a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

“Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”

Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC…more on art and culture:

“Our story begins in Philadelphia, a city of Brotherly Love, do-it-yourself initiatives, and collectives of inspired artmakers. Since 2006, Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction has existed as a vehicle through which modern thinkers marry reverence for enlightened ideals with the mandate to reach more minds in an ever-fickle urban scene. Our community of free thinkers and artistic innovators delivers inspiration and aspiration back to The People and believes in empowering artists producing high quality work marked by fine craft and intellectual rigor.”

I couldn’t say it any better than that. Art in the Age is a Philosophy, a Community, and a Spirit of being – and I can’t think of a better place for it to exist besides outside of Old Town neighborhood in Philly (116 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106), the home of their flagship store. called it, “one of the coolest stores in all of Center City”. I plan to visit asap, and here’s a description of what I have to look forward to:

“…our flagship store joins the ranks of the long-standing architectural bastions of the Cradle of Liberty. The vintage exterior signage remains intact, and all efforts have been made to sustain the original brick walls and interior infrastructure of our historical home. Our shelves are replete with scores of works that transcend the conventional definition of art and appeal to all of the senses. The Art In The Age Store is the hub of our collective.”

Artist, Billy Kirk, calls it part artist collective, part performance space, and part curiosity shop. It’s a place where performances and exhibitions, musicians, and authors are hosted – those who embody the ideals of the 20th Century German Cultural Theorist, Walter Benjamin. Read more here. 

Art in the Age is also comitted to partnerships with local farmers, craftsman bodycare, artisan cheeses, and local textiles.

Travel further North, and there’s a lot more in store on a 72-acre farm in Tamworth, NH, where art, farming, community, and brewing, co-exist not just peacefully, but purposefully. Their philosophy is based on the importance of human values, commitment to preservation and education. Their hope is to preserve and share the knowledge of the land and basic living skills, along with community-building.

Yes, I did say Brewing. Art In The Age has Introduced Root, micro-distilled spirits brewed from sassafras, sarsaparilla, wintergreen birch bark, and other roots and herbs.

Jerry and I scored a bottle and I’ll be sipping and mixing tonight. Check back tomorrow for a full report.

In the meantime, find your art. Our future depends on it.

One Response to ““Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction””

  1. Roger Hartsell Says:

    So what delineates art from utility? The book I’m reading refers to Shaker furniture as utilitarian art. The healing “arts,” have a utility and an xpression. I did graphic art for 20 odd years, art, and have skills and visual abilities, but the final product is utilitarian.

    Or what do we mean when we say.” Life imitates art,” or vice-versa?

    Or Art for art’s sake?

    Baskets, pottery, and tools made by Native Peoples, we obtain strictly to look at, Certainly, I’ve never raised my tomahawk in a offensive or defensive manner. I have a collection of arrow and spear points. Are they art, with out the rest if the tool? I design and craft textile items to wear. Art or utility?

    Is art hung in a gallery, with an immense gold-leaf baroque frame, or a mass of sticks and string and mud in a tree fork for eggs to hatch and new life to blossom out of?

    Just musings.

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