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The economic effect on art

By September 9, 20101

As I sit here, trading a few stocks and contemplating the future of the western market driven economies, I wonder what is the future of art in our society.
Will we value the creative process in years to come? Will traditional forms of art go extinct? Will people see art as a valuable medium or just another part of a technical app like a phone, computer or movie scene?
I truly don’t know and I tend to shake my head in disbelief at the complete apathy of people towards the path I believe we are now taking.
Our society is filled with quick fixes” fast food, tweeting, instant internet transactions, high-speed super fast broadband etc. A friend who trades the market was telling me of a service he just subscribed to at $200 a month just to hear the market news 5 seconds before his competitors, so he can effect an early trade! Amazing!

There is talk of ‘slow food’ : a movement towards supporting good quality, equitable low cost food, sourced from local farmers and chefs. Perhaps we need to take a ‘slow art’ approach to the artistic side of things too!

The artistic process is definitely a slow one, whether it be painting, sculpture, photography(the setup up not the instant result) and so on. Taking the time to appreciate the skills involved, the work and time involved and the effort and sometimes considerable hardship encountered by the artisan is something we should all do more often.

I’m not that old (in my mind anyway!) that I can’t remember when furniture came from a workshop, not Ikea. When jewellery was made by a jeweller, not a factory in Guangzhou. When having a record released meant you had made it in the music industry, not some kid in his room recording onto a PC and uploading it to cd baby or iTunes!

You know what I’m getting at here? I know it’s easy to pass over the expensive high quality well made item and get the one made in the PRC for half the cost, I do it myself. But we need to consider our fellow creative people and support their efforts, before they go the way of the typewriter mechanic!

I did a search on Google today and came up with the following graphs. they are from the Google Insights page.  They give a representation of web search interest from 2004 to the present.

The figures say it all!   All images courtesy of Google insight.