Sunday, February 15, 2009

CocoRosie and their insulated world

I watched two interviews with CocoRosie and was struck by their disconnected behavior, as if somehow in their connection to each other and their art-music, they are unable/disinterested in connecting with the rest of the world. As a being who is interested in connecting to as many others in the world as possible, and doing so intentionally, I was disappointed to feel this disconnect from them. I love many of their songs, but did not love this. Watch them here, in order:

The second:

They speak of their desire to insulate themselves from the world, create a private space, to make their music from. And this "artists as isolationists" belief is a thread that runs through all time and into the current moment. But I disagree with it heavily now. I do not see it as responsible to create art out of that space. I see it as intentional obliviousness. Willful ignorance of the scope of events going on in the world today. To me, artists, musicians, cultural creators, have an obligation to inform themselves of the contemporary world and history, of philosophy and realities, and then make their new works to further the dialogue or illuminate a problem, or even the best, solve one!

Art, music, culture, is our gift to the world and if we use it only to distance ourselves, or mock the present world as is, we are mis-using our gifts. We are taking advantage of capitalism to support our selfishness. We are feeding our egos.

A very bright article in the New York Times today, by Holland Cotter, has inspired me to think with optimism on how the art world can become. How this economic upheaval can create a whole new way of thinking and making. It's beyond inspiring. Read his absolutely articulate, wise article, "The Boom Is Over. Long Live The Art!" here.