A high-hat and rebar against a white background.

Calum Craik

Graduate Fellowships, 2020 - 2021
San Francisco State University

A portrait of a person in sunglasses against a light background.

Artist Statement

My interdisciplinary practice examines the effects of neoliberalism and how this ideology functions through a set of principles as well as through physical signifiers, material conditions, and social relationships. I use materials from physical sites which exemplify neoliberal ideals—containerized ports, tech-hubs, construction sites, and private property—and related cultural items, such as down vests (the neoliberal worker’s “uniform”) and tech convention backpacks. I also make use of personal and familial items and narratives which reference labor, housing, and privatization policy. 

The invisibility of neoliberalism is one of its strengths. I aim to make its often coercive and dematerialized forms visible. By stripping objects of their function and revealing the traces of invisible labor, I open up a space to question the market forces which lay coded in their form. I also engage in social practice works, creating people-centered acts which generate alternative modes of value and exchange.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands I plan to further examine the effects of neoliberal capitalism on the surrounding landscape, labor, and social relations. The Headlands’ unique position at the opening of the bay presents many overlapping histories of settler colonialism, militarization, container-shipping, and tech, but it also presents many movements of resistance and perseverance. I aim to create works which open up criticality around neoliberal culture but also create spaces and exchanges beyond it. 

Banner image: Calum Craik, The Clock (cigarette break), 2020; Rebar, candle, cymbal, concrete, amplifier, performance; The candle is lit and drips onto the cymbal below, which then gets rotated after the candle has gone out; dimensions variable; © Calum Craik

Selected Video Work

Calum Craik, Landlord, 2020; Video; 6 min 53 sec; © Calum Craik

Calum Craik, Sewing Seeds (enclosed), 2018; Performance video, planting the same variety of Hawthorn seeds used to enclose the commons on a contaminated site due to be developed at Pier 70, San Francisco; 2 min 11 sec; © Calum Craik