To be DIY is not to be sloppy

Artists who work in, w/, & for fun usually resort to the usually pocket-friendly mode of DIY or doing-it-yourself. But when materials are cheap, there is also the tendency to come up w/ cheap ideas — concepts rife w/ wit (when lucky — but not in the Cage or Mac Low sense of chance) but completely lacking in rigor (if there is any rigor at all).

There are, however, artists who allow us to restore a measure of faith in DIY. Total reproducibility & procedurality being 2 of the central problematiques of conceptualism, DIY is hence a strong strategy for carrying out that oxymoron of conceptualist production (an oxymoron because classical conceptualism posits that production is unnecessary for a work’s completion). & Pablo Biglang-Awa employs this strategy not to declare himself Chabet — that is too easy, altho admittedly funny — but to produce videos for producing Chabet installations, each video becoming a Chabet machine for creating more Chabet machines.

Opening title card of the 1st work in Pablo Biglang-Awa

For this is what it means to have fun being the father’s son: To outdo the father. In Chabet’s own words, when asked about putting up the experimental art gallery Shop 6 & assuming power as a technocrat for the Cultural Center of Philippines just for fun, “[Laughs] Yes, but at the same time you want to make something out of your life, maybe just to impress your father [laughs].”

Click here to view the video on Facebook.

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