The role of artists has shifted with cultural, political, economic, and technological changes, from creators as artisans, bohemians, or professionals. In his new book The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech, William Deresiewicz interviews artists of all kinds and describes their experiences in a narrative of the modern struggles of creators, the unique challenges they face in this digital era, how exploitation and instant gratification have changed our perceptions of art. In this panel, Deresiewicz and one rap artist, one visual artist, and one novelist—SAMMUS, atiya jones, and Monica Byrne—will describe their observations and experiences with the nature of art and the role of the artist in society, and will propose their visions for the future of art.
William Deresiewicz is an award-winning essayist and critic, a frequent speaker at colleges and other venues, and a former professor of English at Yale. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Harper's Magazine, the Nation, the New Republic, and many other publications. He is the recipient of a National Book Critics Circle award for excellence in reviewing and is the New York Times bestselling author of Excellent Sheep, The Death of the Artist, and A Jane Austen Education.
SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is a Black feminist rap artist and producer from Ithaca, NY with a PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell University. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University in the music department teaching classes on rap songwriting and feminist sound studies.
atiya jones is a multi-disciplinary artist & creative director at TWELVE\TWENTY STUDIO. Her work is about human connection and serves as a visual depiction of healing, finding one’s tribe and building a life as a unit, the magic permeating beneath the surface of Self, and the search to find it.
Monica Byrne is a playwright and science fiction novelist based in Durham, North Carolina. Her work is funded by a community of patrons on Patreon. Her second novel The Actual Star will be published by HarperVoyager in 2021.
Introduction by Tina Olsen, Arts Initiative Co-Chair; Director, UMMA
Moderated by Rebekah Modrak, Professor, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design
This event will be followed by a related event hosted by Literati Bookstore on Sept. 27 at 7:00 pm. Click here for more info.