Re: [-empyre-] on meaningful articulations : strategies
I find it funny that you perceive my critique as mean spirited. If we
cannot critique within our own community - where can we?
'Fallen Fruit' was brought as an example because of its use of marketing
strategies and the cultural engine around their project. The question I was
trying to raise - maybe "commodification" doesn't have to mean "selling
out". Maybe it can be a useful tool. There are many other examples of
projects using commodification as a strategy for their counter-cultural
agendas (e.g. RtMark, the Yes Man, Natalie Bookchin's and Jacqueline Stevens
agora-x-change http://www.agoraxchange.org ).
I don't think your equation of commodification=corruption is true.
Doesn't the fact that we have a difficult time addressing this topic on
this forum call for more discourse?
"2. Critique is a useful function, but if not contextuaized inside a
community who want to grow, it is just mean spirited. The quest for calling
out who is co-opting and who is commodifying and who is selling out, can
often be a screen for one's own career or social frustration. I have seen
more than a few times the use of the term co-opt applied to projects only
because they attempt to retain a reasonable socially gratifying level of
recognition. The witch hunt for self serving art projects can lead to more
ill will than productive politics. So, I'm always curious about the approach
to politics of calling out the corrupt among us. I realize I work in an
institution where I feel somewhat complicit in a form of
institutionalization. I'm ok with that. I think MASS MoCA can be helpful to
some projects and not to others. There is some sense of contradiction that
is tricky to navigate. I am also aware that producing counter-structures is
often times more fruitful than the figuring out who is, and isn't truly down
with the cause.
I often think we internalize the values of the marketplace by consistently
retaining the avant-guare as new product placement. That under the veil of
market critique, we are harboring our personal product, that is our
subjectivity. This is problematic. Often the language of capitalist critique
is used as a cover for our own ego. That happens... I swear. "
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of christina ulke
Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2005 4:52 AM
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] on meaningful articulations : strategies
Robby - i tend to disagree with you, I think art does have the power to
change people's perception of things and give us a very complex experience
of reality. Art can indeed be effective in the traditional art world.
But how do you measure effectivity?
I think one problem that stands in the way of having a serious discourse in
the gallery/museum system is the 'branding' of the individual artist/artist
group/ project and - along with it- the need for "product"[artist=product]
Take for example 'Fallen Fruit'; a project that was published in our 3rd
issue as one of the art projects
" FALLEN FRUIT began as an artist's project for The Journal of Aesthetics
and Protest in Los Angeles; it was a mapping of all the 'public fruit' in
our neighborhood in Los Angeles. We believe that fruit planted on private
property which overhangs public space should be public property and created
this project to encourage people both to harvest and plant public fruit. The
project is a rnse to accelerating urbanization and the loss of people's
capacity to produce their own foods, as well as issues around grassroots
community activism, social welfare and social responsibility "
I wonder - what started out as a "confined" art project is now an art
collective/cultural machine driving its own advertisement campaign with
spin-off projects in NY, shwag, events etc.
I would argue that Fallen Fruit is an example of a project that is in the
process of commodifing/branding itself; the question is -is this sort of
production around the artwork an example of an"embodied" practice? Or is it
an example of an effective marketing strategy in order to get the
project into the Whitney Biennale? Or is this commodification even
necessary to be effective?
I am very skeptical that Art, and artists when articulated as
individual practitioners, abstracted from a political, social, or
cultural base, can have an actual effect here
While Fish Story is a solid and even innovative practice of documentary
photography- it, like Sekula's practice- becomes a stand in for the
real in the capitalist art marketplace, as he is bandied about as the
last standing Marxist in contemporary art
along the lines of Kenneth's questions, i'm also interested in the
engagement with criticality as an "embodied" practice (to use Brian's
this is what i've seen as part of the journal's project (not to say
that for everyone else, of course). at some point, we have to evaluate
the state of embodiment. is the materialization of a given discourse
just producing books and conferences?
i've been thinking about de Certeau's use of "tactics" v
"strategy" in relation to the militaristic use of those concepts...
(thanks to a recent discussion with the center for tactical magic) a
lot of critically engaged practice has put much faith in the notion of
tactics as a reactionary form of practice, whether of the direct
action kind, or the unconscious everyday method of coping. but i'm
wondering if it's not important now to develop notions of strategy...
what would a "strategical media" look like? this is what i've seen as
part of the journal's project (not to say that for everyone else, of
course). at some point, we have to evaluate the state of embodiment.
is the materialization of a given discourse just producing books and
conferences? or is it interfacing with life in other ways? i certainly
am not saying i know how to evaluate this (if it's even possible) but
it seems the questions would have to be raised. as to the question
about where commodification (fetishism) is happening... i think there
are multiple ways that one could site that. certainly the publishing
system, and what's been called the "academic-military-entertainment
complex" on other lists recently... best,
This archive was generated by a fusion of
Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and