Laurel Ptak is an artist, curator, writer and educator based in New York City. She is currently director and curator of the artist-founded non-profit organization Art in General in New York City. A multidisciplinary figure inside the field of culture, she has made contributions across disciplines of photography, new media, social practice art, curating and technology. She was named one of 100 top Leading Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine in 2014. She is currently an MFA professor in the School of Art, Media and Technology at The New School and faculty member in the Curatorial Practice graduate program at the School of Visual Arts.
Her work has looked at the social effects of technology and recent projects have taken up topics including feminism, hacking, and social media. She is co-editor of the book Undoing Property? with artist Marysia Lewandowska. Its essays, interviews and artistic projects explore themes of immaterial labor, political economy and the commons. One of Ptak's best known projects, Wages For Facebook, draws upon ideas from the 1970s international Wages for housework feminist campaign to think through contemporary relationships of capitalism, class and affective labor inside social media. When it launched as a website it immediately drew over 20,000 views and was rapidly and internationally debated via social media and the press, setting off a public conversation about worker’s rights and the very nature of labor, as well as the politics of its refusal, in the digital age. She is a co-founder of the award-winning Art+Feminism Wikipedia-Edit-A-Thon project which addresses gender disparities online and their effects on public forms of knowledge, with public edit-a-thons organized each year at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and co-organized by numerous art institutions and universities around the world.
Ptak studied art, critical theory and art history at Hampshire College and holds an M.A. in curating and the history of contemporary art from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College where she wrote her graduate thesis on feminist art from the 1990s.
- "Art in General Appoints Laurel Ptak as Executive Director". artforum.com. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
- "25 Under 25: Up-And-Coming American Photographers". Duke University. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- Robin Cembalest (February 2014). "101 Women Artists Who Got Wikipedia Pages This Week". Artnews. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- Jason Foumberg (February 2014). "It Take Practice". Artforum. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- Rozalia Jovanovic (September 2012). "Independent Curators International Announced Nominees for 2012 Independent Vision Curatorial Award". New York Observer. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- Jessica Weisberg (January 2014). "Should Facebook Pay Its Users?". The Nation. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "A World Disrupted: The Leading Global Thinkers of 2014". Foreign Policy Magazine. November 2014. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "Art, Media, Technology Faculty". The New School. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "SVA Curatorial Practice Master of Arts". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- Catherine Wagley (February 2014). "Wikipedia Becomes a Battleground for Art Activism". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- Stephen Squibb (February 2014). "Ubiquitous Economies, Free Kevins: Interview with Laurel Ptak". Idiom Magazine. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- Anna North (October 2014). "The Social Network That Pays You to Friend". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "Undoing Property?". Sternberg Press. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Wages For Facebook". Laurel Ptak. January 2014. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- E. Alex Jung (Spring 2014). "Wages for Facebook". Dissent Magazine. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- Eyebeam Art + Technology Center (January 2014). "Wages For Facebook". Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "101 Women Artists Who Got Wikipedia Pages This Week". ARTnews. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "CCS Bard Masters Theses". Center For Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Retrieved 29 January 2017.