Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur.






Anyone can be an artist (2015), 1440x900 pixels, Artist: Graham Hay, Photo: Graham Hay.  A Digital "Collage artwork"* 

Key extracts from insightful article by William Deresiewicz:


"Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? 
... 
As art was institutionalized, so, inevitably, was the artist. The genius became the professional. 
...
The institutions that have undergirded the existing system are contracting or disintegrating. Professors are becoming adjuncts. Employees are becoming independent contractors (or unpaid interns). Everyone is in a budget squeeze: downsizing, outsourcing, merging, or collapsing. 
...
Still, it also is an opportunity. The push of institutional disintegration has coincided with the pull of new technology. 
...
The Internet enables you to promote, sell, and deliver directly to the user, and to do so in ways that allow you to compete with corporations and institutions, which previously had a virtual monopoly on marketing and distribution. 
...
So what will all this mean for artists and for art? For training, for practice, for the shape of the artistic career, for the nature of the artistic community, for the way that artists see themselves and are seen by the public, for the standards by which art is judged and the terms by which it is defined? These are new questions, open questions, questions no one is equipped as yet to answer. But it’s not too early to offer a few preliminary observations.
...
What seems more clear is that the new paradigm is going to reshape the way that artists are trained. One recently established M.F.A. program in Portland, Oregon, is conducted under the rubric of “applied craft and design.” Students, drawn from a range of disciplines, study entrepreneurship as well as creative practice. Making, the program recognizes, is now intertwined with selling, and artists need to train in both—a fact reflected in the proliferation of dual M.B.A./M.F.A. programs." 
...
Creative entrepreneurship, to start with what is most apparent, is far more interactive, at least in terms of how we understand the word today, than the model of the artist-as-genius, turning his back on the world, and even than the model of the artist as professional, operating within a relatively small and stable set of relationships.
...
But one of the most conspicuous things about today’s young creators is their tendency to construct a multiplicity of artistic identities. You’re a musician and a photographer and a poet; a storyteller and a dancer and a designer—a multiplatform artist, in the term one sometimes sees. 
...
Judgment rested with the patron, in the age of the artisan. In the age of the professional, it rested with the critic, a professionalized aesthete or intellectual. In the age of the genius, which was also the age of avant-gardes, of tremendous experimental energy across the arts, it largely rested with artists themselves. 
...
The democratization of taste, abetted by the Web, coincides with the democratization of creativity. The makers have the means to sell, but everybody has the means to make. And everybody’s using them. Everybody seems to fancy himself a writer, a musician, a visual artist. 
...
“Producerism,” we can call this, by analogy with consumerism. What we’re now persuaded to consume, most conspicuously, are the means to create. [Ed: think of digital devices as these means]
...
producing becomes an experience, even the experience. It becomes a lifestyle, something that is packaged as an experience
...
the most notable things about those Web sites that creators now all feel compelled to have is that they tend to present not only the work, not only the creator (which is interesting enough as a cultural fact), but also the creator’s life or lifestyle or process."

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur. by William Deresiewicz (quoted from the original full article at http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/01/the-death-of-the-artist-and-the-birth-of-the-creative-entrepreneur/383497/   Originally published: DEC 28 2014, 7:43 PM ET Copied to blog 14/2/15 9:20am WAST

*Filename :  Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 9.03.53 am.png.  Image sources: from http://www.braingle.com/trivia/art/1.jpg, http://www.symbols.com/gi.php?type=1&id=1272&i=1, http://thecustomizewindows.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Best-Android-Apps-to-Create-ArtworksDrawing-and-Painting.png and https://www.apple.com/au/macbook-air/

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