The Great Success Machine
Live-Action-Role-Playing Game. Collaboration with Kristof Trakal
A LARP dealing with neoliberal professionalization workshops in art education institutions and the careers they propose.
The Great Success Machine adapts the format of a career building workshop turned group therapy. Embarking on a journey through an artist career starting just after art education, the participants will develop an artist persona that finds itself looking ahead at a life filled with smaller and occasionally larger disappointments, compromises and changes of circumstance. The role playing game thereby reflects on the question of what an art education can and should provide. What types of artists and creative minds does a neoliberal paradigm of teaching art and design produce? How can artists develop a relevant and sustainable practice under these circumstances?
The game includes performative elements taken from Forum Theater, Psychodrama, table top RPGs, and systemic constellation therapy, as well as writing and drawing exercises.
Here’s a conversation I had in early 2020 about the project with Michael Shaw on his podcast “The Conversation Art Podcast” (with additional input by Netta Sadovsky, who had played the GSM with us at NYU in 2019).