In ‘The Zero Marginal Cost Society’, Jeremy Rifkin describes how a new economic paradigm is currently taking shape worldwide, destined to open up the possibility of a drastic reduction in income disparity that will democratise global economy. A collaborative economy less devoted to profit at all costs, in which artists have been assigned a precious role. The Financial Times has investigated the phenomena while reviewing an exhibition called ‘Open Source: art at the end of capitalism’, featuring Lisa Schiff, Leslie Fritz and Eugenio Re Rebaudengo as curators and indeed inspired by Rifkin’s book.
The participating artists, as Lisa Schiffs explains: “are trying to shake off their introspection and build bridges to the real world. Open Source: Art at the Eclipse of Capitalism brings together a group of practitioners who have noticed that the world is changing beneath their very feet.” Inspired by a overall optimistic book such as Rifkin’s, which traces the road for a better future and offers possible solutions, going beyond all the complaining, it seems that art has something to say too. Lisa Schiff has adopted this strategy to fend off those critics affirming that contemporary art is an empty form of expression, unable to tell us anything about the world we live in. All thanks to the artwork of both established artists such as Richard Prince, Frank Stella, Christopher Wool and emerging talents too.
What about Rifkin? Apparently he was pleasantly surprised and appreciated the exhibition. Despite art not being his chosen field, he has recognised the vanguarding role undertaken by artists: they are our antennas tuned into the future.