“The Artist as Idiot.” Rana Dasgupta with Raqs Media Collective (eds.) The Rest of Now: Manifesta, The European Biennale of Contemporary Art. Tyrol, Italy: Silvana Editoriale, 2008. Pp. 124-127.

Question: 'Why do you want to become an artist?'
Answer 1: 'To make pretty things for the rich folk.'
Answer 2: 'Through making art I learn about life, and I want to share these experiences with others. Then see Answer 1.'
Conversation in an Art School, April 2008

The simplest form of the circulation of commodities is C-M-C, the transformation of commidities into money, and the change of the money back again into commodities; or selling in order to buy. But alongside of this form we find another specifically different form: M-C-M, the transformation of money into commodities, and the change of commodities back again into money; or buying in order to sell. Money that circulates in the latter manner is thereby transformed into becomes capital, and is already potentially capital.
Karl Marx, Capital, from the section 'The General Formula for Capital'

An idiot is someone who operates outside of the capitalist mode of production. Not out of refusal, but simply because she is an idiot. An idiot does not know real value of things, people or situations. This idiotic ignorance of the difference between the valuable part and the useless residue does not strive to become a part of a grand movement - for example to subvert Capital and its empires. It just happens, accidentally.
The thoughtless nature of idiotic action is irritating, especially its stubborn lack of reasoning. You cannot blame idiots for mixing rich folks with ordinary mortals; they do not know better. This is what Lisaveta Prokofievna learned when she called a house where hospitality was extended in equal measure to the 'leftovers of society' (otbrosy obschestva) and 'decent people' (poryadochnye lyudi) a 'mad house,' and hospitality 'completeidiocy,' in Dostoevsky's novel The Idiot.

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