In The Conversation’s first guest-featured Virtual Café – our once every few weeks gathering with fellow listeners on Zoom - former guest of the podcast (epis. 152 and 153) Nato Thompson talks about “the Indignation.” He riffs on how our emotional space, the space of the personal, becomes a political space... and how in that emotional space, the things that get the most traction are the things that provoke the most emotion. He points out that our biggest emotion- fear - is the modality of the internet, and how most internet chatter takes the form of social media- which has, ultimately, become our political discourse. He also talks his departure from the Philadelphia Contemporary (and nonprofits), and his new post directing the Alternative Art School, and ends with a great anecdote about his turning point towards becoming a curator.
In Part 2 with artist Steve Lambert, he discusses his most well-known artwork, Capitalism Works For Me, wherein he prompts participants to decide between “true” and “false” on whether capitalism really works for them on a personal level. Lambert himself says “false”, it doesn’t work for him, despite being in a better position than others and lists reasons why within the episode. He also weighs his career making more gallery-friendly art with his art for social change, and how he’s ultimately come down on the latter. His social change work thru the Center Artistic Activism was just featured on CBS News: https://c4aa.org/2020/10/cbs-this-morning-on-unstoppable-voters