INCOME | performing the Art for UBI (manifesto)

Art as a Militant Research 

Proponents Marco Baravalle, Emanuele Braga, Gabriella Riccio

Institute of Radical Imagination

The Background: about the ART for UBI (Manifesto)

The Art for UBI is a manifesto through which the world of art positions itself in favor of universal and unconditional access to income as a policy having advantageous conditions in economic, social and ecological terms.

The ART for UBI Manifesto was born in 2020 as collective platform and writing within The School of Mutation a project of the Institute of Radical Imagination as a translocal platform of artists, researchers, activists and curators engaged in the experimentation of post-capitalist forms of life.

It addresses issues such as the generalized precariousness of artistic work, income claims in gender care and decolonial struggles, practices of commoning, mutualism practices in the independent art scene, the relationship between finance, fabulation and crypto philosophy.

The issue of the distribution of wealth, the access to liquidity and to a welfare system is perceived and discussed in various ways depending on the local contests and the social compositions.  For this reason, we used different strategies in order to create discussions and networks on solid common ground. 

These are the issues and the borders of the larger floor we move through: 

  • the universe of precarious work, gig, and “shit jobs” 
  • the lack of public services and the privatization of health and educational systems. 
  • the working poor, care work, delivery and logistics, the new forms of waged exploitation and racialisation.
  • rent control, right to the city and the privatization of the public space. 
  • new forms of mutualism, cooperation and socialization of resources and liquidity.
  • bureaucracy and management as a new form of self-exploitation and social control. 


Strategy and Aim

Through a strategy of artist and activists networks and institutional co-productions the project aims at activating territorial focuses that can find visibility in the programs and activities of local cultural institutions.

Open discussion for political analysis from different territories involving the local collectives 

Publish a common agenda in the form of manifestos, papers or announcements. 

Support political actions and campaigning

Art production and public programs in form of inquiry/militant research/workshops/performance 



We started in 2020, networking  globally among collectives reclaiming a Universal Basic Income. 
Our present network articulates in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, UK, US, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Russia. We intend to reach out to Africa, Brasil, Argentina, Cile, Cina, Hong Kong, Australia.

The issue of art as a tool of prefiguration of possible political scenarios has become  increasingly central amongst researchers, artists and activists. IRI has developed excellence in its own practice of militant research, combining long term ethnographic engagement with low income communities, collective translation and co-writing of scripts emerging from the previous research and public performance, followed by public debate. Bringing together art, research and activism, IRI has also developed across its nodes a platform of communities and organizations which are actively campaigning around UBI. This proposed project brings together these three aspects: campaigning, artistic prefiguration and social research, in a series of interventions. (past Wien, Madrid, Milan, upcoming Venice, Rijeka)

The Performance as a dispositive of activation

The genealogy of the performance

Emanuele Braga, Gabriella Riccio e Marco Baravalle, sono co-fondatori dell’Institute of Radical Imagination (IRI) un gruppo di curatori, artisti, attivisti, studiosi con un interesse comune in co-produrre conoscenze volte a sostenere forme di vita post-capitaliste.

Dal 2020 hanno attivato una piattaforma intorno all’ Art for UBI Manifesto per un Reddito di Base Universale e Incondizionato. In questa occasione l’incontro e l’inizio della collaborazione con Anna Rispoli.

Membro di Common Wallet, Anna lavora al confine tra creazione artistica e attivismo, per testare possibili appropriazioni affettive del territorio pubblico.

Dall’incontro sono nate le prime tre assemblee performative come forma di ricerca e creazione militante intorno all’Art for UBI Manifesto.

nel 2021 a Vienna con il titolo Income.The unconditional speech in apertura del festival Wiener Festwochen,

nel 2022  al Museo Reina Sofia di Madrid  con il titolo Una renta, muchos mundos, nell’ambito di  On the precipice of time. The Zapatista Forum.

Incondizionatamente. Vita reddito amore realizza la ricerca e creazione nel territorio della città di Milano.

June 2021, Wien (Austria)

Einkommen. Die Bedingugslose Rede

(Income.The unconditional speech)

Wiener Festvochen

September 2021, Madrid (Spain)

Una Renta, Muchos Mundos

(One Income, Many Worlds)

On the precipice of time. The Zapatista Forum

Museo Reina Sofia

Our Many Europes EU

September 2022, Milan (Italy)

Incondizionatamente. Vita Reddito Amore

Unconditional. Life Income Love


Walk the Red Line. Le Alleanze dei Corpi


  • Preliminary mapping of the existing UBI projects and activists nodes on the territory
  • Research of local discourse on the issue & elaboration of a list of questions
  • Search for participants (ca. 15 people) not professional performers, we search for the maximum heterogeneity (old, young, different genders, refusing or believing in labor, stable contracts and precarious, activist and conservative). The participants are also invited to commit to perform/read in the final public presentation)
  • Interviews to the 15 final participants 
  • Interviews translation to working language (English/Italian) translation costs may apply.
  • Elaboration of a collective dramaturgy by Emanuele Braga, Gabriella Riccio & Anna Rispoli
  • Rehearsals with the participant. The rehearsal will take place in the few days before the premier, on-line and in presence with the participants
  • Public performance. Running time ca. 40’ / 50’ . The performance stages a chorus, a fictional assembly, a parliament of bodies, discussing the issue of income, referring to the local specific context. The performance will be in the local language (simultaneous translation costs may apply).
  • Public round table after the performance: theoretical framework, collective open discussion & visions
  • Documentation & Publication

Technical requirements

  • Preferably the performance happens in a public space that can be freely accessed by the public
  • 3 or more rounds of chairs
  • 18 Lavalier microphones and according audio amplification system + 2 technicians
  • Light system to illuminate the space (if need be)
  • Rehearsals preferably in the space of the performance
  • Sound check 2 hours before run-though, premiere and reruns
  • Print out of the script in the form of a booklet (20 copies of ca.20 pages A5 double sided and bundled)
  • 4 video camera and operators for full run take & editing