Tuesday, February 17, 2009

on my current subject of choice:

'we’re in trouble — deeper trouble, i think, than most people realize even now.' p.krugman, in yesterday's new york times.

the following is from holland cotter's excellent ' the boom is over. long live the art!', featured in last week's new york times. it begins with a totally worthwhile analysis of american art in the american economy of the past fifty years.

"....Students who entered art school a few years ago will probably have to emerge with drastically altered expectations. They will have to consider themselves lucky to get career breaks now taken for granted: the out-of-the-gate solo show, the early sales, the possibility of being able to live on the their art.

"It’s day-job time again in America, and that’s O.K. Artists have always had them — van Gogh the preacher, Pollock the busboy, Henry Darger the janitor — and will again. The trick is to try to make them an energy source, not a chore.

"At the same time, if the example of past crises holds true, artists can also take over the factory, make the art industry their own. Collectively and individually they can customize the machinery, alter the modes of distribution, adjust the rate of production to allow for organic growth, for shifts in purpose and direction. They can daydream and concentrate. They can make nothing for a while, or make something and make it wrong, and fail in peace, and start again...

"Will contemporary art continue to be, as it is now, a fancyish Fortunoff’s, a party supply shop for the Love Boat crew? Or will artists — and teachers, and critics — jump ship, swim for land that is still hard to locate on existing maps and make it their home and workplace?

"I’m not talking about creating ’60s-style utopias; all those notions are dead and gone and weren’t so great to begin with. I’m talking about carving out a place in the larger culture where a condition of abnormality can be sustained, where imagining the unknown and the unknowable — impossible to buy or sell — is the primary enterprise. Crazy! says anyone with an ounce of business sense.

"Right. Exactly. Crazy"

sometimes i wish that philosophers were more like artists-- sometimes and partially supporting themselves and educating others through work in the academy, but with the larger and more vibrant world of philosophy happening out in the cities and in the minds of anonymous farm kids on their way to cities, as compelled as any young painters to keep "imagining the unknown and unknowable".

[and also, this.

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