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Welcome to WMAOYW!

Welcome to Who Makes and Owns Your Work!
If you want to be an artist, join our company! Our Theatre can find employment for everyone, a place for everyone!Here today are people who have been with us for a long time – I myself joined the company back in 1927. And we are delighted also to have new guests, participants, performers and critics – among them a law professor from London and an untitled conceptual artist with a beard.

Gathering here at Årsta Folkets Hus (the Swedish brand of Community Centre) built in the early 1950’s and part of a nation-wide movement. A workers’ movement made possible by a surplus of enthusiasm, ideological determination and voluntary work, as well as a rarely entrepreneurial leader, Karl Kilbom. When Kilbom resigns as the managing director of Folketshusföreningarnas Riksorganisation (the national organization of Folkets Hus associations) in 1951, after 14 years in service, he has built a highly profitable empire of culture and entertainment with some 500 movie theatres and double the amount of other entertainment venues. Kilbom realizes that although there is an ideological raison d’être of class struggle behind the Folkets Hus movement its finances need dance, theatre and film.

Årsta Folkets Hus, built two years after Kilbom resigned, never quite became the social and cultural gathering point anticipated by functionalist city planner Uno Åhrén. The theatre was used only sporadically and the cinema had to close down in 1972. In the mid 90’s a Swedish tv-series used this very square as the scenery for an abandoned small town centre.

Today this is our scenery. Our stage. For Kippenberger the setting was one of a circus “looking to employ reliable hands, helpers, doers, self-confident handlers and the like”. Joining him were Rhoades, Oursler, Judd, Jacobsen and Eames together with piles of flea market treasures. For Fellini it was all a stage set for a film, only fictionally shot, with Ekberg and Mastroianni.

Our gathering today is the culmination of a year of Open Content Meetings – attempting among other things to look at, and experience, the premise of an open production set. Continuously proposing that “Everyone is welcome!”, while trying to establish a community.

”A great many people were certainly standing before the placard, but did not seem to find much approval. There were so many placards; nobody believed in them any longer. And this placard was even more improbable than usual. Above all, it failed in an essential particular, it did not mention payment. If the payment were worth mentioning at all, the placard would certainly have mentioned it; that most attractive of all arguments would not have been forgotten. No one wanted to be an artist, but every man wanted to be paid for his labours.”

Most of you are of course co-producing this event completely unpaid – as volunteers, enthusiasts and voyeurs. I myself am receiving a minor fee for the role I play. But out there among you three people are employed to be here informally. To listen, take part, consume and react, and be paid for it as a form of production. Additionally, one person is taking part in today’s event under the voluntary influence of hypnosis. And it has been proposed that during this evening someone could get allergic to money.

Once again: Everyone is welcome! If you miss your chance now you miss it forever.

Karl Rossmann
Participant since 1927


– The Nature Theatre as described in the last chapter of Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel Amerika a.k.a. The Man Who Disappeared a.k.a. The Stoker
– History of Folkets Hus, according to Folkets Hus och Parker (
– Swedish wikipedia entry on Ã…rsta Centrum (
– The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘Amerika’ (1994) by Martin Kippenberger, and Tate Modern publicity writing on his installation (
– Frederico Fellini’s Intervista (1987)
– In Elio Petri’s La Proprietà non è più un furto/Property Is No Longer a Theft (1973) the main protagonist becomes allergic to money
– Who Makes and Owns Your Work as described and experienced

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