Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Brud at Kunstverein Munich


There seems to be two "Bruds." One a collaboration between two artists and the other the virtual influencer startup creating online fictions recently backed by Sequoia Capital for supposedly 6 million. The two Bruds would only be an interesting coincidence, if it is, if the two didn't seem to use the same heavily hyperbolized tech marketing jargon and quasi-fiction corporate facades and both started in 2014. Both are self-aware content generators. The 6 million $ Brud best summarized by this Buzzfeed article describing their solution to the fractured mirror of instagram by creating something faker, literal simulated drama among artificial images, think the Kardashians as computer renderings, which works with those disenfranchised and well plugged in because irony allows ownership of one's pain: the project is stupid and obvious but that doesn't matter relating to the self-fiction instagram forces creation of. A computer rendered teen states: “In trying to realize my truth, I’m trying to learn my fiction,” before going further:
"I’m not sure I can comfortably identify as a woman of color. “Brown” was a choice made by a corporation.“Woman” was an option on a computer screen. my identity was a choice Brud made in order to sell me to brands, to appear “woke.”I will never forgive them. I don’t know if I will ever forgive myself."
AI self-awareness of course mirroring teens' own coming into the world and "self-consciousness," those adolescents currently dealing with their own living fictions and digital facades and with it the fantasy release of "coming clean" breaking out of the fiction. Which leads back to art and it's interest in fictionalized and false corporations, Broodthaers' Eagle Department or more recently Bratsch's DAS INSTITÜT, a sham "corporation" whose fiction was useful until the paintings started selling and then irony needn't excuse them, so everyone stopped mentioning the sham. "The goal of Brud is to replace Brud with better Brud" rings like Simon Denny's "[critique] is not my goal. My goal is to make interesting content." Or who could forget Bernadette Corporation, and Reena Spaulings, the use of the ironic corporitude to market itself until finally it was just art in a museum. "Brud is pre-occupied by the psychology of tricks, gimmicks, apparitions, illusions, scams, & cons.At a certain point we just started calling it, all of it, content. Every exhibition timed with several dates for you to come back for the performance, reading, talk, live painting, dance, DJ or all at once. You were a content producer, a content manager. An abstraction leveling all types of literature/culture into one encompassed concept that simply meant some thing, anything, exchangeable for views/clicks/shares which we started calling engagement for a platform. Eventually just spamming yourself into history, the audience is invited to binge.

See too: Simon Denny at MoMA PS1DAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine GalleryKerstin Brätsch at Gio MarconiBernadette Corporation at Stedelijk Museum