PERVERSE OPTIMIST, TIBOR KALMAN


When I was in highschool, I would have been totally content with living my adult life on a minimum wage salary, as long as I could still be doing what I wanted to do creatively (at the time it would have been making beats on fl studio and subsequent cover graphics on photoshop) with a roof over my head and food in the fridge. However, after I moved out and started living on my own, the bohemian naiveté of my youth started to crack as I slowly became anxious of the stagnancy within the local creative market, especially on digital fronts, which was moving at a much, much slower pace than what me and my friends had access to online. A new type of opportunity presented itself. For the first time, there was a shared goal of purpose and prosperity. 

Tibor Kalman says that “mass media, architecture, design and art exist for the sole purpose of creating wealth.” While that’s a bold claim, the underlying message here speaks to the fragile dichotomy between culture and wealth while nodding to a chicken-and-egg type analogy. Does culture first come from wealth, or does wealth first come from culture? Seeing as how one is quantitative and the other is qualitative, one assumption could be that the qualitative (culture) is abstracting from the quantiative (wealth).



If this is the case, it means that wealth is created first, and then culture derives from that creation. This could be confusing because often times, wealth is associated with cultural signifiers that are implicit of elegance, grace, and esteem. On the other hand, the acquisition of wealth frequently highlights the most unbecoming aspects of the human condition. Wealth is not culture(d). 





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