19 Dec Pop Art / Submerged Art
The emerging artist is like the son of a father who does not want him to grow up, who will accept his artistic rebellion under predetermined limits that allow him to speculate with his work, while preserving diplomatic relations with those who put the cash.
Some emerge, others submerge
Emerging art is a category invented by a network of relationships involving artists, curators, exhibition spaces, institutions, art fairs, media, collectors, patrons, auction houses, foundations and companies to ensure the permanence of the system of art based on commercial and speculative transactions. The greatest source of renewal of emerging art, and the most vulnerable within this system, are the new generations of artists, while those who benefit most from this invention are those who remain for years in spaces of power, such as academics, theorists, art and consecrated curators, museums, commercial galleries, collectors, auction houses and publishers dedicated to anthologizing everything “sub”. The younger you “discover” an artist, the longer the useful life of the benefit, the longer there will be for speculation and long-term investments.
The emerging artist is like the son of a father who does not want him to grow up, who will accept his artistic rebellion under predetermined limits that allow him to speculate with his work, while preserving diplomatic relations with those who put the cash. That it does not grow, because it is not going to be that when it is consecrated it does not want to be more its godson, he who gave it all and with whom has contracted a debt: the loss of its freedom and the cession of the author rights (although the latter function as a tacit agreement).
Francisco Papas Fritas, “Antena parabólica con pintura de Nicolás Maduro”, 2014, cortesía de Francisco Tapia Salinas.
Emerging art is a business that does not always generate economic rewards for artists, but often they are only symbolic. For example, in countries where there is no “real” art market, as in Chile, only artists can be offered the positioning of their work and of themselves within a scene, social recognition, perception of success, the occasional subsidy or purchase of work and the promise of some day to get to live on what it produces. In these contexts that lack art markets, the emergent artist is an eternal precarious one, while the network of relationships that are responsible for making it emerge benefits at the expense of his time and creativity: the curator maintains his status, academics, theorists, journalists and critics have about who to write, the museum has a fresh production to put together its program, art fairs and commercial galleries renew their stock, collectors and auction houses have someone to speculate and invest in, and publishers have secured the sale of a new publication “sub”.
In any case, in contexts where there is an art market, emerging artists are also violated, where their biggest loss is freedom. However, within these systems, the artist is not a poor victim. He also decides to be an emerging artist, because to be one, you have to be willing and energized, be aware of new international trends, know what is sold in the market, know and understand the artistic production of previous generations, attend openings, lobby and contacts, have a business card, an intellectual speech, blog or web page, cultivate a look, be aware of press appearances, be insensitive to being excluded at times, allow them to steal, get to know the route of exhibition spaces that must be done to emerge, and worst of all, to be rebellious, but diplomatic.
With this, we are not saying that in the history of art every emerging artist has been the product of this network of relationships based on speculative transactions. Certainly there are exceptions, but since capitalism began to be the predominant economic system, with the rise of the bourgeoisie and the acquisition of large individual fortunes, the consolidation of the “art market” was possible. I say consolidation, since Christie’s made its first public sale at the end of the 18th century, but the art market consolidates as such years later. Since then, the conception of “emergent art” for commercial purposes began to be forged, which led to the establishment of galleries and auction companies in the 20th century as the main centers for the commercialization of art, and to begin to speculate with young production. .
Surplus value of the emergent and autonomy of the submerged
We understand that the concept of “emerging art” is used to describe the typology of artists who begin their “career”, always implying a categorization that has to do with “the young”. Beyond referring to the concept, so that it allows us to understand each other, we make a critical approach to this phenomenon because it involves various problems. On the one hand, there is the problem of speculation in exchange for the cession of creativity, freedom and time on the part of the artist, his eternal state of precariousness and illusion, and on the other hand, the added value that is attributed to young production . What happens if at 50 you want to start making art? Are you forced to exhibit in bars? Nobody will write a press release? Nobody will buy what you produce? Will you only be in a “sub” anthology if someone makes a book of “sub-60 artists”? Will not anyone give you a creation scholarship because you have already passed the age limit? It seems like it’s too late to be a ticket seller.
Creative processes have variable times that in this emerging emergency are overlooked. For all this, there are many artists who are not interested in the slightest belong to the scene of the emerging but on the contrary, prefer to be submerged. I refer to groups of artists in which creativity and the use of art tools have an indispensable role, but not in the creation of works, but in the construction and participation in social processes. These artists make up communities, leaving aside their individuality, the creation of a personal seal and the logic of competition, to be part of a social body that immerses itself in creative processes that aim to improve their living conditions and achieve autonomy. In these groups the work is based on interdependence with others, they do not enter into the typology of the “artist” who starts or consecrates his career, which is part of that centralized network of speculative relationships, but instead, is part of a decentralized and rhizomatic organic. What emerges in this case, are new forms of organization and social resistance, and most importantly, in our view, new ways of life.
A good example of this type of organization is LabsurLab, which I refer to in the text “Tropical Ecosystem 2.0 (Third part)”, previously published in this magazine. From this desire to build community, organizations do not always come to be formed as such, so it also seems important to highlight other instances that are outside the logic of emerging art and correspond to spaces of encounter and dialogue led by groups of artists . For example, next April the first Technoshamanism festival will be held in Brazil. As explained in the collective financing site where the meeting is hosted: “this project arises from an internet network of meta recycled, sub mediates, art collectives, noise makers, mechatronics, performers, mediators, permacultures, groups involved. with technology and ecology, who are interested in the struggle for land. ”
An important thing in this, is that also the proposed molecular revolution even contemplates the creation and incorporation of new concepts. Here there is nothing to sell and again the idea of submerging in a social process and fabric prevails. In the practice of this meeting, both new technologies and ancestral technologies will be used to carry out a series of collective actions in the form of social desalination.
In these organizations, artists work hand in hand with individuals from other disciplines, and are themselves who build their own historical accounts, unlike the traditional system of art, where the historical story and those who enter it (who emerge and consecrate) it is built by others from their own interests.
Towards a model without intermediaries in the management of culture
The submersibles, as the word says, are submerged in reticular processes of their encounters and organizations, use other channels of circulation, have no desire for figuration in means that make profitable what they create, detest the lobby and be diplomatic when they are not agreement, and from his trench generate other artistic / political practices, without intermediaries. They are “orsai” (out of the game), as explained by Hernán Casciari, Argentine journalist and writer, creator of the Orsai magazine and publisher, from his creative experience, when he rebels against the transnationals, “traditional communication companies and the culture “that they profited for years with their time and creative production.
Although Casciari is not an artist but a writer, his experience is perfectly comparable to what happens in art and a good example of how to subvert this greedy model. From the awareness of the injustice committed by the transnationals where he published, to have a permanent feeling and subsequent certainty of the theft they were committing (regarding the number of sales and the low percentage of profit), what he radically did was kill to the intermediaries that were between his work and the public. When Casciari resigned from the publishers Mondadori, Grijalbo, Plaza & Janés and Sudamericana, and the newspapers La Nación (Argentina) and El País (Spain), he decided to create Orsai. As he says in a video, his goal was “to demonstrate and prove to me also that the famous crisis of the industry that is so talked about is not economic, but rather is moral; It is a greedy crisis. ”
Casciari manages to raise the Orsai magazine from the contributions of the community of readers that had been formed from his blog (through which the transnationals discovered him and when signing the contract with him he was prohibited from continuing to publish there). The readers were in charge of spreading the idea that a team of people wanted to make a magazine of popular literature and chronic narrative and before the magazine was printed it had a presale of 10,000 copies, distributed exclusively by the readers themselves. Both the writers and artists who publish in Orsai are paid 50% of sales profits: “the idea is not to shit the authors, not suffocate them, the rights always for them, if you want to go the next day, Good night, go, all right. ” Everyone has access to information on online sales of their books.
What stands out in Casciari’s proposal, independently of the fact that it could also be understood as a commercial model (although not traditional), is that it is a project of a community of readers that fostered its existence and maintains a fair relationship with the authors , at the same time that it dispenses with all possible intermediaries. Apart from having a printed version and a digital version to be read from technological devices, the magazine has a downloadable pdf version for free. “Cultural decisions begin little by little to be in our hands, we no longer listen to unique speakers who tell us what to do, we are the ones who communicate. We spent years depending on a greedy industry, buying what they wanted us to buy and suddenly, and increasingly, they are staying in Orsai. ”
To conclude, we would like to say that neither the emergence nor the consecration assure a future for the artists. On the contrary, who can provide them with the security of living the present and future they want, working as a true long-term investment, is the very action of immersing oneself in an organization, giving a twist to the use of creativity, since it is here where the basis of an autonomous and free life is formed. Freedom understood from its most basic conception: the ability of human beings to act according to their own will and the possibility of deciding how they use their time.