Find out– among other things– the benefits of saying FUCK YOU to art world shitheels, how uncool starving in an attic is, and why you are probably not a princess or an astronaut.
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.
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.
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.
- 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:
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…