Thursday, 30 July 2015

'Adjunct Commuter Weekly' launch at Boston ICA tomorrow

By Ruth Skilbeck

This week a groundbreaking new art magazine Adjunct Commuter Weekly edited and published by Dushko Petrovich, launches at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art and The Daily Fugue and I are together one of the contributors.

Some of the early posts from The Daily Fugue are in the art publication, from the days when the author was a casual and part time academic commuting by train between Newcastle and Sydney to teach at the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology and the University of Newcastle in Ourimbah. I commuted for three and a half years, a commute that took three and a half hours at the minimum to get to UTS from Newcastle, and more to UNSW, as I had to catch a bus once I reached Central Station. That meant getting up at five thirty a.m. and very late night journeys arriving back in Newcastle after midnight, often much later, on the train. (A train which someone was murdered on in the time when I was commuting).

My contract was not renewed over two and a half years ago, and the research centre that I worked in, the Journalism and Media Research Centre, where I was a subject coordinator of Writing courses on several MA courses was dissolved. Since then I have been working in publishing. That life journey or 'career transition' was documented here on The Daily Fugue in the posts I wrote at the time, often in the train.

The Adjunct Commuter Weekly focuses on the rise of the new commuter, an increasingly significant demographic: the adjunct or casual/contract part time academic, giving a public insight into the working conditions and poverty, as well as the unrecognised dedication and talents (so cruelly unrewarded by the universities they work for) of a growing peloton of adjuncts and casuals who are now doing the majority of the teaching in universities around the world.

At the very least universities could be offering commuting casuals and adjuncts transport and travel allowances, and free accommodation, in Australia in the universities I worked for full time staff positions were axed to save money whilst untold amounts were spent on building international student accommodation rented at high prices to students, meanwhile the casual and adjunct academics doing most of the teaching were commuting long distances, and in my case having to spend over $100 a night to rent a hotel room near the university to do the teaching (I taught classes at night). If I had been able to stay in the expensive accommodation the university was making a great deal of money from, my life would have been easier and less stressful in that time, with less travelling. I wrote posts on those days and my hotel visits, and my ratings of hotels near UNSW, in The Daily Fugue at the time.

There is still time to contribute to the crowdfunding project, to secure a first edition and a tote bag, it has gone almost $1000 over the target of $4300 so far but is still open for contributors, says project creator and publisher Dushko Petrovich. He says that ACW will have a stand at the New York Art Book Fair and an evening slot on Saturday 19th August. There is a launch planned in New York soon. The Boston ICA launch is on Thursday 30th July from 6-9 pm and admission is free during that time.

From the Kickstarter project page:

"Adjunct Commuter Weekly is the first magazine to address the lifestyle needs and shared interests of a rapidly growing and increasingly influential demographic.
Edited and published by Dushko Petrovich—who commutes from Brooklyn to teach at Yale, RISD, and Boston University—the inaugural issue of Adjunct Commuter Weekly has been created entirely by current and former adjunct commuters. It has it all: news, opinion, interviews, features, fashion shoot, photo essays, games, syllabi, poetry, fiction, personal memoirs and advertisements for products that will be of interest to the adjunct commuter
The first issue includes work from some of the world’s most illustrious adjunct commuters, including artists and writers from Canada, Scotland, Australia and all across the United States.

Photo: Dushko Petrovich

Contributors include: Colleen Asper, Hannah Barrett, Dike Blair, Lynn Crosbie, Trinnie Dalton, Kristen Dombek, Ariel Freiberg, Charlotte Glynn, Jennifer Kabat, Jeff Latosik, Justin Lieberman, Tom McGlynn, Sam Messer, Ted Mineo, Jeremy Sigler, Ruth Skilbeck, Laurel Sparks, Kevin Temple, Elanie Tin Nyo, Victoria Solan, and Oliver Watts.
...Adjunct Commuter Weekly will be designed by the wonderful team of Mark Owens and Joel Evey and printed in a 20 page full-color newsprint tabloid in an edition of 1,000 by Linco in New York. We will then be able to distribute these copies to bookstores, art centers and universities across the country to bring attention to the the adjunct commuter lifestyle, shining a light on the working and living conditions of many people in today’s universities.
Adjunct Commuter Weekly will be launched at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the worldwide hub of adjuncts, on July 30, 2105."  Dushko Petrovich

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Article on Fugue in the Sydney Morning Herald

In Australia each year more than 35,000 cases of missing persons are reported, and a number of these are the result of dissociative fugues. This is why it is important to become more aware of fugue, and why it is most important that doctors and others in detention centres and prisons are able to report on what they see there, as there may be (and have been) people in fugues being heId in cases of mistaken identity, I suggest in my  comment piece on dissociative fugue ("Emotional trauma steals memories and lives") in the weekend's Sydney Morning Herald on the case of Ashely Manetta/"Sam" in Australian news recently. Although rare, cases of fugue are increasingly being reported. This is a main theme of my novel Australian Fugue: The Antipode Room, about "Ruby" art gallerist who is jailed in Newcastle, NSW, for a murder she cannot remember. 

Ruth Skilbeck