“Make An Artist A Millionaire” signage
One direction MAAAM could take would be a series of performances, including sitting on the street with a cardboard sign (above); synthesizer busking at a BART train station; and roaming around with a sandwich board. All of these options would create varying levels of discomfort for me, and others, and I might not be the ideal person to execute them. (A healthy white hetero male basically panhandling to solve his art problem?) They could also represent an admission of the project's failure by not finding a compelling argument for someone donating (other than "Why not? $1 is such a small sum."). For this reason, executing them would merely be skirting the issue. This is where an idea for reconfiguring MAAAM came in: instead of trying to collect a million dollars for me, I would make another artist a millionaire with the proceeds. The original project arguably becomes something entirely different, and leeches it of much of its substance. Once the project's focus (though still not the goal) becomes generosity, it once again casts the recipient artist as a helpless, inept victim without effective personal agency. And as the agent of generosity, it puts me on the other side of the same old coin.