Reading: “The Afterlife: Art for Art’s Sake in the Experience Economy”
Image from the Red76 Henry project
Today artists, by varying degrees, are more and more being given the task of embodying the social and experience economies that prop up the free market and illustrate wealth where it doesn’t yet exist and, likely, only will in the future for a lucky few. They are tasked with being the vanguard for developers and business interests, governments, and non-profit’s funded by all three, to advance into situations wherein the veil of “creativity” acts as sleight of hand, a temporary distraction while the heavy lifting is being played out behind the scenes. Artists are brought in to present the future of neighborhoods and to illustrate the agendas of politicians devoid of the problems that business interests and elected officials must engage day-in and day-out. What artists today are not asked to do is create more problems. And therein lies our failing, in that what artists do best is create more problems.