Art, craft and technology and the changing role of the artist

Above is a recent acrylic painting of mine.

The contemporary Artist 'profession' or contemporary Art industry seems to no longer fit in or play any part in most peoples lives unlike other professions and this normally to me seems a necessary defining feature of most professions- ie: to be a part of an economic 'eco-system'.
I am not saying contempory art should be more accessible.. I think thats an obvious one, I just think we need to stop and think where this may be heading.

So lets play devil's advocate for a bit. Lets take this into the future to one possible corporate / consumerist  conclusion and see were we end up. Supposed contemporary art, as paintings, videos, photography sculpture etc. get subsumed into the entertainment and marketing industry. In otherwords become part of film and advertising. I don't think this means people will stop making or buying traditional craft - well not any more than people stopped buying pottery, with the advent of mass produced ceramics.

Lets pretend the 'art industry' as a whole basically ceased to exist and has been gobbled up by Warner Brothers or Sony. What we are left with is amatuers and hobbyists, craftspeople. I don't believe this would be a bad thing. In fact I welcome it.

I feel that we are currently in a very transient period and what I just -half jokingly- predicted is not as far fetched as it seems. We have moved quickly into the information age from the industrial age from a previosly craft based cottage industries in just over 100 years. I think the fact that we still paint and weave and sculpt is testament to our desire to continue to do these things and work with our hands -possibly we do not get enough or any satifaction out of computers and machines. However since our current ecomony seems to not 'need' craftsmen to function and much of contempory art is not craft based, makes me wonder if painting, or 'crafted' art will survive as 'art' at all.

If art was previously grounded in craft, trade and skill -and now art owes more to promotion and advertising then to the studio or the academy surely the divide between 'craft' and 'art' will continue to widen in the same way industry and technology have left other cottage industries far behind. Is it not possibly that the rift between contemporary art and 'craft based art' could play out along the lines of a craft / technology divide?

Perhaps the professional artist of the future will be an entertainer of sorts, possibly have live shows in Vegas and the 'art work' as in the traditional static stuff would be mostly photography or some computer generated imagery and become the promotion or advertising of the film or live show or 'main event'.

I think we are already half way there and have not really noticed. Take for example artists like Jeff Koons, Any Warhol or  Damien Hirst. Their art could be viewed as partly self promotion and embracing consumer culture albeit some critics argue it's critical of the latter. Much art today in fact pretends to be critical but isn't really and would be better off just embracing consumer culture. And being free of this illusion of art somehow standing apart from the retail or entertainment business the artist will get swollowed up by the business - creativity will survive, but the solitary art making/producing sometime craftsperson will be gone. .

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