James Lam Scheuren
How did you get into debt?
The art shows I have had the past few years have contributed to my debt significantly as well as just shooting film which is integral to my art practice. Last year I spent over 4k dollars on shows in two non-profit and artist run spaces (primarily on mounting photographs, materials for frames, prints, transport). This year I curated a group show in Houston but incurred debt shipping the work back to artists around the country. Also, applying to jobs, residencies, and shows. Costing from 12-80 dollars, I find it bewildering that these things often are very expensive to apply to, especially jobs. Every year since finishing my MFA I spend hundreds of dollars in applications.
How does your economic reality effect your art?
This summer I did a residency in Maine where I received a full scholarship. With my apartment sublet and having no expenses, I again realized how important time is to make artwork. My output was very large during this 9 week period. I am fortunate in being an image-maker that my work can be on negatives and stored in harddrives and does not necessarily need a studio or large amount of physical storage thus I am always able to make my work. I do feel the pressure of having no time, however, because of my debt.
Would your work look different if you weren't in debt?:
If I weren't in debt I would be able to make more work. Last year I had 6 W2's and a 1099. I am always trying to pickup more part time jobs to climb out of debt.