Art Is Commerce: Tracking the New Economy of Culture
by Eric Hynes
I'm interested in the creative minds, personalities, and ideas that work toward making art and culture economically viable. How are art and culture packaged, curated, and sold? How are they enjoyed, consumed, and paid for? The business of art is going through a period of major transition, when literally all of the arts are reckoning with failing or outmoded business models, and this reckoning in turn generates fascinating ideas and plans for profitably moving forward. Some paths are currently being taken, others lay ahead, and others are old and well-trod but may still be useful. When I speak of a "New Economy of Culture" I mean economy in its various manifestations, from the current American and global economy to the unique business models for art communities and enterprises, and to the structures, ideas, and professions that support the dissemination of art. To some degree, all of my stories will acknowledge, or even be framed by, the current economic crisis. But I believe this transition, as evidenced by the prolonged demise of compact discs and the uncertain future of film distribution, books, newspapers, magazines, DVD's, etc., predates this crisis and will continue beyond the eventual recovery of the Dow Jones.