DEL Reflection: Jeremy Bailey
“I think what we’re seeing right now is a golden age of artists cooperating to own the means of production. That would be the one thing I’d love to leave the audience with: this idea that to be a true anticapitalist you appropriate the means of production. That’s what I’ve always pursued—and queer it, if you can.”
Taking stock as DEL begins to wind down, “Famous New Media Artist” and Steering Committee member Jeremy Bailey and Artengine’s Ryan Stec muse over the persistant mythologies around the comingling of art and money that continue to cloud perceptions of aura and value—especially now, as we struggle to assess a world full of freshly-minted NFTs. Speaking to “the big C” of capital—the strange anxities it provokes within the art world—the duo dispell the romantic notion that money is a blight or intrinsically ‘impure,’ and pragmatically discuss what art plus capitalism (plus a critical agenda, of course) looks like.
These quotes, notes, and references are highlights from a 40-minute conversation that took place between Jeremy & Ryan in Spring 2021. Click through below and watch the entire exchange.
01 – Lean Artist
“The world’s first seed accelerator for artists,” the Lean Artist initiative has run at A/D/A Hamburg (2016, image) and MCA Chicago (2018). Adopting the startup world’s agile approaches and the minimum viable product model, 10 creators have worked with Jeremy to conceive and monetize projects.
02 – Fluxus
The Fluxus sentiment that art is not for the bourgeoisie is cited as being crucial. Inspecting the score for George Maciunas’ performance Trio for Ladder, Mud and Pebbles (1964) evokes that movement’s inherently messy, visceral, and embodied nature—a full-on rebellion against the elitist positioning of ‘art as rarified commodity.’