Hybrid Assignment #2
IAS 31168 – Digital Media & Society
September 7, 2015
In response to this week’s hybrid assignment quote by Taylor, to “exist in two incommensurable realms of value and be torn between them–on the one side, the purely economic activity associated with straightforward selling of goods or labor; on the other the fundamentally different, elevated forms of value we associate with art and culture,” I see this as referring to the commoditization of all of our creative outputs. What I mean by that is, it seems that in the world of today, we must have a dollar amount attached to everything that we do. It all must ultimately whittle down to the dollars and cents. It is true that, for the majority of people that self-identify as artist, are still thought of & seen as labeled with the familiar moniker of the “starving artist” – thus, attesting to the fact that it is nearly impossible to be a self-sustaining artist. The value associated with the arts is diminished in comparison to those more “professional” career paths.
This paradigm can be more clearly understood by looking at current American Pop Culture. Many of today’s most famous and well known actors, singers and artists of all types, were once “starving artists” who were lucky enough to become successful and have the ability to sustain themselves by their artist expression. However, this is not the case for the majority of artist. Many actors, dancers and singers are often under employed in the traditional work force in largely service related industries like food service, retail and/or per diem labor because these types of employment situations allow for greater flexibility to pursue their various artistic endeavors, while they carve out a very meager living/income to sustain themselves. For many, this leads to a need to choose between financial security and creativity. And, this need of financial stability supersedes their desire for artistic expression, thus forcing them to conform to a life of drudgery; working in unfulfilling jobs. It is also funny that, these same people are then also judged for not being dedicated to their art; because they are forced to find ways and means to support themselves, which ultimately decreases the time and energy they have to pursue/produce creative expressions.
This is a rather accurate and insightful quote. One that most of us have/do identify with for various reasons, when we find ourselves saying/thinking that there’s just not quite enough time for us to do all the things that we need and want to do.