The Ethics Of Artistic Expression

by | Aug 11, 2005

DK invited me to prepare a paper and attend an Ethics conference at Ringling School of Art + Design in Sarasota this November.

Here’s the synopsis: The “creative class” has emerged as a hot job market in the 21st century economy. Artists and designers increasingly shape not only the art of the gallery or museum, but also consumer products, public and personal spaces, films and TV programs, and corporate images. With the rise of “new media,” images have become more powerful, and new non-linear, digital, and interactive modes of storytelling have challenged us all to new standards of visual and media literacy. This long reach of the arts into everyday and public life raises a variety of ethical issues pertaining to the social responsibility of artists and those who teach them. Government funding, artistic collaboration and appropriation, sustainable design, freedom of expression, ethnic representation, and commodification are just a sample of the topics that arise as we attempt to assess the impact of artists on society. How can we encourage aspiring artists and designers to anticipate these issues and respond with a strong sense of social responsibility?