I’m not here today to offer advice or even encouragement. I’m here to talk about art and audience, about art and the people it reaches—and what happens when it does. I’ve always believed that the divisions between high art and low art—between high culture, which really ought to be called sanctified culture, and what’s sometimes called popular culture, but ought to be called everyday culture—the culture of anyone’s everyday life, the music I listen to, the movies you see, the advertisements that infuriate us and that sometimes we find so thrilling, so moving—I’ve always believed these divisions are false. And as a result of trying to make this argument over the years, I also believe that these divisions are permanent. They can be denied, but they will never go away… Read Greil Marcus’ entire SVA Commencement address on 1st of the Month. 

I’m not here today to offer advice or even encouragement. I’m here to talk about art and audience, about art and the people it reaches—and what happens when it does.

I’ve always believed that the divisions between high art and low art—between high culture, which really ought to be called sanctified culture, and what’s sometimes called popular culture, but ought to be called everyday culture—the culture of anyone’s everyday life, the music I listen to, the movies you see, the advertisements that infuriate us and that sometimes we find so thrilling, so moving—I’ve always believed these divisions are false.

And as a result of trying to make this argument over the years, I also believe that these divisions are permanent. They can be denied, but they will never go away…

Read Greil Marcus’ entire SVA Commencement address on 1st of the Month