Fritz Haeg on Artistic Trends
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: What trends are you interested in?
Fritz Haeg: The trends that I am seeing today, well first of all I think it is absolutely fascinating how the word environmentalist and the environmental movements, let’s say, has gone from something really ghettoized even 10 years ago. I think it was easily demonized and you could say environmentalist then you could really dismiss someone pretty easily to today where every multinational corporation is figuring out how to market themselves as green or sustainable or environmental and you could argue that it is being co-opted and commercialize in such a way that doesn’t even have meaning anymore and the affective it is of these greener sustainable like axe are really meaningless, because they have so little affect or there so minimal in comparison to the crisis that we are facing, but I think it is a positive thing that the people are taking it seriously in, but if you just look at the cultural shift I think it is pretty phenomenal, how quickly people mindsets can change given the circumstances that we live in. So, I think that is one thing for sure in terms of architecture and art I am amazed that how far we have come from 20 years ago, when I was in architectural school to this time of these superstar architects and this. I thinks these a lot of empty formalism which may be I referred to previously about just beauty in esthetics to, I think we are living and moving towards a very sophisticated time in architecture and designs specifically where, I am amazed see even how architecture and designer talked about in the press, where we have, I think we expect a lot more from architecture and design than we did in the 70s and 80s. I think people are more savvy about it and they are more critical. People feel more comfortable talking in about it and demanding more from the world that we live in terms of that architecture and design, we were creating. The world of art, I think it is very different world, it is a very different discourse that is happening there. I think I guess my biggest disappointment in the art world today is the commercial systems that process it up and I think we are all suffering from it in some ways. I think a more critical, thoughtful and powerful art would emerge if that contemporary commercial system that it is a part of opened up or if the artist start to question it more or find other ways to practice, I think today more than ever we need artist and we need architects who are really powerful agents in society, stepping out side of those box that are made for them or giving to them when they going into school or in doctranated into and take charge of their practices and take charge of the way they are. operating the world and I think today in the art world, I am starting to see that open up and I do thing actually with this Whitney Biennial we are starting to see it open up. We are starting to see a large percentage of the artist in the show are roles that representing commercially and don’t show a galleries, but have really complicated practice is that take them out in to the real world in ways that we haven’t seen as much before, which I this it is very exciting.
Recorded On: 3/10/08
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