Established in 2008, Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA) is a union for reflective creative practice.


As a union for artists, makers, and creative practitioners of all kinds, ILSSA focuses on improving the immaterial working conditions of our members. ILSSA publishes contemplative tools and resources; organizes participatory projects, exhibitions, and events; facilitates an annual group residency; and observes an annual holiday, the Festival to Plead for Skills. ILSSA seeks to restore the relationship between makers and their tools, makers and their time, and makers and what they make.

ILSSA's projects and publications often take the form of a call-and-response. Calls have included a survey asking members to assess their working conditions as impractical laborers, a workbook inviting members to ruminate on their relationship and experience with time, a chronobiological self-test, a request for member manifestos, and an inventory of essential tools for living. Participation in these projects often leads to additional publications and exhibitions.

ILSSA members' interests vary widely, from fiber arts to listening and sound practices, from poetry to animation. What unites all members is a valuation of process, exemplified by our motto, As Many Hours As It Takes!