It’s been a few years since I graduated from MSUM, and it’s time I put my senior show online. This is just a rough sketch of what the page will be — later there will be construction photos, schematics and plans for the artworks, as well as errata like working gallery code. It’s all piled up, and just needs to be sorted and presented in a reasonable way.
I have to say, I’m proud of, and still agree with my artist statement from that time.
One of the fundamental problems with the visual arts is their one-way nature; you can’t effectively argue with a painting, just like you can’t argue with your television. The resulting heirarchy is difficult to upset- particularly because in the eyes of the artist, the museum, and the corporation, we are the receptacles for their output — their viewers, their audiences, and their consumers.
One solution to this problem is non-participation. Don’t buy the pants, don’t pay the admission. Turn off the TV, even. But a non action isn’t often a very effective action, and it’s extremely difficult to maintiain, outside of dying.
So, rather than making images about the evils of consumer culture, which are easily ignored and inevitably commodified, I’m proposing a means to an alternative lifestyle — one of personal action. A great many of us have the time and ability to make small, active resistances without great pains. I’ve conceived of a handmade purse against Ashcroft and his PATRIOT act, pants against branding, and simple technologies like bricks against surveillance cameras. I’m sure you can think of better ones.