Privacy is the New Celebrity

Andrew Berardini on the Role of Privacy in Shaping and Consuming Art in the Past, Present, and Future - Ep 19

February 24, 2022 MobileCoin
Privacy is the New Celebrity
Andrew Berardini on the Role of Privacy in Shaping and Consuming Art in the Past, Present, and Future - Ep 19
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Lucy Kind interviews Andrew Berardini, one of the leading art critics in Los Angeles. Andrew is a long-time contributor to Artforum and author of the book Danh Vo: Relics, as well as the forthcoming book Colors. He is also a curator with MobileCoin Art, an  initiative to support contemporary artists via activations such as the Private Practice Art Residency, MobileCoin Art Prize, and more. Lucy asks Andrew about the role privacy plays in the creation and consumption of art. Andrew and Lucy speculate about how technology is transforming the art world, and Andrew gives us a history lesson on how museums were created. Finally, Andrew encourages us to conceptualize privacy outside of technology, and contemplate how it impacts all aspects of our lives.

Speaker 1 (00:08)
Hello and welcome back to Privacy is The New Celebrity. I'm Lucy Kind. And today on the show, we're excited to welcome Andrew Berardini. Andrew Berardini is a writer and curator from California with past curated exhibitions at institutions like Mocha Los Angeles and the Pavilion of Estonia at the 2019 Venice in La. Since 2008, he has been faculty at the artist run free school, the Mountain School of Art. Andrew is also a longtime contributor to Art Forum and author of the book Danh Vo Relics, as well as the forthcoming book Colors. He is currently curator with MobileCoin Art, an art initiative and private practice residency. Andrew, thanks for joining us on Privacy is The New Celebrity.

Speaker 2 (00:52)
Thank you so much for having me, Lucy. I'm very happy to be here to start off.

Speaker 1 (00:57)
Andrew, how do you describe what you do?

Speaker 2 (01:00)
That's a really good question. I think about everything I do through writing and through, like, a really poetic, corporeal, sensual sensibility, whether I'm writing a review for an art magazine or curating an exhibition or collaborating with an artist or running a school or whatever. I think about it through language and it's like poetic sensibility and power.

Speaker 1 (01:27)
Lovely. Can you tell us about some artists or exhibitions that you're interested about these days?

Speaker 2 (01:32)
Absolutely. Yeah. There are many artists. You guys are catching me in the middle of the Los Angeles Art Week, and I was building my schedule before you called. Yeah. There's a show up right now in Los Angeles at Night Gallery by Samara Golden. That is a four story, multi dimensional, upside down, mirrored world of trauma and beauty that's extraordinary and is in this new space by Night Gallery, which is ginormous and probably that size to fit an exhibition like Samara's.

Speaker 1 (02:06)
Amazing. Having seen the exhibition, I can say it's spectacular. What makes this particular art tug at your mind and heart?

Speaker 2 (02:14)
Yeah. It's like a deeper question in some ways about what any of us look for in art. I think for Samara, and I've been following her work for many years now. So she puts together these spaces, sometimes made out of mirrors or mirrored materials, and often collapses a lot of spaces from her memory into a single space. And it gives an experience of what it means to experience reality that isn't this photo realist reality that sometimes films or photographs show us that when we move through the world, whether we're inebriated on drugs or drink, or whether we're full of sorrow from life or full of joy and ecstasy from love, our reality shifts and shapes how we view things. And so Samara creating these installations, I really feel like she captures that meaning. Like, what is it like when I return to my childhood home? It's layered with memories and meanings that nobody else can see and that no photograph can accurately capture. But she can capture through her like, grand, immersive, sculptural installations.

Speaker 1 (03:21)
Beautiful. It's like multi dimensional where time is the fourth dimension?

Speaker 2 (03:25)

Speaker 1 (03:27)
Some would say that art is a symptom of the culture of our times. Others would say that art direct culture. What are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 2 (03:35)
Art is a symptom or art direct culture? I mean, both. Really. How do I say this art is, I don't know, our cultural expression for what it means to be human in our times and how we best reflect that. And so it is both like a product of what it means to be human in our times. And subsequently it inspires, moves, changes others. It gives voice to them. And once that voice is heard, it can resonate in really powerful ways and shift where we go as a culture, where we go as individual humans.

Speaker 1 (04:11)
Is there a piece or exhibition right now that you think really encapsulates the culture of our time gosh?

Speaker 2 (04:19)
As a writer and curator, I'm not much of a trend watcher. In some ways. I need individual artists or see collective exhibitions organized by curators, and I really feel them. I haven't been going to a lot of big collective exhibitions, which are the ones that really curators ideas of what's going on in our time. The last one that I attended was Made in La, curated by Miriam Benzala and Lauren Mackler at the Hammer Museum. And it really reflected a certain amount of reflection and horror that exists in our everyday society. But an individual artist, this is like maybe a fumbling transition. But as you mentioned, I'm a curator for Mobile Coin Art, and we're organizing a private practice residency with three different artists. And each of these artists I've been very moved by have written about, have interacted with, have curated for years. I really believe in all three of them in wildly different ways. Like Neil Beloufa, who is a French Algerian artist who lives in France right now. He is always reflecting on the nature of power and social dynamics and how symbols circulate in our cultures. And he does it with such incredible humor and such sharp, acervic intelligence.

Speaker 2 (05:41)
Or David Horowitz, who is kind of like, I don't know, more of an ethereal poet than a tangible artist, but he's always reflecting on the poetry and the interstices of everyday life in ways that make existence for me in our moment like that much more meaningful. Or Amelia Schernalita, who's a third resident, she really reflects on the nature of deep time and humans interactions with it and in some ways reveals she's like kind of ecofeminist filmmaker, which makes these really otherworldly installations. And what is the through line of nuclear radiation because she swam through as a Mermaid a nuclear submarine tunnel in Olsborn, Norway, or has gone deep into nuclear reactors that are being decommissioned to explore what is their meaning and how that stuff is going to cascade through time. And so each in different ways. I love these two artists and I really support them. It reveals a different aspect of reality that I want to get deeper and cozier into that feels reflective of our time and an imaginative, poetic and beautiful reflection on what it means to be human from three different perspectives, definitely.

Speaker 1 (06:58)
And it feels like all of these different artists with their art are shining light on different facets of reality. And they're all so vastly different, but really just piecing together what's going on here for us as a collective whole.

Speaker 2 (07:10)
Yeah, totally.

Speaker 1 (07:11)
Can you tell us more about your involvement with MobileCoin Art, where it was, where it's now, and what you have in plans for the future?

Speaker 2 (07:19)
Absolutely. Yeah. I got involved with Mobile Coin this last year with Inga Bard, my fearless art director. I've been concocting a variety of programs and how to support artists and given, like, some of Mobile Coins background, which is kind of always evolving in its own way. We really wanted to think about Privacy as a topic and how to promote artists to do research and make art about that topic. And so we have like a number of programs that we've been sort of slowly concocting and building and slowly unleashing into the world. And the first one that we did was a prize at the Nada Art Fair in Miami. And I really like Nada. It's like a kind of a coalition of younger art dealers and nonprofit spaces that exist in that kind of international art fair infrastructure. And me and Inga went there and just looked at everything we could to see if there were artists who were dealing with Privacy and how they were dealing with it. And we came across three artists collectives that were really interesting. And then we're also working on this private practice residency where with some funding, resources and also time, we are encouraging the three artists that I mentioned to think about Privacy and what it can mean.

Speaker 2 (08:39)
And each one has access to various experts, activists, cryptographers. It's really sort of driven by their interests and who we can help them connect to. But, yeah, they're doing really interesting things. So, yeah, I love supporting artists. And when Mobile Coin approached me to help them to do this, it was like such a thrill. Of course. I would love to.

Speaker 1 (09:04)
Yeah. I'm excited to see what each artist comes up with. Sounds like they all have their own spin on things and really looking forward to seeing what they manifest. Going back to the Mobile Coin Art Prize at the NATO Art Fair. Who took home the prize and how did you decide?

Speaker 2 (09:19)
So we wander around the fair and we had just had this one prize, but we encountered three different projects that really were very interesting in their differences, and they each captured a different aspect of Privacy in their own way. Not that there's an order, but the first artist I'll mention that me and discussed was Gabriella Torres Ferrari, who is showing at this Gallery in Bajada in Puerto Rico. And their project was really interesting to us because Puerto Rico has become a space for people working in crypto because they don't have a federal income tax. And Puerto Rico itself suffered a devastating Hurricane catastrophe in the last years that really knocked out a lot of its critical infrastructure. And one of the projects that we saw by Gabriella was, like a copy of their mother's credit card and then with a microcomputer and a screen, all the different ways that their mother's spending could be tracked. And so it was really interesting to us about how what information we give with the different forms of exchange that we use and how we're tracked it really got to the heart of what it means to be private or have Privacy as a digital citizen in this really both way.

Speaker 2 (10:42)
That was very personal. It's like their mother, but also reflective of how all of us are likely tracked in all of our movements through digital commerce. Wow.

Speaker 1 (10:53)
Yeah. Very illuminating what the digital footprint really is these days.

Speaker 2 (10:57)
And then another artist was born in Afghanistan, I believe, living in Canada now named Hangama Amiri. And they were being represented by Tours Gallery in Toronto. And their work was this body of work that we saw was really about women in Afghanistan and how they are the very few places they have to be free or in private domestic spaces. So in Gamma did the series of tapestries, which of course, relates to the aesthetic history or cultural history of tapestries and woven materials in Afghanistan of women, just like being private with each other and how when we're stripped of our public rights, those private domestic space becomes paramount to how we form identity or connect with our communities. And then the third project was Black Experience Isn't a Spectacle by a fellow Si presented by antiques and books. And this project is, like, more than I can say in a few minutes. It was very multifaceted, but I think we were really attracted to it in how it reflected on race and how that works both in the private and public sphere, how it's often turned, how racial violence is often turned into spectacle, and how that strips individuals of their private dignity as people when the violence against them becomes a kind of a terrible public spectacle that is circulated through various medias.

Speaker 1 (12:26)
Wow. What powerful statements. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into the cutting edge of conceptual art there.

Speaker 2 (12:32)
Yeah, my pleasure.

Speaker 1 (12:34)
Yeah. Speaking of Privacy, I'm curious to know, what role do you think Privacy plays in the creation of art?

Speaker 2 (12:41)
Oh, I think it's fundamental. Absolutely. This is, like, one of the things that I've been reflecting on lately, maybe my whole life, maybe I'll step back a moment from that because I think it all connects. I grew up in a very religious household with not a lot of personal Privacy. My things would always be shuffled through my diaries would be read. Whatever communications that my mother could get a hold of would be ransacked, and the evidence would be represented to me in a sort of accusatory ways. And I think it gave me a heightened sense of anxiety that nowhere was safe. There was no safe place for my private thoughts, for my private being to have sanctuary, to grow, to experiment safely. And so in some ways, like as an adult, not that this is a psychoanalyst with Andrew, but as an adult, it's made me prize Privacy and personal Privacy in very fundamental ways. And I don't think that we can really develop a soul or an ability to reflect and grow strong within ourselves without the safety, dignity and Privacy that allows such a thing to flourish. And I think this is true of all humans, period.

Speaker 2 (14:00)
But for artists, especially, where they are concocting meaningful things to say that reflect on their own experience of the human condition in a way to connect with others, there's no way to do that without private space of reflection. And there's been many things written about this over the years. One I've been thinking about a lot lately was Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, and she was talking a lot about in that book about gender and class. But I think it's really reflective in some ways of what I'm talking about, that we need Privacy and independence to have our own voices. And if we do not have it, Shakespeare's sister never gets to write her Magnum opus.

Speaker 1 (14:40)
Yeah, definitely. Paradigm shifts happen when they are given the space to create and birth. When did you first realize that Privacy was important to you? Was there like a pivotal moment in your past?

Speaker 2 (14:53)
I already kind of talked about being a kid and not getting it, but I don't know. There was an exhibition. I talked about being a kid, but more in my professional life. There was an exhibition at the New Museum, A Triangle, and I believe it was curated by Ryan Tree Carton and Alex Gartenfeld. And on the wall text during their triennial, they talked about how easily we trade Privacy for convenience. And it's a Faustian bargain that I don't think my generation is fully reflected upon. And we get free email and a certain amount of free storage from various companies that are literally searching through our emails to sell us things and various other untoward things that I'm not an expert on. And I let them because I like the free email and I like the free storage and I like the convenience of their products. But I'm clearly trading such an important thing for the convenience of their products. And I'm still doing it, or a lot of us are still doing it. And I know this is going to bite us in the ass one day. It's going to bite me in the ass one day, and I'm not sure how.

Speaker 2 (16:03)
And I'm freaked out that I'm still doing it. I feel like I'm in an abusive relationship with Google or something. I know it's bad, but I like, but it's so easy and it's there, whatever. But I didn't become aware of this quite that way until I read this wall text at the new Museum. Like, I don't know, seven or eight years ago.

Speaker 1 (16:23)
Yeah. I mean, that resonates so much. And going back to what you were saying about the art that you thought, Nada, where you don't really necessarily realize what your digital footprint looks like, my friend was telling me that there's this extension you can put on your computer called Little Snitch, which will show you all the different ways in which your data is being sent forward without your knowledge. When you log in to check into a hotel, for instance, it pings, like, 50 other sites. So I wonder if art could help illuminate for everyone out there, like, how far the reach of digital footprint actually goes. Maybe people would think about it a little bit more.

Speaker 2 (17:02)
Yeah. I mean, there's so many amazing activists and even people working on the inside of these vast machines that are defending our rights, are attempting to maintain our dignity as individuals. But there's something powerful about art and how through a single gesture, your mother's credit card with a microcomputer, seeing exactly how it's being tracked, that has a visual impact that can be really powerful and have an emotional appeal, not through any of my practices, a curator or writer or even through mobile coin. I'm not attempting to tell artists what to look at or what to say. And I just want to give them the resources, encouragement to think about this because it is pressing and real and every day for all of us. And I'm curious to see what magic they can copy, what reflections they have on the vast surveillance networks that capitalism and government and how we're being tracked and what we're giving up and how okay are we with what we're giving up? I want them to just think about it. I'm so curious to see what will come out of those reflections.

Speaker 1 (18:09)
Totally. Yes. I support the creation of art to dispel information or to spread information so that we can have more agenda and our decisions. So what about the consumption of art? Are there times when the viewer of art needs Privacy as well?

Speaker 2 (18:24)
Gosh, let me think about that. If we think about art in the expanded field, of course, we often consume visual, moving images by ourselves and the various ways that we can do that. And of course, there's always, like art books. There is like a social component to art that's really powerful and important. And of course, we can all go to museums by ourselves. But in terms of absolute Privacy, there have been exhibitions and projects over the years. You can only experience one at a time. And the experiences, your experience is fundamental to seeing it just by yourself. To name like a really iconic one. James Charles, who's a light and space artist from California and world renowned. He created this project that was shown at LACMA during his retrospective some years ago called Perceptual Cell. And you went into he deals a lot with light and how light affects meditation, consciousness, spirit. And you would go into this on your back into the small cell, and you had a choice between soft or hard light shows depending on the intensity that you can handle. You're given a little red button. If it got too intense, you could turn it off and then you experienced alone in Privacy, this light show.

Speaker 2 (19:51)
And in some ways, that's like both literal and poetic, because literally you're by yourself, but poetically, you're always inside your head. You're always experiencing thoughts, developing spirit, thinking by yourself. But I think that one encapsulates both at the same time. And I'm like so open for one person at a time, our experiences to flourish outside of our domestic spaces, in the books and movies we watch, but also in so called public spaces or institutions.

Speaker 1 (20:23)
Definitely sounds like a pretty special experience to be able to immerse oneself in that. So we talk a lot on the show about technology, how quickly it's shaping the new world we live in and the challenges and problems that have created for us. So my next question is how do you think technology is shaping art in the 21st century?

Speaker 2 (20:42)
Oh, yeah, that's a big question. It's something I've been thinking about a lot in a variety of ways. Artists are humans, so they're like, whatever tools are at hand, they're going to use them to their best advantages, and they're going to make wildly new things that reflect our ever changing experience with rapidly evolving kinds of technologies. Sometimes artists reflect, in my experience, too much on the technology, and it becomes more about the tool or the gadget than it does about our aesthetic, spiritual, political, social experience of art. And I'm less interested in things that are kind of gear headed. But I feel like, of course, artists are always using new technologies just as like an aside, they're also using really old ones. These old ones, they still work, like scratching a pen on a paper, like smearing ink over a canvas or a wall or a fresco. We've been doing some of these things for tens of thousands of years, and they still work. They still are able to communicate one aesthetic experience to another human being in this ancient, ancient ways. So I'm totally keen on new technologies, but also clearly not giving up on the old ones either.

Speaker 1 (22:04)
I love it. I love that point of view. Yes, these are all different forms of technology. Are there specific artists that you see working particularly well with technology as a medium, and what kind of art are they making?

Speaker 2 (22:17)
How do I answer this question. No.

Speaker 1 (22:28)
That'S a great answer.

Speaker 2 (22:31)
And what I mean by that is, at least for me, I'm like a reflective, contemplative person. And there's a lot of kerfuffle going around new technologies and the arts. And not to say that any of them aren't, like, brilliant or beautiful or good, I'm just coming at me with such rapid fire speed that I haven't had a chance to fully reflect on them or absorb them. So, like, I wear helmets or goggles or I move to a space where sensors do a thing, or people are using blockchain technology to sell images like trading cards. I haven't fully been able to stop and reflect on all those things, and there's such a glut of it happening so quickly, I'm not able to fully pick up the pieces or have a good say on what's happening. There's always I go see moving image art in the Museum. And of course, there's all kinds of new technologies reflected in how they could produce that image. That I think are interesting from a technical level, and they do have an aesthetic impact, but I don't need to know them as an art critic, curator, viewer. Like what brand new visual manipulation, gadget they used.

Speaker 2 (23:47)
But in the broader sense of tools and technology. Yeah, there's a lot happening, and I'm not totally able to wrap my head around it all the time.

Speaker 1 (23:56)
Yeah. It sounds like you're alluding to the fact that with technology there seems to be a flip side. Smartphones are diminishing our attention spans. People are constantly distracted and appreciating. Visual art is something that requires the opposite sort of energy. It's slow and contemplative and doesn't offer that instant reward you might get from social media likes and stuff like that. How do you think technology like smartphones and social media have changed the landscape for consuming art?

Speaker 2 (24:24)
Firstly, that last statement was a beautiful observation. I want to absorb it and think about it. But how are our gadgets changing things? I can move through so much so rapidly, be connected with so many ideas, so many different things so quickly, and I think it allows for some flourishing, like the ecology of art where I live in Los Angeles. It's clearly reflective over everything from state support to private collectors and how that ecology is funded in the 21st century. But all of this instant access and access from your phones and allows for communication and connection to move so much more quickly than it ever did before. And it's a very, I don't know, rudimentary observation, but it allows for a lot more people to participate and for a lot more things to happen, even in the singular city.

Speaker 1 (25:28)
Yeah, totally. Maybe. Let's pare it down to just a simple example. Let's take Instagram, for instance. Is it bad or good for art?

Speaker 2 (25:37)
I don't know. Both, really. It's good for a lot of artists, especially those who want to participate in the object economy of the Gallery world can create bigger communities through Instagram than they could through that object economy. So it allows for different economies to emerge, which I think is really interesting, and I absolutely support it. And is it bad? I don't know. I'm like an advocate for artists to be really off guard and weird and not like, fuck, having 10 million followers. If you have ten followers, you're making something meaningful. It can have later on a grand cultural contribution. It's not like, based on how popular you are. And even in the European Union, if I'm not mistaken, they forbidden listing how many likes the things receive when you glance at it on your phone to sort of, like, combat that just because things are popular, it's like a value of their quality or value. And it can do all kinds of fucked up psychological things to your head if you think you're not as popular or as liked or as supported as something else.

Speaker 1 (26:52)
Yeah, they got rid of it. And you know what's interesting? They brought it back recently. Now you can choose to show people how many likes you have. It's a whole thing. But, yeah, totally agree with you. It definitely changes the way that we interact with our own art. And I like what you're saying. It doesn't matter how many followers you have. It's kind of more about authenticity. And what are you actually putting out there? And how does that connect to who you are?

Speaker 2 (27:20)
Yeah, I mean, there have been profoundly important poems, books, artworks that may have a tiny audience but have an enormous significant impact or have an importance in culture beyond just, like, how many people double down on it or how much it's worth.

Speaker 1 (27:40)
Yeah, lots of new mediums. One of our recent episodes was about the Metaverse and specifically the Privacy risks that this new tech creates. But what do you think about the Metaverse or just virtual reality in general? In terms of art, do you see potential for the rise of a brand new medium?

Speaker 2 (27:57)
I feel like, kind of like I'm not that old, but I feel like very old man is in the face of this question because there's, like, a part of me that the reason that I'm in art is because I can connect with other people in reality through it that's, like, we can touch each other, we can smooch each other, we can fight each other, we can throw drinks in each other's faces, we can argue on street corners. And seeing an actual physical painting or sculpture and having that personal physical connection with it is so fundamental to how I experience art. Which is not to say that something like the Metaverse can't create its own form of artworks or media that are specific to that space that might not also be meaningful, but it's kind of, like, not why I'm here. And I know that it's like the meta verse is coming. I feel like winter is fucking coming, and I just have to brace myself for how it's going to change consciousness and community in the upcoming years. But I'm still like and I'm probably not alone in this by being slightly frightened, a tiny bit curious, but mostly like, standoffish.

Speaker 1 (29:13)
Yeah, I think there's something about the idea of total immersion in the non 3D world that's a little jolting for me, although I have seen great instances of digital art at museums. For instance, the first time I saw, I think, was many years back at the D Museum in Seoul, and they just had little panels of digital art that moved amongst, like, bigger paintings and collages. Do you think digital art or immersive art will find a place in the museums of the future?

Speaker 2 (29:43)
Absolutely. Non fungible tokens have sort of, like, put some unique coded precision on what could otherwise be easily mechanically reproduced, which allows it to function in capitalism in a new way, which is interesting to me. One of the things I kind of liked about digital art and how I understood it up until recently was that it was pretty Democratic. Like it could be shared freely to millions through websites. Of course, it's hard for those artists to survive when it's under capitalism, when things are freely given. I feel complex about it, but I'm sure that they're like museums are collecting NFPs or interactive technological artworks and various capacities, and they've been doing it for a while already through video art, et cetera, which is often digitally stored. So I'm curious to see how it's going to emerge and how capitalism and art are going to, like, watuci and Boogie Woogie through all these different realities. But yeah, of course, digital artworks are already in museums and they're already museums devoted to it. And of course it's just going to expand and evolve from there.

Speaker 1 (31:03)
Well, on the point of NFT, if everything is available digitally at our fingertips, do you think at some point there will even be museums in the future?

Speaker 2 (31:12)
I mean, as art evolves, as the human condition evolves, museums are going to evolve. And like, the history of museums is an interesting one. We can talk about it if you're curious, but yeah, they're like a space where we culturally put what we treasure as society, and then we gather to look at, admire, interact, engage, debate whether those things even have value or celebrate their value as important artifacts of our humanity. And maybe the structure of that is going to evolve as it already has. It's no longer for middle class and upper middle class people to go on Sundays, or it was like private collections or aristocrats gathering treasures unto themselves. Or there's been many iterations of what a Museum can be, and they're even changing now. Like, they're becoming more Democratic, more interactive, more engaged. They're like regarding audiences that have historically been marginalized, whether because of their income or the color of their skin or their religion and like, actively engaging those audiences. And the Museum is shifting and changing as these awareness has shifted. Change?

Speaker 1 (32:24)
Well, now I'm curious, and I think you might have just touched on the subject earlier, but can you give us a quick rundown on the history of museums?

Speaker 2 (32:32)
I'm not sure. I wouldn't pretend to be like the end all be all expert, but we'll say the first Museum as we understand it, I think, was called the Museum Tratus Camp. And it was like a woundercommer, like a cabinet of wonders that would include natural oddities and great works of art and two headed babies next to red paintings. And it was like a traveling thing that you would pay, like, so many pennies to see. And that collection got donated. And this is where my memory gets a bit soft. But to an iconic British Museum to form the core of their first collection, if you take a word like curator, its origin is a caretaker of objects. So if you think about like an aristocrat with a house full of tapestries and statues and ABJ like, somebody was appointed to caretake them, to make sure that they were protected and upkeep and organized in some way. And that role has emerged as the Museum has grown to be a public institution, to be a very important figure. And even here in Los Angeles where I live, the first Museum we had here was called the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Natural History.

Speaker 2 (33:55)
So it was like very similar to the Travis Campans Museum is that there were dinosaur bones next to paintings. And then the 1965 66 or so they broke into two. And now we have the Natural History Museum in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. And as they've developed and evolved, what audience are they serving and what its purpose has been so, like, for middle class or aspirationally middle class or even upper class people, it was like a sort of a way to appear cultured or to rise above class. And art in this sense became a kind of a vitamin that middle class people could take to fit in better with their upper class overlords. And like, that stuff was definitely geared towards rich white people. And most of the artists that were shown were like men because that reflected the cultural values of that time, which were racist and patriarchal. Of course, art is for everybody. And along with a lot of the liberation movements and civil rights movements of the last hundred years and more that have been so fundamental to what it means to be human and have more justice in our society, museums have had to reflect and change on this.

Speaker 2 (35:13)
And so artists still fed to children as vitamins, and they're like they're trundled through in groups. So that idea of art as having an elevating social purpose is still a part of the Museum ecology. But so it's like art being avant garde and dangerous and supposed to question the political and aesthetic structures of society, which is not always welcomed by the overlords. For example, the NEA got in a lot of trouble in the 70s and 80s for supporting Avantgarde works that were denounced by right wing religious politicians on the floor of the Congress. And the NEA was gutted of its funding to the point where our most important funding structure in the United States for art, it gets less money than the military's budget for bands. So art having multiple roles, and those roles being played out in the museums are not always working together and sometimes lead to political controversies. Sorry, that was overly reductive. I just shoved so much information into a really short period and I did it like piecemeal and partial and from memory. Next time, ask me and I'll do a little bit more research and see more experts on the subject.

Speaker 2 (36:28)
It's great, Andrew.

Speaker 1 (36:30)
My takeaway is art as vitamins, and I feel like this was a history lesson as vitamins. So thank you for that. We are well dosed. All right, well, final couple of questions for you. So we hear you have a book in the works about color. What about color?

Speaker 2 (36:50)
Yeah, it's a long story, but I'll try to keep it short. So I have written a book that's around 110 chapters of different shades of color, and each of the chapters has a different texture. Some of them are autobiographical, some of them are art critical, some of them are mythological, some of them are fictional, some of them are poems, some of them are prose. And with each color that I reflected upon, I wanted to tell its story as best as I could from my own subjective position.

Speaker 1 (37:23)
Wonderful. That sounds so beautifully nuanced. And all the different fasts of you shining through. When is it coming out and where can we find your book?

Speaker 2 (37:30)
You can currently preorder it on all of the places that one can preorder a book. It's called Colors by myself, Andrew Bertini. And it's coming out through not occult media, which I'm not sure it's up on their website, but it is up on all the normal book ordering places.

Speaker 1 (37:46)
Perfect. Well, that's exciting. Looking forward to seeing that. Anything else you'd like to share with our audience?

Speaker 2 (37:52)
Yeah, I do want to share one last thing. This is like usually a space because I listen to this podcast. This is usually a space for a lot of experts and Privacy to talk. And I still celebrate their work. But I want to add that there are other ways of looking at Privacy that are fundamental to our experience of it and that can be aesthetic, poetical, literary. There are so many different ways to reflect an angle on this really fundamental issue that is a human right that is being violated and fucked with all the time by all kinds of bad figures. And I just want this audience who's often thinking about Privacy in a lot of different ways to understand that there's so many facets to look at this and as much as facets of human rights and cryptography and compliance are really important, so our aesthetic angles as well.

Speaker 1 (38:43)
Beautiful. Yeah. And on that note, the title of our show is Privacy as a new celebrity. Do you agree? Do you disagree? What do you think of this concept?

Speaker 2 (38:53)
Yes, when I first heard it, I thought about again here in Los Angeles there are all these fantastically rich people that live in these plantations with high walls out in the Valley And they can afford Privacy and solitude in a way that few can. And so when I think about Privacy as a new celebrity, what is like power and money and Fame grant you but absolute dignity and solitude of your autonomous being they are interconnected in a poetic way. For me, it's like a funny statement. I don't know how other people reflect on it, but that was kind of my reflection on it.

Speaker 1 (39:32)
I totally agree. One of the phrases that we've been toying with, that mobile coin that we all truly believe in, Is that Privacy is dignity so right on the same page as you. Well, our guest has been Andrew barrdini, art critic, curator and writer. Andrew, thank you so much for being here with us on Privacy is the new celebrity.

Speaker 2 (39:56)
It's such a thrill. Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 1 (40:09)
We'll see you next time. As always, you can subscribe to Privacy as the new celebrity wherever you listen to podcasts and check out to listen to the full archive of podcast episodes. I'm Lucy kind. Our producer is Sam Anderson And our theme music was composed by David westbaum and as we like to say at mobilcoin, Privacy is a choice we deserve you.