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HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THAT THE ART WORLD IS SHAPED BY DEMAND? WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN? HOW DO YOU KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?


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Published by PILOT: September 2008 All texts Š PILOT: and the authors A PILOT: concept Produced and designed by Doriane Laithier Assisted by Debbie Lawson Printed by Short Run Press Limited, England

PILOT: Colin Guillemet Doriane Laithier Elizabeth McAlpine Matthew Poole Karine Pradier info@pilotlondon.org http://www.pilotlondon.org


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This is the third in the series of popular pocket-books by PILOT:. As in the previous editions, we have asked a wide range of art-world practitioners to respond to three questions. These are deliberately direct, to emulate a wide range of reactions on a subject that tickled us since the last book in 2005: movement of capital – symbolic, fiscal or fiduciary – power and influence within the different strata of the art world. We have left the answers uncensored and unedited, to reflects at best the wealth of views and reactions that seldom appears in more official art media. The contributors include a broad international group of artists, curators, writers and collectors, some well-established figures, and some emerging ones. We are extremely grateful to all of them for their time and the thoughtfulness of the responses.

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Q1 HOW MUCH

DO YOU THINK THAT THE ART WORLD IS SHAPED BY DEMAND?

15-48

Q2 WHERE DO YOU

FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

49-68

Q3 HOW DO YOU

KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

69-92

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CONTRIBUTORS Andy Abbott 16, 50, 70 Artist, West Yorkshire, UK

Julia Alvarez 16, 50, 71 Director of BEARSPACE and independent curator, London

Sarah Andrew 16, 51, 71 Artist and writer, London

Tamara Arroyo 17, 51, 71 PILOT: artist, Madrid

Sarah Baker 17, 51, 71 PILOT: artist, London

Paul Barratt 17, 51, 71 Designer, London

Michele Bazzana 17, 51, 71 PILOT: artist, Codroipo, Italy

Cecilia Bonilla 17, 51, 72 PILOT: artist, London

Sara Bowler 17, 51, 72 Artist, Falmouth, UK

Kristina BrĂŚin 18, 52, 72 PILOT: artist, Oslo

Kimberley Brown 18, 52, 72 Director of Brown gallery, London

Celine Condorelli 18, 52, 72 PILOT: nominator, architect, London

James Connelly 18, 52, 72 PILOT: artist, London

Phil Coy 19, 52, 73 PILOT: artist, London

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Elena Crippa 19, 52, 73 Curator and artist liaison, Lisson Gallery, London

Ross Downes 19, 53, 73 PILOT: artist, London

Stephen Dunne 20, 53, 73 PILOT: artist, London

Sonya Dyer 20, 53, 73 Artist, London

Susan E. Barnet 21, 54, 74 Artist, London

Renate Egger 22, 54, 74 Artist, Vienna

Andrew Ekins 22, 54, 74 Artist, London

Flora Fairbairn 22, 54, 74 PILOT: nominator, independent curator, London

Michael Hampton 74 PILOT: artist, London

Dr. Harriet Häussler and Dr. Bastian Aeneas 23, 54, 75 Directors of Upstairs Berlin GbR, Berlin

Michael Hiltbrunner 23, 54, 76 Academic researcher, Institute for Contemporary Arts Research, Zurich

Jens Hoffmann 23, 55, 76 PILOT: nominator, curator, director Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco

huber.huber 24, 55, 76 PILOT: artists, Zurich

Juan Manuel IpiĂąa 24, 55, 76 Artist, Buenos Aires

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Kaz 24, 55, 77 Artist, London

Deirdre King 25, 55, 77 Artist, writer, Limehouse Arts Foundation, London

Sharon Kivland 27, 55, 77 Artist, writer, France and England

Pil and Galia Kollectiv 27, 56, 77 PILOT: artists, London

Peter Lewis 28, 56, 78 PILOT: nominator, curator and director of Redux, London

Justin Lieberman 28, 57, 78 Artist, New York

Pia Linz 29, 57, 78 PILOT: artist, Berlin

David Mabb 30, 57, 79 PILOT: artist, course leader MFA Fine Art Goldsmiths College, London

Rory Macbeth 30, 57, 79 Co-founder of PILOT:, artist, Leeds

Stuart Mayes 30, 57, 80 PILOT: artist, London

Alan McQuillan 30, 58, 80 PILOT: artist, London

David Medalla 31, 58, 80 PILOT: nominator, founder and director of the London Biennale, London

Jonathan Meldrum 31, 58, 81 Finance assistant (Local Govt), Hertford UK

David Mollin 31, 58, 81 PILOT: artist, London

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Syd Mostow 32, 59, 81 PILOT: artist, Barcelona

Jason Mountolive 32, 59, 82 Artist, London

Susanne Neubauer 33, 59, 82 PILOT: nominator, art historian and curator at Museum of Art Lucerne, Switzerland

Paul O’Neill 33, 59, 82 Research fellow, Situations Office, School of Art, Media & Design, Bristol, UK

Domenico Olivero 33, 59, 82 Artist and curator, Cuneo, Italy

Stefano Pasquini 33, 59, 82 Artist, Bologna, Italy

Liv Pennington 34, 60, 83 Artist, UK and Bulgaria

Alan Phelan 34, 60, 83 PILOT: nominator, artist, Dublin

Matthew Poole 34, 60, 83 Co-founder and co-director of PILOT:, freelance curator and programme director for the Centre for Curatorial Studies at The University of Essex

Max Presneill 36, 61, 84 PILOT: nominator, artist, curator and director of Raid Projects and the Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles

Samuel Rama 37, 61, 84 PILOT: artist, Portugal

Nicollette Ramirez 38, 62, 85 Marketing and communications coordinator, The Chelsea Art Museum, New York

Thomas Ranahan 39, 62, 85 PILOT: artist, Birmingham, UK

InĂŞs Rebelo 39, 62, 86 Artist, London

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Audrey Reynolds 39, 62, 86 Artist, London

DJ Roberts 40, 62, 86 PILOT: nominator, artist, London

Dieter Roelstraete 40 PILOT: nominator, co-editor of Afterall magazine and curator at the Antwerp museum of contemporary art

Alistair Robinson 40, 62, 86 PILOT: nominator, programme director Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK

Sean Rogg 41, 63, 87 PILOT: artist, Stockholm

Eva Rudlinger 41, 63, 87 Artist, London

Giorgio Sadotti 41, 63, 87 Artist, London

Luisa Santos 41, 63, 87 Artist and curator, London

Jorge Satorre 41, 63, 87 PILOT: artist, Mexico City

Liliane Schneiter 63 Professor, associate researcher, University of Art and Design, Geneva

Jasper Sharp 41, 64, 87 Curator, writer, Vienna

Neville Shulman 41, 64, 87 CBE, director of International Theatre Institute, writer, explorer and art collector, London

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SKART 43, 64, 88 PILOT: artists, Belgrade and London

Terry Smith 43, 65, 88 Artist, London

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Bob and Roberta Smith 44, 65, 88 PILOT: nominator, artist, London

Cherry Smyth 44, 65, 89 Critic and poet, London

Loredana Sperini 44, 65, 89 PILOT: artist, Zurich

Paul Stone 44, 65, 89 Director of Vane, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Lynton Talbot 44, 65, 89 Artist and co-director of RUN gallery, London

Sissu Tarka 45, 66, 89 Artist, cultural theorist, London

John Timberlake 46, 66, 90 Artist, London

Jan Van Woensel 46, 66, 90 PILOT: nominator, independent curator, art critic, lecturer and film producer, New York and Antwerp

Robert Vincent 46, 66, 90 Artist, London

Lee Wells 46, 66, 90 Artist, curator and director of IFAC-arts and PerpetualArtMachine.com, New York

Richard Wentworth 47, 67, 90 Artist, London

Simon Wood 47, 67, 91 PILOT: artist, London

Ed Young 47, 67, 91 PILOT: artist, Johannesburg

Tim Zulauf 47, 67, 91 Writer and theatre maker, Zurich

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HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THAT THE ART WORLD IS SHAPED BY DEMAND? WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN? HOW DO YOU KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?


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Andy Abbott Artist, West Yorkshire, UK

I don’t know if I have any qualification to answer the question because the ‘art world’, when operating as a byword for the ‘art market’, always seemed to me to be something to distance myself from. I, along with other artists in Leeds, have little interest in getting our collective hands mucky in such means-ends scenarios; it’s important for us to make a distinction between time spent doing art and waged labour. That said, maybe we’ve inadvertently created our own little art world. We spend our time making, talking and doing art – the difference being that within ours the monetary or professional aspects are footnotes rather than driving forces. The irony I suppose is that living by the ‘art as life’ dictum is more of a full-time activity than making your way in an art world comprising a network of institutions. At least in that ‘wholly professional’ art world you have the opportunity to separate yourself from a hard day’s art work. We’re voluntarily trapped in ours 24/7. There are no holidays. Does the art world that tactically remains ignorant of the market have a set of demands that drives it? Certainly, but mostly those demands are made by the people who build it! At base level we make the demand that we’re not bored. I suppose that art is the method we employ to meet this demand. Julia Alvarez Director of BEARSPACE and independent curator, London

Damien Hirst – 'For the Love of God,' Platinum, diamonds, and human teeth, 2007. Sarah Andrew Artist and writer, London

There is more than one flow within the idea of the art world, many of which are on parallel tracks that never join together. Some of these flows are pure demand met by ambition and promotion; some are fuelled by sacrifice to meet a demand that hasn't yet recognised itself. These latter smaller tributaries never entirely dry

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up but carve such a surface trace that they may be flowing over the same ground as a previous ones and never know it, never combining to form a critical volume where they might be recognised.

Q1

Tamara Arroyo PILOT: artist, Madrid

The art world is influenced by fashion and this can be produced by the market, by demand, although not everyone follows fashion. Sarah Baker PILOT: artist, London

The art world needs to fill quotas. There is also a demand for things in fashion. There is always a demand of the artist from the funding bodies – whether it be private or public money. The responsibility is worse in bigger business such as feature films. The most free place to be is funding your own work but then there are restrictions caused by your pocketbook. Paul Barratt Designer, London

Not at all, it is the art world that creates the demand for art. Michele Bazzana PILOT: artist, Codroipo, Italy

I think it is, but I can't tell you how much it is. Let me say that sometimes one can follow art trends suggested by magazines or by big selected group exhibitions. This is not always and by itself good but sometimes the way in which an artist shapes his work on the demand could be interesting, even if his weakness is shown. Cecilia Bonilla PILOT: artist, London

Who is the ‘art world’? Sara Bowler Artist, Falmouth, UK

It depends on the definition of 'art world'? If it's the critically engaged one I suspect the art world

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has always been shaped by demand. The person/group that wants work will set parameters, either through a brief if it's a commission, or content/financial if it's a sale. However, artists have the capacity to create demand in that their innovations and ways of producing work develop, respond, mutate, diverge, creating something unexpected, unknown and therefore not yet in demand. There's a lot of work made that no one wants and probably never will - where does that fit in the demand and supply chain? Kristina Bræin PILOT: artist, Oslo

Quite much, but I prefer not to think too much about it. Kimberley Brown Director of Brown gallery, London

Too much. But maybe this will start changing soon I hope! Celine Condorelli PILOT: nominator, architect, London

“The performance of the I Can’t interrupts the economy of expectations and throws its workings into relief, producing an empty moment of full awareness.” Jan Verwoert. How much is the art world shaped by the unsatisfied, the delayed, the non-delivered, the unanswered, the late and the latent, the inprocess, the not-yet manifest, the unavailable, the no-show, the undeveloped, the unrecognized, the unpaid, the un-named, the forgotten, the hidden, the neglected, the overlooked, the discarded, the missing, the longing, the invisible, the unseen, the behind-the-scene, the disappeared, the conceiled, the unwanted, the dormant, the potential? James Connelly PILOT: artist, London

The art world is shaped by three demands: (i)The demand that the artist feels from within. The demands the artist puts on him or herself and what he or she demands to get out of their

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own work. The artist can make whatever he or she wants to make if they are making it with other people in mind they are choosing to do so. We are born with free will. (ii) The demands of the collector/audience/ galleries/curator/dealer/retailer/wholesaler. The demands they make about what they want to buy or show. As they are not actually making art they can only shape the art from afar. Money helps them have some control but the control is still second hand. (iii) The demands of the rest of the world. Everyday life, the media, politics, family and friends all make demands on the artist’s time, and thus this feeds into the art work and can help it to have meaning.

Q1

Phil Coy PILOT: artist, London

The demand is a large shape. Elena Crippa Curator and artist liaison, Lisson Gallery, London

If we refer to the art world as to all individuals’ part of it, I would say that their actions and decisions, as artists, critics, curators, collectors or dealers, are shaped by desire. 'Demand' seems to mostly refer to the economical dimension of artworks, which is an important but not dominant variable. Responding to a desire involves a projection towards a much wider range of tangible and intangible, conscious and unconscious driving reasons, including selfexpression, recognition, vanity, personal growth, power, expansion of knowledge, money, intellectual exchange, success and love. Ross Downes PILOT: artist, London

In the 1940s George Bataille suggested all that is left to achieve or demand is the impossible. Then again, exactly 40 years ago, Guy Debord and his associates did the same. It seems we’re overdue yet another reiteration of theoretical rhetoric. Before considering demand’s effect on the art

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world the term ‘art world’ should be more realistically considered as pluralist ‘art islands‘. Islands with tectonic shifts that drift close or sometimes land-lock to the canonising commercial continents whilst others, adrift in isolation, generate their own system of values and participants. Universalising art in relation to the over-exposed and economically viable risks ignoring the periphery, not for profit and practices that prove difficult to classify. ‘Art world’ tends to connote the fine art gallery system, it’s press, top 100 lists and market. The demand and supply here is obvious to anyone with even the slightest inclination towards a dialectical or socially aware understanding of ‘Art’ and who it is for. Demand, as a quantifiable economic phenomenon, is a privilege of a minority class who deliberately seek to alienate in the presentation and purchase of commodified practice that delivers luxury. To demand luxury is obscene. Through the total acceptance of bourgeois demands in our art schools and art market we have systemic affectation that you could pessimistically suggest ‘gives us the art and artists we deserve’. Art should not be shaped by demand but once again by necessity. Necessity stemming from political/social awareness alongside a new heightened criticality towards the esoteric, decorative, exotic, decadent, disengaging and commercially aspirational. Stephen Dunne PILOT: artist, London

I don’t think the art world is shaped by any single factor; it's a strange nomadic beast that lives on the excessive consumption and production of ideas, money and imagery. Its only real constant is the process of entropy. Sonya Dyer Artist, London

Demand from whom for what? Depends on how you define the 'art world.' I don't think the 'art world' exists as a singular entity; there are 'art worlds' which sometimes oscillate around each other, sometimes ignore

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the 'other’s' existence entirely. I would imagine that in the commercial realm this issue of demand is quite prevalent – artists’ output is often transformed into a marketable 'product,' which then needs to be reproduced in order to meet demand (and demand is created by dealers/galleries etc.) I've come across many artists who feel stuck within this system, unable to take their practice into new directions because of the 'demand' for their 'known product,' but equally many who don't feel as restricted (or who are earning too much to care right now). In that sense, for 'demand' read 'capitalism'. In the publicly funded sector, 'demand' plays out in both similar and different ways. Different in the sense that it is not market led, but often led by other (political/governmental) concerns, which more often that not are about government wanting to use our sector to compensate for its failings elsewhere. Similar in the sense that some artists who work primarily or exclusively on publicly funded projects or educational projects can end up also producing marketable 'product' and find little space to do much else. Then again, most artists would probably love to be in demand!

Q1

Susan E. Barnet Artist, London

This raises other questions; what is meant by ‘art world’ and whose demand is being referred to. The art world is a sprawling complex of relationships across a wide geography of nations and regions as well as sectors and ideas. Be that as it may, I assume in this context there is an inference of some kind of corrupt(able) art market. I see the art market as a commercial endeavour. After all, as an artist I make work and part of the outcome is often an object of one sort or another that is meant to circulate through the vehicle of the market. I think a confusion often arises that there might be an unassailable kind of practice that avoids 'taint' with any kind of economic engagement. I think this is not only unrealistic but, historically an inaccurate version

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of art-making. (Think of pre-modernist patronage.) In a healthy art practice there is generally an engagement of one sort or another with selling of the work. Any artist who has practised for more than a couple of years realises the futility of trying to make work to meet market demands. This is where art making is a different form other market activities. So, if we know that an artist cannot prescribe artwork to a formula that would guarantee successful sales, it wouldn't seem to matter what the market's trends and predilections are. So that would seem to make the initial question moot. However, in the complexity of art markets, artists and artworks’ relationships there are certainly influences that matter a great deal on what kind of art is made or, more importantly, what becomes highly valued. I can give an example that might demonstrate the complex repercussions of various art world systems. In Los Angeles where I was an artist in the mid-Nineties, the funding climate changed rather abruptly at that time. Artist-run galleries and places of exhibition became fewer. So a certain kind of work became more often exhibited in the galleries, now mostly commercially run – work that might be more certain to be purchased. But, as a result, a reaction to the situation arose creating an interesting 'alternative' scene. Now, as far as an 'art world'; both the commercial gallery and the alternative scene are viable parts. Renate Egger Artist, Vienna

Art=business? Andrew Ekins Artist, London

As Gore Vidal stated: "It is not enough to succeed; others must fail". Flora Fairbairn PILOT: nominator, independent curator, London

Yes it does seem to be entirely shaped by demand at the moment and it has grown

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massively in the last few years with the vast increase in art fairs and galleries and artists therefore selling their work to an ever-increasing international audience. Also many collectors who were buying old masters/modern British etc have started to buy work by both emerging and established contemporary artists

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Dr Harriet Häussler and Dr Bastian Aeneas Directors of Upstairs Berlin GbR, Berlin

At present the art world seems to be shaped by genre-specific demand. Collectors often centre on painting whereas many curators tend to focus on conceptual art. Demand for very young and fashionable artists, undergraduate art students in particular, has been high for a relatively long time. We are convinced that gallerists, curators and collectors will eventually focus on the work of graduate and mid-career artists. There will always be a strong demand for a certain type of art, but it will shift to more experienced artists and their works. Michael Hiltbrunner Academic researcher, Institute for Contemporary Arts Research, Zurich

Demand is a form of communication. I can work on my own, but the product is only perceived socially when it creates a sort of interest for another person. Demand is one sort of interest. It is a very good one. The important thing is the balance of resisting and following demand. Demand and its response tells much about the parties involved, even if both are staged. Jens Hoffmann PILOT: nominator, curator, director Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco

Like most things in the world the art world is similarly shaped by the cycle of supply and demand. Yet, art also exists outside the idea of a market economy and can create another form of demand in us as consumers and viewers – one that is not based on monetary interests but artistic, intellectual and political desires.

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huber.huber PILOT: artists, Zurich

The ‘hype’ about contemporary art nowadays entails that it needs less courage to become an artist. However, only few of the many artists will find their way into the art market and will have a successful career in the art world. To work completely offside and independent from the art market is almost impossible. There is a sort of “art language”, which means certain strategies an artist should try to understand. With this background knowledge you have to find your own way and language as an artist. We are concerned only with issues, which seem relevant and interesting to us – no matter if they are ‘in vogue’ in the art world or not. Juan Manuel Ipiña Artist, Buenos Aires

The trick of the question is the word “world”, which already implies a degree of homogeneity, interaction, dialogue, space in-between, competition, etc... which are normally consistent with what we know as “market”. So the question should be re-phrased. And in doing so, you realise the answer automatically. It reminds me of the description that Noam Chomsky gives for the system of promotion within the media in the USA, where certain people ascend the scale, while others stay below. Therefore you reach a stability where important communicators feel absolutely free to say whatever they want, but then if what they wanted to say wasn’t appropriate, they would have never reached so high in the first place. Kaz Artist, London

How does demand for artwork arise? In the postmodern world, everything is relative and nothing is absolute. This is to say that all works have equal value and they can only be compared hierarchically when a set of rules or a system is applied. Under such a circumstance, the demand has to be created for each work of art according to the rules or system in operation.

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In other words, demand for a particular artwork is something that does not arise naturally but is carefully constructed by those interested in marketing and profiting from the sale of such a 'product' in the market place. The interested parties in this case include all involved in the art world, from the artists to the distributors of works such as galleries and dealers, and also those involved in the buying and consumption of the works, such as collectors and the media. Therefore, the answer to the question would be that the art world is not shaped by demand but demand is shaped by the art world.

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Deirdre King Artist, writer, Limehouse Arts Foundation, London

The art world is fundamentally shaped by demand. Art is a commodity within a global economy. The art world is a market-place, a network of artists, dealers, investors, writers, curators, educators, colleges, museums, galleries. This is not to say that every institution or artist consciously presents or produces art in response to the market place. It is to say that the art world, whatever an individual’s ‘take’ on art as commodity, does not – cannot - exist and operate outside the national or global economic system. In the UK, art generates revenue from tourism through galleries and museums, talks, workshops and colleges whose high profile attracts investment from full fee-paying foreign students. As a material commodity, art is marketed in international auction rooms and through galleries. Investors consult the value of an artist and their work as they would any other investment. Success within the art world system involves visibility primarily through exhibition and critical review. Getting on to this ladder can be a matter of strategy or luck. The more work an artist sells, the more energy a gallery will put into promoting an artist and the more the artist will be included in highstatus shows, that is, in higher-profile venues in company with more established artists, with

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reviews in serious art press. Likewise, the more opportunities for public talks and teaching will come their way since college budgets are linked to the exhibition profile of the artists they employ. Inclusion in increasingly important shows tends to lead to further inclusion, review, investment, all of which further consolidates an artist’s reputation and standing. This in turn helps to stabilise the market value of an artist’s work and makes them even more investable. That there is a commercial side to art is currently a contentious issue. Whilst the art world functions like a market place, it is also contradictory. It facilitates the commoditisation of art but also wants it to hold a special place outside commerce. This contradiction is characteristic of neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism runs on contradiction. Whilst superficially it purports to represent liberal values, for instance to educate, illuminate, to oppose global capitalism, at a deeper level, it supports the global capitalist market place. Offsetting, for example, is typical of the duplicitous values of neo-liberalism as Slavoj Zizek explains. You can ‘save’ the rainforest through the coffee company which makes cups and napkins from its trees, contributing five cents on your behalf to a ‘save the rainforest’ fund for every cup of coffee you buy from them. You can produce an apparently eco-friendly ‘I am not a plastic bag’ shopping bag as Anya Hindmarch did, which nevertheless has come into fruition through the sweatshops of China. Neo-liberalism transforms value – be it ethical, aesthetic or other - so as to fulfil conflicting obligations. In the art world, it seems that the conflicting ideas that must be kept apart, but which coincide at a deeper level to fulfil the demands of global capitalism are that of art as pure and the idea of art as commodifiable. Contradictorily, this means that what is actually bought and sold is less the aesthetic artefact than the art work as vehicle of romantic dreams of artistic-ness: a ticket for belonging. Corporates cosy up with artists big time. It is in the interests of the Kafkaesque entity that is the ‘art-world’ to maintain the idea that art is not subject to the


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demands of capital. This means that the avoidance of an objective analysis of art as a market commodity is embedded within all areas and at all levels of the art world which presents in its structures and values, the anomalies, fractures and contradictions typical of neoliberalism.

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Sharon Kivland Artist, writer, France and England

Be careful of what you wish for. The short story of ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ is salutary in this respect. Pil and Galia Kollectiv PILOT: artists, London

To suggest that art practices exist in a state of pure solipsism would be naïve. Art, being a form of communication, naturally entails a dialogue with a specific environment, whose demands inevitably affect production. However, the relationship between supply and demand in the sector appears to be far more complex than classical economics would allow. According to the law of supply, the higher the price, all other things being equal, the greater the quantity the producer will manufacture. According to the law of demand, the higher the price, the less a consumer will want to buy a product. The two should eventually, in Adam Smith’s account, reach equilibrium. Art behaves like a luxury good, and galleries refrain from flooding the market to secure high prices: any lowering of price is perceived as a decrease in quality, and so it creates an upward sloping demand curve instead of an evening-out of supply and demand. The market continues to grow, yet prices do not drop. But economic pressures do not work in isolation from other cultural ones. Painting is by far the most sellable of art commodities, yet artists do not all paint. Parallel, though by no means separate from the commercial market, is an institutional framework eager to support critical art practices in a variety of disciplines, which may well promote value measured more conventionally. And whether working to

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institutional demands or the pressures of a commercial gallery, the scale of artists’ work is very much affected by their means of production as enhanced or hindered by these factors. Thus, a materialist, determinist view of the art world would reduce all endeavour, however supposedly critical, to the laws of exchange, however seemingly aberrant a field in which money is spent on work more often than it is earned. Since critique is frequently equated with a disdain for commerce, despite being paradoxically seen as a measure of success, it is impossible to be successfully critical of this system. Consequently, for the artist, the system is a means of generating guilt rather than money, and it is this guilt that is most shaped by demand. In this, the art world complies with the laws of the prevailing Capitalist economy far more than it would superficially appear to do. The same irrational mechanisms of guilt and faith sustain this self-perpetuating system as a religion without release or absolution. Peter Lewis PILOT: nominator, curator and director of Redux, London

There would appear to be a demand, but, in a few words here, the demand for just about everything, from making money, work, becoming industry, technology, education, curating, turning subject to object, status, critique, politics, network, distance, excitement, power, sex, collecting, identity, ego, aura, violence, class, virtue, prowess, everything but art in fact, which remains hermetically sealed in some kind of proverbial black box in the present. We demand everything to keep us happy. Maybe 'demand' is now over valued, like the silence of Marcel Duchamp, or the earnestness of Beuys. Justin Lieberman Artist, New York

Too much.

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Pia Linz PILOT: artist, Berlin

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To answer this question I should first explain that I don’t see the art world as a homogeneous unity, but on the contrary, as a very complex many-layered structure that to some extent has the tendency of forming a rank society. A few of these layers of society have more or less access to each other. Other layers are hermetically sealed and separated from each other, for example because they speak different languages. The art market is a small part of the art world, which in itself is very differentiated. Its mechanisms are definitely comparable to other markets, where for example the relation between supply and demand defines the value of the product. The small percentage of the art market that transfers large sums of money has access to a larger media presence and therefore to public attention. This then becomes the representative face of an art world that to a large extent has nothing to do with the market. This also includes the many innovative artists who are not dependent on the art market. They are comparable to independent researchers, who in some countries are similarly, more or less, strongly supported. These countries support, last but not least, out of economic self-interest. Because art mediators are able to successfully establish, with some products which are developed at this innovative level, a demand on the art market. This demand can then spread to other art products and art producers that correspond, willingly or by chance, to the new type of art product. Thereby the influence of the demand reaches far beyond the limits of the art market into the art world, which is partially willing to produce for the demand. However, I believe that one should not underestimate the importance of the large independent and innovative part of the art world which is not shaped by demand but has the potential to awaken new demand.

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David Mabb PILOT: artist, course leader MFA Fine Art Goldsmiths College, London

Curators, critics, journalists, editors, historians and collectors exhibit, support and purchase art that embodies the values that they themselves hold. Of course, art also embodies the values that artists hold, but due to the sheer quantity of art that is made, it is the gatekeepers who shape what eventually becomes part of the canon. Rory Macbeth Co-founder of PILOT:, artist, Leeds

A fair bit, I suppose, if this is meant in the broadest sense – i.e. that stuff (whether an artwork or an infrastructure) doesn't happen successfully unless there is some kind of demand for it from somewhere, even if it is initially only from the person who makes the thing. But if the question is referring to demand as one end of some kind of financial transaction, I'd say not too much. Stuart Mayes PILOT: artist, London

Aesthetically, conceptually, physically, economically, intellectually and financially. Alan McQuillan PILOT: artist, London

I believe that since PILOT: began its existence, it has been very keen to establish difference between art worlds and art markets. In that respect I believe it important to keep in mind the gap between how demand shapes a market place and how demand shapes artistic practice and production of an art world. Art and art theory are immensely different beasts, which can converge within some artist practices but originate from essentially different focuses. The same is true of an art world and an art market – their territories may overlap but they are separate entities. Vis-a-vis 'demand' as a manifestation of human activity within our economy will shape each realm differently, how much do I think it shapes the art market? Over the last 100 years,

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the amount of affluent people buying art and being sold art has risen proportionally. The mode and advances in stringent public censorship rules have widened the scope of people able to demand art but how much does this influence artistic production? In my opinion printed materials, exhibitions, televised media, peer networks and artists themselves affect the art world. This of course before demand from another realm instigates a value system and a hierarchy upon what is ultimately a feral world.

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David Medalla PILOT: nominator, founder and director of the London Biennale, London

In the past, in the western world, art was shaped by the demands of the church and by the ruling class. Today, the demands are made by various groups and by nation states. Since the French Revolution, followed by the epoch that came after the Paris Commune, demands for the making of art are sometimes shaped by the artists themselves, particularly by those who participated in the various avant-garde movements of the last century. National demands and demands by private collectors (orchestrated by art dealers whether acting privately or through commercial art galleries), and marketed through auction houses, are still paramount in the international art world. In England, the state plays a very important role in the demands for contemporary art. Art fairs have also, in recent years, created demands for certain types of commercial art. Jonathan Meldrum Finance assistant (Local Govt), Hertford UK

A lot, probably. Which may be responsible for my attempting retraining as an accountant. Despite protests from my three fans. David Mollin PILOT: artist, London

It has to be shaped by something, and demand is as good as anything else. But demand is a movable feast. Maybe it could be shaped by

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nagging, a more domestic model along the lines of Chardin. I certainly work better when I am being nagged incessantly from the pantry, with a screaming in my other ear from God only knows where. Syd Mostow PILOT: artist, Barcelona

The art world like any sub-culture is governed by its own rules. Demand? Demand for me is equal to money. If there is no money, then art activity is reduced to nothing. Whether this is on the funding side, personal financial side, or on the institutional/collecting side, no money means no art. I don’t think there is any great mystery to this. The wheel turns, the art machine grinds on, artists keep on spitting out work, institutions and collectors keep buying. If all the museums burned, collectors decided to buy only Lamborghinis, and funding stopped, then the present glut of “artists” would come to an end. And then, about those who are left, you could probably call them artists. But since the opposite is true, the elites who have money to spend either on funding, buying, or art production now set the line for others to tow. You can almost hear them mooing. Jason Mountolive Artist, London

Sloppy sixth-form seconds. It might help if you defined your terms. It goes without saying that the commercial art world is an economic construct. It's the money, stupid. You crazy mixed-up kids, you're dribbling with greed! You haven't even left college yet, and you're already networking like a monkey on heat. You've confused getting on in the art world with getting on with your art. Someone needs to remind you that your cherished 'art world' as presently constituted is a FUCKING SHITHOLE, and that Michael Bloomberg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Mark my words, the coming recession will be an unalloyed blessing. WEST END FINAL: FIFTY PER CENT OF LONDON GALLERIES TO CLOSE! Why mourn the loss of your friendly

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neighbourhood estate agent? Same difference. Cometh the hour and the wheat and the chaff will be thoroughly sifted. Then we can really get down to the 'business' of art. In the meantime leave the capitol! Exit this Roman shell! William Blake died poor, but he died SINGING. Get hold of the hymn sheet, dearly beloved.

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Susanne Neubauer PILOT: nominator, art historian and curator at Museum of Art Lucerne, Switzerland

As an aesthetic and economic system the art world is highly shaped by demand. The economically successful artwork serves as a cross-reference where pecuniary circumstances and high-end life style matches. However, it seems more absorbing to me to think about the question in terms of its aesthetic dimension, in terms of how can the quality of aesthetic experience (and the demand for it) be considered, if at all. Paul O’Neill Research fellow, Situations Office, School of Art, Media & Design, Bristol, UK

You are suggesting that the art world is somewhat outside the real world, when it is a social sub-system of that world, which is already shaped by demand and supply. Domenico Olivero Artist and curator, Cuneo, Italy

40% is shaped by the artist’s desire to see his work in display (vanity), 40% is shaped by the acquisitive collector who is more interested his public reputation as a collector (vanity) and 20% could be described as those, both collector and artist, who are driven by their love, passion and talent for art. Stefano Pasquini Artist, Bologna, Italy

Very little, and thankfully so. Art in not necessary, therefore the artist cannot create for someone else's necessity. When it happens, and it happens a lot, it's usually quite shite. So, in economy terms, quite a lot of the art

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world is shaped by demand. In terms of quality, very little is. Liv Pennington Artist, UK and Bulgaria

Totally, but there are lots of different art worlds so lots of different demands and not all of them bad. Alan Phelan PILOT: nominator, artist, Dublin

Demand should be related to success but it is often driven by ambition. It depends on where and who the artist understands to be demanding the work. Supply relates to demand in a perverse way in the art world anyway. Matthew Poole Co-founder and co-director of PILOT:, freelance curator and programme director for the Centre for Curatorial Studies at The University of Essex

Any social system or community has a movement of forces within it. Demands made by a group are a crucial part of testing, antagonising, and reordering those elements of the social system that contribute to the reification of the beliefs of the community. The art world is certainly no special case in this regard. One way of trying to understand this question better is to consider what the demands of the art world might be based on. And one thing we cannot resist doing is trying to predict where such demands might lead us. However, this futurology has been the cause of many problems, especially in the realm of such material activities as the production and reception of art. The demands are vectors that we (hopefully) can see, and track, to trace where they are coming from, what their direction is, how fast, how heavy, how forcefully, and ultimately where they might be going. The most important factor in assessing these demands and their efficacy is their visibility (in ethical terms we might say their ‘transparency’, although this implies that there is something within or behind them that we can discern,

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which I don’t believe is so useful to speculate on as much as it is more important to be able to see the demands and have the freedom to interpret them). In the primarily secular world that the ‘mainstream’ art world inhabits the demands that we make of art are terrifically complex. We expect art to be good in two ways that are often not compatible: art must be good in terms of excellence, proficiency, criticality, or even beauty (we might think of this as fulfilling a sense of individuated necessity); and, it must be good in terms of a moral good (we might think of this as fulfilling a sense of consensual necessity). When these ‘goods’ coincide we might experience something like Kant’s ‘sublime’, or Walter Benjamin’s ‘Dialectical Image’, or Heideggarian ‘being’. The demand for these two ‘goods’ is both intertwined and in conflict with the guiding principle, or ethic, of the society in which we live. That is, both intertwined and in conflict with our most visible and most significantly powerful ethic (of our post-capitalist industrialized societies), which is the organising principle of generating surplus value, or profit (in whatever form that takes). In the particular sub-sets of society in which I live (that is, for this discussion, the various elements of the art world that I inhabit) there is also a very visible morality at play, which is constantly in flux with that former principle of generating surplus capital. The complex demand that arises from the interplay of this ethic and this morality within the production and reception of art remains the critical dialectic of the quality and necessity of art. The apotheosis of this dialectic would be high fashion on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles – a perfect commodity that is effective in both regards, and so a perfect secular icon (perfectl reification of our consensual beliefs whether we like it or not). Without a monolithic metaphysical goal to our morality this remains an unanswerable question (definitively theologically), but that does not presuppose that art is adrift in an entirely open pluralistic field. Rather, it is a field that generates

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pluralities. However, our task, and consequently our duty, is to try to recognise better the moments of reification, or perhaps coagulation, of the actions of something like art that suit our needs best at specific moments, and to ensure and demand that we take responsibility for those moments, for those actions. For me, the supply and demand mechanisms of the art markets are of less concern than the moral question of how and whether art is itself demanding. Max Presneill PILOT: nominator, artist, curator and director of Raid Projects and the Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles

The question is too broad. Which segment of the art world? Demand for what and by whom? Historically there has always been a link between what is represented as the art world and the demands of its various quarters (essentially; artist, critic, gallerist/curator, collector). Is it essentially a case of the more things change the more they stay the same? The art fairs have changed the nature of supply and demand but with current economic problems still filtering into the art world I think we will see a constricting of the scale of these events and thus a lessening of their impact. If only the bigger fairs survive then we will see trade fairs of blue-chip works and the return of the struggling artist scenario – which will impact the smaller galleries, art school enrolments and funding, of course. Less galleries, less artists, less funding. If they retain their drawing power will artists move their practice towards what is seen as doing well? How would this be any different than in the past – do you remember being in art school?? The demands of the collecting class are different from those of the artist or the curator. I am assuming that this is the heart of the question. Love of art - maybe, social position and reputation, certainly. Knowing what is hot and rising or established and valuable. These may be the collector’s concerns but how does this affect the making of new work? Someone still has to select artists for shows – gallerists and curators

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– and I think their ideas of new, exciting, and worthwhile, etc have an enormous shaping power on what actually gets seen by anybody. “You can have any colour as long as it is black” would seem to be the relationship here. The buying habits of that rare species of top collector do impact, in that fame and fortune are more likely to follow for an artist singled out by these people but of course who was it that selected them to be shown? Certainly the placement of artists into good shows by curators helps validate an artist’s importance socially and a gallerist picking up an artist validates their worth (providing they sell??). The institutional curator will continue to engage with the blockbuster show and the demands for known quantities and the Spectacle. Come what may I retain the belief that artists, in general, will follow their own needs and desires in the making of work. The demand for recognition seems to sit higher on the priority list of most artists over the acquisition of money, so perhaps their demand is principally directed at curators and to a practical extent the gallerist. Gallerists will continue to hope they have the eye to pick the next big thing from these developments. The curators will select work that has generally been validated by the former two groups and collectors will respond, or not, to the bounty presented by the gallerists and curators.

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Samuel Rama PILOT: artist, Portugal

The exercise of the artist distancing himself from his point of view as a creator is perverted since roles cannot be confused. In my case I chose a gallery and a group of people who show interest in my craft and who are truly important for me as they elevate my work by disclosing it. We all know that the world of art is ruled by the economic world. Usually one tends to see an economic power as a cultural power, which to a certain extent is true. Curiously, in my country, Portugal, which is not a European power, even less a global one, there are a large number of great artists surrounded by an

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atmosphere of a creative energy that has no parallel in other economic sectors. When Portuguese artists stand out worldwide, more than a secure value they are brilliant artists and yet they do not confuse their role with the one of the economic law of art. Nicollette Ramirez Marketing and communications coordinator, The Chelsea Art Museum, New York

I'm not even sure what "the art world" means anymore... If it means auction houses, galleries and museums, and if "demand" means "economic demand" yes, the art world is shaped a lot by demand. Other sorts of demands might shape it too, but right now I think it's shaped by economic demand. Take, for example, new work by Damien Hirst on sale in September at Sotheby's London! If we consider what artists create these days, I'm not sure many don't factor in the effect of "demand" on their work. In some cases the creativity, regardless of demands, rules the work, but in others, I've heard artists say, "So and so sells better than so and so so I plan to make more of them." Demands! The art world might be something much bigger than the little circles we run around in, but even in public programming, e.g. what we see in NYC this summer, Olafur Eliasson's Waterfalls for example, or Julian Opie last year near City Hall in downtown Manhattan, well that looks like it's shaped by demand too; the demand of everyone, including public officials, wanting to be on the same hip/cool/financially endorsed bandwagon. The one part of the art world which seems quite pure still i.e. not driven by demand, is performance art. Because, perhaps, it’s hard to package and sell, it has not been so much in the limelight in today’s market-driven art world (except for big names like Vanessa Beecroft). However, thanks to proponents of the art form like Marina Abramovic, it seems to be alive and growing…

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Thomas Ranahan PILOT: artist, Birmingham, UK

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I am interested in the terms “art world” and “demand” that occur in this question. Art world conjures up the democratic ideal that all artists have a stake and equal value as creators in a global art world. However, the reality is that the art world alluded to in the question refers to the commercially controlled art markets in cultural centres such as London. Galleries, collectors, curators, critics, artists and writers influence and control who is featured and promoted in the national and global art market. The art market is similar to other global markets in that they operate in changing financial climates. Good times mean people with a disposable income are more likely to purchase art, and this means that galleries and their stock artists sell work. Art is seen as an investment, and artists who are backed by galleries and dealers have the advantage over nonrepresented artists. Recession means that galleries are subject to market forces, and if they can’t sell their stock then they face closing down and artists lose a valuable source of income. With thousands of art graduates completing their studies every year adding to the large numbers of existing artists –there is no shortage of supply of art as consumable. Demand is easily met and selected artists are nurtured as a commercial cultural product. However, the art market is fickle and subject to fashion, so most artists can come and go easily, dependant on the purveyors of culture and the economic climate. Inês Rebelo Artist, London

The art world is increasingly shaped by market demand. However, market demand is not necessarily associated with demand for quality. Audrey Reynolds Artist, London

“…Where the old-fashioned would have preferred a bronze reduction of the Venus de Milo”. Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence.

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DJ Roberts PILOT: nominator, artist, London

Certain artists are in demand, but I wouldn’t have thought the art world was shaped by demand. I certainly hope not, if by this it is meant that artists make work they hope will be acceptable at any given time. There is a subtle balance between doing your own thing and taking into account what is going on around you. But I have never met a decent artist who tries to ‘second guess’ what is wanted. What a dreadful state that would be. And I don’t think it would work anyway. Dieter Roelstraete PILOT: nominator, co-editor of Afterall magazine and curator at the Antwerp museum of contemporary art

Immensely so – and primarily by people who, when they get what they demand, can't pay for it. Like me. Wait a minute – how do we define "demand" though? As "desire"? A will to possess? And what is the art world? Surely not only artists, artists' assistants, collectors, critics, curators, gallerists, machers and museum personnel? (Just being alphabetical here.) If the art world is allowed to include any potential viewer and/or visitor (which it should be), how is it different from the world proper? And it is clear that the world proper wants more and more art, and wants it all the time. Why else would there be so much of it, as it is so often heard in rightful complaint? The world's insatisfiable demand for art far exceeds any logic of supply and demand. When reflecting upon the fact that there is clearly much art in the world (but never too much!) that no one wants and that no one has asked for, do we ask ourselves whether this art satisfies a certain demand? Thankfully, no. Alistair Robinson PILOT: nominator, programme director Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK

In essence, the underlying principle of the art market remains that familiarity is desirable – that the known is preferable to and more valuable than the unknown, however interesting the latter

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might be. This is unsurprising, given the amount of capital invested in art commodities. In John Betjeman’s words, “approval of what is approved of” remains the order of things, with relatively few prominent exceptions. The range of positions that most institutions, commercial or otherwise, can adopt is well established and easy to grasp. It isn’t a question simply of demand – it’s a problem of how far expectation can be defied, and what can reasonably be subject to assimilation.

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Sean Rogg PILOT: artist, Stockholm

Incredibly, unfortunately. Eva Rudlinger Artist, London

Or how much does the art world shape demand? Either way I think it's still largely irrelevant to artistic motivation, but seems increasingly a precondition for arts funding. Giorgio Sadotti Artist, London

This is almost a good question but it fails to identify what kind of 'demand' is being referred to. So I counter question. What is being demanded and by whom? Do you mean the collectors demanding more art? Or the curators demanding explanation? Or the critics demanding more or less? Or the gallerists demanding more money? Or the artists being in demand? Just in case I do understand your question I will answer.......... not at all! Luisa Santos Artist and curator, London

Thinking of demand as a willingness to go out and buy art, I would say that there are two main strands: one assumes its commercial goal; the other denies the commercial, the market. In the end, both are selling. If not in money terms, at least in the realm of the idea(l)s.

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Jorge Satorre PILOT: artist, Mexico City

It’s shaped in the same level as any other kind of product. As a producer, I try to decide how much I want to yield to that demand. Jasper Sharp Curator, writer, Vienna

The art world, in its present condition, is excessively shaped by demand. The proliferation of art fairs and new galleries with an incalculable number of exhibiting artists are the evidence of that. But demand itself can be shaped, to a great extent, by education: through curators, critics, well-meaning gallerists, and so on. They are each capable in their own ways of managing and directing the focus of collectors and collecting institutions, should they choose to do so. Neville Shulman CBE, director of International Theatre Institute, writer, explorer and art collector, London

The art world, like any other major international activity, is always governed primarily by the symbiotic pressures of supply and demand. An unknown artist or one just starting out must always make a judgment on what price to set for each art piece, in order to tempt the art buyer or collector (often each a very different persona) to purchase a work. As the artist becomes more well known and successful, he or she, hopefully guided by a reputable gallery, must then decide to what extent to raise prices, so as still to entice further potential purchasers. This decision process will also be governed by several other factors, including the artist's work output, the size and therefore the limited number of works produced, the extensive market forces applicable in increasing the number of possible purchasers, the interest or otherwise of museums and major institutions. There is also an often undiscussed driving force regarding any sought-after artist: the fear of the output coming to an abrupt end, particularly as the age of the artist is factored in. Consider just three of the greatest living artists

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of present times, Lucien Freud, Cy Twombly, Anthony Caro. All are still very active but are in their eighties; consequently they are mostly now only interested in producing 'museum' pieces or their equivalent and the waiting lists of purchasers for their works are just too great to be ever satisfied and the only chances now to acquire are mostly to purchase their works from existing owners, or through galleries or in auction. This substantially increases the demand for their works and therefore the purchase price. Only a continuing worldwide financial crisis and economic slump (watch this space) might reduce demand sufficiently so that there will come a time, as it starts to fall, when we move back to a situation where supply outstrips demand and a major art work is actively seeking a purchaser, and this may cause severe price falls.

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ˇ SKART PILOT: artists, Belgrade and London

More nowadays falls into trap of media-trivia, political-absolutism, technology-autism or/and ecology-ignorance - less art is questioning the society. Self-referential and self-satisfied, it keeps its safe and neutral position. But this is, probably, today’s demand. Stand still. In distinction from that, various kinds of (in artcircles totally invisible) activism are taking leading roles in alternative ways. Combining these two "worlds", art and activism, is the only exit to avoid new locked doors. Terry Smith Artist, London

The fact is there are multiple art worlds and multiple demands. The market driven art world dominates the museum world, and in turn influences the smaller galleries. So when students make a certain kind of work to get good grades, they just continue that process when they enter the gallery world. So you get a lot of work that looks like the work, that went before. If by the question you think that there is something outside the art world that is shaping

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demand, I am not sure that's true. I Think the pressure is internal. Collectors, museums, dealers these have a power within the art world. The real power is with the artists, but we rarely use it. Bob and Roberta Smith PILOT: nominator, artist, London

Collectors and viewers need art steaks to fill them up. Cherry Smyth Critic and poet, London

The demand-led supermarket kind of art world has no interest for me. An artist whose work is manufactured for the market alone is usually no longer interested in what they do or interesting to those who want to be surprised or have our expectations surpassed. Loredana Sperini PILOT: artist, Zurich

I don’t know. For my own work, I try to be as independent as possible. Paul Stone Director of Vane, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

The art world is obviously highly shaped by demand, whether from private galleries and collectors, or the public funding and gallery system. All have their own agendas or have to consider the agenda of those who support them. That’s not to say that there isn’t a space for new ideas that do change the shape of that demand. Lynton Talbot Artist and co-director of RUN gallery, London

The answer to this question will depend on how one chooses to define the ‘art world’ and the answer will differ according to which definition one is referring to. To make things simpler and perhaps more relevant to the environment RUN exists within, I will assume the simplest way of defining the art world is to acknowledge contemporary art’s intrinsic link with an economic structure. One can then begin to discuss in very broad terms how demand might

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contribute to the art world’s success, stability or even existence. An artist’s critical success relies on his/her visibility. It seems that usually this visibility is reliant upon the acknowledgment of commercial galleries and their investment into the practice of these artists. It is perhaps only with the knowledge that it is financially sound or perhaps even lucrative that the galleries lend their support. The more a commercial gallery pushes their career, the more visible the artist becomes and it therefore seems that the commercial galleries, whose intentions are arguably financially motivated, are setting the cultural trends and ultimately dictating what becomes ‘good art’. Demands are made on artists from galleries to manufacture. Demands are made on galleries to uphold their taste and critical vision/direction with integrity and longevity. Writers, curators, artists and critics presumably make these demands of galleries. But of course we cannot forget that the sole reason for the art world’s existence within this economic structure is because the demand is great enough from the art collectors to sustain and support this system. If the demand were not there from collectors, the galleries would perhaps not work so hard to promote the careers of artist’s. Their visibility to the public would be lessened and the art world (defined under these terms) would not be as successful or prevalent as it is. It may not even exist, as we know it at all. This hypothetical situation would not of course stop artists from making art and we would perhaps be defining an art world under entirely different circumstances but an ‘art world’ would still exist nonetheless, but one that is perhaps shaped by other demands. Demand does not create an art world but certainly shapes one from a multitude of influences.

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Sissu Tarka Artist, cultural theorist, London

Sustainability and values merge.

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John Timberlake Artist, London

I don't know. That the art world can also be shaped by desire is far more important and interesting. Jan Van Woensel PILOT: nominator, independent curator, art critic, lecturer and film producer, New York and Antwerp

I reject the idea that the entire art world is shaped by demand. I don’t think that those who have the power to “demand”, “shape”, “control” or whatever are neither interested nor familiar with the whole art world. They’re basically focusing on one specific field of the art world that is the most institutionalised, sensationalised and commercialised. Only a small percentage of art protagonists are part of multiple scenes within the art world. Take New York as an example, for instance: very few people who hold high positions at important institutions on the island know much about the vibrant Brooklyn or Queens underground scenes that blend visual arts, music, experimental film, theatre and politics. So, not the entire art world is shaped by demand. If your question had been how much I think that the institutional art world is shaped by demand, I would have had a different answer. Robert Vincent Artist, London

In the name of the Father. Lee Wells Artist, curator and director of IFAC-arts and PerpetualArtMachine.com, New York

I think it depends on how you define what the art world is. There are many art worlds out there. There is a lot of speculation in the markets right now and personally I feel many of the young artists that are getting attention now will fall by the wayside in the future as the galleries look for the next best thing or close up shop. I find it slightly disturbing that the commercial art market is mis-directing the course of art history during such an important

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time. Yes, the collectors are buying but I believe the art fair and commercial gallery boom has been more a reaction to the inflated international housing markets and elite corporate robber baron mentality that has driven the global economy over the past 10 years. The problem I see currently is that the supply keeps increasing and the demand has basically remained the same if you put into perspective not only the growth of the international collector base but that of practising artists as well. Great artists are still hard to come by.

Q1

Richard Wentworth Artist, London

We all live in a climate. If you didn't notice whether it was hot, cold or wet you would not be a sentient being. Simon Wood PILOT: artist, London

I think the art world demands the ‘new’ – especially the art media. Many more magazines are sold than works of art. Ed Young PILOT: artist, Johannesburg

Yawn... Tim Zulauf Writer and theatre maker, Zurich

The question suggests a solid, monolithical art world, but in my experience there are many differing ones. The ones relevant to me are driven by demands of cultural understanding rather then by demands of commercial markets. But if there is a fight about cultural hegemony going on (and there is, I'd say), we should be interested in shifting the focus from the marketdriven art-contexts to the ones driven by the need for knowledge (i.e. cultural understanding).

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HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THAT THE ART WORLD IS SHAPED BY DEMAND? WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN? HOW DO YOU KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?


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Andy Abbott Artist, West Yorkshire, UK

Q2

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

Idealistically I consider the species I belong to as similar to those brightly coloured frogs that look tasty but in practice prove themselves inedible or that once eaten at least leave a bad taste in the mouth. It is our intention, at least, to stick in the throat – this intention, however, assumes a degree of ignorance or susceptibility on the part of the people and institutions hungry to have a nibble. High risk of recuperation is the gamble involved in simultaneously holding on to a DIY ethic and the belief that art can act as an entrance point into a more fluid way of living; a life outside the dull entrapments of commodified culture and professionalism. It’s risky because the people who would ‘benefit’ most from the entrance point are potentially unfamiliar with the politics that inform our practice, their intuitiveness aside. As such, the entrance point, whether it’s text, objects, an event, a book, a body of work, a way of doing things and so on, need to be communicated in a graspable form. The downside is that this attractive and simple form, once grasped, perhaps doesn’t possess the necessary defences to prevent its own abuse or dissolution by those who don’t like the taste. It is a sad, and historically proven, fact that any attempt to provide an alternative to the state of alienated work, means-end careerism and market-based logic will get swallowed and puked back up, minus its transformative potential, by the many ‘kings of the jungle’ who are doing quite nicely with things as they are thank you very much. I’d suggest that’s no reason not to have a go though; it’s a fun ride in and out of the belly of the beast. Julia Alvarez Director of BEARSPACE and independent curator, London

Different places at different times. I tend to focus on how my small practice in contemporary art in Deptford relates to the larger international art world. It does, and I think that is what is so exciting about art connecting cities and people;

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sometimes the lowest in the food chain become the highest as long as there is integrity driving the practice. Sarah Andrew Artist and writer, London

Thirsty. Tamara Arroyo PILOT: artist, Madrid

We artists usually are the last piece of the chain. All of the pieces take advantage of it, but most of them cannot live on it. Sarah Baker PILOT: artist, London

I have still not been able to buy my first yacht. I definitely want a tennis court on my land. Right now I’m travelling in the desert and it’s pretty expensive out here. Not much in terms of food and water and I would say this is pretty good representation of where I stand in the food chain.

Q2

Paul Barratt Designer, London

Parasite. Michele Bazzana PILOT: artist, Codroipo, Italy

If you mean that there's someone who could eat me and that I could eat someone else, than I think I'm too underfed to satisfy someone else's hunger. Cecilia Bonilla PILOT: artist, London

The same place as hamsters, rabbits and guinea-pigs. Sara Bowler Artist, Falmouth, UK

I'm not sure there is a demand for the work I do, whether making or curating. Occasionally there is interest but if I stopped, would anyone notice or care? On that basis I think artists can choose where and if they want to engage in the

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art world and in which area within the art world they want to be placed. Whether or not it’s successfully received though is another matter. Kristina Bræin PILOT: artist, Oslo

I really don’t know. Kimberley Brown Director of Brown gallery, London

Near the bottom. Celine Condorelli PILOT: nominator, architect, London

I am in the chain.

Q2

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

James Connelly PILOT: artist, London

I am at the top of the food chain. My art feeds off everything I see and everything I do.I feed off everything from the president of America to an ant I see on the floor. Phil Coy PILOT: artist, London

Cooking up the next meal. Elena Crippa Curator and artist liaison, Lisson Gallery, London

The systemic idea of the food chain, as a possible model of the art world, makes me think of Vladimir Propp's formalist analysis of narrative structures. If we were still living at the time in which the folk tales analysed by Propp had been written, it would be quite easy to label most art players with one of the roles conceived by Propp in order to define the function of each character: the hero, the villain, the princess, the donor, the helper, the dispatcher or the false hero. Was I part of such a model, I could probably say that, in my present position, I mostly fulfil the role of the helper. I guess, in a food chain, I could be a digestive agent. Yet, I do not think to be living in a folk tale, as much as I do not feel like being part of a food chain. People in the art world, more than in other

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profession, have the possibility of making a living by continuously re-inventing their own frame of activity. If art practitioners think that they have to find, climb or settle in a position within a chain, it is because in the arts there are as many conservative people as in any other sector. Yet, the most interesting examples of curatorial initiatives come from individuals who operate despite models. This is my area of interest and, I hope, activity. Ross Downes PILOT: artist, London

The inedible paper encasing the cheap chocolate cigarette. Stephen Dunne

Q2

PILOT: artist, London

One of those little creatures that the big ones casually snack on without really noticing, on a good day maybe something a little more carnivorous. Sonya Dyer Artist, London

I try not to think about my life like that, for fear of becoming one of those people who respond to simple questions like 'How are you?' with a detailed list of future/current activity, designed to give the impression that one is, you know, important and in demand. I am, however, aware that I am in a very different place than a couple of years ago. I now receive invitations to do stuff (whatever 'stuff' may be), greater opportunities and generally (artworld) life is somewhat easier than it was... Not sure where this place is, but it's noticeably different. Again, I think this relates to which 'art world/s' one is a part of and how careerist one wishes to be. How to proceed in life as a person with ambition, without becoming careerist is one of the central conundrums for me at the present time.

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Susan E. Barnet Artist, London

Q2

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

Well, once again, inherent in this question are many assumptions such as a hierarchy based on, what?, I suppose economic circumstances. Or perhaps by popularity of my work in the form of number of exhibitions, the prestige of writing on my work, the prestige of gallery(s) that represent my work, the inclusion in fairs and festivals, etc. Logically, to effectively evaluate my position would require a more comprehensive totalling up of all the available options than I am willing to engage in. Of course, there are the (also hierarchical) categories often used (especially in grant applications) of emerging, mid-career, established, etc. I'm not sure any of this helps either. Perhaps if, once again, I took the time to understand the specific parameters of these categories I could find my position within them, but I don't really have the inclination to do so. Renate Egger Artist, Vienna

Art=food? Andrew Ekins Artist, London

Neither predator nor prey. Flora Fairbairn PILOT: nominator, independent curator, London

Bang in the middle. Dr Harriet Häussler and Dr Bastian Aeneas Directors of Upstairs Berlin GbR, Berlin

We have an intermediate role. As gallerists we hope that we are able to transfer some of the producer’s creative energy to the consumers. Michael Hiltbrunner Academic researcher, Institute for Contemporary Arts Research, Zurich

Where is the clerk placed in a bank? I am of course happy to be there and in my spare time try to do more out of it, but I could as well go fishing. I’m still preparing to create a demand

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for my work. Jens Hoffmann PILOT: nominator, curator, director Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco

Unlike many other people who tell me that curators have a lot of power because we can give exposure to an artist, etc. I never thought much about the idea of curators having any power. I see more and more that private foundations and collections think they can do without proper curators and perhaps that will be the future on a lot of levels. One thing to always keep in mind is that most people do not even know what we as curators really do; it is a bit of an absurd concept unlike being an artist, a writer or a collector, terms everyone understands right away.

Q2

huber.huber PILOT: artists, Zurich

Where the sun is shining is where we eat. Juan Manuel Ipi単a Artist, Buenos Aires

At the bottom, of course. However, I have seen artists hiring others to do the actual job. So perhaps one can always go further down. Kaz Artist, London

As an artist, I feel I am at the beginning of the food chain producing products to be consumed. Perhaps like a farmer growing fruits. My work may be consumed but its life cycle does not necessarily end there, just as a fruit can propagate itself through seeds over surprisingly wide areas. Deirdre King Artist, writer, Limehouse Arts Foundation, London

Low. Sharon Kivland Artist, writer, France and England

Artfactsnet tells me I rank at 17469. I would like then to think that I am artist number 17469 and

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there are 17468 artists in the world who precede me in importance. Pil and Galia Kollectiv PILOT: artists, London

Q2

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

Today we are exactly number 4862 in the food chain and on the rise. We know this thanks to Artfacts, the website that calculates contemporary artists’ rank according to the parameters of the economy of attention. Based on mathematical equations accounting for number of exhibitions with a bias in favour of international shows in non-commercial institutions, the website generates a chart tracing artists’ careers in relation to other artists. An artist ranks as important if they have connections to an important gallery, defined in turn as having links to other important artists and galleries. Much like the Google page rank equation, this system is, at least formally, beautifully self-regulating, producing statistics as emergent properties of the system itself rather than merely reflecting the opinions of a select few experts. Just as importance is created on the site, so the artist is produced by a series of institutions that pose a series of trials. If ‘talent’ is no longer an idea taken for granted, then it is the mastering of a discourse through the challenges of education, selfpromotion and social interaction or networking that reproduces not just the food chain, but also the food. However, even in the strictest Darwinist terms, cooperation is as much a fact of life as competition, and it is this dimension of the art world as a community that we try to develop in our work. Peter Lewis PILOT: nominator, curator and director of Redux, London

Food chain? That assumes that my answer to question 1 was on the right track. Where is art in the food chain? Are we back to some kind of predator/victim survivalism again? Is art a process? Food chain is just a negative nostalgia for the rule of the jungle instinct.

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Justin Lieberman Artist, New York

At the very top, because I maintain total control and avoid doing things I don't want to do. Any artist with integrity should be able to say as much, whether they sell their work or not. Pia Linz PILOT: artist, Berlin

I’m a small fish, who luckily finds again and again others who take delight in the way I swim back and forth, and throw nutritious food into my aquarium. As a result, I am able to grow fatter very slowly. How strongly I experience my position as weak and dependent depends very much on the behaviour and attitude of the people who I am working with at the time.

Q2

David Mabb PILOT: artist, course leader MFA Fine Art Goldsmiths College, London

A “food chain” is a description of the feeding relationships between species within an ecosystem. This is an inaccurate way of describing what happens in the art world. The art world is a market that has been constructed deliberately to enable the exchange of services and goods for profit. My place within this market could only be described as extremely marginal. Rory Macbeth Co-founder of PILOT:, artist, Leeds

Like some kind of bacteria thriving in the digestive system of a huge beast, oblivious as to whether I’m helping or harming it, and unsure of whether my host is in danger of being eaten by something else. So, a bit smug for already being in a belly, but a bit stupid for already being in a belly. But maybe it’s not a top/bottom thing, but more of a paper/scissors/stone thing. Or soup. Stuart Mayes PILOT: artist, London

Approaching liquorice.

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Alan McQuillan PILOT: artist, London

Starvin' in the belly of a whale. David Medalla PILOT: nominator, founder and director of the London Biennale, London

Q2

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

I have been lucky, in my practice as an artist, since the time I gave my first solo exhibition of paintings as a teenager at La Cave d'Angely in Ermita, Manila, Philippines, in 1957, to have a number of discerning individuals who collected my art, such as the Catalan poet Jaime Gil de Biedma, Dr. Michael James Colbourne of the World Health Organisation, and the SpanishFilipino artist Fernando Zobel de Ayala, founder of the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art at Casas Colgadas (the Hanging Houses) in Cuenca, Spain. In New York, where I first took up painting seriously, the American philanthropist George 'Freddie' Jonas, the poet Jose Garcia Villa, Mrs. Rosalind Harnett, and the family of Lawrence Rothman were among those who collected my art. When I arrived in England in 1960, I had the good fortune of meeting Guy Brett, one of the first persons to acquire my works and to champion my art. In France, too, I found admirers of my art such as the philosopher Gaston Bachelard, the poet Louis Aragon (co-founder of Surrealism), the art critic Pierre Restany, and artists Lygia Clark, Takis, Niki de Saint Phalle, Tinguely, and Lourdes Castro. Jonathan Meldrum Finance assistant (Local Govt), Hertford UK

Food for plankton food. David Mollin PILOT: artist, London

It’s dark in here but I know I am some way down the corridor, I can tell by the smell of food that’s getting stronger as I near the buffet carriage, or maybe that’s coming from outside. I just touched something rather sordid…

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Syd Mostow PILOT: artist, Barcelona

If food chain refers to the art world being a provider of some sort of subsistence then I am in another system completely. The art world has never given me sustenance: even when I was showing, participating, selling work from time to time, going to openings, and the rest of it. Really, the contrary is more accurate for me. It has been like Christopher Lee in a Hammer Horror film – fangs and blood. Jason Mountolive Artist, London

Above a pig and beneath a cow. And over the road from the old Bull and Bush. Susanne Neubauer

Q2

PILOT: nominator, art historian and curator at Museum of Art Lucerne, Switzerland

The feeling being in a food chain comes up when the core competence of something is concealed by too much so-called added value. Paul O'Neill Research fellow, Situations Office, School of Art, Media & Design, Bristol

How I feel is somewhat irrelevant, and there is an underlying suggestion that a so-called 'food chain' exists, which needs clarification before I could say how 'I feel' about it as a potentially meaningful term to reflect upon. Domenico Olivero Artist and curator, Cuneo, Italy

At this time I am completely outside the artworld food chain, probably somewhere between a bag of sawdust and the chemical essence of smog. The human condition is more and more unnatural and this situation will cause us to vanish from the earth. Stefano Pasquini Artist, Bologna, Italy

I'm the hungry artist who would bite your head off for a cover in Artforum.

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Liv Pennington Artist, UK and Bulgaria

I provide and consume. I have bouts of being publicly, visibly busy when work is out there in some form and then there are times when I’m invisible but still busy. Alan Phelan PILOT: nominator, artist, Dublin

As an artist I guess I am a producer, but I also am a healthy consumer, sometimes a decomposer but would modestly never see myself as a sun. There are better biological metaphors to use like parasitic, rhizome, endemic, polymorphism, mutation, evolution, inheritance, inbreeding, etc.

Q2

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

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Matthew Poole Co-founder and co-director of PILOT:, freelance curator and programme director for the Centre for Curatorial Studies at The University of Essex

To answer this question with some positivity presupposes that if I am (symbolically) eaten, consumed, assimilated by ‘bigger fish’ in the art world then I, or rather my work or what it stands for will somehow nourish them or that system. That might connote a certain surety, arrogance, or naïve optimism about the value of the work that I do. On the other hand, though, it would be unusefully pessimistic, or worse falsely modest, to imagine that the work that I do is in some way un-assimilable – I am not so megalomaniacal. However, I do think it is interesting to try to work out what it is in the work that I do that might have some nutritional value to the systems of the art world. To date, I have both certainly failed and consequently deliberately steered clear of the vagaries of trying to sell art, so there will be no mergers or take-overs of my practice by the bigger multi-national corporate art titans. However, as a university lecturer I contribute something to a fiscal economy in attracting students to courses which must be paid for. What my work contributes to a moral or ethical economy of art I hope will have some


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significance. What is important is simply that I strongly believe in the questions, ideas, and objects that I explore by doing exhibitions, talks, and through writing. To what degree the import of these things can be seen as fused with the import of my presence in the art world is a question I suspect we all constantly mull over with little successful resolution. When I am in the middle of a project, doing it, I don’t think about these things at all. However, in down time, away from working on something specific [which increasingly isn’t very often] – perhaps in a moment of reflection waiting for the kettle to boil or waiting in a bus queue – I do think about how significant my work might be to others. Ultimately though, I really only have the energy to care about the opinions of those who are known, trusted and important to me. But, to temper that selfishness I try to image how I might expand that circle in a way that is substantively useful to the work itself.

Q2

Max Presneill PILOT: nominator, artist, curator and director of Raid Projects and the Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles

Lovely way to ask it... Hors d’oeuvres perhaps? My main interest is in young emerging artists so I am self-exiled to the kitchen rather than the dining table. One always feels that one is standing at the foot of a mountain wondering what the air tastes like at the summit. Samuel Rama PILOT: artist, Portugal

Today I find myself at a pivotal stage. I have participated in several international art prizes with international juries. These were the first steps towards the internationalisation of my work. Throughout this path I met people interested in my work and artistic progression and I hope to meet many more. That implies a constant modernisation and challenge, which is stimulating.

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Nicollette Ramirez Marketing and communications coordinator, The Chelsea Art Museum, New York

At the bottom. The good thing about being at the bottom is everyone ignores you and you're free to do as you please, regardless of "demands". Thomas Ranahan PILOT: artist, Birmingham, UK

Being located in Birmingham, UK, the art world seems to pass me by and that demand for my work is limited. Therefore I would say I am equivalent to plankton drifting in the artistic ocean. However my production is prolific, the quality excellent, and belief in my work remains high.

Q2

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

InĂŞs Rebelo Artist, London

Insects are fairly low down (in) the food chain, I read today on the dictionary. I might be one of those. At least they can fly. But I was always afraid of heights. VERTIGO! So, maybe I'm not an insect. Oh well, I'm definitively not a shark. Audrey Reynolds Artist, London

Between Petits Filous and croque-madame. DJ Roberts PILOT: nominator, artist, London

Financially rather low down in the food chain. But I take comfort from the fact that some artists I hugely admire, and who have a very high critical reputation, are also pretty hard up. One of them gave me a lift recently – and his car only just made it. Alistair Robinson PILOT: nominator, programme director Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK

There are many images to describe hierarchical systems of co-dependency, of which 'food chain' is not necessarily the most apt. Traditionally, societies have been figured as a pyramid in which an elite commands the

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majority of the resources, and the bulk of participants in the system are subservient or subsidiary. This image is increasingly apt, rather than less appropriate: the star-system, or herosystem is, if anything, even more complete and absurd than in earlier times. For many curators, artists are increasingly akin to designer labels which are sewn into publicity material to dignify exhibitions with their branding. The problem for me is: is it possible to be a 'class traitor' in this hierarchical scheme (to ridiculously paraphrase Walter Benjamin's wise words)? Sean Rogg PILOT: artist, Stockholm

Somewhere between punk and power.

Q2

Eva Rudlinger Artist, London

Photoheterotroph. Giorgio Sadotti Artist, London

I am the plankton coo coo kachoo. Luisa Santos Artist and curator, London

As an artist, in the middle. As a curator, in the middle. Art is in the basis. Market and Public are the receptors. Jorge Satorre PILOT: artist, Mexico City

Instead of thinking in terms of food chain, I rather find myself in a continuous symbiotic situation. Liliane Schneiter Professor, associate researcher, University of Art and Design, Geneva

Shortly said. The most accurate representation of the constrain to be part of the art world food chain is the amount of undesirable e-mails received by art galleries, art associations, contemporary art festivals, biennials, events, fairs, etc.

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A lot of time spent to put each address as spam creating a long list of special filters. Nevertheless, they come again as avatars. I am ready to write a story of e-mail ghosts. For the next PILOT book's sake! Jasper Sharp Curator, writer, Vienna

It is something that too many people spend too long thinking about. One can always be more important, more influential, more talked about. If that is considered to be a real measure of success, that we are all in real trouble. Neville Shulman CBE, director of International Theatre Institute, writer, explorer and art collector, London

Q2

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

In the food chain of art I am always hungry for more! More knowledge, more interaction, more art works to see and appreciate and enjoy. In fact so it should be for every genuine art enthusiast and collector. If not, then for those no longer hungry, perhaps it's time for them to move away from the centre and to go and live on an island. By staying hungry, if we are lucky, through our connections to and support for galleries and museums, particularly, and the art industry in general, we will have continuing opportunities to meet and converse with working artists, often in their own studios – thereby often seeing their work in progress at an early stage and trying to learn what drives each artist forward and what are their individual current and ultimate goals. ˇ SKART PILOT: artists, Belgrade and London

Step by step, shaped by machine-cities and one-side-education, we all became passive chewers. Three times a day. Every day. As long as it lasts. Unfair-trade and hunger are "someone else's subject". This food-racism will soon show its other side. Gradually we are becoming bites on our own plates. But the next meal is already on the table. Let's think later on...

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Terry Smith Artist, London

I feel like a vegetable at a big rib bbq. Bob and Roberta Smith PILOT: nominator, artist, London

I am a fillet steak. Cherry Smyth Critic and poet, London

The new sexism places women artists and women critics back near the bottom. But look at monkfish: once scorned, now a delicacy. Loredana Sperini PILOT: artist, Zurich

I don’t want to position myself in the food chain.

Q2

Paul Stone Director of Vane, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Probably somewhere in the lower/middle but it’s not something I overanalyse. Believing in what you’re doing is more important than stressing about position. Paranoia isn’t pretty! Lynton Talbot Artist and co-director of RUN gallery, London

RUN’s position in this food chain is difficult to identify. Having not started with the intentions of a commercial gallery, we strive to operate within the system and in acknowledgment of how it works but also feel markedly separate from it. Our role and our responsibility to our artists are to provide an environment (both physically and intellectually) in which the artist can take advantage of the freedom they are offered. Having implemented a project at Tudor Grove of five solo shows in the space of one year, the gallery program perhaps resembled, to some degree, that of a commercial gallery’s. But this was in fact an exercise in offering a more focused dialogue with artists that had, in the previous year at RUN, exhibited as part of our program of duo shows. We try to engage with our artists’ work at a primary level. From the studio, through making

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and hanging we try not only to support but also push artists’ ideas and engage in a dialogue that is all encompassing for the artist. This we try to do within a visible platform and therefore need the conventions of the art gallery. We want to increase the exposure of the artist and engage in, and present, a critical dialogue to the public for the benefit of the artist’s practice. Although we are not ideologically opposed to selling exhibitions, this has not at any stage of RUN’s life been the motivation for the project. Our position in the food chain can therefore be seen as a deliberate positioning or attachment to it if you like that perhaps is not measurable in terms of a so called ‘pecking order’.

Q2

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN?

Sissu Tarka Artist, cultural theorist, London

Stacking shelves. John Timberlake Artist, London

The artist maintains a militant indifference towards such concerns. Jan Van Woensel PILOT: nominator, independent curator, art critic, lecturer and film producer, New York and Antwerp

I have no idea and I absolutely don’t care! Robert Vincent Artist, London

The Son. Lee Wells Artist, curator and director of IFAC-arts and PerpetualArtMachine.com, New York

As a practising artist, independent curator and consultant in New York I have been able to play on a number of different levels in the international scene. This privilege has helped give me a broad perspective into the way things work. I try to steer clear of the sharks and bottom-feeders. If the art world was an ocean I would like to be a dolphin and travel in a pod. Artists need to stick together or else the sharks will eat you for breakfast.

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Richard Wentworth Artist, London

I plant things, I water. I pick, I gather, I redistribute and I sometimes set out my stall. I don't know where it all goes but I love to bite into things I like. Simon Wood PILOT: artist, London

I am a proud bottom-feeder! But I have withdrawn from exhibiting 'willy-nilly' and save myself for special occasions. This way I do not compromise my work by churning out things to fill exhibitions. Ed Young PILOT: artist, Johannesburg

Bottom-feeder.

Q2

Tim Zulauf Writer and theatre maker, Zurich

I couldn't tell: I changed places between artist, art critic, art producer and theatre maker too often. It's kind of a hopping-game between food chains – or a being thrown out of them time and again.

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HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THAT THE ART WORLD IS SHAPED BY DEMAND? WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN? HOW DO YOU KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?


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Andy Abbott Artist, West Yorkshire, UK

Q3

HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

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The majority of my art tactics have been borrowed or informed by the DIY music scene that I’ve been involved in since long before I was invited to attend professional practice workshops or intellectual copyright seminars. Seen through rose-tinted glasses the DIY scene is an international ‘community’ or network of musicians and creatives who have carved out a way of doing things in a way that suits them in the most sickly of circumstances – the music ‘industry’ – and as a by-product have created some excellent music. The early punk and hardcore scenes got away with making pretty much whatever music they liked by bypassing all the infrastructures that were commonly thought of as indispensable in spending your time doing music: for instance taking music lessons, getting a manager, tour bookers, tour bus hire, progressing to bigger and better venues, major record deals, chain-store distribution and chart success. The most inspiring thing about those scenes isn’t the music (an equal amount of it is generic formulaic crap) but the method of self-organisation employed, and the examples where this uncompromised approach has resulted in more genuine engagement for both musicians and ‘fans’ alike. Art-wise I, and a lot of the people I do art with, take the same approach. If you want control over what you do, then do as much of the work yourselves as possible or make sure you’re working with people who share a similar outlook. The resources needed to realise an idea and make it public are more often than not present in yourself or in a network of likeminded people – in our experience we’ve found that anyone can find and do up a space, paint boards, write a press release, chip in some cash for some booze and flyers and put on an exhibition. If that’s out of the question then there’s always publications or the street. In any case you need a degree of adaptability and willingness to respond to the situation; there’s obviously no such thing as absolute


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autonomy. It is, however, much less likely to be censored through political obligations to the commissioning forces, or the self-policing that goes hand in hand with the fear of upsetting anyone important who might inhibit career ‘progress’, if what you’re doing is organised from the bottom up. Julia Alvarez Director of BEARSPACE and independent curator, London

Contemporary artists and curators now have to operate between business, creativity, critical discourse, fundraising, networking and various opportunities that arise and have to be filtered. One has to concentrate on different aspects at different times, but somehow they all seem to work together. Sarah Andrew Artist and writer, London

Swimming hard, working blind, giving up on the idea of continuity and taking and adapting the flotsam of chances that come by. Tamara Arroyo PILOT: artist, Madrid

Working not only in art world. Sarah Baker PILOT: artist, London

I try not to succumb to demands, fashion and requests. But in truth this creates an anticonformity which I find myself a slave to. I go to the desert and forget about any demands and requests, but I can only make art with sand.

Q3

Paul Barratt Designer, London

By working without public sector funding. Michele Bazzana PILOT: artist, Codroipo, Italy

I don't keep control on it, it's provided by the system. I won't stand an unvarying world. Sometimes I'd like to be like the interceptor of Mad Max.

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Cecilia Bonilla PILOT: artist, London

One way is through the choice of materials I work with. Sara Bowler Artist, Falmouth, UK

I think carefully about what I do and where I place it/record it/generate responses to it. This enables me to realise the work I want to do. Kristina BrĂŚin PILOT: artist, Oslo

I follow my intuition and try to keep my mind free. My intentions as an artist are always in danger of being misunderstood or exploited, but I do not see myself as responsible for this. Kimberley Brown Director of Brown gallery, London

I keep control by doing shows I believe in doing and supporting artists I believe are really investigating ideas and taking risks and challenging their own practices. Celine Condorelli PILOT: nominator, architect, London

Q3

HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

But we are all of course in this system. So the question is how we want to be in this system, how do we inhabit it creatively and critically, with the unsatisfied, the delayed, the non-delivered, the unanswered, the late and the latent, the inprocess, the not-yet manifest, the unavailable, the no-show, the undeveloped, the unrecognised, the unpaid, the un-named, the forgotten, the hidden, the neglected, the overlooked, the discarded, the missing, the longing, the invisible, the unseen, the behindthe-scene, the disappeared, the conceiled, the unwanted, the dormant, the potential? James Connelly PILOT: artist, London

Are you accusing me of being in control? How dare you! I’ll sue you! Control is boring I want my art to slop over the edges and grow like a wild garden.

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I’m going to stop answering this question now it’s starting to feel too controlled. Phil Coy PILOT: artist, London

No comment. Elena Crippa Curator and artist liaison, Lisson Gallery, London

I do not have desire to control my input into the system – the moment I publish an essay or realise a project, my input is out of me. The only way to control things would be to keep them in your head or drawer. Also, I cannot see why I would want to control my input. The only reason I can imagine is a quite perverse desire to be fully understood. I sometimes feel fulfilled in the process of writing, debating or conceiving projects, but I do not have interest in being perceived as an author. Ross Downes PILOT: artist, London

Selective activity and a constant re-appraisal of what to do, how to do it and who to do it for? Working with artist-run spaces whose principal motivation is to place art in the service of ideas and communication has always seemed like the obvious and only method. If you consider yourself part of the system it’s likely the control is no longer yours. Stephen Dunne PILOT: artist, London

Q3

Creatively a healthy mix of megalomania and the desire to make something unassailably wonderful. Critically, once the work is out there it’s largely out of your control; the important thing is to retain as much artistic independence and integrity as possible. Sonya Dyer Artist, London

I think it helps that I am involved with a range of activity – artistic practice, public programming/ curatorial projects, writing/advocacy etc. This means working within different contexts and

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with a variety of partners – public/private/artistlead/institutional – which presently offers a great deal of freedom and flexibility. I try only to work with people I really like and am genuinely interested in. Also, it really helps to learn the power of the word ‘No!’ I’ve also just taken my time to figure out what I want to do and how to go about doing it. I especially appreciate this as it appears to be a luxury that many art students/graduates in England increasingly seem unwilling or unable to give themselves… Susan E. Barnet Artist, London

I suppose I try to be as deliberate as possible but of course there are always those late-night errors that get 'sent' or overlooked even in the light of day. Often it seems to be a matter of taking the time to ask questions and follow through – even when it often appears to be obvious or that in doing so a simple thing might become quite drawn out. So thoughtfulness and patience do seem to pay off. Renate Egger Artist, Vienna

Art=control? Andrew Ekins Artist, London

I dream I work I think.

Q3

HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

Flora Fairbairn PILOT: nominator, independent curator, London

I just work with the artists whose work I admire rather than following any trends. Being an independent curator allows me to choose all the artists I work with and the people I sell to. My main concern is to discover and promote mostly unknown artists and to help them to establish themselves on to the next level. Michael Hampton PILOT: artist, London

Firstly, basing a set of questions on the premise that there is such a thing as an ‘art world’ is a

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problematic starting point, for to think uncritically in terms of this figment is to confirm and consolidate its existence as a separate entity. The loaded expression ‘art world’ smacks of an elitist system of relations, protected by invisible walls, coded messages and masonic handshakes. Such a collective delusion of grandeur rests, too, on the assumption that art is a special, sanctified commodity promoted by individuals somehow set apart from the concerns of everyday life, and that the artist is a sub-species deserving special treatment and protection. This spectre of an ‘art world’ shaped by demand only perpetuates the cruel image of a hyper-materialist and inhospitable system of brokerage and insider trading in luxury goods; however, such a configuration of romantic pathology and business is far removed from the struggles that determine everyday life for the vast mass of individuals. The casual interrogative use of social Darwinist metaphor and modelling only adds to the nightmare. ‘Food chain’? Are humans cannibalising each other for fun now? Is this a pilot trailer for a new ‘reality’ TV show in which collectors, dealers, curators and artists are quarantined together, or marooned on an island? As for the issue of control, well, this questionnaire, despite its pre-suppositional drawbacks, is at least one way to register an unorthodox and unsettling viewpoint, for repeatedly throwing a dice can demonstrate whether it is loaded or not. Input then is simply a method of testing out conditions, values and degrees of room for manoeuvre, room to play, and is mostly a blind gamble which may or may not lead to a happy outcome in the form of a mutually beneficial contract, and thence to greater public exposure and trade. Keeping a poker face is best.

Q3

Dr Harriet Häussler and Dr Bastian Aeneas Directors of Upstairs Berlin GbR, Berlin

We do our best to protect artists from importunate requests to meet any kind of

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demand to ensure that the process of creation is not affected by the market. Michael Hiltbrunner Academic researcher, Institute for Contemporary Arts Research, Zurich

“Watch your step.” First I do the step, then I watch it. Central here is to get involved and to have a general view on the proceedings. I like to take responsibility. Creativity is a quality as circumspection, affection and courage – a work should not be attributable to one of them uniquely. It is part of my education and interest to see the intentions and ideologies from the parties involved (of course I’m very creative in seeing the correlations). Critique is a way of getting involved, but first I have to choose the environment I want to work in. The one big difference I still have to learn is the one between friends and partners; sometimes you don’t know what you are with each other, only later. But to know too much, to get involved too much is more crazy than bungee-jumping I guess. Jens Hoffmann PILOT: nominator, curator, director Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco

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HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

In my specific case I make sure that I know all the parameters of a project, an exhibition and an institution as much as possible in order to asses whether or not I can trust a situation to be able to provide a framework that can give me creative control and an uncompromised way of realizing my work. So rather than working for a big museum like Tate or MoMA I work in a midseize institution that I can totally control and where I do not have to make any compromises. huber.huber PILOT: artists, Zurich

We uncompromisingly go our way as artists. Juan Manuel Ipiña Artist, Buenos Aires

To keep control on one’s input into the system

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one should cultivate a systematic pessimism about it, a hopelessness that enables oneself to look somewhere else for nourishment or satisfaction. The moment you start having any hopes deposited in the art “world”, you lose control of your input. The immanent world is so much richer, surprising, enormous, varied, full of possibilities... Kaz Artist, London

Through stringent quality control. I constantly question and reflect on my motives and actions in order to maintain integrity while ensuring that boundaries are pushed continually. This is achieved through critically assessing the practice as well as engaging with others, including artists, viewers of the work and others involved in the art world. Deirdre King Artist, writer, Limehouse Arts Foundation, London

By critique, carried out both in my art work and writing. The impact of the market place on art has been a theme in my work. Currently it emerges through exploring issues of value. It’s important for any system, any ‘world’ to have internal critique or it seizes up. For critique to be effective, it has to be exhibited/published, so I try to find outlets for that, which can be difficult. This system naturally doesn’t like critique since that causes market-unfriendly ripples. People can be afraid to take risks that might jeopardise their survival and success.

Q3

Sharon Kivland Artist, writer, France and England

No one has ever tried to take control from me. I should perhaps be rather depressed by that. Pil and Galia Kollectiv PILOT: artists, London

Control is both impossible and undesirable. We respond to the conditions of our labour as much as anyone. When we reject demands for repetition, we are in fact answering the requirement that we innovate to stay relevant.

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We hope our ways of working will contribute positively to shaping the system, and we try to make what we perceive as good choices in how we interact with its institutions. Selling work directly and cheaply, working on self-initiated projects and curating our own exhibitions is a way of maintaining some degree of autonomy, but art remains a negotiation of means and ends, sites and agendas. Contextual awareness is our only weapon, because independence is no solution. Peter Lewis PILOT: nominator, curator and director of Redux, London

Q3

HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

I would agree that there is a system at work, which is always out of control. That’s capital, I guess. Call me old fashioned yet again, for wanting that which I have involved as entering the system or coming out from it, not necessarily to function as consolidated within these already over-discussed vested interests and limits. Or too simplistic. Control. The system goes a long way into the heart of wanting art to be something to do with the real, which is outside of control, as capital mimics, and with the passion for it, that alleviates doubt about itself, about the sustained import of ‘savage’ as a limit experience, thinking to restore from the romantic reverie of phantasmogoria, the significance of the art world having, a priori, its hidden systemic violence to protect everything and everyone from knowledge of its real controlled limits. Justin Lieberman Artist, New York

Avoiding parties. Avoiding people, for that matter. Pia Linz PILOT: artist, Berlin

My subjective way of working is often directly connected to my specific human ability. Although the content of my work deals with new media, for my observational work directly on site, I use classical media, for example,

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pencil on paper. The aspect of speeding down the process, by ignoring new technology, becomes more and more important in the development of my work. As a result, what emerges over a long period of time is a small quantity of concentrated work, which is a statement in itself, and also has consequences for the commercialisation of my work. This leads to the tendency that the demand is larger than the supply. Therefore, in the future, I will unfortunately have to be more selective with exhibitions and selling, but I also see this as a gain of freedom and influence. Actually, I can’t claim that I can predict the long-term impact of the mechanism of the art world and market, and if I will be able to maintain control. David Mabb PILOT: artist, course leader MFA Fine Art Goldsmiths College, London

I make what I want but in a context that is not of my choosing; therefore my work is the product of that context whilst at the same time I have control over it. When I make a painting, the material history of painting is a given. I work with or against this history, but it is always present even by its absence. When making decisions about an artwork in production, its prospects as a commodity are not among the criteria I usually use, but the very refusal to think of a work’s prospects as a commodity shapes how it is commodified. Rory Macbeth

Q3

Co-founder of PILOT:, artist, Leeds

I'm not sure that I do keep control, or even that I necessarily want to, but I do feel (perhaps delusionally) that I can do this, for a while at least, by making my own parameters and playing with how well or badly they sit within the system, which I suppose is a kind of criticality, until it gets subsumed. I think the question sort of assumes that you have control of your input before you put it in, and I’m not sure that is always necessarily true.

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Stuart Mayes PILOT: artist, London

Through the people and projects that I give time and energy to. Alan McQuillan PILOT: artist, London

How much control do you want? How much do you need? Outside your own artistic practices, I think that if you start holding too tightly to certain ideas about yourself, your practice, your value to a particular system – which only exists at one point in a time and place – then you may well stagnate, become stuck and miss advantages that exist outside that system. Contributing critically and creatively to exhibits, books and other work allows you to become more aware of your part within something wider. To maintain my practice in the first instance is my main aim. After you are able to produce work that stands on it own, that can fall down on its own and with which you have pushed your own abilities as an artist, then I am able to concern myself with notions of control in a system not created by me. Ultimately, keep focused on the details and your immediate world but never lose your ambition and a grasp of the bigger picture. David Medalla PILOT: nominator, founder and director of the London Biennale, London

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HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

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I have been fortunate in being able to survive materially as an artist, partly through my work as a lecturer in art schools. Sir William Coldstream and Professor William Townsend invited me to be a staff/student advisor at The Slade in 1972. That same year, I was invited by Rayment Durgnat to give classes in the complimentary studies department of St. Martin's School of Art. I was later invited by Nicholas Wadley to give lectures at Chelsea School of Art, where I stayed for a period of six years. From 1964 to 1966 I edited SIGNALS news bulletin of the arts and sciences. I initiated the Exploding Galaxy, a group of multi-media artists, in London in 1967.


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From 1974 to 1977 I was the chairman of Artists for Democracy. In 1994, in New York, I cofounded with Australian artist Adam Nankervis (founder & director of MUSEUM MAN) the Mondrian Fan Club. Since the year 2000 I have directed the London Biennale. Those are some of the ways I have kept my independence as an artist, free from the constraints and stresses of the commercial art world. Jonathan Meldrum Finance assistant (Local Govt), Hertford UK

By living out of the city, doing a completely different job, and having and owning my own arbitrary, personal, private feelings about works of art and decorativity. David Mollin PILOT: artist, London

I clench myself really tightly and concentrate, emanating a tiny little squeak. Syd Mostow PILOT: artist, Barcelona

As time goes on I am further and further from this so-called system which is described as the art world. Partly because it is abhorrent, although seeming idealists like the organisers of PILOT whitewash a positive appearance to it. I think most artists are whores, galleries pimps, and the system just a vicious hormone-driven ego that in very crude Freudian terms thinks only about its dick. Art nowadays is mostly a joke, irrelevant, and an insider’s club managed by know-it-alls who apparently seem to know something about art but are really just blowing like the wind. Of course there are the idealists, and the naive, and the young (who haven’t figured it out yet), and those with a art career with too much at stake not to accept the bullshit as part of the daily fare, convincing themselves, and everyone else who’ll listen, that they are noble soldiers in some sort of great artistic cause. But in the end, they are probably quite irrelevant, even though they are touted, showcased, and bought. Art as it is now framed and manifested in its varying forms is in general banal, and decadent. We are

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Rome in its death throes. Too much wine in lead casks. Demented, bloated, flaccid and weak. Jason Mountolive Artist, London

I repel all boarders while swinging on a rope with a fucking great cutlass between my teeth. And that’s why I’ve posted a picture of my arse on Charles Saatchi’s website. Susanne Neubauer PILOT: nominator, art historian and curator at Museum of Art Lucerne, Switzerland

As a representative of a public institution I have the luck and the charge to shape the noneconomic counter system according to values that are less popular, less understandable and less circuit compliant as far as the own system allows me to do so. Controlling input can’t be kept under any circumstances at all. Paul O'Neill Research fellow, Situations Office, School of Art, Media & Design, Bristol, UK

I am not interested in controlling or guarding the boundaries of what I do or how I can contribute either critically or creatively to defining these boundaries. There is no over-arching singular ‘system’ as your question suggests but many organised and disorganised networks which enable or disable a system to function properly or improperly, which is how systems function.

Q3

HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

Domenico Olivero Artist and curator, Cuneo, Italy

I work like a virus in the system, trying to reform this boring situation. I think every artist should work independently of the art market to have control of his/her work and to grow freely with time. The problem is financing oneself. For this reason a compromise must be struck with the market system, but this will have its limits once any creative work is in process. Stefano Pasquini Artist, Bologna, Italy

I let most of this bullshit go with the flux and try

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to concentrate on the work. Life is hard enough as it is without having to take care of backstabbing artists and cunt gallerists. Then I spam everyone about my “Why the fuck not podcast�! Liv Pennington Artist, UK and Bulgaria

Conversations with peers and colleagues, reading and reviewing, looking and being looked at. Asking questions and trying to answer them. Alan Phelan PILOT: nominator, artist, Dublin

Control is a matter of choice but sometimes it can be tricky to realise you have the option. Depending on where you locate your output as an artist determines your input into whatever system you want to work with. Some clever artists are able to manipulate the critical apparatus; others just keep working away until someone notices. Matthew Poole Co-founder and co-director of PILOT:, freelance curator and programme director for the Centre for Curatorial Studies at The University of Essex

Ultimately, it is impossible to control the reception, or interpretation, of one’s work. This is probably a good thing, as it keeps you on your toes to strive for greater resolution, or greater force in the work that you do. Over the past few years though I have begun to consciously limit the number of collaborators who I work with. This has been something of an organic process as my interests become more focused and specific. I have found there is a much greater satisfaction in probing more deeply a few key specific ideas or issues and attempting to embody these in the work I do. This I have found is one relatively effective way of controlling and making stronger the criticality of my work. In the end there is an internal logic to the processes of assessing whether what I do is of high quality, and this comes down to quite self-interested concerns. However, as I am sure most people do, I do

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constantly wonder, if not actually worry, about what people outside of a trusted circle of colleagues and friends think about my work. Max Presneill PILOT: nominator, artist, curator and director of Raid Projects and the Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles

By taking part in worthwhile projects and events, by being involved on all levels. By remaining active as a painter, by curating independent exhibitions, by critical studio visits and going to other galleries and museums. Reading helps but the current state of criticism (description as review is no substitute for critical engagement) in too many art magazines has made that somewhat less valuable in recent years, it seems. By trying not to get lazy – the running of a commercial gallery brings its own demands and one needs to actively retain one’s own levels of awareness and interaction, in conjunction with the gallery’s program, to the greater art world – particularly with regards to unknown young artists and developments. Samuel Rama PILOT: artist, Portugal

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HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

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That is one of the most important issues for an artist. At least since the second half of the twentieth century it is about all the theoretical and critical work that could be produced by the artist. In many cases the artist's writings are a major part of his work. There are two main reasons for this to happen: first because since the second half of the twentieth century, there were no longer those great avant-garde movements that amalgamate the artists; second and subsequently the artists had to be on their own, they had to find their own place in the context of the contemporary production. The idea itself of a contemporary art involves an individual conscience; the artist has to be able to go beyond what is pure picture of present – he has to dig in the deep layers of sense, of poetical, aesthetical, ethical and political expressivity. The theoretical production generated by each artist marks out his work phases, verbalising that experience.


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Nicollette Ramirez Marketing and communications coordinator, The Chelsea Art Museum, New York

I do exactly as I said before: whatever I want. This freedom for sure has its limitations, economic and otherwise, but I go around when I want, wherever I want, support those who I believe are doing something worth supporting, and every now and again I have an epiphany when I see, engage in, or promote some art or artist, and this is what keeps me going during the dry times of "demand". I try to stay true to my vision and at times this may seem obstinate, but I've realised that going counter to culture often leads to a much more fulfilling path than following all the other lemmings into the shark's mouth. I like the idea of art for art's sake, but this perhaps is just that, an idea. I try to control my input to the system critically and creatively by writing every now and again about stuff that inspires me, as well as making events/parties where people can actively engage in and with artists; where people can dance, and feel alive, and perhaps reach a certain level of energy (creative, spiritual, physical, intellectual); whatever type of energy that reminds them that this is the reason that we're alive, and that creativity is not a luxury or something learned but something as inherent and basically human as breathing, and that it can be manifested in many ways in everyone, if only they value it more than "demands". Thomas Ranahan

Q3

PILOT: artist, Birmingham, UK

You have to believe in the work that you make first of all. It has to be the best you can make it. Then you have to convince your audience and potential curators or buyers that it’s not only good but decidedly individualistic. From a commercial point of view, your work also needs to find the clientele that want to purchase the work. Pressure may be put on an artist to continue making work that is financially saleable but that no longer is of interest to the artist making it. This should be resisted if at all possible. When livelihoods are threatened this

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may be a harder decision to make. Inês Rebelo Artist, London

I continue to work and research on my set of interests independently from system demands. Sometimes there are overlapping moments, sometimes not at all. Audrey Reynolds Artist, London

By embracing, in solitude, my own sad industry and the minutiae of my thoughts. PS: I’ll probably have to buy some milk on the day I die. DJ Roberts PILOT: nominator, artist, London

I work hard and try to make the best work I can. After that I go to private views, keep in regular touch with artist friends and critics, and let people know what I’m doing by e-mail and other means. Alistair Robinson PILOT: nominator, programme director Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK

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HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

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One answer is: be Janus. Keep two faces. Know what the rules of the game are, but adopt Groucho Marx's dictum that 'Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.' One example. Mondrian, famously, created two bodies of work: a series of decorative flower paintings akin to those of Fantin-Latour for patrons; and his grid-works, which we associate with him now. One underwrote, and crosssubsidised the other. My point is: he's a much more interesting figure knowing that both bodies of work developed in parallel. Today, museums would never show both, but that's our loss: they're missing the point and falsifying history. The other answer is: create your own game, parallel to the main complaint, off in a siding. Hope it curves round into the main track in the future (again, Mondrian). Create a new rule for others to follow. Build a new criterion. Difficult to do without sounding like a Nike ad, or a tedious


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neo-con even when if the reverse is true. But it might be worth a shot. Sean Rogg PILOT: artist, Stockholm

I ignore it completely. Eva Rudlinger Artist, London

Reinvent surplus input and by-products, collaborate with other worlds and expand the network. Giorgio Sadotti Artist, London

I am not sure that you can keep control. Yes of course you can try but I think that as soon as your work is seen by another, as it enters someone else's experience, it is changed and that is the beginning of your loss of control. Also I am not sure whether wanting to maintain control is such a healthy attitude anyway. Maybe losing control is where art's at? Luisa Santos Artist and curator, London

I'm afraid I don't keep the control. At least, not individually. Jasper Sharp Curator, writer, Vienna

It is important to make a contribution, to feel that one is making a step forward in the understanding or recognition of something, however small or apparently oblique. This of course involves risk and the possibility of making very public mistakes, but nothing meaningful was ever achieved otherwise.

Q3

Neville Shulman CBE, director of International Theatre Institute, writer, explorer and art collector, London

With considerable difficulty and with a constantappraisal and re-assessment of what I can contribute and the ways I can assist. It always takes enthusiasm, dedication and belief in the art industry in all its forms, and loads and loads of

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legwork. You must never expect the artists and galleries to chase you and you must travel to where their works are or can be seen: in studios, galleries, art fairs, indeed in whichever countries they happen to be at a given time and to accept it's a constantly changing process. It's essential to stay eager for more and to accept you need the artists, and the works they create – never the other way round. ˇ SKART PILOT: artists, Belgrade and London

There is no any keeping control in the creative process. This is about giving and sharing. The way to stay critical is to collaborate with different ones, groups and networks to break our pleasant same-thinkers' ghettos. Creative selfishness brings up new fine-arts pollution. Only collaboration through creative conflict brings up new ways. Terry Smith Artist, London

Q3

HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

I have always been outside, but that's been, in part at least, my choice. I make my work without any consideration to the commercial sector, but this is not a deliberate policy, I just don't fit comfortably in the system. I don't have a problem with the commercial world, I just have a simple ambition to make the best work I can. Art at the moment is sexy, and the fact that it makes a lot of money has validated art as a commodity; it’s now just like everything else. Which I think is really odd is that when it was more outside, and had some integrity, it was seen as a sham, but as soon as it makes money, all is forgiven. I remember when, as artists, we talked about art and issues and our place in the world; there was a currency about ideas – now the only currency in art is currency. Bob and Roberta Smith PILOT: nominator, artist, London

You want fries with that sir?

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Cherry Smyth Critic and poet, London

I write about what thrills me, challenges me, makes poetry. The best art produces good thinking and good writing. It proliferates through language for me. Loredana Sperini PILOT: artist, Zurich

It’s difficult to keep control, but I try my best. Paul Stone Director of Vane, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Don’t let the market dictate what you do, and know when to say ‘no’. It is still possible to participate within the existing system without compromising yourself critically or creatively. Lynton Talbot Artist and co-director of RUN gallery, London

It could be argued that the very nature of what we do is an exercise in keeping critical and creative control over our input. The very fact that RUN exists is an act of critical and creative input. Our job or responsibility, then, is to keep control of this through dialogue and an understanding between our artists and us, and ensure that the public are sufficiently exposed to this dynamic. Sissu Tarka Artist, cultural theorist, London

Multiple voices.

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John Timberlake Artist, London

The question’s language seems to presume a set of relations akin to that of mass production and consumption: I have no wish to be a subcontracted supplier to a ‘system’, nor do I conduct myself as such. Rather, I desire to work outside such relations, entering into a creative dialogue with collaborators, curators, collectors, writers and audiences at large. Jan Van Woensel PILOT: nominator, independent curator, art critic, lecturer and film producer, New York and Antwerp

I don’t really care about my “reputation”, so I don’t want to control my input. I do my job the way I want to do it, everywhere and at all times. I think that the system should and will have to adapt to me and to the way I work. Robert Vincent Artist, London

The Holy Spirit. Lee Wells Artist, curator and director of IFAC-arts and PerpetualArtMachine.com, New York

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HOW DO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR INPUT INTO THIS SYSTEM CRITICALLY AND/OR CREATIVELY?

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I try to stay focused on my strategic mission and remember that I am in this game for the long run. Consistency, confidence and an optimistic outlook combined with a proficiency in my craft and an informed knowledge of my subject will always allow me to keep control of my input into the spectacle of the art world. Richard Wentworth Artist, London

I do not fetishise the system and imagine that I am a live component even when in repose. There are a few things I know in art which have argued magnificently with their context and a lot which are good at miming. If I wanted to be really effective I think I would be some kind of missionary – a fulltime political task, possibly even terrorism.


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Simon Wood PILOT: artist, London

I gained control of my input when the gallery that previously represented me (VTO) closed, and now I have interest from other galleries, without commitment. This has enabled me to produce a body of work I am 100% happy with. I wrote the art pages for a magazine for a while, and tried to highlight things that I liked, and that I found little coverage of in other magazines. The flavour of the month is often tomorrow's leftovers, so I think there is some advantage in avoiding being the most 'desirable' thing on the menu. Better to be a classic dish than a fad. Ed Young PILOT: artist, Johannesburg

Sigh... Tim Zulauf Writer and theatre maker, Zurich

Changing positions within systems and between systems have so far helped me not getting too deep into purely system-intrinsic questions. But it also may have prevented continuity and/or bigger impact.

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Printed by Short Run Press Limited


inside back cover

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cover back

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PILOT: is an independent not-for-profit project led by artists and independent curators. It produces events world-wide and manages an archive of artists who are not represented commercially, nominated by some of the most influential and exciting personalities in the art world, internationally. www.pilotlondon.org


PILOT:3 Q&A