Newmedia on Thu, 3 May 2012 23:20:56 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The insult of the 1 percent: "Art-history majors"

> Imagine a world from which art has been surgically removed. 
> Replace it with entertainment and compete 'till you're blue.

As  you know, artists have "always" depended on patrons -- as reflected in 
the $120M  bid for Munch's SCREAM yesterday (and the way that Munch became a 
cultural  "hero" in Norway).
This relationship between the "elite" and the "artists" certainly  changed 
in the 20th but that's more a function of the changes in the  elites than in 
the artists.
In particular, there are no longer any culturally *coherent* elites in the  
WEST . . . while there are still plenty of artists looking for patrons!!
It is this lack of cultural COHERENCE that presents those of us in the West 
 with our greatest challenge.
This is, in fact, exactly the province, indeed obligation, of  ARTISTS.  
Exactly what is our culture?
Whether it began with "Soviet Realism" or the Nazi denunciation of  
"decadent" art and whether it was institutionalized by the CIA Cold War  
championing of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s, 20th century art largely  
reflected the *disintegration* of any cultural coherence.
Nelson Rockefeller referred to the Museum of Modern Art as "mommies museum" 
 and, as I often suggest to those who are trying to make sense of 
statements  about the "humans disappearing," there are few recognizable 
representations of  humans hanging on its walls.
> Is it maybe time to give up being neutral?

Indeed.  But  "neutral" about what?
How about being "neutral" about (or even hostile to) WESTERN culture?
You want to deal with the 1% who want to eliminate the "art history majors" 
 (when, in fact, that's what many of them took as college degrees) -- then 
give  them some actual *culture* to have to face up to.
Otherwise, it's just more play-acting . . . that only feeds the budgets of  
the SWAT teams (i.e. the "patrons" of today's "street-art")!
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY
In a message dated 5/3/2012 3:58:13 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Edward  Conard works for Mitt Romney's firm, Bain Capital. He is part
of the .01%  and he is true to his class. A New York Times reporter
interviewed him on  the occasion of his soon-to-be-released book (which
you should probably  steal if you want to read it) called "Unintended
Consequences." As usual,  it declares that the superrich do us all
a world of good, even though all  they want is more for them. In
Connard's case, he already has enough to  crush us like flies. Check
out his world view, as reported by Adam  Davidson:

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