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Monday, May 21, 2012

The art game

I have a piece coming up in the 04-11Jun12 issue of the New Yorker. Apparently it is a special sci-fi double issue, so that should be awkward and fun.

Alighiero Boetti has a retrospective coming up at the MoMA and this piece is to accompany a write-up.
Seeing that this was upcoming got me thinking about the art game and the mass manipulation of consumers disguised as or presenting itself as the “Art World.” It’s really not much different than the “design world” or the “PR World” or the “Advertising World.” It is a game in which the object is for the Lords of Capital to manipulate the target audience to want whatever the Lords of Capital have to sell. And therefore droves of middle-men, also known as designers, marketing gurus, journalists, curators, PR agents, copywriters, etc., are employed to facilitate this shell game.

It made me think of this from the philosopher and artist Kenneth Smith:

 “When a specific collector has covertly managed to corner the market on a given not-yet-arrived artist's major works, that's the time when a major museum-retrospective is due, formally and officially and "impartially" consolidating his reputation for all to see. The "public" apparatus of the museum validates the "private" collector's parking ticket. Then, at the close of the poker game, the collector shows his hand of cards and tells the other players, "Read 'em and weep."  And another multibillion dollar fortune is made, just on the side and incidentally. Because just as Adam Smith noted in his decades-ago book on the phenomenon of SUPERMONEY produced when a startup-company has its first public offering of stock, art is this same kind of escalator-game, multiplying initial investments by magnitudes inconceivable to the sweat-blinded, hard-working public. ”

Though I am aware Boetti is not exactly a “not-yet-arrived” artist I have no doubt this exhibition could be traced back to the sound of money being deposited into some wealthy “patron” of the arts’ Swiss bank account.