Trawling through Akademie X: Lessons in Art + Life

Miranda July Photo: Daniel Boud via The Bygone Bureau

Miranda July
Photo: Daniel Boud via The Bygone Bureau

My friend Joel posted a link on fb to an artnet article based on the new book ‘Akademie X: Lessons in Art + Life‘. “artnet News has trawled the book to distill the most useful pearls of wisdom, so you can hit the ground running” and I’ve distilled the ones I think most interesting to share here. Follow the trail back to the source at your convenience 🙂

Here is some of what I found:

– “If you want a normal life, get a normal job.” Sanford Biggers lays down the law, short and sweet.

– “Creating a non-purposive, free space in which to play and have fun is essential. You can tell when you are looking at art that was a drag to make: it’s a drag to look at.” Carol Bove on keeping things clever yet playful.

– “Your life right now is as real as it will ever be. It won’t be more real in the future, when you get into or out of college or into or out of a relationship or a job or a financial quagmire or a health problem. In fact, the things keeping you back—these embarrassing, boring, stupid obstacles—are the heart of what it is to be human. They’re the whole reason for making and needing art.” Miranda July, on embracing life as it is

– “I think that art can be made with virtually anything, so I don’t believe you have to be in a particular kind of economy, cultural context, or a unique space, or have specific items available with which to make art. People who are creative can make art wherever they are.” Wangechi Mutu, on why you should stop looking for excuses not to make art

– Stop making ‘art’ and start making your work. […] It’s so easy to make things that look like art, act like art, get sold like art, yet in the end aren’t really art, but are phantoms, mere commodities, or quantifiable digestible sound bites.” Stephanie Syjuco, on staying clear of Zombie Formalism and finding one’s own path

– “WORST: 1.) The emphasis, since the 1980’s, on making art as a specialist professional ‘career’ rather than as a passionate experiment. 2.) The obsession with the artist as a future ‘art star.’ 3.) The obsession with making an academic rationale for art, a good example being the overuse of the world ‘problematize.’ 4.) Teaching only the contemporary art that is found in the magazines in the library.” Dan Graham on everything that’s wrong with MFA programs

Stuff to think about!

Peace all!

Happy potting!

Make beauty real!


About Carter Gillies

I am an active potter and sometime pottery instructor who is fascinated by the philosophical side of making pots, teaching these skills, and issues of the artistic life in general. I seem to have a lot to say on this blog, but I don't insist that I'm right. I'm always trying to figure stuff out, and part of that involves admitting that I am almost always wrong in important ways. If you are up for it, please help me out by steering my thoughts in new and interesting directions. I always appreciate the challenge of learning what other people think.
This entry was posted in Art, Creative industry, Creativity. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Trawling through Akademie X: Lessons in Art + Life

  1. Linda says:

    This is great !! You and Joel keeping the mind open and flowing. Thank you.


    Sent from my iPhone


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