Happy New Year to all of the readers,patrons, and supporters of the Dopamine Clinic! I apologize for the lengthy hiatus… It has been quite an introspective time for me personally and vocationally. As usual my mission is to rightly guide the Dopamine Clinic as a captain does his starship...Given this, my mind has searched the cosmos for the appropriate source points of inspiration for the artwork of the future and the direction of the studio.
The primary inspiration point happens to of course be found in an event that took place within the hip-hop cultural and commercial land scape in October of 2015. The venerable Wu-Tang clan released its studio album titled “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin” in a very unusual way. The collective produced a single master album and auctioned it off to the highest bidder. The album was purchased by disgraced pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli for a whopping $2,000,000.00! It was a radical move in an industry that prizes sales volume of copies above all else. I was amazed at the time because of the sheer innovative novelty of their move. It was like witnessing marketing as an art form that had the signature of true artistic creativity and brinkmanship . I had not felt that excited about a musical release since Radiohead’s Uber unique campaign to distribute their 2007 “In Rainbows” album (which was in my opinion the proletarian precursor to the Wu’s elite consumer focused method).
And so years later it hit me...like yesterday it hit me! The Wu-Tang Clan had skillfully shifted from a music distribution model to a blue chip fine art style for the distribution of their work!
Instead of selling millions of inexpensive copies (reproductions) they decided to auction off the master work (original) to the highest bidder just as Sotheby’s or Christie’s would do with a Lichtenstein, Basquiat or Picasso. It made me consider how I could channel that spirit into the Dopamine Clinic.
It was thus decided at once that as of the new year (2019) the original visual artworks of the Dopamine Clinic would be handled in a closely similar manner to how a musical artist’ record label handles what is referred to as the “masters” (short for master recording).The original catalog remains the tangible intellectual property of the record label . And that is exactly how the Dopamine Clinic will be operating from here on in.
Official reproductions can be purchased from the shoppe online in much the same manner that recording artists make their music available to their supporters through hard copy vinyls and CDs as well as digital streaming.
This really excites me quite a bit since the Dopamine Clinic is an outsider entity not beholden to the mechanics of the art world gallery system. The Clinic is perfectly free to experiment with distribution models in the same way that the Wu-Tang Clan and Radiohead were able to due to their “above the law” status within their realms due to their commercial and critical success and acclaim.
On the other hand...as far as the Dopamine Clinic stands, there is honestly little to lose at this point. The outsider status mitigates risk tremendously. I see freedom in that. My art is clearly an irreducible component of my life ...And the Clinic has been keeping the lights on and the creativity popping and evolving for nearly 8 years now without any industry support...So it’s all good even with the inertia and ennui that characterizes parts of the saga.
I definitely look to the history and narrative of Washington D.C.’s own Thievery Corporation for inspiration as well. These gents not only produce some sick lo-fi grooves in the trip-hop tradition, but they formed their own record label to do it as well! The duos independent spirit led to them cultivating,organizing, and owning their own musical recording catalog through the establishment of Eighteenth Street Lounge Music in 1996!
I can’t really explain it but I am totally channeling the energy of Rob Garza and Eric Hiltons origin story into the evolution that the Clinic is experiencing.
I now envisage the Dopamine Clinic as a sort of creativity lab and boutique visual art studio with the distribution and business model of an independent record label, which to me is a veritable psychographic orgy of kickass stuff to come in the future! I really like that this development not only definitively asserts the Dopamine Clinics’ default autonomy, but it totally paves a way for me to sequester the majority of its original works away for future use in causes I believe in (I.e. ending homelessness, art therapy based mental health treatment ) through the creation of a posthumous foundation that will be created in preparation for my final hour on earth. The work is now about the future more than ever as I approach middle age.
I think in some way the inevitability of death was the underlying thought that sparked this paradigm shift in the model of the Dopamine Clinic. From a point of deep stargazing contemplation, I was able to reverse engineer my life as I project it from a pro forma understanding of destiny. Ultimately I recognized that my work is priceless and I have been blessed with a renewed understanding of how to handle it not only for myself and the Dopamine Clinic...but for future generations…while still having a way to distribute it to the consumer with unusual cravings.