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Post #90 • August 25, 2003, 4:17 AM

To Alfredo Triff, re:

If art is anything manmade, Miami’s artists are redefining the living environment not only as an aesthetic model. More important they are “doing” something to it. Bit by bit, by reflecting and participating, they are slowly transforming the city, our realm of existence, with all its good and evil.

How are they redefining it? (What was the old definition, and what is the new one?) What is the difference between doing something and “doing” something? Besides the few artists mentioned who are putting their work into public spaces or onto public surfaces, who is transforming the city, and in what way are they transforming it? Since art is not ‘anything manmade’, how else can the rest of this contention be justified?

To Michael Betancourt, re:

Nevertheless, these are all superficial changes in the formal stylistics of the art produced, not in its relationship to the deeper economic foundations that serve to maintain it as cottage industry and force its distance from the rest of lived experience. Art will remain at a distance from the majority of Americans until it can reach some compromise in its system of valuation with the rest of the American corporate monoculture. Until that happens it will remain what it has been since the beginnings of the modern period—an eccentricity designed and made for the rich. Until this changes, art will remain irrelevant to almost everyone. The history it represents will remain historical.

What is this ‘distance’ mentioned twice above? What will it look like when this distance is closed? What aspect of art is not a part of ‘lived experience’? Considering the dynamism and prevalence of modern-period art, what makes it an eccentricity?Was it designed and made for the rich, or was it bought by the rich because rich people buy things? What evidence will we need to see before we can conclude that art is no longer ‘irrelevant to almost everyone’?

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