Issue

3.8 / Without Price and With(out) Worth

February 2 2012

Introduction

February 2, 2012. How do we measure the intrinsic worth of objects? How do we stack up material value against the agency and power an object purportedly holds? In our conversation with Steven Leiber, whose loss we are only beginning to feel, he notes the genesis of his collection of artist ephemera as “just twenty-one boxes of crap.” That frank assessment echoes across Matthew Rana’s essay, in which—citing Baudrillard—he offers that objects “demonstrate their autonomy irrationally, through ambivalence and seduction.” We’ve all felt the irrational seduction of objects, even in an era, as Julia Glosemeyer notes, that’s “infatuated with the concept of immateriality.” In a week where we’ve received news of the deaths of three significant figures in the art world—Leiber, Mike Kelley, and Dorothea Tanning—the idea that there is a universe populated exclusively of objects, one that does not privilege our relationship to them but their relationships to each other, has a sense of permanence that might explain our ambivalence and our attraction. We are not immortal, but aspire to find what is. –PM.

Features

Against Exchange

Against Exchange

By Matthew David Rana

As the global debt crisis unfolds, a growing interest in attaching wealth to tangible objects has emerged: art objects increasingly represent stable investments, while a return to the gold standard is preached by “ninety-nine percenters” and Republican party candidates alike.

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Profile: Gene Youngblood

Profile: Gene Youngblood

By Patricia Maloney

I make a rather modest proposal that world peace, human liberty, and a healthy environment can only be achieved through a communications revolution.

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Interview with Steven Leiber

Interview with Steven Leiber

By Bad at Sports

I thought that there was enough to let it be known that this type of material exists, and that these sorts of artists, besides making a floor piece in copper, also spend a great deal of time thinking about what was going on the invitation card.

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Reviews

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