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Fall Arts Celebration lecture to explore creative economy's impact on art

  • William Deresiewicz

Posted on September 25, 2018

Art is no longer confined to art galleries and museums; It is now a part of the daily fabric of life. Individuals of all skill levels and in various industries can access tools and apps that allow them to draw, take pictures and capture movies, and share that content around the world as a means of communication or to make money. 

Award-winning essayist, critic and best-selling author William Deresiewicz will address how the definition of an artist is changing with technology when he expands on his viral essay for The Atlantic, "The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur," during an upcoming Fall Arts Celebration event.

“What is Art in the 21st Century?” will take place on October 1 at 7:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Eberhard Center, located on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. The lecture will be followed by a reception and book signing.

“William is engaging in a current dialog regarding the role of education as our tools of communication and access to digital content continues to evolve,” said Julie Goldstein, assistant professor of film and video production, and lecture coordinator. “His work challenges assumptions and focuses on the impact of the humanities on our humanity.”

Deresiewicz will additionally dissect the idea that the current "creative economy" blurs the line between business and art, allowing anyone the opportunity to project their visions within a shared landscape and call themselves artists. With multiple ways to view and review art in digital spaces, such as on social media, Deresiewicz claims that group consensus and clicks have become the dominant gauge of influence and success. 

"A competition for 'hits,' the value of art as a product, making a profit or communicating content is beginning to outweigh a critic's review of art for art's sake," said Goldstein. "Human expression is evolving from a philosophical reflection of the self to an extension of the self."

Deresiewicz is the author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, The American Scholar, and The London Review of Books.

For more information about Fall Arts Celebration, visit All Fall Arts Celebration events are free and open to the public.