I keep vacillating between admiration and skepticism over the Vice and Intel partnership behind The Creators Project.
If you haven’t heard of it, the idea is to spur collaboration between musicians, visual artists, and filmmakers with a nod toward technology. It’s underwritten by Intel with Vice providing the audience and, apparently, magical hipster dust.
The event stretches over two days and multiple locations around DUMBO. Bands play on temporary stages, open lots house site-specific installations. Coincidentally, I’d just read New York magazine’s feature on the latest in innovative urban design, so I had art and the civic experience on the brain as I toured the exhibits.
Is The Creators Project a corporatized NEA? Somewhat. It’s not open to the public but rather hidden behind an RSVP list. I was needled by the sponsors’ near-pathological framing of the endeavor as some kind of “happening” for the cool kids. There was no space for a critical dialogue, figuratively (seen any art reviews of the pieces yet?) or literally (good luck finding a bench or chairs).
Which is a shame, because some of the art was magnificent. I kept thinking of friends who would have loved to see it. How to recommend a pop-up art gallery hidden behind an email registration wall? The organizers encouraged sharing via social media – they’re highlighting people’s instagram photos on their homepage – but this conveys “I was there” more than it does “Let’s engage with art.”
Again, I worry this limits how one shares the actual art on offer. I’d like to highlight some of the artwork for its ingenuity, outside of its connotation as an asset in a giant marketing spend. (I’m still wrestling with the difficulty in doing so.)