In mid-November, I participated in the “Future of Critique” conference in the former West German capital of Bonn, organized by Kolja Reichart and Dr. Angela Lammert in cooperation with Akademie der Künste, Berlin and the Art and Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn. Also in attendance were Carly Busta and Lil Internet of New Models, and artist-researcher Joshua Citarella. After our respective presentations and panels, we gathered in an echo-y Bundeskunsthalle apartment to record a real-talk-debrief on some of the structural models on which legacy criticism built its house. Topics include: the museum’s changing cultural status, the knock-on effects of “anti-gatekeeping” discourse, speculative near-future museum defense strategies, the alt paths of younger artists, and what publishing models stand a chance post-2022.
During the conference, New Models presented a keynote on the implosion of legacy media structures that has taken place with the shift from top-down publishing and broadcasting to decentralized distribution, and how the rise of audience-users as laborers has completely altered the terms of attention and cultural power. One jarring diagram outlined the rate-per-word for writers from the 1960’s to 2022, which had decreased from $10 per word (adjusted for inflation) in the 1960s, to a mere 25 cents per word in 2022. Ouch.
Meanwhile, Josh and I were on a panel titled “Memes vs. Museums: Art After Instagram,” alongside Cem A. of @freeze_magazine, moderated by Gregor Quack. I was asked to join this panel conversation because of my previous writing on the emerging status of museums as sites of content production, as outlined in my 2018 essay “Content Industrial Complex” (e-flux Issue #89, March 2018). You can view the full panel discussion here:Watch the Panel Discussion 🔗