The Network of Un-Collectable Artists (NUCA) is a brand new nation-wide affiliation. NUCA connects those who gravitate towards ephemeral projects, participatory experiences, illegal art actions, and activities that oddify everyday life. Some members make unwieldy installation projects, while others alter billboards, project images in abandoned spaces at night, or exchange ideas rather than objects. Some simply make dead ugly paintings that would never sell.

Because such artworks are often fiendishly tricky to document, they seldom grace the columns of "recognised" publications. NUCA is building a publicity machine of its own, so artists may exchange essential info about their activities, collaborate on new projects, and connect with Un-Collectable others.

For Next Wave 2004, NUCA will launch "Australia's 50 Most Un-Collectable Artists", a set of BubbleGum cards documenting the activities of these elusive individuals. The Un-Collectable BubbleGum Cards will be distributed by itinerant vendors at the various festival venues, and naturally, it will be damn hard to "collect them all".

NUCA would like to invite you to join its ranks. Please send an email introducing yourself and your interests, to to get the ball rolling. We will publish members' pictures and information on our website, which will also house a discussion board.

A little more about Australia's 50 Most Un-Collectable Artists:

NUCA would like the project to explore "collectability/collectivity/collection etc" in its many senses.  
Just because the project is about being "un-collectable" does not mean that selling a piece of art disqualifies you. Problems with "collection" are to be explored. [NUCA member Mickie Quick, for instance, has complained that his small civil disobedience kits (Refugee Island) are collected and put on the mantlepiece by "politically minded" but not "politically active" friends and colleagues, which for him kills the piece entirely.]
The project should bring out those issues.
Australia's 50 Most Un-Collectable Artists is intended to be humourous, and by necessity it can't become self-important. That is what it should work away from: the dubious practice of cross-referencing by "credible" sources who "say" that an artist is collectible and are therefore slavishly followed by the market (who knows if this really works anyway, but it makes for some ghastly magazine filler).
Australia's 50 Most Un-Collectable Artists is part of the Next Wave Festival, whose theme for 2004 is UnPopular Culture.

1 thought on “Join NUCA

  1. Sim Post author

    NUCA sounds amazing. I’m looking forward to the discussions it will hopefully enable. Some of the things that your proposal has made me think about are – are ideas not collectable like objects? In some way doesn’t the exchange of ideas in some way, and sometimes over a long period of time (for example feminist thought about and in art practice) collect a value, which then influences the objects that become collectable? Ian Burn has interesting things to say about this, and about the contradictions and what he calls failures of conceptual art. This quote by him is interesting to think about… “After you realise that the market can operate by selling ideas just as readilyt as it sells objects as commodities, how long can you continue to believe you are being subversive toward the market?”

    Also I’m interested in the distinction between ‘politically minded’ and ‘politically active’. This simple construction of what it means to be political is based on the same old same old idea that politics happens on the streets in obvious ways. MQ’s refugee island project (which is fantastic) can, I think, operate in interesting and innovative ways outside of the way MQ already conceived. Even sitting on someone’s mantlepiece, the kit is operational, in the sense that it will enable discussion etc. Being ‘active’ has a wealth of nuances which fall outside of definitions which define political activity through the positioning of bodies in public spaces….



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