“In a New Yorker article entitled ‘The Big Sellout,’ author John Seabrook discusses the phenomenon of “the marketer within.” He argues persuasively that an emerging generation of artists will not concern themselves with old ethical dilemmas like “selling out” since they are a walking sales pitch for themselves already, intuitively understanding how to produce prepackaged art, to be their own brand. ‘The artists of the next generation will make their art with an internal marketing barometer already in place. The auteur as marketer, the artist in a suit of his own: the ultimate vertical integration.’
“Seabrook is right in his observation that the rhythm of the pitch is hard-wired into the synapses of many young artists, but he is mistaken in assuming that the built-in marketing barometer will only be used to seek fame and fortune in the culture industries. As Carly Stasko points out, many people who grew up sold are so attuned to the tempo of marketing that as soon as they read or hear a new slogan, they begin to flip it and play with it in their minds, as she herself does… The culture jammer is the activist artist as antimarketer, using a childhood filled with Trix commercials, and an adolescence spent on spotting the product placement on Seinfield, to mess with a system that once saw itself as a specialized science. Jamie Batsy, a Toronto-area “hacktivist,” puts it like this: ‘Advertisers and other opinion makers are not in a position where they are up against a generation of activists that were watching television before they could walk. This generation wants their brains back and mass media is their home turf.’”
— Naomi Klein, 2000
Photo: My portrait. 1987.