In trying to build an artist-centric media project, we've been deep in R&D, so are looking at everything currently being written on why and how artists can thrive in a shitty economy, aka, the way things stand now. And, as always, Cotter holds forth eloquently, profoundly and intelligently on why that might be the case. Here's the link to the article and to whet your appetite for more, here are some of my favorite passages from said article:
". . ., if the example of past crises holds true, artists can also take over the factory, make the art industry their own. Collectively and individually they can customize the machinery, alter the modes of distribution, adjust the rate of production to allow for organic growth, for shifts in purpose and direction. They can daydream and concentrate. They can make nothing for a while, or make something and make it wrong, and fail in peace, and start again.
"Art schools can change too. The present goal of studio programs (and of ever more specialized art history programs) seems to be to narrow talent to a sharp point that can push its way aggressively into the competitive arena. But with markets uncertain, possibly nonexistent, why not relax the mode, open up education?
"Why not make studio training an interdisciplinary experience, crossing over into sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, poetry and theology? Why not build into your graduate program a work-study semester that takes students out of the art world entirely and places them in hospitals, schools and prisons, sometimes in-extremis environments, i.e., real life? My guess is that if you did, American art would look very different than it does today.
"Such changes would require new ways of thinking and writing about art, so critics will need to go back to school, miss a few parties and hit the books and the Internet. . . . "
"A globally minded learning curve that started to grow in the 1980s and 90s seems to have withered away once multiculturalism fell out of fashion. Some New York critics, with a sigh of relief, one sensed, have gone back to following every twitch of the cozy local scene, which also happens to constitute their social life."
". . . . The 21st century will almost certainly see consciousness-altering changes in digital access to knowledge and in the shaping of visual culture. What will artists do with this?"
What will we do, indeed?