Berlin-based Greek artist Valentina Karga talks about:
Her artwork (and project from Max Haiven’s Art After Money…book) Valentina and Pieter Invest in Themselves—the collaboration as well as its ramifications in her greater life as an artist, in terms of their precarity and ‘generating parallel economies;’ her workshop in Glasgow, which eventually led to her project “the Institute of Spontaneous Generation” (2016); her background in architecture, and how it relates to/informs are art projects; a recent project her art students (she’s a professor at HFBK in Hamburg) completed, in which they were instructed to make artworks for the future, and how what they came up with was work that was ‘super negative, like a Black Mirror episode…’ post-apocalyptic, in other words; her project Temple of Holy Shit, which was conducted in a public park as part of a design biennial in Brussels, and entailed turning the human waste of visitors to the park – combined with compost, and the process of anaerobic fermentation – into usable soil…and how the problem with using this process on a wider scale actually has much more to do with the taboos around human waste than the actual science itself; her perspectives about working in collectives or collaborative projects in relation to working on one’s own, and how learning to know oneself is ultimately a necessity in most productively working with others.
In a follow-up conversation I had with artist Cassie Thornton (of epis. 248), I share with her my interest in moving some of art-making into the socially engaged realm, in particular related to real estate development issues that I’ve begun to investigate. Cassie provides advice and strategy suggestions in addition to sharing some of her own experiences related to building development in the San Francisco Bay Area, including a writer whom she sees as invaluable resource, and an artist, the German Sibylle Peters, as an ideal role model. She describes art institutions as ideal access points – highways, even - to people in finance or real estate, particularly board members; and ultimately describes this type of (socially engaged) work as the opportunity to both make a difference and at the same time to create an ambitious practical – even grandiose – joke.