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The Conversation: an Artist Podcast

A podcast featuring both one-on-one and three-way roundtable conversations with contemporary artists, dealers, curators, and collectors--based in Los Angeles, but reaching nationally and internationally.
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The Conversation: an Artist Podcast
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Now displaying: May, 2019
May 18, 2019

In part 3 with Max Haiven, author of Art after Money, Money After Art, we talk about:

The influence (or lack thereof) of academia on the art market; the concept of writer Lauren Berlant’s ‘cruel optimism,’ which is something akin to a false sense of hope (Max uses the examples of using better light bulbs or taking shorter showers as being bogus solutions to climate change, which need to be addressed by the big corporations), and how it relates to art and artists, particularly young artists in anticipation of the type of career they envision; the importance of hype and confidence, not only in the art world but in the world at large (Max’s cites Uber’s fairly disastrous IPO); how confidence is performed, either tactically or non-tactically, which leads to a tangent previewing Max’s current book project about ‘Revenge,’ which features various far-right men’s groups (this conversation is in a bonus episode);  artist/activist Paolo Cirio’s astounding 2014 piece, “Loophole for All,” in which he hacked the Cayman Islands’ Registry and published the names of over 200,000 firms, in turn selling forged certificates citing ownership of each of those companies for as low as $0.99; the distinction of an action or intervention being art, as opposed to just activism, and how that plays out in Cirio’s work in particular; Valentina Karga and Pieterjan Grandry’s “Valentina and Pieter Invest in Themselves,” a gold coin which is owned be a changing group of shareholders at different investment points, and how the piece sheds light on the exploitability of artists and their artworks in the market, and, how in their case, the ‘market’ is a proxy for community; Bay Area artist Cassie Thornton’s surprisingly effective “Give me Cred,” a project creating custom, alternative credit reports for housing and job applicants, an adaptation to a corrupt credit-scoring market; the artist in the book who inspired Max’s interest in financialization and in turn “Art After Money…” and how their relationship evolved; and finally, recommendations for learning more about Artivism.

May 4, 2019

In part 2 with Max Haiven, author of Art After Money, Money After Art, we dig into his book in earnest, including readings of and discussions about: his studies of social movements; how philosophers/theoreticians (mainly French) came to enter the discourse around contemporary art; Joseph Beuys’ work with bank notes (ie money); the radical imagination, which he derives from the philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis, but applies to the contemporary and in particular to financialization, but at its core is about taking a skeptical view of all the constructed institutions in our society that we are co-constructing all the time…including art; Hans Haacke, including his epis piece of institutional critique at the Museum of Modern Art (which led to the curator of the show he was in’s firing), and which leads Max to questions around what the ruling class wants from their art, and the contradictions therein; Lee Lozano, the pioneering conceptual artist and painter who did pieces including offering a jar of money to visitors to her studio, boycotting women, and eventually “Dropout Piece” which entailed her leaving the art world for the rest of her life, and martyred her, something Max suggests she would have railed against; the type of art world insider Max was able to speak with, and what his takeaways are from talking with them; Zach Gough’s participatory art experience/demonstration involving giving out an invented currency at levels respective to the hierarchies at conferences, and process of how those social hierarchies play out in real life (more or less); the incredible cognitive dissonance Max has experienced at art fairs, and his observation of multiple worlds co-existing simultaneously, and the act of their often ignoring each other (including him, since he was only a researcher); and finally, Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies’ 1967 intervention at the New York Stock Exchange, how contemporary iterations of that piece have been implemented, and how the spirit of the Yippies – both the best of it (community building, suffusing art into life), and the worst of it (contemporary art’s surface-y bombast and machinations) – very much exists in a lot of contemporary art, and why.

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