Artists for a work free america

Seattle Federal Building, 1996

In the spring of 1996, Vital 5 Productions staged a DaDa performance on the steps of the Federal Building in downtown Seattle. Reaching for the most absurd and obtuse idea we could, Artists For a Work Free America (AFWFA), was informally born and bred as one day only mock activism. A logo was created, an arsenal of posters and slogans materialized — tee shirts, propaganda, art supplies, megaphones, and clipboard petitions all bore the mark of a real movement. But sometimes truth emerges out of the absurd and soon this DaDa performance evolved into something real and heartfelt. AFWFA began publishing manifestos and agitprop illustrated stories, birthed the Arbitrary Art Grants and put forward the notion that robotics and artificial intelligence displacing human labor was real, happening all around us, and not a bad thing. It was instead a natural evolution - one that would reveal the true purpose of humankind. Art and expression, playfulness and actual living were the things that robots would never displace us from. A one day performance became a 20 year movement, advocating for the aggressive application of robotic technology to accelerate the idea that the evolution of humankind steered us to the natural destination and realization that all humans are artists. 

We continue to print hundreds of tee-shirts, literature and agitprop posters. We continue to distribute starter kits, tag  buildings, sponsor art grants and spread the ideology of AWFWA all over the world. Maybe it was the “Mondays Could be Fun Days” poster, or the “Alarm Clocks Kill Dreams” illustration, but sometimes great truths can seed in the absurd.



Published 2009

A ten point manifesto that distills the basic concept and governing principles of Artists For aWork Free America.


Between 1996 and 2010, over 15 AFWFA propaganda posters were created. Some were enlarged to billboard size, others stapled to telephone poles, and all included in our AFWFA starter kit. Here is a sampling of them, which we encourage you to print and distribute widely.

aafwfahorsepower0b copy.jpg



Published 1996

A short illustrated story about work by Greg Lundgren


Published 1996

A short illustrated story about work by Greg Lundgren



Version 1.0 - 1998 - a modified coca-cola bottle machine. 

Version 2.0 - 2005 - a modified cd jukebox

Version 3.0 - 2009 - a modified vending machine 


Seattle Federal Building, downtown Seattle

April 9, 1996


Interview by Sarah Kavage and Anne Elizabeth Moore

Illustrations by Jed Dunkerley

Published August, 2002