UK universities have been under continuous but gradual pressure from government policy to re-adapt to a new pedagogic structure. While the most egregious effects have been felt more recently, the shift roughly began with the introduction of selective research funding in 1986, polytechnic institutions becoming universities in 1992, and the introduction of variable fees in 2003, which has snowballed since. Alongside a mix of new regulations and relaxations, the field of higher education has become marketised, which has unsurprisingly turned out to not be a good thing!

Post 2008 financial crisis, the HEI sector has started to perform some of the more predatory behaviours of neoliberal capitalism, with university vice chancellors being paid more than £200,000 p/a salaries and the teaching jobs becoming more precarious and lower paid. This mirrors the growing chasm of wealth inequality manifest amongst developed nations. The majority of students now are the same millennials coping with a declining standard of life in comparison to their antecedent generation. But it’s tricky to gauge how these miasmae operate within an institution such as an art school. How do the humanities respond to an intensive competition for research funding like REF or the large scale models taken from STEM practices? Year on year, the market logic in the governing bodies of the university hardens. The malign changes often occur by confounding stealth or by slow bureaucratic creep. …


A contemporary artist (or a collective, however long that 21st c iteration may last, like an Artforum x Entourage nightmare) is required to find a rhetorical anchor in this McLuhanian pleasuredome, This Miserable Information Age. Drolly opportunistic and thirsty for the coy coattails of interest capita, what sharpens the praxial teeth yet to bite? The compression and speed of historical information shared without context, self-expression null counter-culture vomit fog, #fakenews and the rest pulsed through a febrile internet, harnessed to weaponise all who attempt to interlocute simultaneous historicisation and dissemination. Gone are the 1.0 halcyon days before all net dwellers were obsessed with branding themselves, innocence lost as progress meta-marches downward. Now a gloam of tiny art blogger pictures orbit the arc of your electro-piss and a throttling sensation of non-hierarchical competition builds in the crater behind the place where a sensation of ‘heart’ usually would be. Those wielding an armament of cottage-industry signcomms are thus qualified for their ironic-passive usurpations, slipping behind glossy screens and printed page, all between dumb luxury ads and demonic algorithmically smart tracking ads. Speculative criticism of a press release, an overboiled sci-fi fanfiction, a child rambling a freeform phantasy to its parent about the properties of a cartoon fruit. …


slides from a talk we did to some unfortunate art students about how not to be a total shitheel in the art world. from a pre-coronavirus time, but maybe still relevant to every schmuck trying to use social media self-promotion again while everyone is online and self-isolating because its a fuckin pandemic.

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dear haters, please admire our hotel room. we are just a blog chatting about your nepotism & your hypocrisy but somehow, through a secret arrangement of institutional intrigue, we’ve landed here again in a serious upgrade.
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we seamlessly integrate with these benign information technologies, but the actual content isn’t always to be trusted. as we can assure you, we are not in the lagoon at lunch time.
some advice, visitors: BUY A MAP ON SOME PAPER. even if that notion flies in the face of your post-Internet hipster sensibilities, you’re not a true proletariat if you have unlimited roaming data. and you don’t want to be using piles of dogshit and grim restaurant signs as mental waypoints when google maps fails you.
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feels good to be back, like a greasy salmon going upstream to spawn, in the biennale. a fitting place to locate the nexus of grand artistic reveal — in a city that itself is a relic and whose economy is very situated around selling tourists loads of shit. but let’s not get consumed by hate, we’ve just come across an Amalia Pica work!
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a version of hyper-accelerated GCSE art therapy is an exhibition that purports to be about sustainability and the attitudes/aesthetics thereof, but is basically a series of rooms filled with daft electrically powered useless things. you might say that is part of the comment about sustainable lifestyle ideals, which cleverly insulates the work from having any errors. you might also be a fucking dumb motherfucker.
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There is an interactive digital work that creates a printable 3D visual from a recording of your voice, so this guy has been shouting “I LOVE MY LIFE!” at the thing for 30 seconds. clearly this is the most exertion he’s had in a while, besides the 10 seconds or so of sex he can manage (though we aren’t one to judge, the most exercise we have is coughing in the morning). either that or his shirt is trying to escape from his body, so revolted at being worn by such a prick.
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Sometimes you walk into a room and think “what the fuck is this shit? what is it for?” and then when a dorky guy poses for a mega-art-selfie, you realise that a lot of this bollocks decorative art has only 1 purpose and that is to behave as backdrop for Facebook profile picture or Instagram selfies. Which makes you think of a really good thesis: art activated by social media integration where agency collides with networked self beyond overbearing tactile situation. or another thesis: complete fucking arse.
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uh-oh it’s hito! here is a work with some insane concepts and political undertone(s) which is self-aware and pointed, couched in loads of cultural symbols that nerds have fun recognising. it feels impossible to actually say anything bad about it — dunno if that is bias or some kind of critical blindsight. regardless it is a welcome change after looking at some fucking terrible bodily wood carvings lying on a marble floor.
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This young lady has been doing this selfie for about 5 minutes. that is some dedication, the ‘biennalepublic’ wifi is just a sick joke that never connected and sucked your battery dry like a hungry river mosquito, while you enter the dumb sublime of gazing at buffering symbols and loading bars.gotta keep your social media presence strong in the biennale. Don’t let anyone forget you are having fun!
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love too be inside an immersive Habitat spring collection catalogue, but drunk. Oh wait,
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in many ways a biennale is like stepping back in time to a teenage foundation degree show, where the ideology of “ repetition-object-absurd = art ” was a handy fallback until adulthood. I suppose in art, you never have to grow up.
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white people in expensive clothes drinking around a sci-fi wunderkammer. u know the biennale has started now! yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaa boiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
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a hot trend this year, aside from black suit trousers worn with black Nike lunarglides, is this architectural model presentation and harmonic wall images — might be related directly or obtusely. we’ve seen about 5 of these quasi-installations so far, not really sure how to feel about them because we like models and stuff that looks slick and utilitarian but it is also BOOOOOOORRRRRRING
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sure everyone’s heard of the mini golf pavilion and it would be grinchy af to criticise it because it’s a laugh with some pretty weird courses, such as john akomfrah’s which uses a very mournful cultural symbol in an obviously flippant set up. there are equally valid forking paths of interpretation, but something originally fun left us uneasy. also, zabludowicz is a platinum sponsor! ha ha!
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bless the fashion crowd
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the incongruity of things is markable, such as the Spanish pavillion exhibition of Dali footage alongside this mouthbreathing lizardfucker who obviously just discovered tumblr/thejogging or has had michael manning tweets read to him in his sleep by alexa. so over it.
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it’s almost an obligation at this point to be the de-facto hypocritical grumpy centrist and lament the constant use of cameras, the visitors spending more time taking their photos than actually looking at the art. Maybe it’s just a venice thing, but not many folks here have any fucking spatial awareness unless you are a mate, a glass of free wine/canapé or an instagrammable scene. if you’re not that you might as well be an invisible videogame wall.
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You know what the world needs, even more than economic stability from the widening chasm between rich and poor generated by neoliberal market capitalism? Another biennale! Sweden had a party to announce theirs in a swanky hotel, lit up ostentatiously like the city is just a dead relic for the playtime of global art & privilege business. The toilet queues immense, the canapés rich and cheesy, the obligatory “political performances” cringeworthy like a 40yr old yung lean singing at your wedding.
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We haven’t yet read through the obligatory frieze/artreview splurges on the main venice show, but it’s being praised for having some kind of social political content, right? in the giardini we saw a lot of info-analytical stuff that would work better as a seminar rather than detached crypto artwork for snoresville intellectuals to peer at inquisitively (just for show). the arsenale has the above gem, which in context is reduced to a token gesture of awareness. Being aware of it does fuck all though, people just feel a bit bad about going on to the zab yacht, but then they just think oh well, it’s survival. I’ll drink her booze and take her money, I’m so poor and precarious. What’s even lamer is that UAE worker abuse is so detached from us in the grey-skied west, we’ll never really care. It’s too othered. Our hotel waiter seemed to be doing 16 hour non-stop shifts, but I guess he wasn’t building an art museum so we can’t take the judicious mantle because it’s obviously totally beyond our remit of giving a fuck about things beyond object d’arts.
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on that note, we throw our manufactured solidarity to the opressed into the waves! The canapés were 80% cheese based. There was some art that people will talk about for months (oh I loved the ISIS pavilion!) and there was some tote bags that people will put inside an even larger tote bag until it becomes a bartering economy thanks to nuclear war and climate change destroying civilisation.


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touched down at the airport and there is already some aids3d public intervention to greet us.
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need to make some last minute #seapunk art to justify you riding the normcore coattails (what would those be?) at the peckham palazzo? we suggest you look into these.
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a leftover jake and dinos chapman sculpture ends up being useful for scarf display at one of the many tourist shops.
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we see so much shit like this and aren’t really sure what it is besides luring visitors for a selfie opportunity.
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finally found a restaurant in venice that isn’t utter shit and it has to have some very questionable decoration ffs
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the city truly comes alive with art. here is a mike nelson piece. magnificent.
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here is art critic jonathan jones scuttling back to his airbnb one morning after hitting the aperol spritz way too hard.
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we were expected to take a shit here. we said “no way!” and did 5 continuous DJ sets for the Ukranian pavilion. invites were very exclusive, better luck next time.
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saw will gompertz on his way back from the shanghai pavilion. “an unequivocal success for money forced through a tasteless sphincter” he reports, off the record.
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curator shoes from 1815 BNB “before new balance”
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artist Ron Jafman, who did this tumblr you might have heard of, made this film-based denouement of the euro-capitalist landscape of italy. the show is really hard to get into though, you have to scan a QR code to teleport in.
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adrian searle was so worn out by the biennale, he had shrunk to a third of his original size. pale and fragile, here he is escorted home by boat. we know how you feel adrian, it’s hard surviving on free breadsticks and cappuccino.
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hans ulrich obrist, driven mad by overexposure, rampages through an unresponsive crowd nursing their corporate sponsored vodka drinks.
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we thought this was an excellent artwork, demonstrating an unusual maturity from Ryan Trecartin’s usual oeuvre. a massive highlight from the “maintenance area” pavillion!
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this is a common sight. dude walks into a room and looks around, goes and photographs some artwork for about 20 seconds and then leaves, not actually looking at whatever it was he/she was photographing.
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you also see a lot of irl david lynch scenes like this tableaux occur in front of your eyeballs.
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this guy had a device that allowed him to see inside everyone’s tote bags.
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here is a very big installation of what appears to be different kinds of instagram filters. the desolate visitors find it harder to photograph than other things.
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look at the smug, orgasmic gaze of this iphone weegee selecting his art mark. it’s like a glazed ham in the oven slowly clenching up from the heat, but it’s also like a fetid corpse flower unfurling for it’s annual pollination.
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ah curators, so noble and elegant — clearing the palazzo of nobodies for that important promo shoot.
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if you were wondering what happened to jorg heiser’s translator, well, now you know.
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this is some actual work on display in the arsenale. and our favourite work of the whole beinnale! we assume it is symbolic of the relationship between artist, curator and gallerist. in space.
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this is our kind of boat. we outta here!

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HorribleGIF

lowering the standards of art on the internet

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