10/10/2016

10/10/2016


The Question: How (from your experience and perspective) do artistic practices create public sphere?

I’m more of a lone wolf so I haven’t felt very connected with the idea of public sphere. I feel like most of my work goes out like little seeds into certain people. It’s almost like traveling by pollens. It’s more biological: it goes, it sits, it gets watered by somebody…

With the internet the concept of public sphere has changed a lot and it really needs to be updated. That idea was really revolutionary at the time when it came up against the bourgeoisie, against monarchy, against private holding of information, so I think it was totally relevant but now, as Morgan Craft says “new times demand new tactics” . I feel that with the political movements that have been happening the sharing of information it’s amazing, but I think there is a little bit an illusion of social media or places where people meet. Whether social media and people gathering to share information and get some things happening, or like actually in public spaces people are meeting to protest, it’s all kind of data entry into the algorithm that can be used against us and so I’m a little bit skeptical and I think we are going to have to go underground. Everything that we are putting out there is input into an algorithm and it’s being used three moves ahead of us. But not to take away from sharing information and the access, and the freedom of that.

The idea of sharing information and the public engagement of things—the downside of it is that it’s all data collection that is has being fed into the algorithm that is being used against us perhaps, but not to take away from the sharing of vital information and experiences. There is a big difference now, returning to the public sphere, in terms of the internet, virtual or digital versus actual humans around each other, breathing on each other’s neck and the smell of humans in a room together, is completely different. So these are two important differences, that each have their strengths and their weaknesses. What I do feel also about the political side of getting together as humans protesting – even there is obvious power in it-, is that a lot of times it’s a ‘primal scream group therapy’, that’s what I’ve been calling it. I’ve been involved in protests going back years and it kind of felt like that. It makes everybody feel really good, doing something, screaming their guts out, getting it all out and then at the end of the day, what does it really change? It has shown to change things sometimes, but probably the percentage is higher in favor of it not changing things in the way people want.

What I do, going back to the artistic process, is also being aware that every moment, every year, every month, there is a new upgrade of technology or simply a new way of communicating. We always have to be creative about how we communicate, how are we going to get our ideas in our art out there. I’m a completely underground independent artist. I don’t have these platforms of agents, or viral, or media, or whatever, it’s all DIY. Like I said I see it as seeds, that I send out as pollens and there’s something a little bit maybe even secretive about it. I also feel like in terms of the political connection, what I’m realizing more and more is that there is ‘no political solution without spiritual resolution’ . Meaning that the real change begins in each person’s mind and deeper than that, in each person’s soul. Without the revolution in the interior lives, very deeply inside, it’s pretty pointless, we are just going to be repeating the same crap over and over again. “Perhaps, as some venture capitalists venture, reducing our lifestyles will not save the planet, but it could save the soul without the integrity of which any new revolutionary technology is doomed”.

10/10/2016

10/10/2016


The Question: How (from your experience and perspective) do artistic practices create public sphere?

In order to answer the question I need to provide a minimum of contextualization to the idea of the public sphere and consider it as that margin of dialogue, or consensus, which is developed by means of active subjects. It does not mean that everything that happens in the common space is the public sphere, but instead what emerges on the basis of the debate or interactions that take place here. An empty city does not generate the public sphere, instead the content generated by the citizens or active subjects is where the real public sphere is located.

Based on that idea, I think that art as a science or a method of research generates the public sphere. If we understand that this is exclusively debate, anything can create the public sphere. Talking about football on Monday morning, for example, but its interest would be very superficial. Art, due to its complexity and to the broad range of ideas that work at the level of sociology, research, the humanities or language, greatly contributes to constructing the public sphere simply through the debate it arouses. Some of these debates might be poor, referring to monetary value for example. Those debates can generate the public sphere at a level that is perhaps similar to football on Monday. Going deeper into the matter, art (above all today) has the capacity to tell the story of what is happening at the social, political, aesthetic or philosophical level. If art is dedicated to narrating all of this, then in that way it is constructing the public sphere.

We increasingly see more relation between art and other fields, especially with all of the humanities, but also between art and science, art and medicine or art and sports. All of this means that art is a foundation with an increasing presence in all the fields of the social and in this way of course it generates the public sphere, because it is present in everything in some implicit way. A big company asked a photographer for a market study to find out whether cameras in phones were going to be successful. They commissioned this task to an artist as an example that art is very present in all fields.

I think that art is a motor for generating things that are later implemented in other fields, and as a whole they construct the public sphere. It forms part of the advance of thought and the construction of society. From a very basic terrain, the fact that a 14-year-old boy or girl takes out a skateboard or a can of spray paint and paints in his or her neighbourhood is generating the public sphere. So is the neighbour who sees her through the window and the next day goes up to her mother and says “look what your daughter has done”. The genesis of the whole public sphere is in those debates that emerge in the most everyday affairs.

10/10/2016