In 1975, Wolfe estimated that the group of people who knew anything about, cared about, or possessed any power to affect contemporary art was vanishingly small, “approximately 10,000 souls—a mere hamlet!” He called the hamlet “Cultureburg,” and he didn’t like it.
Of course, the hamlet has grown since then. Its population hasn’t been counted for a while. But if the current number is ten times Wolfe’s 10,000, or even 100 times, the former hamlet is a smallish city now—something like Darwin, Australia or Aix-en-Provence, France or Odessa, Texas or Cambridge, Massachusetts or maybe Fes, Morocco or Kyoto, Japan.
Meaning, there still aren’t very many people in the world for whom the art of our time has any direct relevance whatsoever.
It’s too off-putting, it’s too hard, it’s too limited. It’s over-protected. There are too many barriers. There’s too little generosity.
No to pretense. No to obscurity. No to silence. No to the withering gaze. No to timidity. No to closed doors.
Yes to connecting. Yes to rewiring. Yes to catching. Yes to letting go. Yes to opening. Yes to yes.
Many thanks to Caroline Bagenal for permission to use her collage in the Cultureburg logo.