Through the course of these lifeworks, Hsieh moved from a year of solitary confinement in a cell to a year in which he punched a worker’s time clock in his studio every hour on the hour to a year spent living without shelter in Manhattan to a year in which he was tied by a rope to artist Linda Montano and finally to a year of total abstention from all art activities. In 1986 Hsieh announced that he would spend the next thirteen years making art but not showing it publicly

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Spanning the abolitionist movement, early labor movements, women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, and up to the present antiglobalization movement and beyond, A People’s Art History of the United States is a tool kit for today’s artists and activists to adapt past tactics to the present, utilizing art and media as a form of civil disobedience