February 28, 2009

Home to Roost

A few more notes on a downturn:

1. We must survive. Even when times were fat, some artists saw fit to take a hiatus, to find security elsewhere, to check out for a while. Now that we have our free fall into the downturn (Recession? Depression?), now I am hearing here and there that some artists are talking about taking a break. This is deadly. Never stop. Even if the thought wafts through the mind, never let anyone know it was there. After all, how can anyone else believe in your dream if you do not at first and for always? Like I've said before: never let them know that you're hungry. Especially when you are. Real artists don't stop, even during depressions or world wars.

2. Contractions and expansions belong together. Rhythm is natural. Singular modalities are dangerous illusions.

3. Certainly, many good things can now bloom now that the noise of the profit motive has subsided. This is good, of course... but not completely so. What does it say for art that the font of creativity is so easily occluded by avarice and speculation? Does art depend on a downturn to renew itself? Is our critical capacity so fragile that a few fat years can decimate it so? Conventional wisdom held that the recent market fever silenced the dialogue, that art became a profit-motive-singularity, that we needed a downturn to proliferate types. Maybe so If my idea about Darwin is true: the idea that the survival of the fittest in lean times narrows the selection of types... this is only half of the story... the other (shadow?) half is a proliferation of types in fat times... is this also true for our art world? At first, it doesn't seem so. Is there something about narrowing the bandwidth of art-making that is naturally superior to the ooze of types in the fat years? I hope not.

Posted by Dennis at February 28, 2009 9:16 AM

Leave a comment