My poor babies, I know– as I’m sure you know too, in your anguish and despair– that I have been away for a while. Work and life and travelling and acquiring a number of disturbing masks and wigs. The normal things a normal person does when they are not blogging. But hush your howls of loss and dry your mucous membranes, for I have returned and will shortly recommence gnawing the art world’s unattractive cankles.
I’m currently writing the successor to my book Career Suicide, from which this blog also emerged. The new one will be called Gentlemen and Players. It’s about the various weird situations in which 21st century artists and other creative people are finding themselves due to economic factors and rapidly changing means of production, distribution and consumption. Also making fun of stupid people and the stupid things they do, obviously. And yes, I know the title is sexist and reactionary. I’m writing about the systemic gender and class imbalances in the arts and media, too.
As part of the research process for the book (and of seeing which parts I can cannibalise for the book) I’ve just started reviewing everything that I’ve published here over the past few years. Two documents I put together a while ago but haven’t been widely published are the first things to emerge from this ongoing excavation. Two subjects I’ve often returned to here on this blog are 1) Dodgy pretend galleries that are mainly designed to part wannabe artists from their money and 2) The widespread advertisement of “artist residencies” that are nothing more than curated studio rental or pretentious holidays. Follow the links to see the permanent pages on these subjects.
I still welcome tip offs and informants, but I think I’ve now said just about all there is to say about this sector of the art industry. New people keep blundering in and falling prey to these spivs, but I hope that these two pages will allow me if future to just point at them instead of me having to repeat myself every time another poor wretch succumbs. Honestly, I’m glad to help people out but at the same time being the confidential confessor for so many people is exhausting because their stories are invariably awful and depressing. Once the new book is done I’m hoping to draw a line under the stuff I’ve done until now, and take the blog in a new direction.
A SPOTTER’S GUIDE TO DODGY GALLERIES
WHEN IS A RESIDENCY NOT A RESIDENCY?
CAREER SUICIDE, IN PRINT AND ELECTRONIC
My books Career Suicide: Ten Years as a Free Range Artist and Uncanny Valley have been around for a while and selling well in a variety of formats, but they are now available to buy electronically in a good proportion of the entire world. The parts of the world that have internet access, anyway. The ePub versions are all DRM-less, reasonably priced and available directly from Lulu, or from Amazon, or from the Apple, Kindle, NOOK and Kobo stores on your device. The barbarically archaic and decadent printed paperback and hardback versions are available from Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Ingram.
a-n have just published a very interesting document by Dany Louise, as part of their ongoing research and campaigning on the subject of artists’ livelihoods, careers and payment in Britain. It collects some worthwhile reading from bloggers and online news outlets, far too many for me to pull out each one for individual praise except to entice you by mentioning the great You Show Me Yours blog post by Briony Kimmings that hits a lot of stupid little nails right on their stupid little “we don’t have a budget for that” heads, the even more excellent open letter by Whitey to a TV production company whose multimillion pound turnover didn’t stop them from thinking it was OK to not pay musicians for their work, and the research done by New York’s W.A.G.E., including the payment and treatment gaps that still afflict many artists just because they’re female.
Naturally there are also links to and praise for this blog and another of my other efforts, the artists’ research group Market Project. Of course there are. I am now officially a primary source. Put that in your PhD and smoke it.
You can download the doc and get all the links here: