What is art?

This year I will be publishing a series of articles on art and culture for Follow the Money. I love FTM. It is a journalistic internet platform with only people involved that do thorough research, whatever the outcome. My love for the world of arts and culture in the Netherlands is a lot less I can tell you, and waning. But that’s where I come from and so that’s what I have to deal with. I guess. Nobody wants to hear more sobbing and moaning over art markets, institutionalized subsidiaries and budget cuts. Even I, myself, am fed-up with those stories. By the way: you can mostly read them in art magazines published for people in the art world; everything is carefully contained in the silo’s that have been constructed for them.

Anyway. I decided to research on the brighter side of life. I’m departing from the discrepancy between the official definitions of art and how art is experienced in general: free, unruly, independent, visionary, against the stream, against the odds, etc.

The only truly free ‘art forms’ that still fit within those parameters – as far as I can see – are graffiti writers and taggers, old-school video-bloggers, hackers, and even hooligans, to a certain extend, skaters maybe, and a bunch of other free spirits. Insane in the membrane, all-about-fun and totally committed to ‘their (in)crowd’… I didn’t know but that was my image of most of them. Now that I am researching this crowd for a few months, I see direct links between who we are as people in general and the art-world. As if they were the missing link I was looking for. As if… maybe here I find and answer that I have been looking for quite some time now: how can the western art-world escape its self-inflicted prison?

Photo: ApFab