This year the WordPress annual blog report has expressed viewing figures via the rather peculiar metric of “sold out performances at Sydney Opera House”, which I apparently did eleven times in 2013. Whatever I was performing there, it must have been rocking.
I’ll be doing some proper posts again in the new year, and also recording some more Artbollocks Theatre readings. In the meantime:
You can read my tip*, one of the top five of 2013 for Culture Pros in The Guardian. Spoiler: “pro” isn’t short for prostitute, but you do still need to pay us… somebody else’s top tip is to use cat, owl or bird hashtags so look forward to plenty of those in 2014.
Derren Brown is also mentioned. Don’t worry about it, just accept it.
* NB: Not a euphemism.
#CAT #OWL #BIRD #CAT #OWL #BIRD #CAT #OWL #BIRD
- If you’re in the UK and you’re a blogger, a journalist, a commentator of any kind, or even if you just like twatting away on Twitter, then you can rejoice in the fact that from yesterday– the 31st December 2013– the Defamation Act 2013 came into force and henceforth prevents anybody from screeching defamation or libel every time they’re fairly criticised unless they can conclusively prove in advance that “serious harm” is being done by discussion of the matter at hand… so every single one of the people who’ve threatened me or other commentators in the past for expressing opinions and encouraging debate, or rumbled about legal action in an attempt to stifle dissent can now definitively and with the full backing of British law DO ONE. Critics of the art world, the Omerta era is over. Let’s make sure the gains made by the late, great Cathedral of Shit and their ilk aren’t reversed.
- And finally, below you can check out some of the greatest hits and biggest shits of the past year from this blog. I was joined during my surprise 2013 Antipodean gigs by these top special guests:
ARTIST OPPORTUNITIES THAT AREN’T, RUN BY GALLERIES THAT AREN’T
Boo! COLOURBLIND KIDS TV PRESENTER CAPTAIN HOOK and THE GRINWITCH OF BOTOXIA– I beg your pardon, I mean “TOP TASTEMAKERS” SAMIR CERIC and ZOE KNIGHT of Debut Contemporary are the bumbling panto villains of this season, and every season. Boo! Look out, Wendy, they’re behind you!
One of the USA’s most exciting contemporary artists, BRENT.
ROLF HARRIS. [Joke about Two Little Boys]
JAPANESE OUTSIDER ARTISTS.
OH SHIT, IT’S CHARLES SAATCHI!
TRUSTAFARIANS OF THE BELLE ÉPOQUE.
… and VINCENT VAN GOGH.
I’ve just rationalised (in most cases reducing) the prices of my books and ebooks so they’re consistent across like formats. Since I’m based in Britain and price things in pounds the prices may still translate into odd amounts in foreign currency, but they will at least now translate oddly and consistently.
Career Suicide is my memoir of working as an artist and film maker for most of my adult life, while experiencing almost every misfortune except popularity. I’ve been told it’s funny, a good read and it contains valuable insights on the art world’s foibles and failings. And slightly less valuable insights into my own.
Uncanny Valley collects my published short stories from various anthologies and magazines circa 1996-2006: among other things, a magic talking dog castrates the Estuary Gaffer Tape Rapist with his teeth, a robot maid trades housework for sabotage, and the last living intellectual escapes from his cage at the zoo and goes on a rampage of contemplation…
Buy Career Suicide or Uncanny Valley here.
I’m working on writing a report-slash-compendium of wisdom for artists based on the research and interviews we’ve been doing at one of my other ventures: Market Project. This has meant going through all the files and posts on that site, and in the process I’ve rediscovered some excellent posts there by an absolutely brilliant writer called Alistair Gentry. Therefore, like all lazy bloggers at the end of the year, I’ll be recycling some of these posts here over the Christmas and New Year period. I know everyone’s going to be on the internet as normal because everyone just is, always. They’ll just be a bit drunker than normal. I hope you enjoy these automated posts of old shit from another site, dear drunk and hating your family already readers.
It was slightly surreal to read one of Guy Delisle‘s other books about being a temporary resident among famished, fearful citizens in an oppressive Communist country (Pyongyang) while I was a temporary resident sitting among beautiful, healthy Scandinavians in an extravagantly equipped, wonderfully comfortable and relaxed public library in über liberal and progressive Norway. It was in some ways even more surreal to read more recently his similar graphic memoir about working as an animation director in the Chinese city of Shenzhen and to realise that he’d had almost identical experiences and reactions to the place as myself. I don’t mean I identified with it. I mean he had exactly the same experiences as I did. Delisle was there in the late 1990s and I lived there ten years later (2007-2008), but surprisingly little seems to have changed. Probably a lot more buildings went up, and the metro system wasn’t there, and the population was smaller, but I could still even recognise some of the places from his drawings. I was there as an artist in residence at a gallery in Shenzhen, one of the few state-funded ones in the whole of China.
Delisle mentions the occasional blessed escapes to nearby Hong Kong where it feels like a massive weight has lifted from yourself and from everybody else; the fine Communist art of doing the absolute minimum amount of work (or less if you can get away with it), what’s called in Russian tufta; the pathological Chinese aversion to the sun, “as if it’s radioactive” to use Delisle’s perceptive phrase; the worrying amount of time you spend, with hindsight, laying on your bed in your underwear doing nothing, just for some respite from the dirt and the difficulty and from people randomly shouting HELLOO at you on the street when it’s clearly a kind of racist dig rather than a genuine greeting. I experienced all this too. When I finished this book I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him with relief that it was OK, somebody understands, I felt exactly the same. Continue reading
The artists’ database Axis is twenty-one years old. One of their chosen top twenty-one Axis things from the past twenty-one years is a brief extract that was published there last year from my book Career Suicide, (you should buy it here) about the hypocrisy and general twattishness of comfortably salaried people at fully funded arts organisations or supposedly “commercial” galleries always expecting artists to work for no pay, with no resources and to no particular benefit for the artist… and worse still, taking it for granted that they will. Worst of all, many artists take it for granted as well and go along with this kind of nonsense. As I put it in the Axis headline: somebody always pays for “free” (and usually that somebody is you). Telltale Career Suicide logo at the bottom left, click there!
Axis (promptly) pays the people who write these things, incidentally, making them one of the few good ones. I haven’t read all twenty of the others yet, but those I have read so far are interesting and informative so I think they’re worth you checking them out.
Hey, I got through this whole thing without making my traditional joke about WWII, setting up puppet states in Italy and Manchuria, having meetings with Mussolini, etc… oh, wait.