Vietnam War had caused Art, lots of it. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and on and on have caused a trickle. Why is this?
Media is art. Art is media. Media is controlled. Artists are controlled.
Computers and the internet and television and movies have separated us then falsely connected us.
The last really brave move by artists, that I can remember, was when the Dixie Chicks spoke out about George W. Bush just prior to the war in Iraq. They suffered for it. They were attacked by soccer moms and fellow artists.
Neil Young became a superstar.
Free speech in America today is lipstick on a pig.
When the military becomes a widely accepted and in many cases the only career opportunity for young people in a country that claims to be built on Democracy, Christian Values and the Rights of a liberal Constitution -- it starts a downward spiral into petit-fascism and, in our case, banal, cute totalitarianism. War becomes about job security, new cars and college funds. We are not in one single war that can be justified as a response to a direct threat to this country -- remember, the "War" in Afghanistan originally was a "police action," not a war. However, now, because of the national tragedy that was the Presidency of George W. Bush -- the world is a boiling cauldron of conflict.
I feel sorry for many young folks living in this time. Their lives are in many ways bereft of connection. They have seven thousand friends on facebook but do they have a single song that they can hum that connects them in, what can be, a spiritual, cathartic way; explaining the churning in their guts?
Art as protest is a bottom-up eruption that flows over everything, regardless of ideology or aesthetic predilection.
Art is a very powerful thing. Artists can be shamans in a world that wants them.
Art is not just a painting or a song, it is an act -- a painter can dance and a photographer can soar.
A couple of months ago we created a large piece of public art. It was magic. It was not political...but it could be.
Think about it.