In today’s Wall Street Journal, several of the paper’s columnists were asked to sum up and reflect on developments in their fields of interest during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Art and culture being my beat, I wrote what may seem at first glance like a paradoxical-sounding piece about the absence of trends in the ’00s:
The most significant cultural development of the first decade of the 21st century was…iTunes. Or the Kindle. Or YouTube. Or blogging. Or Amazon’s customer reviews. Take your pick–but whatever you choose, don’t make it a work of creative art. Yes, important art continued to be created in the new millennium, but the big culture-related news of the Decade Without a Name is that it will likely be remembered less for its art than for the inventions that put the art into circulation.
Every journalist who covers the world of art and culture is a trend-monger, always looking for the Next Big Thing like a pig snuffling for truffles. But never before has it been so difficult to point to any sharply defined stylistic tendencies in Western culture….
Read the whole thing here.