How d’you do?
A new art supply store opened in town recently; naturally, I paid a visit. While walking the aisles I found myself wondering about something devastating: What is the purpose of art? More specifically, with our world so troubled by nuisances, would someone be right in arguing that art is a luxury at best? I do not believe so myself, having always looked at art as the epitome of society’s expression and the upper limit of its tolerance. Then I found a few others who could add a lot to this conversation.
On a side note, a subscriber recently wrote to me enquiring if every issue of Dispatch from Rhûn will have a ‘theme’. I doubt it, or at least that was never the plan. If issues do end up having themes, think of them as happy accidents. Perhaps the next issue will be more like a box of assorted Swiss chocolates.
It is always fascinating to see what people in the past expected their future—sometimes our present—to be like. We almost always overestimate where we will be x years from now, sometimes fantastically so. That, in part, is what makes this ‘immediated autodocumentary’ (read, videoconference) from a decade ago so interesting. Sit back and watch a bunch of artists from across various fields describe where they think art will be in the future.
‘The struggle to assert the value of a broader range of voices in our literature has relieved an injury,’ writes Garth Greenwell for Harper’s Magazine, ‘the injury of invisibility.’
What does it mean to look for relevance in a work of art? Are we blinded to its beauty by our quest for relevance? Are we closing ourselves off to authentic encounters thanks to our preoccupation with relevance? It is such an idea that birthed my original question: What is the purpose of art in today’s world? Is it simply an irrelevant luxury? This brilliant article addresses these questions and more.
If you do not subscribe to Harper’s Magazine you can still read one free article a month. Let this be the one that fills up your monthly quota.
Graphic novelist R. Alan Brooks talks about how art has inspired people, moved societies and spurred activism that has made our world better all through history. In this short and engaging talk he explains how, far from being a luxury and farther still from being a waste of time, art is critical to a world that is burning.
Listen now → I hope you enjoyed this issue. Share your thoughts by simply replying to this e-mail. Loyal readers have been doing so for years and we love the conversations that ensue. Also, don’t forget to forward this issue to your friends who might find it interesting. Spread the love. Cheers. V.
I hope you enjoyed this issue. Share your thoughts by simply replying to this e-mail. Loyal readers have been doing so for years and we love the conversations that ensue. Also, don’t forget to forward this issue to your friends who might find it interesting. Spread the love.