William Deresiewicz, Ph.D.: What is Art in the 21st Century?
Monday, October 1, 7:30 PM
L.V. Eberhard Center, Second Floor
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Lecture followed by book signing and reception
Creativity is all the rage these days. Everybody wants to be creative, and every company wants creative people on its team. As business and the arts draw closer together, how are they changing each other? Expanding on his viral essay for The Atlantic, "The Death of the Artist — and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur," Deresiewicz talks about our changing understanding and practice of creative work and the creative life.
Deresiewicz traces the age-old conception of the artist as artisan, to that of the solitary genius, to the current culture surrounding our modern day creative economy. “Producerism” has risen in conjunction with consumerism, allowing numerous individuals the opportunity to project their visions within a shared landscape and call themselves “artists.” The gatekeepers are no longer singular. Group consensus and clicks have become the gauge of influence and success. With the cultural proliferation of the creative entrepreneur, where does that leave the idea of the artist? How is the democratization of taste and access to creative tools redefining the role of the artist? Is the need for economic survival pushing the sage effort to create without reward to the point of extinction?
2017: Jeffrey Chang: “We Gon' Be Alright: Race and Resegregation in Today's America”
2016: Rebecca Solnit: “Seeing the Invisible: Journeys Through the Overlooked, Unheard, Outside, and Insurrectionary”
2015: Kip Thorne: “Discovery and Collaboration”
2014: Scott Simon: “Professional Journalism in a DIY Age”
2013: Laurie Garrett: “I Heard the Sirens Scream”