Tonight at ICA, Boston: Paper Monument’s Dushko Petrovich Launches Adjuct Commuter Weekly

Detail of the front page of the first Adjunct Commuter Weekly
Detail of the front page of the first Adjunct Commuter Weekly

Tonight the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston sees the grand debut of a new publication catering to the hottest new lifestyle group: adjunct professors.

The initiative is the brainchild of Dushko Petrovich, one of the editors of Paper Monument, the literary magazine n+1’s art-focused spin-off and publisher of such titles as I Like Your Work (about art world etiquette) and Draw It With Your Eyes Closed (a book of art school assignments from famous artists).

Adjunct Commuter Weekly, as the new project called, has a tongue-and-cheek sound to it, but it addresses something very serious: the precarious living and working conditions of the fastest growing segment of the academic workforce. The plight of adjuncts has become a hot button issue: the tragic death of Duquesne University adjunct Margaret Mary Vojtko in conditions of “astounding poverty” made national headlines two years ago.

The inaugural issue of Adjunct Commuter Weekly was funded through a Kickstarter campaign (full disclosure: I have contributed to the campaign, and am on the publication’s board).

I’ve seen a copy, which includes, among other things, an interview with painter Sam Messer about his nine-year stint commuting from Los Angeles to Yale for an adjunct gig, as well as artist Justin Lieberman’s “Address to the Members of the Student Art Collective in Poitiers, France.”

But it should be emphasized that Adjunct Commuter Weekly is not being presented as an art project: It is a real newsweekly, providing a platform to address the living and working conditions of what its inaugural front page story refers to as “Professors In Poverty.”

Still, the art connection helps as a platform to get the message out. Tonight’s launch at the ICA is at the invitation of artist Ricardo De Lima’s current Foster Prize show at the institution.

“I had wanted to do Adjunct Commuter Weekly for a while,” Petrovich says in an email to artnet News, “and Boston seemed like a perfect place, since it is the world headquarters of adjuncting and a major destination for adjunct commuters.”

Detail of the front page of the first Adjunct Commuter Weekly

Detail of the front page of the first Adjunct Commuter Weekly.

 


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