Salon des refuseurs?

@M_PF If you’re at the Barbican you can visit our geofenced counter-DevArt online exhibition:

(Thanks for posting the geofence hack, @kcmic: set your location to 51.52, -.09 to view,

Dear hacktheartworld: It seems to me that this show is not so much an act of refusal as I thought when reading ‘counter-DevArt’, but one of circumventing the gatekeepers to be part of the conversation, on their territory. Intra-DevArt, perhaps? But your rhetoric in naming your event and in the open letter to Larry & Sergey doesn’t seem to match your entrepreneurial spirit. It hides your opportunism (which I respect) behind a worn-out, adversarial art world rhetoric that emphasizes material poverty along with essential artistic possession.

Frame semantics as explained by George Lakoff state that an argument that deploys the opposing frame still reinforces it by perpetuating the reigning metaphor. Perpetuating a location through virtual reference may just do the same. And indeed it seems that you are quite ok with working for Google, too. In your letter – after mildly, and possibly appropriately, chiding Google for a lack of media art history – you state “we can’t afford to work on a piece of art for two months, only not to get the commission in the end. We have to pay the rent, and eat once in a while too. That’s why we didn’t enter the DevArt competition.”

You are correct in saying that “[t]he art world is still stuck in an era of paintings and sculptures.” But maybe it’s time to disrupt the starving artist rhetoric first. The NEA has posted quite a well-written document: How the United States funds the Arts.
It emphasizes Entrepreneurialism, while also pointing to contrasting policies in other parts of the world. Entrepreneurial artists need to be – at best principled – opportunists. It is much more exciting to fess up to that.

Disclosure: I participated in the DevArt contest, was among 20 finalists, and for that received a ticket to Google I/O. Larry and Sergey apparently were not there, but Paul Kinlan was, who was on the DevArt organizing team.

Artist, professor [Arts Administration and Policy] at SAIC.

Posted in Art&Tech, remarks
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