20140610 eyeo - marius watz - field reports about art + tech

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Inconvenient truths about (digital) art, hard-earned insights from the curious intersection of art, design and startup culture.

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    20140611 MARIUS WATZ - EYEO FESTIVAL 2014, MINNEAPOLIS

    FIELD REPORTS FROM THE TRENCHES

    OF ART & TECHNOLOGY

    Hard-earned insights from the curious intersection ofart, design and startup culture. Including:

    Inconvenient truths about (digital) art

    Myths, misconceptions and the realities of being aprofessional artist

    TWITTER.COM/MARIUSWATZMARIUSWATZ.COMGENERATORX.NO

    FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/WATZWORKSHOP.EVOLUTIONZONE.COM

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    IMPLICITLY SUBTITLED

    Things I Didnt Know About The Art World,

    But Really Wish Someone Had Told Me Ask Me Anything About Art, Love AndMoney

    I Wanted To Be An Artist But All I Got WasThis Lousy Career (Ok, I stole that one from Nate Lowman)

    How I Stopped Worrying And Learned ToLove Art World Capitalism

    Why Art School Is A Ponzi Scheme

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    BUT FIRST, A DETOUR THAT I REALLY

    WAS COMPLETELY REDUNDANT.

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    Dave Schr

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    WE ARE ALL AWESOME. SO WHY DO

    THE WORD BROGRAMMER EVEN E

    The tech, design and startup worlds are full of smartpeople.

    Sadly, this apparently does not preclude the persistenceof discrimination based on gender, race or sexualpreference.

    Diversity is an agreed-upon universal goal, but simplyagreeing does not make it so.

    By the way, I am not implying that the Eyeo audience is racist or sexist. Im justsaying stupid shit does go on.

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    Geek Femhttp://ge

    http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/
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    Geek Femhttp://ge

    http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/
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    Moritz Stefaner:

    http://moritz.stefaner.eu/projects/gender-balance/http://moritz.stefaner.eu/projects/gender-balance/
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    Syreeta McFadden: Teaching thecamera to see my skin

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/syreetamcfadden/teaching-the-camera-to-see-my-skinhttp://www.buzzfeed.com/syreetamcfadden/teaching-the-camera-to-see-my-skinhttp://www.buzzfeed.com/syreetamcfadden/teaching-the-camera-to-see-my-skinhttp://www.buzzfeed.com/syreetamcfadden/teaching-the-camera-to-see-my-skin
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    Syreeta McFadden: Teaching thecamera to see my skin

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/syreetamcfadden/teaching-the-camera-to-see-my-skinhttp://www.buzzfeed.com/syreetamcfadden/teaching-the-camera-to-see-my-skinhttp://www.buzzfeed.com/syreetamcfadden/teaching-the-camera-to-see-my-skinhttp://www.buzzfeed.com/syreetamcfadden/teaching-the-camera-to-see-my-skin
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    Greg Dorsainville: DataFaces.net

    http://datafaces.net/http://datafaces.net/
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    Greg Dorsainville: DataFaces.net

    http://datafaces.net/http://datafaces.net/
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    Greg Dorsainville: DataFaces.net

    http://datafaces.net/http://datafaces.net/
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    CONCLUSION: BE NICE AND THINK.

    The tendency to expect those who are beingdiscriminated against to speak up tends to silence them.

    Worse, it creates further stereotypes (the silly Trekkiefanboy, the clingy boyfriend, the always-angry feminist)

    Acknowledging ones own bias is not admitting faultor guilt, its being honest. It also allows you to ask

    questions in other to learn from others.

    To quote a good friend of mine, you can be the best. Or the worst.

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    AND NOW BACK TO YOUR SCHEDULED

    PROGRAMMING.

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    IMPLICITLY SUBTITLED

    Things I Didnt Know About The Art World,But Really Wish Someone Had Told Me

    Ask Me Anything About Art, Love AndMoney

    I Wanted To Be An Artist But All I Got WasThis Lousy Career (Ok, I stole that one from Nate Lowman)

    How I Stopped Worrying And Learned ToLove Art World Capitalism

    Why Art School Is A Ponzi Scheme

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    DISCLAIMER: YOUR MILEAGE MIGH

    The following is a random mix of somewhat provablefacts and highly subjective opinions, framed aspolemical provocations in the tradition of the DevilsAdvocate.

    Depending on your own experience, you may find myanalysis to be nave, cynical or unreasonable. I can live

    with that.

    I apologize in advance if the following is overly didactic.Everyone has an opinion about art, yet the real-worldmechanisms of the art world are not widely understood.

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    HI, IM MARIUS AND IM AN ARTIST

    I never went to art school.

    I dropped out of Computer Science studies withoutearning a degree, making my bones in the world ofgraphic design and dotcom silliness.

    I decided to cross over and pursue art full-time

    somewhat late (age 30.) As a self-taught digital artistand ex-designer, I am a twice outsider.

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    My work

    http://mariuswatz.com/http://mariuswatz.com/
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    ART: THE BASICS

    First things first:

    Being an artist is a job, not a hobby. Not all artists makeart full-time, but that does not make them hobbyists.

    Art is a type of labor, artworks are commodities.As such, the production and dissemination of art isgoverned by the rules of the market it is created andsold in.

    Yet the vast majority of art consumers (i.e. layaudiences) are largely ignorant of the mechanics of theart world.

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    ART VS. DESIGN?

    The divide between art and design is more vague than

    ever, yet remains all too real.

    Utilitarian function is no longer a signifier of design.Design fiction? Design Art? Similarly: Social /discursive /relational art? Water wells in Africa as artproject? Embrace the weirdness.

    Nevertheless, mutual skepticism makes crossing overproblematic.

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    ART IS NOT DESIGN, IS NOT ART.

    Art is not design, and vice versa. This is not a question of

    relative value or even content, it is simply a question ofmarkets and context.

    Whether a project is art or design can no be determinedfrom its style, form or content. The only practicaldifferentiation is found by looking at which market a given

    project was created for, and what kind of discourse it isplaced within.

    Ps. Art is not implicitly better than design in any way, in many ways quite theopposite. So stop apologizing, already.

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    DEFINING ART

    A few conceivable, non-exclusive options:

    A practice of self-initiated creative expression, possiblybased on certain physical tools of production andmaterial constraints, or defined through non-materialmeans, such as conceptual, social, discursive andperformative devices

    A form of experiential research and knowledgeproduction, unrestricted by academic or scientificconventions, often dealing with irrational aspects of thehuman experience

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    DEFINING ART

    The production and trade of low-volume luxury goodsin a true gray market economy, valued according to

    artificially manipulated parameters (fame, scarcity,exclusive access)

    A social party game, played either for kicks (free booze)or keeps (social status)

    Art is anything sold in the art market(a personal favorite, origin sadly unknown)

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    HELLO, ART WORLD!

    The art world is a rigged game, played by ill-definedrules that benefit the very few. (That 1% idea again.)

    The art market is exponentially hierarchical, displayingan inverse long tail logic. Unless youre at the top, youhave little leverage.

    The hierarchy consists of a series of bottlenecks and

    taste makers: Curators, critics + art bloggers,gallerists, opening the doors to galleries, art fairs,m