The following series of conversations with Mike Winkelmann, alias Beeple, was conducted on 2021 and 2022 to further my research and understanding of contemporary culture, especially in terms of how subject-formation occurs today in the digital episteme, versus how it did during both the modern and postmodern ages until the early 21st century.
The motivation for engaging in this conversation was to understand why I had never heard of Winkelmann until the March 11th, 2021, Christies’ sale of an NFT of his Everydays. The first 5000 days for the equivalent in Ethereum of $69m, and to understand the thinking of one of the world’s leading figures in computer and motion design graphics, whose artwork made outside of the frame of his “work” he defines as “digital art” – that is, art made sitting down at a computer and distributed through digital platforms only.
I do not know if what he does is Art or not. However, I do not know what Art is, anyway, beyond the contextual definition of Art as anything we – the independent or institutional curators, artists, museum directors, art critics, gallerists – allow under this rubric. The “we” is being accused of having been gatekeepers for too long. I publish these series of conversations in the spirit of gate-opening, however disruptive it may seem, and even though politically it may seem counter-productive and even reactionary, in so far as it focuses on the culture being produced today by a hetero-normative young white male subject from the United States.
These series of conversations was researched by Stella Bottai and edited in-house by Giulia Colletti.