This headline should not imply that prior generations were less drawn to art than the Millenials.
We have the luck to have a great repertoire of art to look back at, analyze and learn from.
Still I think our relationship to art is a different one than it was for prior generations. Let me take a few steps back for that:
The most important thing to consider for my thought is the circumstance of living in a globalized, digital time period, where connections to all over the world can be made within a hand-swipe.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest – the social networks and theme platforms aim to share information. Information about new accomplishments, funny moments, special activities, breathtaking photographs or shocking happenings. Most of the time though, people aim to display something positive and admirable. In order to become considered as a share-worthy moment, something special must happen – I mean you could post pictures or your everyday job.. but eeeehh. We´re here for the likes, right?
This dynamic that developed over the last years leads to state, where people get confronted with high level conditions as a way of entertainment all day.
Luxury vacation here, new shoes there, crazy art project to y’all.
People that have or worked for the chance to live an extraordinary life, fit into this general longing for entertainment like a glove and acquire attention (e.g. in form of followers or likes) en masse.
So far so good. The problem is that this development that the society is going through has a bitter aftertaste when it comes to the everyday life of a rather normal person, not blessed with the requirements to live a life on that specific, 24/7 share-worthy level.
Feeling satisfied becomes harder, as personal positive conditions and experiences do not compete on the same level as the ones that have been digitally experienced.
And of course the point of getting satisfied by your personal development, which would be satisfying from an objective view, does hardly get reached.
This is where for me art comes in.
Art in its many forms is a lot of things – classic, exciting, explorative, satisfying… whatsoever – in contrast to a broad range of “usual” jobs it is most likely neither dull, stressful nor exhausting.
Success at your carrier can give you personal satisfaction – no doubt. But success at your job very rarely gives a admirers – people that look up to you, and give you a feeling of uniqueness. And a slight bit of that feeling seems to me, what a lot of people in my generation are longing for.
It is not necessarily the actual form of art that counts for to satisfy that longing. It is rather self actualization in a share-worthy form that I feel as the challenge of my generation, as it can come in many forms.