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Explore the Future of the Web

Art + Commerce

Sarah Hall

Art has always had an uncomfortable relationship with commerce.  Never more so than now that the bulk of the "creative class" is employed by the business sector in the service of selling products and increasing their bottom line.   This has created a new, and often uncomfortable dynamic, where our work is now evaluated primarily for it's ability to affect consumers and sell a product and secondarily for its creative merit. These pressures have also made it difficult for our "art" to fulfill one of its essential functions -- provoke essential conversations/debates in society. This has in turn left many of us frequently feeling frustrated and unsatisfied by the work itself. 

It wasn't always like this, but since we can't go back, we have to find the right way to move forward.  Is there an alternative pathway where we can create for business, but still advocate for principles and ideals that we believe in through our work? How do we re-establish ourselves as an artist and assert our creative/cultural authority?  

This session will explore all of the above, with a particular focus on the NYC market from a present day and historical perspective.  As well as look at tactical ways to begin to advocate for this shift in your own work/business.