MIKEY Woodbridge

MIKEY Woodbridge, Photo: Francesco Cascavilla

MIKEY Woodbridge on overconsumption of art on social media, the potential of digital assets, and collectively taking care of artists

What are you working on at the moment?
Everything that I’m working on is all part of one bigger artwork of life that contributes to creating a world where it can become bearable for an ‘other’ like myself to exist in this world. Most times I’m creating and I never know what I’m creating it for. It’s only over the past few years that I’ve started to fully trust what was once a daunting process. Sometimes it’s not until many years after that the artwork gets to have its moment when the right opportunity arises. I like to think of it as the art roasting or fermenting.

What are you reading or listening to right now?

I try to keep up with all that is happening in the digital art movement of cryptart culture as I believe in its significance & the impact it’s having on the art world & artists like myself. This week I’ve been enjoying reading some essays about the history of its collectors, by Maxwell Cohen & the Museum of CryptoArt.

What does good art education/outreach require?
I think someone has to understand what art is to a certain degree for one to value art & to participate in building a culture where art is valued. & I think unfortunately most of humanity hasn’t returned to that awareness yet. That mixed with a hyper-consumption of art for free, from apps like instagram and tik tok are just making culture go backwards in regards to valuing art & artists.
What is happening right now within digital & cryptoart culture using NFTs & blockchains to create a new paradigm where cultural currency can be a functional means of exchange. Collecting art becomes a way to educate yourself & to learn the value of art & an artist’s significance. Its relevance depends on people showing up everyday & participating in building a new culture where artists can be rewarded for their contributions. If we collectively took more care of the artists around us so they didn’t need to suffer to bring art & beauty into the world, I think education & mediation through art would thrive organically. & this is already happening in cryptoart culture, but it’s a long way to go to bridge this into the traditional art world.

Do you have a favourite building?
World building. I also love temples & portal spaces. In Berlin, Berghain is my favourite portal space.

Is there someone you would like to meet?
Absolutely no one! I enjoy meeting myself through making art so much. It gives me so much pleasure & joy & I feel content. But through putting more & more art out into the world, more & more people want to meet me it seems. I try welcome those moments with open arms & I love meeting people who’ve connected with my music or performances & them telling me of the connection or memory of what they felt & how it affected them in some deep way. I’m always very moved & touched by that & those people. I try my best to make people feel as seen as possible, because I know how much value & prominence that can bring to their lives. Being an artist, I see myself as the eyes of the Other. & it’s the Otherness within their individual selves that people also want to connect to. So I understand people’s attraction to wanting to be close to artists. Besides that, I believe we meet everyone we’re supposed to meet when the time is right & aligned.

Do you have a daily ritual?

The day is the ritual. Although, I’m more of a night person.

What accessory or object could you not do without?
Digital Assets. & I don’t have to carry them since they exist digitally.

What does sustainability mean for you?
More digital assets. & in art terms, not letting the current systems determine my success or my value as an artist.

What do you think Berlin’s artistic and cultural landscape needs?
I think Berlin sees so much bad or mediocre art, just because someone can write a funding application & check all the right boxes. It’s tiring & nobody wants to go to a bad show & waste hours or their time sitting through it. I want to see great artists with talent & a vision who are strong in their artist voice get supported. Most of the time that’s not the case. Let’s support artists that make us feel something, not determine who gets to be funded by whether their funding applications fit the agendas of the institutions. I’d like to see talent scouts out there doing the work. Other than that, I think collecting art is very important & we need more of it. This is why I like digital assets, you can collect an artist’s work through immaterial tokens that act as a vessel of meaning, that tells the artist that you value what they bring to the world & you want to see more of it. & you don’t have to commit to a physical piece or worry about where you’re going to store it or how you’re going to move it. & that’s also sustainability to me.

What do you do when you’re done working?
I start to work.