checky checky checky
Exploring 6 month burnout, art with meaning, and the celebrity capitalist saviour complex.
Its easy to hate on this stuff, to worry about the long term effects of wack nft's at silly prices on the ecosystem, set in harsh contrast to the artists toiling on a daily basis. The solipsism of it is what bothers me, and borrows so much from the fine art world.
Art that is in and of and about itself. Didn’t post modernism do all this already? Haven’t we been chinking glasses to this same old shit for a hundred years.
Is the world literally not buckling under the accumulated stress of capitalism upon it?
In my 6 months here (10 including hidy!) I have sensed a loose, interconnected effort from artists of all stripes to communicate something deeper than postmodern japes; transcendence, a spell, a healing. Some of us recognise this kinship with something beginning to define itself as metamodernism.
But this other kind of art, this big sale oh but its by such and such, oh but the full sales history type of art, just doesn’t feel that deep.
This space is embroiled in capitalism, a consequence of it, and consequently in thrall to it. We can’t just expect everybody to get deep and strive to communicate something real. Thats not what people do. A lot of us are happy to just know the in jokes, to goof around, share memes, laugh at extruded coins rotating on x axes. As people we tend to feel safest in cliques, and are quite wowed by status, in the form of charisma, money and power. It feels important to us to be in the right sects, to know the right jokes, for some of us its more important to us to be seen to know the right jokes. Ergo yacht clubs I guess.
Perhaps that’s what this is ? A canny comment on this ? A clever sleight of hand or a knowing wink about how crass it all is? I don’t think its that clever really. I know if I was making that kind of money I’d definitely take the year off, and think about the art I was creating, and what it meant, and why I was making it. A lot. Probably some time off twitter too. It frays at my nerves, yet I keep checking. Checky checky checky I have labelled the folder on my phone. Checky checky checky. For what, a Jones, a fix, a change In circumstance I am not quite sure what.
I keep threatening to go but I don’t know where to really. I genuinely thought this would be some paradigm shift, something new. And well, it isn’t feeling that way at the moment. Every day a new whale arrives to fanfare and hopeful sycophancy that they’ll lift the masses from penury. Some big players are making moves. I anticipate with dread the forthcoming inroads and likely dominance from big tech, global brands, affiliated advertising budgets and coercive power thereof.
As a test, I am experimenting with engaging with some of this new influx of Billy big time Medici types.
My learned experience, from twitter of ten years previous as much as 45 years of life, is that like most celebrities or scenesters, the new type of high rolling incomer will probably only interact if they deem us to be of sufficient value, or status.
Something I love is how nft culture is quite different in this - every artist and collector at least on tez, is on a level, regardless of our history, sales, or OG credentials. Mostly, everyone replies everyone. I hope I am proved wrong but I really do have my doubts about “high status” irl celebrities and eth legends coming into lift up or save the space.
Let’s see how this new future goes.
I just wanted to make art that was personal to me, and hoped it may feel personal to others too. I thought together we might weave some kind of healing spell, yet the longer I am here the shakier those hopes seem to feel.
Look at the Earth, listen to the birds, walk the dogs. Keep it deep x