11´26, DV PAL, 2008
In his on-going experimental art&business projects Mark Brogan is exploring the alternative strategies of self-sustainability of art, as well as the tactical approach to what is considered to be the basic principle of business. Within the 'regular' order of things, art and business are always confronted as the two totally different concepts. Despite the economical determination of art and the overgrowing art market, the fact that cultural industries are the dominant way of business today and the obvious process of culturalization of economy and economization of art, it is still considered that 'real' art rests upon the principles which are always in the opposition to business and whose main cause is precisely to overcome any attempt of a direct utilitarization.
Mark Brogan dangerously/riskily plays with this claim. In the video The Typical Reject Brogan presents day-to-day work in the consultant firm, which he apparently starts with 'for the cause of art'. By doing this, he puts himself in a position of a double spy, who dares to represent in art what is considered to be the top-secret activity in business, and again, whose position of businessman is disinterested in a way, and is only determined by the attempt to self-sustain as the artist and cover for the production of his art. Therefore, the 'art' of The Typical Reject is not so much in what is represented, in what is offered as the product – a non-dynamic video recording, presenting the people who are struggling to get some information and sell it to the different clients, using all the cunning ways of persuasion that are at hand, and who are quite often in a very uneasy position – this would be definitely more of use for the business people at the given moment and under the certain circumstances. The 'art' is precisely in the very procedure, in the very operation of tactical overlap of the two allegedly separated activities, which are obviously not meant to reach the happy symbiosis, but to maintain all the uneasines of the process visible on the surface of representation. And, most importantly, it works!
All the projects by Mark Brogan are collective, participatory and social, because they include the involvement, the work and life of all the people who are participating or “acting” in this nerdish art&business experiments. However, as a difference from many other 'participatory projects', which became a 'trademark' of the art of 90s, and which have been recently theoretized and criticized from many different perspectives, he openly shows and problematizes the entire complexity and 'unfairness' of the disposition of labour in which the artist/author/business manager is put in a position to produce the working team, collective or collaborative community. In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting aspects of Mark’s work.