room 2005

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price 2005 by director Robert Greenwald
and Brave New Films

Capitalism: A Love Story Michael Moore 2009

The Secret World of Money

Susan George on Ted Talks

Susan George on the World Bank, IMF, WTO World Trade Organization

Nathaniel Kahn, The Price of Everything: How Money Took Over The Art World

Generation Wealth Lauren Greenfield

The Queen of Versailles Lauren Greenfield

Hollywood Films\Fact and Fiction on Film
Good Will Hunting
In Time
The Big Short
The Wolf of Wall Street
When we talk about money the subjects that come up again & again
Debt, taxes, financial legacies -inheritances
The Art Market
Intellectual Property, Cultural Appropriation, Bootleg Art
Student Debt
Money Marts
Minimum Wages
The “Gig” Economy that the Millennial Generation is stuck in (our children)
Old age security
Government and Company Pensions
Predatory banking in the Third World
The Stock Market and Wall Street
Hostile takeovers of small companies by big corporations
The Occupy Movement
Bank of Canada Charter
Austerity programs imposed by conservative governments
Structural readjustment IMF WB
Planned obsolescence in Industrial design
Resource Extraction /Externalities / “natural capital”
Depressions /Recessions
Iceland’s response to the Financial Crisis of 2008
Barter System
Simple Living
..and again, please add to this list

4Cs – Feb. White Fragility

This session took place on Wednesday, February 20, 7:00 PM – 9:00PM, and was facilitated by Rob Snikkar. It will be followed by another session on the topic, possibly in March, in which we will discuss the two texts below. The discussion will be moderated by Petra Halkes. If anyone wants to be involved in an ongoing discussion about this topic, please look at, and add, to the comments on this page, rather than using email. Click here: 4C’s March Being White

Required reading for the second session:

Robin DiAngelo – “White Fragility” an essay

Sandra Inutiq,  “Dear Qallunaat (white people)Recognize and admit your power and privilege and the fact you are benefiting from racist systems” CBC News Feb. 17

Rob Snikkar wrote:
What does White Fragility have to do with our discussions of the 4C’s?
It might be clear that systemic racism (and its ugly brother patriarchy/misogyny) is directly involved in our systems of capitalism and colonialism.  It may be less clear that inherent racist beliefs and privilege influence our approach to climate change and system change but I believe that they are interrelated/intersectional.
When we examine our global approach to extraction economies, ownership of land & resources, industrialized agriculture, developing countries and their economies, international banking and finance – such as the IMF and World Bank, indigenous and human rights suppressions, the global arms trade and the rise and propping up of despotic leaders…I think we see many examples of privileged thinking.  But what makes it difficult to see the effects of systemic racist views and practices is their unconscious and implicit action upon our psyche and our inability to perceive these qualities within ourselves.
For these reasons I find it important to reflect upon and self-examine my own racism and the racism of my privileged white brothers and sisters that has been bred into us inherently through the system that we live in and benefit by.


Finally some thought-provoking quotes to get your juices flowing.

“What white people have to do is try to find out in their hearts why it was necessary for them to have a nigger in the first place. Because I am not a nigger. I’m a man…. If I’m not the nigger here, and if you invented him, you the white people invented him, then you have to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that.”  James Baldwin, In the documentary I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

“Privilege is not in and of itself bad; what matters is what we do with privilege, we have to share our resources and take direction about how to use our privilege in ways that empower those who lack it.” bell hooks 

“…The white audience does not seek out black public intellectuals to challenge their worldview; instead they are meant to serve as tour guides through a foreign experience that the white audience wishes to keep at a comfortable distance. White people desire a representative of the community who can provide them with a crash course. ….” Mychal Denzel Smith,The Gatekeepers – On the burden of the black public intellectual.  From the December 2018 issue of Harper’s magazine

“…It has always bothered me that the very idea of paying attention to or knowing Indian history is tinged with the soft compassion of the do-gooder, as a kind of public service, like volunteering at an after-school program. If we treat Indian stories this way, we do more than relegate Indians themselves to history…you need to look at Indian history and at the Indian present…” David Treuer, Essay – 2020 VISION, In Harper’s magazine Jan. 2019 (from The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, published this month by Riverhead Books. )—

Supplemental resources- 
Dr. Robin DiAngelo lecture, 1 hr, and 23 mins. – speaking in Seattle for the launch of her book “White Fragility – Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism” 


March: A Special Presentation by John van Mossel

“Achieving Climate Justice – a perspective from my experience in Africa”

Women farmers shelling maize cobs at a cooperative in Rwanda

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019.
John writes: Millions of people in communities around the world are not responsible for carbon pollution/global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions yet are highly vulnerable to climate change and climate variability. People in these communities often have few resources and little power in the face of powerful national and international structures that perpetuate ‘business as usual’ or political institutions that limit their action on climate change to ‘talk’ and ‘promises’. John will explore how ‘climate justice’ is achieved in part when these communities are able to build their adaptive capacity, reduce the impacts of climate change on their livelihood and support systems, and increase their resilience. Understanding the extent of climate change faced by these communities might help us appreciate the other part of ‘climate justice’: urgent and effective action for clean energy systems, reduced emissions, green/low carbon economy, environmental sustainability, and the implementation of key international climate change agreements.

John van Mossel worked in international development for nearly 25 years, and then for another 18 years on programs responding to climate change at both community and national levels, mainly in Africa, mainly focused on adaptation to climate change; working for 28 organizations. He’s lived and worked in 4 countries in Africa: Botswana, Zambia, Nigeria, and Rwanda, plus worked and traveled in another 20 countries in Africa. He’s also worked in 8 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America, and worked and traveled 15 countries in Asia.

4C’s April: Being White

Wednesday, April 17, 2 PM – 4 PM. Everyone welcome. For your personal invitation and RIA’s address email researchinart.ria@gmail.com

This session followed the session on White Fragility (February 20) that was facilitated by Rob Snikkar. The first session was centered on what kind of art could articulate and communicate the privileged societal position white people find themselves in without realizing it.

Some of us thought that we could use more discussion on the texts that were on the table. I moderated this session to discuss the two texts below.

Required reading for the second session:

Robin DiAngelo – “White Fragility” an essay

Sandra Inutiq,  “Dear Qallunaat (white people)Recognize and admit your power and privilege and the fact you are benefiting from racist systems” CBC News Feb. 17


Optional: my text, below, just venting an opinion to get the conversation going. Comments are welcome.

“White Fragility” – What’s in a word?

The essay (and the book by the same name) White Fragility is part of an ongoing discourse on race that consists of a flood of artistic expressions, academic debate, journalistic information, and opinions; a debate that remains contradictory and becomes quickly overwhelming. I have to admit that racism is not a topic that I am particularly well-read in; this is the opinion of a “two-week expert.”

Nonetheless, I agree with Robin DiAngelo that it is important for all white people to be aware of their own racist attitudes. There is a need for all Whites to spend the time to learn to understand their own part in the systematic racism that is still alive and well, in order to combat it. Her focus on the racial situation in the U.S. is a bit of a problem for me. It is true that there’s racism everywhere, but each country’s issues are specific, and for this reason, I am glad that Kathy sent us the CBC article.

DiAngelo’s book has been on the New York Times bestsellers’ list for some time, and I think that this may be, in part, because of the new term she introduces into the racism debate: “White Fragility.” If it makes more people read about this important topic, all the better, but I do have a problem with the term that I would like to talk about.

This is how DiAngelo explains White Fragility in her essay:

This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.

White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.” (p.54)

I wonder if it was really necessary to introduce this neologism. What does it add to the existing term White Privilege? Thirty years ago, feminist scholar and race activist Peggy McIntosh, writing about White Privilege, already named the need for Whites to recognize their belonging to a race, and own the systemic racism all Whites remain a part of. Read a shortened version of this essay, published in 1990, “White Privilege, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,”

McIntosh wrote about Whiteness in terms that are similar to DiAngelo’s:

In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable, and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit, in turn, upon people of color.”

This made her question the term “White Privilege,” and she continues:

“For this reason, the word “privilege” now seems to me misleading. We usually think of privilege as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to overempower certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of one’s race or sex.”

McIntosh noted many of the attitudes that DiAngelo also signaled, attitudes that she felt (as does DiAngelo) were not covered by the term White Privilege. McIntosh appeared to be leaning toward the word dominance, a word that has a rather opposite meaning to fragility, the word DiAngelo chose.

If “Privilege” usually indicates a favoured state, and misses the sense of criticism and need for change that this privilege should provoke, the word “fragility,” it seems to me, does not add any urgency to change either. “Fragility” usually indicates vulnerability, or as the Oxford dictionary says: “the quality of being easily broken or damaged.” As much as DiAngelo explains her use of the term, and I am sure she does much more of it in her book, we are still left with a word that evokes pity, which is not something us white folks need.

DiAngelo’s argument for the use of the term is academic, as she shows in her dense summary of Bourdieu’s concept of habitus. What the general reader is left with is the word “Fragility.” I would rather it was “Responsibility.”

Note: “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” first appeared in Peace and Freedom Magazine, July/August 1989, pp. 10-12, a publication of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Philadelphia, PA.

Some good finds:

George Yancy: “Dear White America.” (New York Times, Opinionator – A Gathering of Opinion from around the Web. December 24, 2015)


MTV News, Decoded:

Franchesca Ramsey: Why Does MTV’s Decoded Hate White People?!?


She mentions DiAngelo in her talk. It’s 5.22 minutes, but 10 minutes would have made it easier to follow for an oldie like me! Interesting note: the likes on this video are2.8k, the dislikes 27k! Anyone care to interpret?



4C’s May To protest or not

May 15 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Thanks for your contributions to a thought-provoking discussion on “Our Political Common Sense: Introducing Folk Politics,” the first chapter of Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’ book, Inventing the Future, Post-Capitalism and a World Without Work, published by Verso in 2015 and an opinion piece in the Guardian by George Monbiot, who claims that ”Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse.”