November 21, 2008

Four Bears

Here is a chart that's worth pondering while scanning the recent news that MOCA LA is strapped for cash. They are looking for emergency "cash infusions"... does this sound familiar? Some say LACMA might take it over, some say that the remaining trustees have a responsibility to carry the water during the current recession.

Whatever the case, we all have a responsibility to survive and bob out on the other side. Maybe MOCA/LA will make it, maybe it won't.

As an aside, I've been thinking recently that the institutional level of the art world has been inadequate to the rapid acceleration of change, that it is optimized for an art world circa 1970, but since that era, there are far too many stories in the bloom of artists and art scenes worldwide, a bloom of stories that far exceeds the capacity of the institutional world to tell. Recall that the art world of 40's, 50's New York was tiny, Paris must have been tinier. How big is it now? Gigantic and getting bigger. Television went from the big three to hundreds of channels, the internet has an infinite number of "channels". And the museum... a show a month? What we need is a revolution in the institutional world. Survival might be easier for them if they adopt an insurgent's attitude. Maybe this revolution should involve something that has to do with the information age, to get small and nimble like an entrepreneur and multiply the channels, to find another way to conceive, acquire and maintain a collection? Just a thought.

Regarding survival, I like to remember that whenever the economy is doing gangbusters, things aren't as good as they seem. And when the economy is in the toilet, things aren't as bad as they seem. It's time for everyone to learn to surf the sinusoidal motion of the marketplace. It's as natural as the seasons and tides.

Oh yea, and the four bears? Notice that we are standing at a particular kind of brink: we are at the same lowest level of the past two recessions. We got there fast (but not as fast as '29) and the question today is just how deep will we descend in relation to the deepness of the Great Depression.

Check this out:
It appears that the dollar fell during the worst part of the bubble, and found buoyancy as soon as the bubble popped (an inverted metaphor!). Could the exchange rate be a convenient gauge of market health?

(Hat tip: Barcepundit Source.)

Posted by Dennis at November 21, 2008 12:34 AM

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