A nonanswer to “Art in these times”

I cannot escape from my chronically ill body or from people asking what art is and should be right now. Greeeeat.

a summary of my brain every single time someone asks me about art during this time. also please like this meme i worked hard on it and i don’t have a ton of self confidence right now thanks

And even if I could articulate an answer to “What is art in these times?” — why would my answer matter?

Unfortunately, I have grown up to be a hemorrhaging snowstorm. But I cannot deny the idea that, yes, things that feel real and tangible and urgent have a certain attraction in times of crisis and instability.

But the answer of: “Art in times like these will exist because a lot of people need to keep making it but it will exist less but it doesn’t matter.” isn’t super satisfying. It’s a non-answer that talks itself out of any opinion.

But the truth is that this isn’t going to happen. The people creating right now are not bad or doing it to spite those of us who cannot for whatever reason.

Do we deserve Dan Novy? No. Do we need him? Yes.

They also remind me that we all cope and handle a weird situation like lockdown differently.

Some people don’t really get any of those options and have to go risk their lives every day by working their jobs not at home. Some people are now full time teachers and care givers overnight and can just do…whatever they can.

There is a narrative of productivity that we are obsessed with until the opportunity comes and we realize it is not made for all of us and we feel cheated.

And we will never, ever fully quantify or grasp the amount of lost lives and potential during this time.

Art needs to talk about the people who want to create but cannot create right now.

Or did Florence and her suffering just become a commodity of the art world?

Art allows for this experimentation to take place and flourish. I do really believe that art and artists will generate new methods and technologies to change how humans interact in digital space.

Otherwise, we are going to keep doing the same thing we have always done — make beauty out of human suffering for consumption sake.

The truth is. Art will continue. People will create beautiful things right now. But also it is ok if art needs to wait for some.

What is art in these times?

I hope art will be caring.



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