The Easel

Archives: Martin Herbert

7th September 2021

How Contemporary Art Became a Vibe

Streamed music and “ambient TV” are soothers. The writer worries that art is going the same way. Yayoi Kusama and teamlab, to name some names, are but two artists whose immersive work demands little of the viewer – “visual muzak”. Unlike the focus needed to read a book, such works cater to “diffused attention”. Some artists and curators appear now to prioritize Instagram opportunities over an intellectual challenge. “It’s chilling”, says the writer.