Fritz Haeg works between his art, architecture and design practice Fritz Haeg Studio (though the currently preferred clients are animals), the happenings and gatherings of Sundown Salon (now Sundown Schoolhouse), the ecology initiatives of Gardenlab (including Edible Estates), and other various combinations of building, curating, dancing, designing, exhibiting, gardening, organizing, talking, teaching, and writing. His home base since 2001 is a geodesic dome in the hills of Los Angeles.
Question: How has being an artist changed in the last decade?
Fritz Haeg: Yeah, I am interested in the way the role of the artist changes, because I think it does change, it changes with culturally like in society what we need and changes I think that may be you could argue the core of what an artist does never changes its the same and it is responding in some way to the world that we live. I think that is always true, but the way the artist operates in society I think it is always changing. I think right now we live in a time where the artist is kind of embedded in this gallery system, the commercial gallery system where work is produced and then it is sold to maybe 500 people that are contemporary art collectors on the planet. Then the art institutions, so it is a very small group that are really subsidizing the contemporary art world. One thing I am struggling within my work is, how do continue my practice. I am what separated from that, I have never work with commercial art galleries, that is not to say I would not in the future, but it just so happens my work isn’t - doesn’t necessarily or hasn’t made so much sense there. So, my work is mostly commissioned by large art institutions and museums. Similar in a way to how an architect practices in that, I am conditioned or hired to do a project. So, I am almost thinking of my artist more of a service industry than a production of goods, which I think it is interesting distinction I think that economy of the work is important. If you are going to be creative in what you are making I think you should be equally creative and how it is produced and disseminated and put out in to the world.
Recorded On: 3/10/08