Says Gregg Bordowitz in the midst of “The Artist Is a Currency,” a conversation turned article that takes as its starting point a question around the location of the subject in contemporary art, “By changing my disposition to objects–provoking, teasing, seducing, repulsing, withholding–the work of art amplifies and/or diminishes the proportions of my world and in so doing produces a new relation to it.”

But then Andrea Fraser chides that, “I don’t think art has any more capacity to produce radical change than any other sphere of human activity.”

I am unabashedly committed to the idea that art can change the world, as can so many other forces, but the thing that art has that other activities don’t is a freedom from fidelity to the world the way it is. Art is a space of imagination, where wild hypotheses are taken seriously and played out. It may not be that art has more capacity to produce change than other activities, but it does do something different than politics or economics, which is nurture the unrealistic and improbable. Art produces illusions that seep back into the daylight hours.


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