Art is long, the science is dismal
Post #1259 • November 24, 2008, 10:40 PM • 68 Comments
So. The stuff has arrived from California and is perhaps one-third unpacked. The cars are here. The RV is in the shop for an 18-inch crack in the windsheild and a cauterized awning. (We had an overly exciting trip down Jamaica Way last month - Vehicle 0, Tree 1.) We lit our first fire in the fireplace, duly setting off the smoke detector. The second fire was a far more modest affair, and made for a lovely evening. We are not far from the train tracks, but I have already stopped noticing the train. Necee, who missed her opportunity to toss a few Nyah Nyahs in the direction of Brooklyn, New Jersey, and elsewhere on the occasion of our settling in Boston, came over for breakfast yesterday as our honored first houseguest. The cats have staked out their favorite windows. As soon as I find my gallon bucket of white paint, put a palette together, and unpack the scanner, the studio is ready to go.
Now it's time to find some income. I'm thinking about going into finance.
I have long thought that people with talent for investment were hypernumerate and fascinated with the minutiae of corporate workings. It's just as well - anyone with a flair for numbers would not go into art-making as a profession. They'd do the math and conclude, Forget it. I have modest powers of numeracy but my creative impulses tend to roll over them. I assume the converse in the case of the financially inclined.
It turns out that a handful of commonsensical guidelines, comprehensible to the artist, would have hedged pretty well against current events. Don't spend money you don't have. Make loans assuming that the borrower will disappear, and enjoy the pleasant surprise of repayment if it comes to pass. Regard debt as a scourge; suffer it only for your house or your education, and put an end to it as expeditiously as you can. Don't get into deals you don't understand. Don't assume that the good times will last forever.
Too, I notice that the financial news keeps proving the libertarians correct. Ron Paul, who now looks as prophetic as Isaiah, was trying to shut down Fannie and Freddie back in 2003 for fear of dire consequences, every one of which came to pass. Videos are making the rounds featuring Peter Schiff, who served as economic advisor to the Paul campaign, cannily calling the meltdown in 2006 as Fox News talking heads impugn his sanity. The fundamentals of libertarian economics are not too hard to understand.
Schiff's main point these days is that we've gotten ourselves into trouble by not producing or saving enough. He means it literally, but as an artist I see some cogent figurative advice there. I've doubted before in this space that the field of art criticism supports three dozen full-time practitioners. Thus it ever was, but the value of commentary in general is deflating, all the more so in the field of art, where the standards and general level of interest are so low. Meanwhile, I have a backlog of art ideas ready to go, and, as it happens, here in the new house I have the biggest studio space I've ever had. It's time to get productive. Artblog.net could get a little studio-journal-y over the next little while, as I put more weight behind studio practice. Hope you're okay with that.