My friend JHC sent me a link to a review by William Giraldi, of the book
“Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class” by Scott Timberg.
This supports many of my ideas concerning too much corporate art, and no help for indie artists. That in turn is something that I’ve been talking about for 23 years in my art zine Musea..
Some quotes from the review:
Between 2008 and September 2012, there were 66 No. 1 songs, almost half of which were performed by only six artists (Katy Perry, Rihanna, Flo Rida, The Black Eyed Peas, Adele, and Lady Gaga); in 2011, Adele’s debut album sold more than 70 percent of all classical albums combined, and more than 60 percent of all jazz albums. Between 1982 and 2002, the number of Americans reading fiction withered by nearly 30 percent.
In the publishing and journalism trades, 260,000 jobs were nixed between 2007 and 2009. Since the turn of the century, around 80 percent of cultural critics writing for newspapers have lost their jobs. There are only two remaining full-time dance critics in the entire United States of America. A not untypical yearly salary in 2008 for a professional dancer was $15,000.
Of all the realities chronicled in Culture Crash, what would the worst manifestation of the worst realities look like? No new art but corporate-driven celebrity kitsch, essayistic advertisements tapped out by algorithms, the annihilation of independent ideas and the thriving of ideological groupthink, an aesthetical tundra everywhere, a society of philistines that “tranquilizes itself in the trivial,” in Kierkegaard’s phrase. And what is the most we can hope for, what would the best manifestation look like? If worse comes to worst is only slightly more exasperating than if better comes to best and the best is far from good enough. Artists of independence and seriousness must not be debased into having to choose between nothing and nothing much.
The author spreads the blame around. I don’t. It is the consolidation of too much art and media into too few hands. This turns art into a business commodity, and after a first flush of cash from excessive concentration of control, and excess advertising, these companies usually begin to slowly fail (lack of content – lack of good art – lack of interest for the generic art they make.) They see that the formula art doesn’t work over the long run, but they fail to change anything but the top brass that continues the same policies.