"MC: It’s difficult to get away from. Facebook and Google try to make minute profits out of people’s friendships, at the cutting edge of accumulation, and extract value from previously untapped sources, desperately try to rope more and more things into capital. What Marx already talked about in 1844 – making friendship and love into commodities – has reached a kind of absolute realisation. And isn’t that what art practices like mine and yours do, kind of rope more and more things in? Like at the moment we’re roping this – well, I’m trying to rope, it’s not you who initiated this – I’m trying to rope this embarrassing disaster into some sort of productive art work. What wouldn’t I stoop to roping into commoditising? And what wouldn’t you stoop to do, like roping me into the Tate café, for example? But that is actually less extreme than other forms of this constant search for the next frontier of micro-increments of any content, to preserve what Baudrillard called nullity of art.
ES: Wait, I lost you.
MC: Well, if the art world is just a pointless, for-profit machine, anything can be the content. Whether it is my embarrassment, your guilt, having a gallery and an artist with the same name …
JK: What do they call that – affective labour?
MC: … so where do we stand on the fact that our own work is nullified by the fact that it really could be anything. It is just about trying to find some other, further level of social nonsense to feed in.
ES: That is definitely a good question. I have no idea. For sure there is a crisis in art, but the way the crisis manifests itself make it incredibly confusing to think about.
JK: It has become as unintelligible as everything else."
Merlin Carpenter, Emily Sundblad & John Kelsey in “WELCOME TO THE TATE CAFÉ: A conversation between Merlin Carpenter, Emily Sundblad and John Kelsey.” Paris, March 2012. Source.