Impermanent Infrastructures: The Capricious Commerce of Digital Culture
Despite international and national level investments in securing ‘digital heritage’, the infrastructures to support creative practices, subcultures and experimental spaces are laid to waste. Stifled by rent-hikes and bureaucratic red-tape, how can artists and creative professionals continue to subvert capitalistic logics by developing their own ‘business models’ for 21st century media? How might the concepts of transaction and generative commerce be re-imagined through artistic research, critical thinking and making?
Moderated by Kit Wise, this session brings together Gaby Wijers, Melissa Delaney, Scot Cotterell and Bill Hart, to explore the capricious commerce of contemporary digital culture.
This session will be livestreamed at 3:30pm on Friday 6th November at https://economythologies.network/. Following the event, the video recording of this session will be available for viewing on this page.
In my work life and creative practice, I often position myself as a resource: looking at ways to bring my experiences and energy to the fore, while working with others on ideas, projects and access. My mind is a catalogue that spills and becomes bookmarked into the recesses of the machine.
The brain retrains to filter an endless display of data, clicking through to significant pieces and what might matter later on. How our individual selves curate this information becomes a form of currency. The value in time and energy expended in the research, on #twitter where a thousand people may not realise that they have each posted the same thing and this feeds the algorithm. This information super highway has become a narrow dirt track at the rear of town.
Tales of Ordinary Madness: from Leary to Musk
After a lifetime, I recently became de-institutionalised. Like waking from a fever dream, I woke to some clarity to wonder, “how did we get here, what is this collective madness that we find ourselves in?” In his grand narrative of human history Yuval Harai speculates that it is humanities ability to share in a collective hallucination of abstractions such as currency that are the sole differentiator of our species. Currently we face a crisis of consensus and erosion of the concept of value – as I ponder how we got from Leary’s utopian vision of technology to our current dystopia, I confront what it means to be an independent practitioner.
Since the seventies, specialized distributors have emerged worldwide in response to the ever-evolving time-based arts. Video art, media art, digital art—and other art forms not yet accepted by museums, festivals and ‘mainstream’ art venues. Conversations about building new communities around the artists of video, media art or digital art also included discussions on access and distribution, as they came up with innovative structures in order to sell and distribute these artworks. This is still relevant. Gaby speak as Director of LIMA, which preserves, distributes and researches media art.
Through local and distributed contexts and a destabilised continual bricolage that is part consumer, part critic, part hoarder and part maker, my work centres around the production of cultural objects, within the relatively narrow bandwidth of contemporary art objects and live experiences. It draws in, as subject matter and material, sympathetic and connected phenomena like value, authorship, authenticity, trade, and information flows. A magpie approach that appropriates, adopts, subverts and re-deploys the language, mechanisms and methods of late capital and its attendant theatre directly into art making may suggest new models of artistic research, critical thinking and making.