Interesting article in the Atlantic called “The Death of the Artist and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur”. It’s all about how artist’s used to be “artisans” and “geniuses” and how they moved to professionals and entrepreneurs constantly producing material and branding themselves and finding innovative self-publishing platforms, etc.
Interestingly, the writer William Deresiewicz circles back in the penultimate paragraph, lamenting the reality of the contemporary artist in one hyphenated clause: “Which– unless, like me, you think we need a vessel for our inner life–is noting much to mourn (art)” (97).
So we no longer have that high art vessel through which we can fully pronounce our inner lives but must appease to the current exchange of Facebook likes and blog posts, etc. It’s an exchange of process not product — people want to be privy to the creative experience via tweets and what not.
But does this degrade the artist? Is it possible to just go to school, experience some life happenings, i.e. war, then go to grad school, write a book and get it published without ever grazing twitter or the blogosphere?
Perhaps this blog is proof enough that this writer has succumbed to some extent to the contemporary contention that writer’s must build their platforms, so to speak. Then again I still rely on “that flash upon my inward eye” as Wordsworth put it. In other words, I have my artistic visions and I stick to them and whether or not the internet exists or whether I get accepted to some prestigious MFA or Phd program, I will continue to do so (stick to them, the visions — I would just scrawl them on a stone tablet or something).
In other words, in a different time, I like to think, I would have been an artisan of some sort or an artist, a professional following his muse, “in contact with the numinous” and creating by whatever means available.