I’m just venting. I think a lot about art fairs and economies of all types, the big bullshit ones, the press expos, conventions, regulated selling in public places. I wanted to see more institutions follow zinefeast, and I’m excited to be a part of a truly diy project like paperjam as well. I haven’t been engaged in much lately, trying not to get too stressed. I’m out of practice in almost everything. Joe might not have insurance and also might have strep throat (figuring it all out today). If he wasn’t sick we’d have a lot more ability to sell things and promote. Everyone’s moving around in my apartment because money too. There’s a lot in my head so I haven’t been careful about words.
I really shouldn’t have implied that ripe was part of the problem. In fact they are doing a lot to combat these problems. They were offering scholarships and seemingly set out to make the fee as low as possible. Ripe is run by a fine group of folks with the artists’ situations in mind. Let’s all continue make affordability a goal and mission statement.
To expand and vent a bit I would like to talk more about art fair transparency. Did you know artists featured in the Whitney Biennial don’t get paid? Why would the curators and board members deserve more money than the artists? The Biennial is one of the hugest fucking things and the artists are expected to only be compensated by exposure or the chance to sell? We need to be setting the precedent in our smallest art economies that artists deserve fair compensation. There should be enough of a community among fellow artist to sustain fairs by ourselves. Institutions (especially publicly funded ones) should be smart enough to provide spaces for artists, if not then they should be lobbied. There should be creative solutions so nothing needs to be paid for except the art itself, that should be the biggest priority. I run events. I know that there are always costs, but those costs should be dealt with as a sustainable community. The showrunners’ payment should be the ability to participate in the economy they help create. Allowing artists to expect that they need a certain amount of money to participate eliminates poor artists. This is true of art school itself, it is true of unpaid internships, but it doesn’t need to be true in diy spaces. We, as average participants in culture, can creatively control how we compensate art. It takes time and communication, but if you have access to those two commodities, I promise it can be done.
I’m all flustered ‘cause my boss is away for the summer and I’m terrible at promoting myself as a freelancer. I may try to sell work on the street this week. I’ll make a custom ceramic thing, just talk to me. I’ll do whatever digital thing, odd job, etc. I dunno if I can handle a regular job right now, but maybe I’d feel more regular with one. I have to make rent this month then immediately need a small amount of cash to sustain myself for the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo. I’m really looking forward to it, but I wish I knew what my table fee was going to. I doubt I’ll make enough selling there to cover it.
I used to live in someone else’s house. I made videos all around their house when they were asleep or away for the weekend. At this point in my life I felt like I always had a cold. I wasn’t forced to be around people very often, I felt a lot of mistrust, and a couple of horrific phone calls kept replaying in my mind (permanent voicemail). I found joy in exploiting my relationship with my laptop’s webcam (and the web). Most of the videos were never completed, but I guess they’re complete as gifs. The series was off the cuff, loosely based on Kinks songs, and mostly cathartic. I guess I haven’t felt the need to be self-examining lately, but I’m having trouble finding the confidence to know and make enough about anything else. I feel like I’ve made this post many times before.
Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird?
I feel angry and resentful at myself. I stop and calm down and try to comprehend: How did I become so enamored with the ‘art system’? How did art become a desk job without stability or vacation days? Why am I burning out at 27? Why am I so god-damn thirsty?
Duchamp wanted to introduce time, a linearity, into a static craft. In a hundred years, a bland ‘contemporaneity’ followed. ‘Researching’ your ‘projects’, developing, hoping you were steadily improving while EasyJet flew you to homogenized biennials and you spewed CO2 along with the planes. Inhale, exhale.
Maybe it was an accident. Accelerated doom. You get your BFA, your MFA, your PhD. Papers you can’t afford (9000£ a year). You get to know everyone. You upgrade on production value. Sometimes you despair: is there anything you can accomplish? You feel utterly alone. 33 notes.
When you think that something is about to begin it’s probably peaking. There is no linear development in art. It’s cyclical, wavy. Post Internet was at its best when we were waiting for it to start already.
Art is like farming or doing laundry. You do it and then you get to do it again. It’s like oxygen. It’s invisible and it envelops you. It doesn’t get any better or worse than right now. Don’t worry about it.
Success and failure are both a distraction. I want to let them go. I want to live on an island in Finland and make ceramics and felted hats. I want to be one of those unimpressive regular people you ignore on your way to the club. I’ll be slightly overweight and wearing overalls. I’ll be grounded and smiling while you ignore me.
I realize that I’ve been an extremist.
Duchamp switched art for chess, an infinite game where you can win individual battles but never the war. Art can be a game, by which I mean that it’s an elaborate coreography with elements of choice and varied outcomes. It’s a thrill. It’s not your life.
I’m playing Candy Crush and Zen Bound 2 and 2048. Succeeding in these mobile puzzlers feels kind of like being curated into your awesome non-compensated group show in Seoul or Vienna or Oslo. Gaming comes without the distress, without being addressed, without coolness, without affect, outlook or statement.
I watch Game of Thrones while drawing in my book. The drawings are something to do. They keep the anxiety at bay. They fool me into thinking I’m being productive when I can’t get over the idea that I have to be productive all the time.
I don’t exhibit the drawings because they’re so pure and so emo. When I show them to people I regret it later on. I don’t want to charge them with expectations, with the burden of communication.
It’s a bad habit: you take everything you’ve got, your failures and insecurities. You repurpose, repackage, relaunch and repeat until they are categorized as successes. Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.
Watching these Mortal Kombat gameplay videos. Mortal Kombat 9: All Fatalities on Shao Kahn HD. The word Success blinks on top of these carnivalistic, brutal executions. It’s not enough to merely defeat your opponent; you must obliterate and make it funny, distinct, memorable.
Bullies have lower infection rates as adults than those who have been bullied.
Your life is like Gossip Girl except everyone is old and poor.
This is a placeholder for astute observations about capitalism, gender, precarity and ‘post-digital’ culture. I zoom out to reveal how my personal woes and struggles connect to a network. How political this is. How these exact details communicate a universally human experience.
A picture of a Dutch painting. Bosch or Bruegel. A gettyimages tag. A wave filter. The bright blue of a projector with no signal.
This is not my writing, but I feel kindred to it. Jaakko Pallasvuo always seems to be on point. There aren’t many artists (in the gallery-showing/conceptual-minded sense) that I admire. We gotta think about these broken systems, but it’s so exhausting. I tried to talk about the conflict of BFAs, and now I also feel burnt out in my 20s. Someone point me to the new manifesto? Art is decentralized and monetized. It’s good and bad and flatlined.
Wow I can’t wait to table in a cool library! Hopefully I’ll get something new together for this. My table will also be housing some really weird-great ceramic objects by Lee Masterson and copies of the gothsummer zine. We’ll also have a flyer of programming announcements for the next paperjamfest together by then.
Anybody coming to zinefeast should also check out Captcha (my window mural on Purchase College’s library) before it’s taken down in September. Also I’m sure there are a number of fantastic shows up in the Neuberger Museum, The Visual Arts Building & its galleries, the Passage Gallery, and the Stood’s very own Forum Art Space. Definitely a lot to do on campus if any visitors need a break from the feast.