Cultural Weekly re-launches today in an expanded version, and our purpose stays the same: to explore how our creative culture intersects with media, money, technology and entertainment.
Our new site will offer perspectives from a variety of people who write about what our culture is, where it is moving and, especially, how it can be better. As one of our new contributors, Edward Goldman, wrote on accepting our offer to share his posts here, “One can never be too rich, too thin or have too much culture.” I couldn’t agree more…and I’m still working on all three!
Since we launched less than a year ago, thousands of people have started to follow Cultural Weekly, and in recent months more than half of our readers have been new. Welcome to you all.
When I started this site, I wrote, “This site is about perspective and a bit of reflection. The culture we ‘consume’ has become a commodity, and like all commodities it is designed to be obsolete fairly quickly so we consumers will buy more. We have ‘fast culture’ just like we have fast food. As an antidote, we need a movement for Slow Culture just as there is a movement for Slow Food. That’s what Cultural Weekly is all about.
“Good culture is not fast to produce. It takes two or three years to make a movie, and a year, or ten years, to write a book. Even though, as audience members, we may experience the movie or the book in a matter of hours, the quality of our experience is directly related to the time-consuming craftsmanship of the work.”
It’s rather amusing to realize that we have more ways to describe the food on our plate or the wine in our glass, than we have words to discuss how a movie, or a book, or a painting, or a performance, make us feel.
The analogy to the food movement is appealing – it shows how quickly change is possible. Ten years ago, organic food wasn’t widely distributed; today, more than 80% of conventional supermarkets carry organic products.
In the same way, together we can begin a cultural discussion that becomes robust and widespread in the next decade. We’d reap immense benefits: more artists producing more work, and more support for artists; better creativity of all kinds; a revised economics that supports unique creative expression as a viable counterpoint to commoditized “content.”
As we steer toward this worthy horizon, Cultural Weekly will continue to welcome guest columns, as well as readers’ suggestions about other blogs we should spotlight.
Thank you for your continuing support. Happy Culture!
Image: a panel from Ryan McGinness, Art History Is Not Linear, 2009.