The Democracy Chain eJournal
Welcome Mat to Our Future
Not so very long ago art critics, dealers and curators dismissed political content in art as inherently marginal, a pollutant to serious aesthetic contemplation that produced no meaningful change in any case. The rise of social practice and leadership of a new generation of artists, writers and curators have countered such disdain by virtue of artistic quality driven by talent informed by purpose. History has also intervened. From Theaster Gates to Banksy, from Ai Wei Wei to Patrisse Khan-Cullors the purity trope has been thoroughly laid to rest. Indeed, the deeply historical thread of political and social content in art, both its inherent aesthetic merits and frequent global impact are today much better understood and widely accepted within the field.
With that in mind I welcome you to The Democracy Chain eJournal. This platform complements the Visual Art Source eNewsletter, our sister publication devoted to reviews and columns focused on art currently exhibited at galleries and museum in the Western U.S. In the new eJournal we mandate a selection of our best art critics and artist/writers whose informed knowledge of both art and public issues leads us to our tagline: Political, social and cultural commentary from an art critical perspective.
This eJournal is neither academic nor a news magazine nor a vehicle of ordinary political commentary. Neither is it an art magazine masquerading as political advocacy. It will tackle the public issues of our time from the perspective of professionals in the art field whose perspective and principles are rooted in art, culture and aesthetics.
Beginning with our first issue, focused on the central topic of Voting Rights, the foundational values of our freedoms, including creative autonomy, are squarely in our view. Such topical focus will not be typical for The Democracy Chain eJournal. Normally we expect a cacophony of voices and subjects competing for your attention. Opinions, we both hope and expect, will reflect nuance and variety, but will always be rooted in fact, honesty and sound principles. Art also takes the long view, extrapolating possible futures and the paths that produce a virtuous process. The discussions we have today are the welcome mat to those possible futures.
Because The Democracy Chain is a 501(c)3 non-profit, we are able to offer you the tax advantages of donating directly to TDC/VAS and through it to our contributing writers. By engaging and supporting this discourse you will find your own fresh motivation to actively participate in our American experiment with clarity of purpose and independence of mind, in whatever manner you deem appropriate. The exceptional voices you will encounter here, together with your thoughtful attention and purposeful involvement, will take us all closer to that more perfect union. We invite you to join us in this journey.
Los Angeles, August, 2021
The Democracy Chain is a registered 501(c)3 and California non-profit corporation.