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Market in the Studio – Continued…

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What I’ve been trying to open up in these FB posts is a deeper consideration, understanding and conversation about what Art is and has become in the face of our Economic Modernist Art World. What does it mean to be an artist at this time in the face of this new reality? Why has there NOT been a backlash of art, aesthetics, theoretics, providing a different viewpoint, a different reality of what our art world should be? Why have we settled for the Neo-Liberal model of unregulated markets, unfettered investments and oligarch manipulations of the very things that should have meaning to US, to artists? We can not go back to an imagined reality of an avant-garde, but we can ask questions of ourselves, about how we fit into this time, about what kind of work we make, what kind of visions we create, and who, ultimately, those visions are for.
 
I’ve done these posts on FB purposely, because it is their database, and I was hoping to make a sly point. My database for Henri floats free on the net. I have my own url. It is part of the larger “lost” web and to whatever degree possible it makes Henri individuated. Facebook, however, is a genius business idea. It was created as a web within the web, a club so to speak, and somehow they’ve managed to convinced us that their surveillance and collection of our data, our thoughts, images and ideas, is to our benefit. FB is a fill-in-the-blank, click your preferences, and upload your data kind of place. Their programs control and shape your creativity, and in some cases if you cross a line that they deem uncrossable, they’ll throw you off for a period of time. As I write this FB stock price is $112.26, its market cap is almost $320 billion – all because we participate in this “beneficent” umbrella – we create its value. And in that Facebook has become like a new kind of Vatican, a place where believers, users, obtain their moral code and provide “value” to the cause in the form of personal information – what they like, how they shop, what they think, etc. The strange thing is we can do these very same things on our own web pages. We can communicate, share photos, stories, whatever you like, and we can do it for ourselves. We can do it without FB’s Electronic Vatican pocketing our information. Why are we so willing to believe that it’s in our benefit to give over our lives over for someone else’s profit and someone else’s control?
 
I make this point, ask these questions, because we’ve adopted these same policies of contrition to the market in the art world, and it’s changed how we make art, how we live our lives in the studio and how we consider ourselves in the Economic Modernist Art World. As Dave Hickey has said when speaking of money’s effect on artists and the art world, “care is control.”
 
“If art can’t tell us about the world we live in, then I don’t believe there’s much point in having it. And that is something we’re going to have to face more and more as the years go on. That nasty question which never used to be asked because the assumption was always that it was answered long ago – What good is art? What use is art? What does it do? Is what it does actually worth doing? and an art that is completely monetarized in the way that it is these days is going to have to answer these questions or it’s going to die.” Robert Hughes – The Mona Lisa Curse

4 Comments

  1. Hans wrote:

    When you talk about the New York-Miami-London-Berlin “art world model” – where do you put the thousands and thousands of artists from Warsaw, Dresden, Lisboa, Nantes, Chicago, Lagos, Vienna, Yerevan, Madrid ? In the waste bin of art history ? Are they not making art ? Is art only made by recognized art market artists ?

    Facebook is an art killer because every nipple, every cock, ass, cunt, pussy is forbidden, regulated, controlled and banned. If you question the official 9/11 it is recorded on Facebook and thanks to all the services elsewhere in the net.

    If you make art, that really attacks mainstream thinking you will have a short life on Facebook.

    Was there in Orwell’s 1984 a place for art and artists ?

    New art will emerge and kill all this bullshit from the artfairs, lets hope..

    Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 10:30 AM | Permalink
  2. Martin Mugar wrote:

    I find myself posting less and less on FB.At first I would get replies to my posts but over time find them ignored which is not the case on Twitter. Also I am tired of the cat videos and the general level of political feel good bromides.So I will write here.I was just emailing back and forth with the artist Paul Pollaro. He is left wing in his politics but expressed admiration for what Trump did to Megan Kelley and Fox news by skipping the debate.He turned the tables on the media who think they can tell us what to think and how to act.The art media is equally totalitarian.How they foisted the utter crap of Koons and got away with it is purely due to their absolute control of the media. In regards to Hughes in the context of the Renaissance is interesting how the role of art as transcendentstill lingers on.That role is long gone.It implies a struggle to organize one’s thoughts to overcome the trap of Plato’s cave i.e. to turn our gaze away from the shadows of existence to the light that shapes those shadows. Kojeve who wanted us to be just human, to accept our role in the human herd imagined an idea of music in the bare minimum world of just being human to resemble the sound of crickets with no transcendent theme.Warhol and now Koons want us to accept the lowest common denominator of societal existence.I recall Kojeve being surprised of the role of Zen among the Japanese that seemed to resist being lost in the lowest common denominator.High Modernism and the art of abstraction coming from the theosophist Mondrian revived that notion of transcendence. Today there is nothing to overcome or to fight for. I did feel that it lingers on in Westerns that I addressed in this blog:http://martinmugar.blogspot.com/2013/11/who-cares-about-art-scene-when-you-can.html

    We need also a new notion of time that is not linear,that is disruptive. Maybe similar to the revolutions of the 19th c that disrupted the top down control of the Hapsburgs or the resistance to Communism in Poland in the 20th c.

    Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 12:30 PM | Permalink
  3. Hans wrote:

    Interesting interview with Agamben
    https://libcom.org/library/god-didnt-die-he-was-transformed-money-interview-giorgio-agamben-peppe-sav%C3%A0

    Monday, March 28, 2016 at 4:49 PM | Permalink
  4. George Hofmann wrote:

    Art doesn’t die.

    Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

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