Atkins, Ed. “Defiant Delight: The Freedom of the Dilettante.” Novel, “S.C. Issue,” special issue published as an insert for the exhibition Time Again, Sculpture Centre, New York, 2011: 16–28.
Citation / Annotation:
Scanlan, Joe. “Consumption and the Self,” interview by Elisabeth Wetterwald, https://joescanlan.biz/consumption-and-the-self/. Originally published in Elisabeth Wetterwald, Rue Sauvage (Dijon: Les presses du réel, 2003).
It made no difference to me whether any of these things were accepted as art, since, in my work, success is not a matter of status but of circulation.
In this interview the interesting but also sometimes problematic artist Joe Scanlan discusses an art practice that arose from a practical disappointment with the results of capitalist production—“My whole inspiration for becoming an artist was based on the fact that, given the boring efficiency of capitalism, not one company was making the kind of bookcases or cosmetics that I wanted”—and which on the one hand critiques Western (post-)industrial capitalism’s economic/productive systems in general and their manifestation in the art market in particular, and on the other hand incorporates and enacts these systems as a practice in both the production and the distribution of his work.For me this interview is useful mainly for Scanlan’s descriptions of his conceptual and practical approaches to working, for the discussion of the production of value, and for its ideas—or the ideas it suggests—about the possible modes of distribution of works of art and design.