9to5.tv livestreaming artist
Artist statement for 9to5.tv livestreaming
“When Marx undertook his critique of the capitalistic mode of production, this mode was in its infancy. Marx directed his efforts in such a way as to give them prognostic value. He went back to the basic conditions underlying capitalistic production and through his presentation showed what could be expected of capitalism in the future. The result was that one could expect it not only to exploit the proletariat with increasing intensity, but ultimately to create conditions which would make it possible to abolish capitalism itself.
The transformation of the superstructure, which takes place far more slowly than that of the substructure, has taken more than half a century to manifest in all areas of culture the change in the conditions of production. Only today can it be indication what form this has taken. Certain prognostic requirements should be met by these statements. However, these about the art of the proletariat after its assumption of power or about the art of a classless society would have less bearing on these demands than theses about the developmental tendencies of art under present conditions of production.
Their dialectic is no less noticeable in the superstructure than in the economy. It would therefore be wrong to underestimate the value of such these as a weapon. They brush aside a number of outmoded concepts, such as creativity and genius, eternal value and mystery - concepts whose uncontrolled (and at present almost uncontrollable) application would lead to a processing of data in the Fascist sense.
The concepts which are introduced into the theory of art in what follows differ from the more familiar terms in that they are completely useless for the purposes of Fascism. They are, on the other hand, useful for the formulation of revolutionary demands in the politics of art.”
~ Walter Benjamin, “Preface”, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
As an artist, I’m drawn to photography and the insurmountable truth that can be expressed through a single image. To make sense of my environment, I like to explore the expressive features that stick out to me. Photography allows me to collect and organize vast amounts of visual information in a way that I can share these curated experiences with an audience or my future self in time. After experimenting for years with analog and digital imaging processes, I embraced digital as my medium of choice. With this medium, I could readily replicate instances of space and time in mass quantities and experiment with altering the content much easier than any non-digital process I’ve tried in the past.
In the midst of making work with digital imaging processes, I began to explore the conceptual nature of media theory and its applications to my work. I was drawn to the utility of image making that’s characteristically afforded by the capitalistic production of tools and platforms that are developed to share our collective memory archive. It’s been clear in my studies and practice that the impact of the image is traditionally tied with its mode of production and broadcasting methods, which has largely enabled organizations of corporate and state-owned influencers to reinforce the hierarchical social framework that excludes the non-elite from active participation in information sharing and self-expression.
While the capture of expression and truth continues to be the core function of my work as Streetcat.media, I’ve begun to focus my efforts beyond traditional photography and into the production of tools and platforms that enable more accessible forms of information sharing and environmental agency. Inspired by Walter Benjamin’s essay on the increasing accessibility of art-making and self-expression via photography, I’ve leveraged his model to include contemporary technologies, like software, hardware, and networking development to underscore the Marxist strengths that technology grants to everyone.
With increased access to the Internet and modern computing tools, we can bypass oppressive systems that prevent individuals from being able to easily access resources like education, employment, and even food. In my participation with 9to5.tv, I will use their platform and resources to consciously push forward my defiance of corporate and state issued systems of control via DIY tech development and easy to grasp processes that aim to construct more accessible systems of truth and power for everyone.