A return to answering…


siokaos asks; “for an artist with no entrepreneurial spirit, how does one penetrate and deploy their material, when normal channels such as “art school” seems more of a career steps posing as a legitimate educational experience?”

A weighty question, if I parse it correctly. As I read it you are asking “How do I get people to know about what I do in a way that is different from the normal way?” Is that it? And then there’s the comment about “art school” which I’ll get to secondarily.

I think every artist has to separate the pleasures and perils of making things from the the life that those things have after they are made. And then they have to ask the question “What do I want to have happen to these things that I’ve made?” In answering that question, you begin ton to think about what kind of a career you want. There is no one prescribed path. The sharing of cultural ideas happens in a lot of different forums. For me is the willingness to engage in that moment fully that give it it’s importance, not the locale where it takes place. These days when I want to be inspired visually, I go to antique stores or look at the layered streets of New York, much more than I go to museums. So, when you say penetrate and deploy, you have to ask what kind of people you want to have that exchange with and then look at where they go to get their cultural fix. What are the forums you respect? What are the locations and communities you value? Deciding that can then give you ideas about how to become active in those forums.

Art schools prepare people to function in one limited kind of cultural community, just as music conservatories do. In that sense, “career step” and “legitimate educational experience” are one and the same: people are being trained for a profession and trained in the rituals and expectations of that profession as much as they are being trained in artistic technique. So if that is the community you want to reach, you are going to have a hard time if you don’t at least acquaint yourself with the norms of the locals. But there are plenty of other art communities that do not rest upon those norms and in fact reject them.

So to sum up: How you alert people to what you do depends on who you are talking about, and what your desire is for the interaction after you’ve alerted them.

March remains question month. I’ll do my best to answer any thing you might ask, and you can ask it here

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