FOLLOW THE MONEY, EXPOSE CORPORATE BUDGET PRIORITIES
Prepare an easy-to-read chart or graph that clearly places the amount or percentage of the funds dedicated to compensation of contingent faculty within the context of other components of the budget. Effective illustrations could be the portion of a single student’s tuition that goes to paying and adjunct instructor, or conversely, how many students in a single class are paying the instructor’s entire compensation for that course (it may be only one or two students) and then ask or show where the rest of the money is going per capita for that class, especially to gratuitous administrative projects, marketing, etc.
The artwork could show the economic trends over time at universities, like a graph of tuition rising in relation to faculty salaries decreasing in real dollars, admin salaries; the rise in contingent workers, the disparity between administrator pay and contingent pay (ex: a contingent worker would have to teach ___ courses per year to earn the salary that the University president earns); the number of contingent faculty compared to tenure-track faculty. Show how much the school relies on contingent labor.
Design by Carlos Rivera
Notheastern Illinois University
Memes by Truth and Propaganda Design Collective
For TAUP's first contract negotiation for adjunct faculty
a poster created collectively by the Contract Committee
Click to see all you ever wanted to know about Culture Jamming from the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement at The University of Washington in Seattle.
See lots of visual examples here.
The groundbreaking culture jamming campaign mounted by the anonymous group Guerilla Girls offers memes that could be adapted to our context.
Check out the Activist and Artist project, Beautiful Trouble, to inspire you to make some trouble beautifully as well.
Culture Jamming grows out of The Situationists International, The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord and The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem, Specifically the concept of Detournement. Think of it as visually sampling or re-mixing in the same vein as hip hop music. Culture Jamming can be a great classroom assignment as well as a fun activist action.
RUN AN ADBUSTERS CAMPAIGN
University Marketing: Imitate the effective methods of Adbusters—make visible the reality behind the myths being perpetuated.
“Our common language today is advertising; I incorporate advertising icons and allusions in my work.” (visual artist Hank Willis Thomas)
Use the Absolut vodka ad for a series of images that show the absolute inequity of employment practices in higher education. Or appropriate the Nike swoosh graphic for messaging related to sports and the exploitation of coaching staff, most of whom are contingent and poorly paid. Using familiar corporate logo elements would convey how “branded” the campus, its faculty, and students have become.
Many view the academic employer as wholly benevolent. Rebrand the institution as a bottom-line corporate employer.
Reappropriate campus communications systems to draw attention to systemic inequities
Above from Santa Fe Community College in
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Use humor and popular culture or well-known works of art