[NetBehaviour] The Jeremy Bailey Interview on the Netbehaviour.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Fri Sep 12 16:19:18 CEST 2008

Hi Jeremy,

To answer 1.

Many on here (of course) would agree that the artist ego is a fragile 
instrument. There has been much explored around the artist ego and 
Sigmund Freud himself felt a personal connection to the artist 

In 'Formulations regarding the Two Principles in Mental Functioning' 
(1911), Freud writes that art "... brings about a reconciliation of the 
two principles [pleasure and reality] in a peculiar way. An artist is 
originally a man who turns away from reality because he cannot come to 
terms with the renunciation of instinctual satisfaction which it at 
first demands, and who allows his erotic and ambitious wishes full play 
in the life of phantasy. He finds the way back to reality, however, from 
this world of phantasy by making use of his special gifts to mould his 
phantasies into truths of a new kind, which are valued by men as 
precious reflections of reality. Thus in a certain fashion he actually 
becomes the hero, the king, the creator, or the favourite he desired to 
be, without following the long, roundabout path of making real 
alterations in the external world. But he can only achieve this because 
other men feel the same dissatisfaction as he does with the renunciation 
demanded by reality, and because that dissatisfaction, which results 
from the replacement of the pleasure-principle by the reality principle, 
is itself part of reality." 

The above rings true in some respect, yet it also informs us how a 
contemporary culture's dominant values, play a large part in influencing 
perceptions and conclusions. Another thing I find interesting regarding 
the artist and ego, is that (personal) romanticism is an essential 
ingredient. This notion of the artist being a hero is a fascinating 
theme which I have personally experienced when I was much younger. Some 
of these moments are just too embarrassing and too tense to dwell on. 
It's funny when reading older writings, because of the language, 
especially the (unconscious) masculine dominated, mannerisms. For 
instance, 'he' comes up may times in the article. Even though such 
concepts around the artist and ego are from long ago, I think that these 
psychological elements still remain.

 >As I hinted the perception of some kind of
 >order, some truth in everything that can be
 >revealed is both interesting and hilarious to
 >me. Mostly because the process involves a
 >tremendous amount of abstraction, and therefore
 >an acceptable amount of error. This error, or
 >this incompleteness reflects strongly on my
 >thoughts concerning artist ego. As in, the artist
 >ego is a very precarious and fragile instrument
 >that should likely never be played...

...'this incompleteness reflects strongly on my thoughts concerning 
artist ego'.

I can definatley see this in some of your works, but one particular 
piece that springs to mind is 'Srongest Man' where you try to hold a 
camera at arms length. 
http://www.jeremybailey.net/podcasts/strongestman.m4v - I will not 
explain anything about the video, I think it explains itself. Lets just 
say that there is plenty of angst in it ;-)

As mentioned, I will post a response to the rest of the text later...


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