To ‘create’ is important, it is making something exist that did not exist before. In a world full of things, art is crucial because it transcends object-hood, its value is the message it carries, not the media or material it consists of.
Through the means of technology our world today is full of recycled ideas, recycled culture, from reproductions of artworks to a glut of tribute acts in music. Art is being turned into just another material for consumption. Copying ideas, copying the work of others is becoming an industry in itself and filling the very spaces that should exist for new creative work and new ideas. People are getting supplied with the matter but not the message. Tragically, this causes a lack of curiosity and desire for something new or unfamiliar, or for something that challenges and asks questions about the world. There is safety in confirmation of the already known, the already digested and accepted.
The danger is that without an authentic radical culture, art becomes a tool with which to control how people think, by providing a safe, bland, mundane culture, and stopping questions being asked. This is only good for the centralised establishment, because with no challenge coming from art, music, film, literature, poetry etc.. no alternative message will be available and culture will unfortunately become dominated by accepted and established ideas.
Artists, writers, creative people across all genres make new work that evolves through their experiences and interpretations of the world they live in, the times they live through. The arts are time specific and culture specific. A large section of the arts industry today is already what could be called non-time specific, and this is undermining the emergence of new and vital expression. If people can be fed a diet of safe and accepted ideas, then any new challenges, any new thinking will be sidelined. Each generation should be able to develop in a creative environment which encourages expression of ideas from the ground up, not from the top down. It is a difficult challenge, but the most important one for today’s artists (all genres) is to find new ways to get their work to an audience. It is a challenge they must overcome, because so much depends on it.