Karen's post is written fast and loose, apparently to be provocative and "get the conversation going." But it is full of inaccuracies and generalizations which need to be clarified unless the intention is to create vortex of spin.
Let's start here:
"The project is backed by the new group Occupy the Pipeline, which includes members such as the Guerilla Girls and Strike Debt's Noah Fischer."
Occupy the Pipeline is not exactly a "new group" but one of the main groups that fought the Spectra fracked gas Pipeline for years in the streets and in the courts. It includes dedicated activists and environmentalists whose knowledge of pipeline and fracking issues runs well beyond the Bloombergian rhetoric of "natural gas" and well beyond the scope of this blog. To see what I mean, see a recent refutation to an Artinfo piece written by a coalition member to this action: whitneypipeline.org/?p=140
"Strike Debt's Noah Fischer" is not in fact Strike Debt's Noah Fischer, because I have never been affiliated with Strike Debt. That is a different group who has done amazing work such as the rolling jubilee. I'd love to take credit, But it's kind of important when covering this material to understand who the groups are, and what are their specific tactics. Rather, I am part of Debtfair (www.debtfair.org) and organized the recent conference The Artist as Debtor that you covered here on this blog.
While you're discussing groups, you leave out an important one: Liberate Tate, the group in London who co-wrote the letter to Whitney with us, and who has been putting on parallel actions in London regarding museums and fossil fuels in the UK. Their point to act in museums, and our common point is that museums provide a social license for big business and 1% individuals to operate, to do business on a certain level. BP gains immense amounts of PR and social credibility by sponsoring Tate. In much the same way, the controversy of the Spectra pipeline, fracking and "natural gas" (an industry term) has been nearly put to final rest by placing a museum on top of it. That is a function that museums serve today. And the fact that fracking is indeed a serious issue that becomes incredibly controversial when you take time to learn about it, means that there are questions to ask here about what exactly the museum is doing on top of the pipeline. How did it get there? Is this how forward thinking museums should be setting up shop. Do you know the answer to these questions? If not, Would you please ask the Whitney? We could not get any answers.
At to your last comments on Occupy Museums being "off in it's aim to target museums" that falls flat in 2015. It's been brought to light that 90% of Guggenheim's solo shows come from 5 galleries- which begs the question--how separate are the gallery and museum spheres really? There are important campaigns going on to highlight Koch on the board of Science museums, Koch as a sponsor of public space at the Met while undermining elected democracy, BP divestment at the Tate, and of course 21st century slave labor conditions for the new museums on Saadiyat.
Occupy Museums has been a part of many of these campaigns, while in solidarity with the work of other groups to make the only real public space in the art world (museums) a space of democracy, or meaning and where the struggle for labor, racial and climate justice is alive.