Thursday, January 27, 2011

If you pay me, I'll ignore your ideology

When I had arrived at YJ's snack bar last night I met Carmen Moreno and Lee Piechocki. We were there to talk about art, but before the discussion began we checked my blood sugar, and the good news is...I'm not a diabetic! A random and welcome discovery (not that I was really worried). They are currently meeting with potential contributors about a grant funded publication they are curating called ASP/SPA/PAS. If you want to check out what it's all about, check out their blog.

I've been thinking about my idea for a few weeks now, mulling it over while driving cross country recently. My idea began as thoughts on art and systems of power (if you know my work you're not surprised by this). I'm talking about the art market, commerce, but also sustainability; the ethics of how an artist is sustainable, and how economic conditions today effect the creative class. Especially interesting is the intricate web of relationships that we artists have to navigate through. These could be the chats with potential buyers, ranting with other like-minded broke creatives over rum drinks, or relationships that we forge with non-profits and granting organizations. These potential financial systems may only meet us through the written paragraphs we submit in applications. They know our work by a series of 20 digital representations with accompanying image information such as size and descriptive terms. If we are lucky, not to say it isn't often deserved, the deciding committee will deem our ideas worthy to receive money, and that we are recognized for our hard work with sustenance to continue making and doing things for a short time.

The discussion with Lee and Carmen began to weave its way towards a form of this investigation that might deal more directly with Kansas City. I love the idea of reigning in my interest in this subject to reflect directly on the grant that is making this publication possible, ie. a Rocket Grant partially funded by the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation. Local relevance will help me understand the dynamics of the scene I'm not rooted in, the players, and where the money trail leads. I can't say how the final form will reflect my findings, but it could be a flow chart, a website, interviews, and a huge paper trail. How on earth do journalists do this type of investigation? I'm sure that not all the findings will be pretty, that politics will be revealed beneath the positive philanthropy taking place in KC, but I'm thrilled to have found a project that aligns with my ideals, and something that will take new form and relevance in future work I'll do while living here. I'll be posting more of my research here and if anyone has suggestions on artists or writers to look at for this work (Haacke, social practice artists, or thinkers in any field) do let me know.

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