New York (and sometimes Europe)-based artist, internet activist and hacker Paolo Cirio talks about:
How he makes a living as an artist, mainly through commissions, workshops and guest appearances (and the occasional sale), and spread through several European cities as well as New York, and also how he keeps his expenses (including his rent in NY) low; his near future as an artist, as far as how sustainable his career is financially, should he choose to start a family; his activist roots growing up in Turin, Italy, which he describes as very working class and a lot of consciousness around politics, as well as early interest in computers and eventually the internet; his epic artwork, Loophole for All, in which he hacked into the General Registry of the Cayman Islands and published over 200,000 entities (many of them anonymous shell companies), then offered a certificate of ownership of those companies for $.99, and subsequently what it was like for him dealing with the fallout from that grand action, and how the piece tapped into complex logistics around how legislations are exploited by big global companies; why he chose the Cayman Islands for his project, as opposed to Delaware, which has a similar culture of offshore money laundering, according to Cirio; his contention that the art market is highly censored due to conflicts of interest on museum boards, including board members from tech giants like Google, in addition to his work not being ‘financially exploitable,’ thereby making it very difficult if not impossible for Cirio to exhibit his work in the U.S.; and why he isn’t going to be making an artwork that takes on Trump in conjunction wtih the upcoming election.
Samuel Harvey, Aspen-based artist and gallerist (Harvey Preston gallery) talks about:
How he initially settled in Aspen, through his various times working and teaching at the Anderson Ranch Art Center, as a ceramic artist; the many kinds of Aspen, including the 1%-ers and the regulars, and how he makes his way among them both, through his gallery, which he describes as a satisfying operation, but also very unpredictable in terms of what it provides to his income, in addition to the fact that he’s in a tenuous situation with the gallery’s commercial space lease; the “happy disaster” of his studio, which is a three-car garage just below his apartment, where the work that he makes as an artist brings him “endless joy,” something that we joke about because of our contrasting in-the-studio experiences; why his gallery is open seven days a week, which is an Aspen thing that has to do with the short on-seasons of sales activity; what he’s doing with his U.S Artist Assembly grant money; and the types of clients he has (people who really love the work, not speculative buyers).
Renny Pritikin, godfather of the Bay Area art community, veteran curator and author of the manifesto “Prescription for a Healthy Art Scene,” talks about:
Being a young poet who got into contemporary art via New Langton Arts, the pioneering San Francisco art non-profit that started back in the ‘70s; his close relationship with art critic, and poet, Peter Schjeldahl, who did a residency back in the early days of New Langston; his “Prescription for a Healthy Art Scene,” a document which he wrote back in the ‘90s, but his students starting putting out in the world a decade later, and then it got printed by galleries and he was finding it on the walls of artists he did studio visits with…; in ticking through the list of Prescriptions (there are 23 total), we discuss a few in particular, which lead to questions around: how realistic some of these points (such as there being plenty of teaching jobs at local art schools/universities) are now….whether graduate education has become something of a Ponzi scheme…why villains are important in an art scene, and more; some very practical things that he taught his curatorial students while at California College of the Arts, including assigning them to write wall texts directed at several different audience types, and how to collaborate as a group; his own experience as a curator, dealing with artists, embracing and coping with varying degrees of reception and critical feedback (including having his shows savaged by one local critic on more than one occasion), and the challenges and pleasures of working with varying artists; putting on the populist and the hit, first American museum show featuring Star Wars, which brought in 120,000 visitors; and the particular satisfaction of having viewers to your show read the wall text you wrote for your show.