Established in 2008 by artists Bridget Elmer and Emily Larned, Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA) is an evolving participatory art and publishing project committed to process and reflection. ILSSA is a membership organization for artists and makers that fosters community, and an imprint that publishes new ideas, tools, and resources.
As a union for creative practitioners, ILSSA focuses on improving the immaterial working conditions of its members. ILSSA observes an annual holiday, the Festival to Plead for Skills; organizes participatory exhibitions and events; and facilitates an annual group residency.
ILSSA’s publications are tools for reflection, and often take the form of a call-and-response. Calls have included a survey asking members to assess their working conditions as artists, a workbook inviting members to ruminate on their relationship and experience with time, a chronobiological self-test, and a request for member manifestos.