Fake It Til You Make It
Organized by Alex Nathanson & Christina Vassallo
May 2013
Flux Factory / Long Island City, Queens

Part artist boot camp, part motivational speech therapy, Fake It Till You Make It discusses the challenges of surviving as an artist in New York City. In this collection of playfully flippant classes, performative lectures, and discussion-based workshops, Flux Factory invites members of the NYC art community to reveal the secrets of their success.

Though contextualized as an irreverent investigation of fame, fortune, and self-promotion in the art world, the main goals are to 1) acknowledge the “real world” issues that surround creative practice, e.g., limited funding resources, the MFA industrial complex, new themes in professional development, etc., 2) gain insight from the practical knowledge of some of our idols and peers, and 3) expand the notion of nonprofit art educational programming through self-reflexive and unconventional approaches.

The first event in the series is My Diamond Shoes are Too Tight: A Discussion of Fame, a panel discussion and presentation bringing together three artists who have a critical and unique approach to celebrity. JD Samson, Josh Harris, and Ann Hirsch explored some of the lesser discussed aspects of being a public figure, moderated by Nathaniel Sullivan. 

JD Samson is a musician and artist best known as a member of the bands Le Tigre and Men. JD has written extensively about her own fame, cultural/political role, and the economics of being a successful artists.

Josh Luvvy Harris started a leading Internet research firm Jupiter Communications in 1986. He took the company public and cashed out. In 1994, he founded the world’s first internet radio/television network, Pseudo Programs, Inc. He was the subject of the Grand Jury Prize winning documentary film “We Live In Public” at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival which made it into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Of late, he is the protagonist of a biography, “Totally Wired: On the Trail of the Great Dotcom Swindle,” as well as the subject of a fictional film entitled “The Gent” to be released next year. 

Ann Hirsch is a video and performance artist engaging with the contemporary portrayal of women in media. She often acts as an amateur social scientist, inserting herself into popular culture and reporting back her findings in the form of art works. Some of these interventions have included bouts with YouTube celebrity, competing for romance on Vh1 and buying antiques on Science Channel’s Oddities. 

Nathaniel Sullivan is a performance artist who has lectured on subjects as varied as Francois Mitterrand’s last meal, Wilt Chamberlain’s sex life, and the love letters of banker Jamie Dimon. For the past year he has taken this practice to the streets and has led a guided walking tour of an abandoned housing project re-imagined as a Richard Sera sculpture, conducted a seminar on desire from the back of a limousine and performed for one person at at Brooklyn Nets game.