Ok, proposed experiment: what if one were to write about a cultural event in two venues, one venue being a corporately owned venue, one venue being an independent, arts venue? Let's say they're both excellent venues, with excellent editorial.
The 2012 Whitney Biennial presents a ranging meditation on home. The theme is fitting, in that the museum is in the midst of moving to a new home, the fourth in its history, a 200,000-square-foot newly constructed building in Chelsea. With thirty-three film, video, digital, performance, and installation artists, accounting for 30+ hours of watching time, the emphasis on the show is distinctly media. (Thomas Beard and Ed Halter contributed to the curatorial efforts of Elisabeth Sussman, the museum's photography curator, and Jay Sanders, an independent curator apprised of performance.) There's so little space left over that the remaining artists—ten sculptors, six painters, two photographers, two text artists, and one textile—are contained in a greatly reduced Whitney. The impression is of two distinct Biennials: a media, performance, and installation Biennial, which looks to the future of the Museum, and a "formal" Biennial, which stands the turf of historically held territories.
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We are privatized. In the United States a trend toward privatization has commodified domains traditionally thought of as public or free. “Most of what we currently perceive as value and wealth,” noted Alan Greenspan in 1999 speech at the Gerald R. Ford Museum, “is intellectual and impalpable.” The seemingly innocuous statement was a bombshell, one that would eventually explode the Western economy: valuation was no longer an objective assessment of materials, it was a subjective assessment of ideas. The Information by bestselling author James Gleick, chronicles the seismic economic shift, exclusive to our time: information is available, but at a price.