Another of our 2009 grant recipients, The Work Office. (TWO) is a multidisciplinary art project posing as an administrative bureaucracy. Informed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the Great Depression in the 1930s, TWO is a gesture to “make work” for visual and performing artists, writers, and others by giving them simple, idea-based assignments to explore, document, or improve life in New York. From a temporary central ofﬁce, TWO’s administrators—Katarina Jerinic and Naomi Miller—will interview, register, and hire employees; assign, collect, and exhibit work; and distribute Depression-era wages to employees during weekly payday parties.
Prospective employees will submit an online application and during their interview will choose an assignment such as documenting a need for repairs, making a regional travel guide for their block or neighborhood, reinterpreting a newspaper photograph, designing a promotional poster, or giving a concert for a houseplant. Once hired, employees will have roughly a week to turn in their assignment, for which they will be paid $23.50, the weekly wage for an artist in the Federal One Project (the arts division of the WPA).