Presentation on theme: "The Warhol Economy: How Art Works Elizabeth Currid-Halkett Associate Professor Price School of Public Policy University of Southern California."— Presentation transcript:
The Warhol Economy: How Art Works Elizabeth Currid-Halkett Associate Professor Price School of Public Policy University of Southern California
Some basic questions Do art and culture really matter to the growth and prosperity of cities? If so, why does creativity and art happen where it does? How does creativity work? What does this mean for artists careers?
First, art and culture matter…. 4 th Largest Employer in NYC and LA 3 rd Largest Employer in London (Arts Council of England) Most represented of all industries in NYC and LA $21 billion impact on New York Citys economy. £25 billion - £29 billion annually in revenues for Londons economy. $733 million generated from NYCs Fashion Week alone ….and generate real money Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Alliance from the Arts, NYC, Arts Council of England and GLA, Robert Kloosterman, University of Amsterdam
But how do they work?
The importance of the scene Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Tim Buckley, at Max's Kansas City, NYC, 1968.
Where creativity thrives: The social scene One night these dudes invited me out for drinks. I didnt want to go, then I said [to myself] go, so youre in their sites, thats business for me but its fun – Ricky Powell, photographer Three types of social scenes that facilitate the cultural economy – Nightlife – Industry Events – In situ interactions; Spatial Proximity (Neighborhoods)
The economics of a social scene Artists use their social lives for career mobilization (sometimes consciously, sometimes not) The social scene offers the perpetual possibility to advance their careers
I. Networking: Getting a job I was out on a date three weeks ago, I was really bored. I went to get another drink and ran into someone from Creative Time [a public art organization] and he put me in touch with a music house, a place I was going to contact. I got in touch with them and now I am going to send a demo….Where you socialize, your social life completely determines your worklife and vice versa…[We] all go to the same places after a gallery opening, [we] go to the artists dinner [etc.]. – a DJ
I. Networking: Access to gatekeepers Artists go to shows to meet people who write about art, meet them again and again [at gallery openings and shows], pretty soon call them up and invite them to their show. – artist I was really hoping Jeffery Deitch would be here tonight so that I could talk to him about my upcoming show. - artist
II. Interlocking creativity Three approaches: –Flexible career paths –Cross-cultural gatekeepers –The commodification of cool The clustering of cultural industries to constantly engage each other across separate fields resulting in new combinations of jobs, products and evaluation.
Flexible career path: Andre the Giant has a posse Shepard Faireys graffiti art has turned into a major clothing, design and music conglomerate
…To painting the portrait of Barack Obama for the Smithsonian
II. Interlocking art worlds: Cross-cultural gatekeepers It used to be the real fashion press that makes or breaks your career. Now its if Lindsey Lohan wears your dress – Cynthia Rowley, fashion designer Established and successful artists often act as gatekeepers in defining what good art is –Occurs across industries (e.g. Marc Jacobs as fashion designer and purveyor of cool music)
III. Transaction costs: Less trouble is less trouble When I lived in San Diego and I would bring my stuff to New York, no one would ever call. Its so much by chance, by running into people….Its quick when people need things they pick up the phone and call but so much is just instantaneous and [they] need it now and its just too much work to contact that guy in San Diego….They may have the sincerest effort to call me but why would they when they can just find someone on the street? –graphic designer
EVENT ENCLAVES Why are they there? HIGH- PROFILE VENUE OTHER VENUE Hollywood Blvd Highland Ave
A few takeaways: Why place matters to artists Artists need their social lives to further their careers and thus need to locate themselves within rich artistic communities. The social mechanisms reinforce themselves: The more artists come to be a part of the social scene the more effective the social scene locking in the advantage of LA for film, New York for fashion, Nashville for music and so forth…
A few takeaways: Creative place making and artistic careers Nightclubs can shape a citys creative fortunes –Unconventional policies and zoning
…Creative place making and artistic careers Artists not institutions drive creativity –Museums house dead artists; art districts house future generations
I can't even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there's a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life. – Frank OHara, Meditations in an Emergency