Brooklyn-based artist and email scam vigilante Jim Gaylord talks about:

The gentrification in his home and studio neighborhoods (Clinton Hill and Fort Greene in Brooklyn), and the homelessness there compared with the homelessness in his former home of San Francisco, where it’s more visible, and how homeless populations, at least in SF, are not the last buffer of complete gentrification; how Ft. Greene is a historic district, meaning no high rises, and yet all around the perimeter of Ft. Greene high rises are visible, as if his neighborhood were a fortress against development; his earlier studio situation, in DUMBO, when he was with a roommate and painting in his bedroom-cum-studio; his various side projects, including Art Crit Zingers, a collection of harsh criticisms received by artists in studio visits, planned as a book, as well as his extended email exchanges with would-be email scammers; Jim and I perform an actual email exchange he had which he calls ‘Dancing Asparagus,’ which lasted over a month (me as the scammer, he as himself); how one of his ‘non-scams’ that he thought might be a scam was joining the collection of the young autistic adolescent Anthony in London (subject of a This American Life story); how he had a show while still in grad school before he was really ready to show based on some colleagues’ assessment, but managed to come through it unscathed; how he’s seeing more of a focus on figuration than abstraction, a backlash against the zombie formalism trend; how the way people are digesting/consuming art, and even creating it, is through its Instagram-ability; and how he personally uses Instagram.

The Conversation Podcast’s first live recording took place on September 9 at Ochi Projects gallery (and was generously hosted by Pauli Ochi).

Along with me, the co-conversationalists included writer and independent curator Katie Bode, artist Stephanie Pryor and writer Matt Stromberg. In a nutshell the conversation covered the artist’s relationship to the market, or vice versa, through the lenses of–New Museum artistic director Massimiliano Gioni’s comment about art being more than ‘visual entertainment;’ the explosion of abstraction in the marketplace; the paradigm-shifted landscape via technology, in particular Instagram; the roles of collectors, and the new types of collectors, impacting the art world; The show Forever Now at MoMA; and how one’s financial background affects, or doesn’t, an artist’s path as far as more traditional or more experimental.