Carter Cleveland, the founder of the online art repository Artsy, donned his Nostradamus cap for the Wall Street Journal recently to talk about “the future of art.” He draws a comparison between today’s art world and “pre-20th century music,” which could only be enjoyed by “an elite class.” He continues:
“Today, it’s hard to imagine a world where listening to music has anything to do with class. Not everyone can afford front-row seats to a Justin Timberlake concert, but everyone knows his music. You can ask anyone on the street about their favorite band and watch their eyes light up. In contrast, try asking someone on the street about their favorite artist and rarely will you find a similarly enthusiastic response. (If this thought experiment doesn’t make sense, you probably live in New York or London—two cities that together account for over 60% of the global art market.)”
Not so, Carter Cleveland! Perhaps the blank stares you’re getting are a result of going up to strangers on the street and asking them annoying questions! So what is the solution to all this indifference to Carter Cleveland’s man-on-the-street reporting? For one thing, Mr. Cleveland’s predictions for the future of art include, “The art of tomorrow will be the technology of today.” Someone get this guy a TED Talk!
The thing that will bring art to the masses, so that it won’t fall the way of “contemporary classical music, which has now become largely an academic pursuit with the biggest names barely able to fill the orchestra sections of concert halls,” is, of course, the Internet. O Internet, O Savior. Sing Heav’nly Muse! Invoke thy aid to my adventurous Song!