|Dear Holland Cotter,|
I just read "The Boom is Over. Long Live the Art!" and must say that you are wrong.
Art has been, and will continue to be, alive and well. You clearly just have been too consumed by the giant multi-million dollar circle jerk revolving around gold-plated cows and self-righteous museum curators to have paid it any mind.
So, quit fretting! An art scene, propagated by a network of distribution revolving around open-source technologies and licenses is thriving -- and behold -- not in some yet discovered dilapidated urban center, but on the internet. Contrary to your beliefs, this "scene" did not arise from trickle-down adversity in global economics, but has been slowly concentrating online in response to the much more serious adversity of the intellectual art establishments to the unmarketable, conceptual and openly replicable (in media and content).
These artists have been slowly banding together in collective groups ("labs"), based around a set of shared ideals and practices. The end goal is not to sell art and become rich, but rather, to disseminate their art (ideas) to as wide of audience-base as possible and inspire further creation and/or modification. To this end, the artists have improvised their own networks and channels for distribution and promotion. Unburdened by the need to package their art for sale and distribution, this generation of artists has been free to explore ideas in a diverse range of fields, using an even wider range of tools.
So, Relax! While the art world was busy making other plans, art itself has been thriving.
p.s. Installation and performance art was not "invented" in Soho in the 1970s. Thanks to my detrimental art school education, I can recommend some reading so that you may further your understanding of the subject.