Salutation art lovers, y’all go to Mocca this weekend? Mocca, for the uninitiated, is the Indie Comics extravaganza centered in NY. It’s held in the 69th Regiment Armory, the interior lined with booths n’ tables à la NYCC. As with past years, it ends up being more of a crafts fair than anything, like some corporeal outgrowth of Etsy. Knit animal caps, buttons emblazoned with your favorite hard candy, posters, prints, patches of all kinds; a Sargasso Sea of the New Kitsch. If Williamsburg drowned, this would be its flotsam.
Not that I’m necessarily denigrating it. The rise of Faux-Folk eclectica in the last 5 to 10 years is really a net positive. I can’t speak for the consumers (what people do with objects of pure aesthetic value I’ll never know) but it provides for its creators a relationship with the doing, a relationship to the act of production otherwise unavailable in an information economy. And while I don’t see any evidence of people actually needing more stuff, the hocking of said wares allows for a community (and by now a legitimate micro-economy) built around the personal, generative spirit. It is, at least in theory, a petard lobbed into the Capitalist monostructure, the reassertion of some kind of differentiated cultural identity, brothy and self-conscious though it may be. While it’s still a form of commodity fetishism, it’s not Marxist commodity fetishism, so that’s something. If we could just do away with fiat exchange, get into a whole barter thing….oh god, then it’d be Burning Man.
Authors Note: I’m only speaking of my reaction to the DIY phenomenon as a whole, not of its practitioners. All the participating artists were talented and made extremely admirable art objects.
Also, here’s an old man I drew for a comic. It’s the only thing I did this week open for public consumption, so…..yeah.