Torino Share Festival 2009: Market Forces Exhibition Review

Sensing demands a market. Values are automatically assigned to a stimulus as a function of their reception. This fundamental law of being, embodied at an unconscious level, manifests in every aspect of human existence.

To have a body unaware of the market of stimulus is to have a body damaged by its environment. In a fleeting glance to the heavens to spy a bird taking flight, a sunbeam hits our eyes. Do we not cower to the ray’s power to blind yet marvel at the universe it illuminates? The internal mechanisms built to protect our vision restrict the size of our pupil because our unconscious knows the cost of failing to do so. Staring directly into the sun is a sizzling reminder of blue spots that a retina is merely the ant on the sidewalk and our natural lens a child’s magnifier.

It’s no wonder that we fall prey to the intoxicating glow of the liquid crystal display. We are drawn to the screen as a moth to a lamp. Attracted by the promise of information, yet burned by the theft of time. It’s our choice to turn on the back-lit window, to navigate it. Yet within the journey to the content of our desire, there exists distractions at every turn.

The conscious and the unconscious market are always present, and it is the charge of the sensor to be present and aware in each moment. Unlocking myriad economies is the crux of Market Forces.

The exhibition commands the attention economy, the cognitive economy, and the social economy by parting space into three distinct arenas.

Attention Economy
Prize Candidates, Installation view Share Festival
Physical objects in space, whirring – clicking – bouncing, emulating natural systems in their fabrication demand the viewer at an unconscious level to observe.

Cognitive Economy
Squatting Supermarkets Installation view Share Festival
When objects are common, uniform, static they become background. Cans on a supermarket shelf, the logo of the auction where you bid daily, the face of the homeless man you constantly ignore. In the cognitive economy artists succeed when they inject just enough dissonance to be perceptible, so that the viewer becomes aware of the behavior in question.

Social Economy
End of Cinema Discussion
At times Utopian in its scope and generosity, the social economy succeeds when sharing concepts, ideas, and experiences trumps individualistic, ego-based thinking. Cultural posturing, intellectual flexing, and acute misunderstanding, while uncomfortable, are the necessary market pull-backs obviating utter collapse. Only through rigorous effort will the social economy transcend the emotional rise and fall of communication-breakdown and maintain a positive trajectory.

As a whole Market Forces reverberates with the promise that each economy, attention, cognitive, and social, is a valid space for artists to operate.

More developments concerning Obay Pills and

Today I was called by Dan Lauckner from C·T·V Southwestern Ontario, he found and used the Whois database to get my contact information just like Jakub. There is a potential that he may call back Monday for more information.

I also received comments from the author of the blog “And She Knits Too”. She has a couple of posts one about the posters with images of the little girl.
Photo of Obay Pills Females from
She also reports that there is a phone number to call now 1-888-YOU-OBAY. In the comments of “And She Knits Too” there are a bunch of great theories about drug companies and propaganda and how drug laws are different there than in the USA.

Addressing confusion between and Obay Pills Posters in Canada

Presently, I don’t know who made these signs.

Obay Pills Sign in Canada from Jakub

The text on the sign reads:

My son used to have his own hopes and aspirations. Now he has mine. Thanks Obay!

The text on the bottle reads:

If they can’t see it your way, it’s time for Obay.

My interest is piqued, as I have received two emails asking about Obay Pills, the first on February 12, 2008 from a Canadian named Jakub which included the above photo. The second on February 13, was from a Toronto journalist named David Silverberg who wants an interview. I have already responded to both inquiries and am anticipating a response.

I have now done a few web searches, since then and there’s a lot of buzz about the project at Yahoo Answers and Above Top Secret.

I have endeavored to send an answer to the Yahoo Answers group, but because the question is over 5 days old it no longer is accepting direct posts. The question is still listed as “undecided”, and I have sent my answer to the customer service folks at Yahoo. Hopefully they will post my reply as listed below:

I interpret the bus stop poster “culture jam” presently in Canada as a parody ad campaign which critiques adults and calls for more active parenting. By using a pun, Obay and it’s relationship to obey a direct command, the group responsible wishes to show how drugs are no substitution for “present” adults responsible for child rearing. In addition the Obay Pills bring to mind how overly zealous parents can map their wishes onto the lives of their children, especially when they are making the medical decisions for their offspring. The ad seems to be in response to the drugging of youth and the increase in diagnosis of ADHD. Regarding who would fund such a campaign, I look to the ongoing war between the Church of Scientology and Psychiatry professionals, and will be interested to note who funded the campaign.


The project for which I am responsible: Obay “The Commodiphile’s online Marketplace” also comments on mental states and is the top Google hit and likely where people are getting the false notion that I created the Obay Pills Campaign. The following is the explanation of my intent with and a brief time line:

For certain individuals Ebay has become a lifestyle, an extreme use of the service where people are a slave to their auctions, so dependent on checking up that it interferes with daily functioning. According the DSM-IV, the manual for diagnosing psychological disorders, this would be a criterion for a type of obsessive-compulsive behavior. Commodiphilia, diagnosed as assigning value to valueless objects in the off chance that it may be worth something to another disparate individual, is an artist coined term that references both the commodity, and the sexual perversion of pedophilia. critiques the mega-consumerist culture that surrounds Ebay, and is both a visual pun and a cautionary piece that succeeds when the user questions why they are so involved with buying and selling of the most mundane possessions.

October 2002, made live on Internet

May 2004 Artist talk and exhibition catalog “Buy Sell or Buy” at Pace University, New York, curated by Jillian Mcdonald

November 22, 2006 contacted by Intellectual Property Counsel
eBay Inc. to disable links and disclaim affiliation between Obay and eBay

December 2006 changes instituted to the satisfaction of Counsel.

January 2008 discovered citation to the artist coined term “commodophilia” [sic] in an exhibition catalog of artist residencies (Nicky Bird) Stills Edinburgh 2004 written by Iliyana Nedkova.

Febuary 12, 2008 contacted by a curious Canadian about‘s affiliation with Obay pill posters.

February 12, 2008 web search provides multiple sightings in Canada of Obay pill posters. Postings on Yahoo answers and Above Top Secret

February 13, 2008 contacted by Toronto journalist David Silverberg through asking if I am affiliated with Obay posters in Canada.

February 13, 2008 responded to curious Canadian and David Silverberg with the creator of Pete Ippel’s analysis of the Obay pill campaign. Also submitted answer to Yahoo Answers through their online help page, as the question was still “undecided” after 5 days yet closed to more answers.

I hope this clears up any questions you may have please contact me if you have any more.

Best wishes,
Pete Ippel
Artist and creator of

Is Painting the Answer?

Start class tomorrow, intense painting with D. Crumpler, I’m excited, but wondering if this is the right thing to do. The Tizz says that I need to concentrate on making my own artwork the way I want to and this obsession with talking about painting is silly. I am inclined to agree with her ’cause she’s usually right. Anywho, the bottom line is that at the San Francisco International Art Expo, there was nothing like mine and a shit load of painting…you can look at that as one of two ways…one person said to me, “painting…it’s making a comeback…it’s like the new video.” OR….Painting is dead…

First off, people haven’t really EXPLOITED video yet…but honestly I think 2d work is bought more…by people who want to decorate their house.

Personally, I’m making artwork to be utilized or purchased by everyone…ranging from Free Memory for my peeps on Market, social commentary on OBAY, to stuff that people dream about having, like, a P. Ippel, artrockstar signed digitalia first Ed…there were only 10 of those wax prints you know…and the thing is that they AREN’T on acid free paper so you know what…they’re special and require lots of curatorial attention.

Anywho, for all you that think that selling out is bad, fuck you, you romantic hypocrites (the same people who think the partnership between CCAC and SFAI is bad)…I’m in it for the money (and to have an amazing student/life experience)…and I make artwork for all types of people, and if anything, I didn’t sell out, the mainstream bought in.

Going Going Back Back to Cali Cali

It’s been a while but I have had an amazing journey from IL, back to Cali and now I’ve already finished a week of school with Xu Bing. It has been a great experience, and I have gotten so much facility back in my brush. I’m very excited about the whole situation. However, I am a bit bummed that he had to leave on Friday.

This weekend I worked hard and was serious about my career, I created a series of 18 postcards, and I’m planning to make contact with the people I know from all sorts of places…and let them know about the new projects.

I have to work on OBAY a lot, and get my galleries in order before school starts, and work on this internship at Macromedia, that would be a dream come true…maybe I could even stay on part time during the school year.

I got called by the track folks today, and it was great to be on the other end of the phon-a-thon, and talk to my friends again…and I even donated 50 bucks…so I won’t eat for a month…track was good to me, and now I’ve got to start training again to peak in Aug for SGA III.

I miss the Tizz, but I know she’s doing great a learning a lot. Big ups to the Rentals this week for helpin’ me out and in other news, I got to practice my Spanish when Abuelita called…such a welcome surprise.

Pay On Time, Please

So, I finished the design today, and I want to get paid before I get home, as this is a recurring theme in my life despite my best efforts to curb it with contracts…seems like I don’t get paid until way after the work is completed…It’s like taxes, an interest free loan. I slept a few hours last night, and work up to the human snooze alarm, Tizzel is the best at that.

So the day was pretty standard, i.e. sitting at the computer for most of the day, and getting around on the skateboard. I bought Kev’s wide angle lens for 20 bucks, and found out that he’s moving to Berkeley. Bummer.

I went out to Othercinema tonight, and saw C. Baldwin, one of my instructors at SFAI, he was in one of the films, and the reason that I went was to learn what other people are doing with culture jamming. I have a lot to do with

Also talked to Pops, and walked to BB&B, to exchange my rug, and my new one is way cooler. The first one was just too much yellow. Anywho, Chris came over for sausage and eggs for dinner, and we looked at Nome Alaska’s webcam…and now it’s time for work.


I got the domain today, so that’s a step in the right direction for Obay. I am pretty excited about this culture jamming project, and it’s going to correlate well with the Javits application, as well as my essay writing. I feel activated now, and I am not sure why. Sticking it to the man may just do that to me. I also have a pretty strong support group. Thank you to all.

In other news, I still want to get a laptop, and that g4 is looking good, but I don’t know where I am going to get the money for it…doggie has been super unstable, even with the new power supply. But I want to keep doggie and make it run AND get a laptop. I have wonderful visions of typing my notes for two reasons, it’s easier to read, and I can save them to disk.

Still, 3g is 3g and that’s a lot of bank, especially when you’re still looking for a job.