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Re: <nettime> In Art we Trust
d.garcia on Sun, 27 Apr 2014 23:09:22 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> In Art we Trust

Many thanks Saul, I have a real admiration for Kunst Reserve Bank project 
but despite your spirited and thought provoking defence I still can't shake 
of my sense of there being a serious flaw.

Saul wrote 
"Thats true however my argument with the Peperkamp's presentation 
is that in the context of a project with such radical potential it is 
unfortunate that he depends on a mystical narrative of traditional 
connoisseurship (i.e. artistic quality "I know it when I see it!).

Am I right that you're pointing out the weakness of the currency component 
without the conceptual framing of the KRB project? That the intrinsic value, 
like a gold-backed-currency, depends on antiquated but persistent value 
attributions? Yes thats my objection.

artist-object / conceptual author-discourse dichotomy of the project and the 
somewhat exploitative/naive relationship between them implied in the way you 
quote Peperkamp's capricious selection criteria - taken together - seem 
consistent enough with the trick they're pulling off to make Warhol proud."

My Reply
The persistence of this unproblematised 'quality' narrative lies at the heart 
of the overuse of the word 'creative' these days and particularly the way it 
being deployed in today's employment landscape to legitimise of soften the 
varieties of exploitation and self exploitation. Warhol (though he was himself 
a ruthless and notoriously stingy exploiter of the affective labor of his "super 
stars") was radical in the ways in which he saw right though this narrative 
and consistently subverted it.

Take his interview with Gene Swenson, in the 1963 edition of Art News where 
he famously declared that the reason he was painting in this way is because 
"I want to be a machine,? At the time people took it as a Warhol ?put on?. as 
they used to say in the 60s. But I would argue that he was deadly serious. In 
the same interview he goes on to lament how "Everybody's always being creative. 
And it's so funny when you say things aren't, like the shoe I would draw for 
an advertisement was called a ?creation?...Everybody is too good now, 
really. Like, how many actors are there? There are millions of actors. 
They're all pretty good. And how many painters are there? Millions of 
painters and all pretty good. How can you say one style is better than 

Its weird hearing this interview now at the height of the creative 
industries hype when everyone (sorry Beuys) are required to be artists. It was 
his marvelous literal mindedness that 50 years ago enabled Warhol to repudiate 
these expectations emphasising machine like repetition and to cutting to the 
chase by screen printing dollar bills and then watch from the sidelines as
the appreciated in fiduciary value.  Laughing (or rather smiling Cheshire Cat 
like) all the way to a real bank!

Unlike Peperkamp he never made the error of claiming the works were either 
'good or bad art'. They were commodities that operating like cattle prods 
"talking back to the media".without recourse to conoirseurship or special 
pleading for arts special status as a super commodity.

So my admiration for KRB notwithstanding I still feel its a pity that the 
project did not like Warhol find a way to go beyond its dependence on an 
unreconstructed humanist anthropology.

What would this project do/be if it were going to do/be more than 'just 

Well hmm not sure.. Possibly the source of the project should have been 
anonymous like bitcoin or (excuse the very bad pun) banksy. The individual 
releases of the coins could have been unattributed and aspired to a drier 
more neutral less arty form of charisma. All a bit vague I know.. As I said 
I admire this work it is thought provoking so the fact that I have some 
issues does not mean that I have any answers. I may even want it to exist in 
its present form and continue to provoke questions 



On 26 Apr 2014, at 10:34, Saul Albert wrote:

Hi David,

On 25 April 2014 16:01, d.garcia <d.garcia {AT} new-tactical-research.co.uk> 

In Art We Trust

The trick KRB seem to be pulling off (whether Peperkamp knows it or not) is 
to subordinate the ostensible artistic value of the coins as 
artwork/commodities to the conceptual artistic value of the KRB enterprise. 
As you point out, the success of that enterprise is premised on (and in some 
ways subordinate to) its successful relationship with a broader art market. 
Warhol would have been into that.


d a v i d  g a r c i a

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