DAY 16 /// RESPONDING TO WORKING ARTISTS AND THE GREATER ECONOMY (W.A.G.E.) ONLINE DIGITAL ARTWORK AND THE STATUS OF THE “BASED-IN” ARTIST, BY XENIA BENIVOLSKI
Al Aqsa Mosque, the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem
The City & the City is a 2009 novel story by China Miéville that takes place in the cities of Besźel and Ul Qoma. These two cities actually occupy the same space, but they are perceived as two different cities. From childhood, citizens of both cities are taught to recognize things belonging to the other city without actually seeing them. A citizen of Besźel must learn to ignore the denizens, buildings, and events taking place in Ul Qoma.
In Mexico City this winter I noticed that the characterization of Spanish nouns is arranged in a way that feels spatially considerate, the serious words heavy and short and close to the ground, while silly objects move further and further away from you as they get smaller – Chica, Chicita, chicitita, etc. I assume that we all grew up in the 90s but we didn’t, and to me, it feels a little bit like that; Nineteen Ninety, Nineteen Ninety nine, nineteen ninety ninety nine, becoming farther and smaller. The 90s started with Seinfeld and ended with the Matrix because of a phone! The Internet renders everyone international. Having a home feels conservative.
Also, whenever a French person is born, that person becomes a part of the entire French language and holds the ability to eventually affect or even change that language by being a part of it, like a French whale song. “Home is where I understand and where I am understood” said Karl Jaspers, and to this, Spivak replies “Is it necessary to depend upon citation to be told what our home is?”
To make this analogy, I’m going to have to imagine an artist emerge into a plethora of artistic activity, each member of which holds the key to change the tide. Both disdainful and acknowledging of the people around them, the city they supposedly occupy, marking new avenues that chart a topography that to employed people at large seems inaccessible, artists are marking cities on top of the cities acknowledged by the masses. But there is a daisy chain of musicians, CEOs, domestic workers, physical labour forces and anyone also marking transit spaces around the globe with their presence and influence.
Anyways, is that glamorous?
How can someone account for any group of mobile workers? To which class of mobility do artists belong? W.A.G.E. asks in the text for Supercommunity, what is the ‘our’ in our fair share? Is it necessary to depend upon citation to be told who we are?