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MTAA-RR » news » twhid » class thesis response:

Mar 27, 2010

#class thesis response

posted at 19:32 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

William Powhida posted to the hashtagclass blog a call for reflections on the project. He specifically asked participants to respond to the original thesis statement:
Art is a luxury commodity for the wealthy that limits the possibility of ownership, understanding, and access based on class, education and geography.

My short reply follows.


Speaking as someone who has created art on the web (& Internet), in comic books, via email and other populist formulations I’d say that this statement is only true for art that is created in such a way as to make it scarce. If it’s not scarce, it’s no longer a luxury. Simple economics.

An artist chooses to make their work scarce. Current media creation and dissemination technologies make it stupidly simple to make one’s work unscarce. If one chooses.

Speaking as someone trained as a painter, I can understand a painter’s objection to this idea. Their expression requires scarcity. A painting, sculpture or drawing can only be in one place at any one time obviously. But artists working in these types of media shouldn’t do so ignorantly — especially if they’re worried about the class implications of the distribution of their work. There are other means of expression.

It’s not required to play in the art world system to make work or find an audience.

Making a living? That’s another story… permanent link to this post

MTAA-RR » news » twhid » class thesis response

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