I personally find it concerning, if I’m honest, though, because my fear is that the rejection of a macro sociology, like the amount of technology that’s stacked on top of technology in our society overall, the rejection of that by artists is potentially the rejection of helping codify or unpack or culturally translate what that means for everyone.
If artists have some responsibility, it is to advance culture.
But to, kind of, ignore the culture exists is one of the things that worries me because it’s not a viable alternative for most people at this point, to completely reject the constraints of technology, the same way it wouldn’t have been in successive generations of technology.
Like the Luddites, we’re not living in their societies.
So, what was necessary was for people to find ways to transmute or transgress or subvert those movements and not let people just run riot with the new way, to actually help interpret and help define, in the McLuhanist way, the terms of the new media.
So, my personal point of view is that artists have a responsibility, and I know people hate hearing that.
“Artists have a responsibility.”
I remember when I was at Syracuse University, David Ross, who was the first Curator of Video at The Whitney … Well, he was curator at The Whitney, and he was first Curator of Video Art at the Everson in Syracuse. He gave a talk about artists’ responsibility, and it was during the Iraq war, and I remember it really upset quite a few people, but I really took it as a call to arms.
As an artist, you have responsibility.
The same way we demand responsibility from our corporate citizens or anyone, you have a responsibility.
And what is that responsibility?
Well, it’s a responsibility to advance culture, I think.
And I don’t know how you can do that on the outside. I think it is possible, but I think we need both in equal measure.