Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Perils of the Creative Class

WE were supposed to be entering a laptop wielding, latte-sipping world where the Internet made us all more "connected," weren't we? But the Internet, combined with the bad economy and a restructuring of American life, has led to an erosion of the very creative class it was supposed to invigorate.

HERE is my new piece in Salon which looks at the state of the much hyped creative class in 2011. It's the first of a series in which we look at how artists, writers and people who deal with culture are faring -- a story that has been largely untold.

I spoke to a number of sources, including artists and writers struggling with the creative life and Internet skeptics Jaron Lanier and Andrew Keen.


Anonymous said...

I made the Salon article my Book Page of the Day.

Scott Timberg said...

Good to hear people are reading this...

Tara Gentile said...

Scott, I appreciate you handling this topic. But I believe you're measuring the success of the "Creative Class" against a false standard.

The success of the Creative Class won't come in plugging in to the old system with new ideas. Its success will be in obliterating the old system.

It's our job to stop trying to bring back the old definition of "job" (it hasn't been around for that long anyhow...) and find new ways of earning a living. It seems to me creative people are uniquely positioned to "create" this new system.

Tara Gentile

Scott Timberg said...

Tara makes an interesting point. I can tell you though, that those who've worked hard to break into fields -- publishing, journalism, visual art, architecture, etc -- and have lost their jobs during this transition have their hands full keeping their families together, holding onto their houses or apartments, paying bills.

For very young people and others living off their parents it's a lot easier.

It may be that in 100 years there will be something new, but there will be a lot of roadkill along the way.