Charles de Agustin's "Mission Drift": Video and Discussion

Poster by Matt McKinzie. Image provided by Charles de Agustin.

Arts workers and their accomplices are invited to join us for a screening and open discussion around MISSION DRIFT, a new film by Charles de Agustin, at the Film-makers’ Cooperative on Saturday, July 1st, at 7pm.


Mission Drift follows a nonprofit art gallery worker who tries to stay afloat when a horny sadomasochistic philanthropist infiltrates the organization. An experimental essay film tinged with noir and fantasy, the work is driven by research into the sparse history of federal U.S. arts funding since the 1930s, and more recent universal basic income trials. The film’s tragic narrative takes aim at how seductive philanthropy can be, and points toward the need to constantly reinvent strategies against mechanisms of capture. Various formal strategies in the work also intend to explore the relationships between accessibility, complicity, precarity, and cinema.

Its medium described as “video and discussion,” Mission Drift may only be publicly presented if it is followed by a robust audience discussion on the issues at hand. All guests will be essential parts of the conversation with artist Charles de Agustin and curator Devon Narine-Singh, rooted in all of our experiences of working in the arts alongside the hosting institution’s specific context. The aim is to expose untapped potential for organizing through the arts, considering what relationship art should have with the state, philanthropy, labor, and social justice today.

Please note that the discussion audio will be recorded, though only an anonymized (i.e. names and other identifying details deleted) text transcript will be used for the artist’s future research purposes.

**Admission is a $10 SUGGESTED DONATION.**

The FMC Screening Room is in an elevator building. The film has integrated audio description and open captions. We are unfortunately not in a position to provide accommodations for the live discussion, but please contact to request an anonymized text transcript at a later date.



  1. Charles de Agustin, Mission Drift. 2023, U.S. Video (B&W, sound) and discussion. Audio description and open captioning. 13 minutes.


Artist bio: Charles de Agustin is an artist based in Brooklyn who makes films, performances, and texts that scavenge in the ruins of critique and complicity. de Agustin earned a BFA in filmmaking and philosophy at Rutgers University, and an MFA in studio art at the University of Oxford, where he received the Mansfield-Ruddock Art Prize in 2021. Exaggerations (2022) was supported by The Elephant Trust. Mission Drift (2023) will begin a solo tour at the Film-Makers’ Cooperative and Maysles Documentary Center in New York this summer. Past group presentations include New Contemporaries (South London Gallery and Firstsite), Kassel Dokfest, Rhode Island School of Design, Alternative Film/Video Belgrade, ISFF Nijmegen, Bodega Film Festival, Alliances & Commonalities Stockholm, Athens Film + Video Festival, and Brooklyn College. de Agustin has participated in the School for Poetic Computation, Fine Press Seminar at Center for Book Arts, and Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art. His work as an educator, curator, and gallery manager supports his practice, both financially and conceptually. Website: