Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just Taking a Moment...

... today to draw your attention to this article in yesterday's New York Times. It reports on a survey by a non-profit organization called Leveraging Investments in Creativity in conjunction with Princeton Survey Research Associates International and Helicon Collaborative, and it tells you nothing you don't already know (if you're an artist!) about the plight of artists in a cultural climate dominated by commerce and the cult of celebrity. It says, presumably in the dry language of statistical analysis, precisely what I have been observing and writing about in essay form for thirty years and more: that in terms of economic theory alone, the supply of artists and their work vastly exceeds demand. The "market" is limited to the topmost strata of the fortunate (and usually, but not always gifted!) few; and the great majority of those who think of themselves as artists (and that includes writers, actors, dancers, musicians, and so on) must find other than conventional definitions of "success" if they are to fulfill their sense of mission in life. This is where the notion of practice comes in handy. As one who could imagine himself in no way other than as a writer, I am grateful to have discovered the daily meditation practice that now serves me as a model and inspiration for a daily writing practice. Together, they make it possible for me to "persist"--by no coincidence, the title of my soon-to-be-published collection of essays, "Persist: In Praise of the Creative Spirit in a World Gone Mad With Commerce."

1 comment:

Stuart said...

Happy tanks givin'

and let's give a thought to Jeff Koon's multi-million dollar LACMA project.
Why doesn't LACMA hang Charles Ray's
firetruck from a crane, a kind of a tribute to the gymnastics performed by
firecrews everywhere.