What do you think of the idea that art is a parralel to the economy at large? I mean, some things are a given, that Modernism arose as a response to Modernization and the Industrial Revolution. I also think it's pretty well accepted that conceptual and immaterial art mirrors the dematerialized, information/knowledge/service based economy. But what about relational aesthetics as a mirror of 1990's, third-way consesus politics, and the issue that this interview brings up, that the idea of 'participation' and 'social 'practice' is in someway commensurate with the emergence of 'social networking'. That when these things become visible enough to be noticeable, which basically means they've finally got institutional recognition, it means they've become co-opted and are implicated or at least complicit in the workings of the economy, which in this case is the commodification of social and human relationships by corporations via facebook etc. I guess the point that Not An Alternative want to make is that the only viable form left is to use these co-opted strategies like participation and social engagement, because at least they reflect a current state of affairs and are relevant but then to adopt a situationist tactic of detournement, by subverting and intervening in these vocabularies to make critical statements.
As soon as I read the name of the group, Not an Alternative, I knew they would reference Zizek because he's always talking about how the Neo-Liberal capitalist system is so totalizing and been so succefully 'naturalized' as ideology that it seems impossible for us to imagine any alternative or that any alternative is immediately labeled Utopian. He makes the point that the albeit justifiable obsession with the environment at the moment is a bit disarming because it suggests that it's easier for us to imagine the complete destruction of the planet that to imagine an alternative to the capitalist model of society which is producing the ecological disasters. I guess it would be interesting to think about how OOO fit's into this.
I also want to think more about how 'creativity' has superseded manual labor and bureaucracy as the engine of economic value in present Western economies, in the form of the corporate work structures which companies like Google, Facebook and Apple are based on and what implication that has for artistic practice. This article by an academic at University of Queensland contained a lot of ideas which were completely new to me and also commented on how Asia is now going through this process of positioning cultural production at the center for their models of economic growth in the future.