Am I Real?, Kickstarter Gets Existential

kickstarter chen strickler Am I Real?, Kickstarter Gets ExistentialEvery month, tens of thousands of people pledge millions of dollars on Kickstarter to projects in music, film, art, technology, design, food and publishing. But what does it all mean?

Kickstarter is another creatively-inclined, high-minded New York startup in the vein of Etsy or Art.sy, and it’s waxing existential:

What underlies Kickstarter’s straightforward premise is a powerful alternate model of funding for the arts: one that enables creators, of all stripes, to realize their projects without the support of the grants, galleries, or the larger art world apparatus.

It also raises certain fundamental questions: such as, does art lose its mystique if it is financing is laid bare? How do artworks exist outside the parameters of the art world? Is art, in 2010, at home in mass culture?

Another interesting question might be, how will the site’s mission and community change as more professional projects begin to emerge and the funding involved mounts, as they did recently with the $700,000+ TikTok watch project. 

The New York-based company has partnered with the New Museum for a “symposium on fine and conceptual art,” the second of its Kickstarter Conversations series. Head over there tomorrow at 3 p.m. to talk some sense into co-founders Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler.

ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries