Tag Archives: artist networks

DEGENERATION AREA

31 Jul

monopoly manVia artist Mimei Thompson on the F***book, news of a property developer soon to be bulldozing over a hundred artist studios near Hackney Road in London. They’ll be replaced by a twenty storey tower with “workspace” (whatever that is) and 170 homes including “a number of affordable”. Britain’s cities and towns desperately need more and better housing accessible to everyone regardless of their income, but we all know what the “number” of affordable units will be: as few as possible, probably with a separate door so the poors don’t rub their poor all over the investment/money laundering boxes of all the Chinese, Russian and Arab one percenters who are just about the only people who can buy these places. Affordable is a laughably– and conveniently– ill-defined and slippery developers’ term anyway.

Don’t worry, though, the loss of this artist community (who stupidly, inconveniently brought life to a rundown area and made it attractive to developers in the first place) will not go unmarked. The developers and Eastside Educational Trust are offering a princely £1000 sculpture prize. “The winning artist will receive funds to make their sculpture, as well as a £1,000 cash prize, and the exciting chance to have their piece exhibited as a public work of art.” It’s probably not conscious, but note that they avoid the word “work” in favour of the word “piece”. The page linked here gives the number of new homes as “over 200”. An attempt to contact them about the prize met with– oops or not oops?– an out of office autoreply stating that the person responsible wouldn’t be back until the second week of August. That’s how bothered they are in whether artists actually apply for it or not, anyway. UPDATE: See below.

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THE AXIS OF GOOD (STUFF)

21 Nov

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.

http://www.axisweb21.org

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