Today I heard on the radio that durable goods are defined by the Department of Commerce as having a life span of about three years. I’m sure planned obsolescence has something to do with the in my mind ridiculously low number. It occurs to me that planned obsolescence has become part of art as well: popular art relies heavily on people’s short memories and short attention spans. Contemporary art thrives on novelty and supposed relevance to our day and age. What if the artist focused solely on expressing his or her humanity? Standing the test of time doesn’t depend on topicality at all, but on accuracy and depth of expression.

Dutch composer Hans Kox put it a different way: “If you choose to ignore tradition, tradition will soon ignore you in return.”


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