Some thoughts on art:
"Artists' fame is the most monstrous of all, for it implies the idea of immortality. And that is a diabolical snare, because the grostesquely megalomaniac ambition to survive one's death is inseparably bound to the artist's probity. Every novel created with real passion aspires quite naturally to a lasting aesthetic value, meaning to a value capable of surviving its author. To write without having ambition is cynicism: a mediocre plumber may be useful to people, but a mediocre novelist who consciously produces books that are ephemeral, commonplace, conventional - thus not useful, thus burdensome, thus noxious - is contemptible. This is the novelist's curse: his honesty is bound to the vile stake of his megalomania."
Milan Kundera, The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts, pp 93-94
The novel is necessarily tied to a literate culture, one in which the linear text archives knowledge and form outside time. However, in contemporary culture, as new forms of literacy begin to emerge, art begins to weave more closely into the fabric of everyday communication; it is conversational. What does it mean to make 'good art' in this context? Art that deals with the construction of experience, with live elements of any kind, is necessarily ephemeral. Hence, there is a tension between the requirements of art institutions for eternal forms and the engagement of art in an experience economy - or a cultural public sphere in which dialogue increasingly takes place through the reciprocal chatter of time-based visual media and event. Perhaps, in this context, 'good art' is able to use ephemeral processes to generate the lasting trace of a story echoing across the cultural landscape. And so we return to Kundera's paradox, for to generate such a lasting impact an artist must draw on all the promotional tactics of celebrity culture. Despite a shift in form, for better or for worse, it seems that she is still "bound to the vile stake of [her] megalomania".