Festival

Sundance Film Festival

2012

What does it mean to be an artist today?

What does it mean to be an artist today — and what can artists look forward to in the next decade? Will we be overwhelmed with information, stymied by Tweets and status updates, emails and IMs and an ever-faster news cycle? Will we throw up our hands (and put down our paintbrushes and mouses) in the face of economic woes? Or will we find inspiration in it all, a renewed sense of art’s importance and role in our lives — as well as distribution opportunities we never thought possible?

These are some of the questions explored in a fascinating — and unexpectedly uplifting — recent Los Angeles Times article, “Making art in the now world.” In it, writer John Lopez interviews veterans like visual artist Ed Ruscha and theater director Peter Sellars, as well as young comers like Brooklyn-based painter and digital animator Brian Alfred and L.A. playwright Eliza Clark, to get their take on making art in this digitally driven, economically deprived day and age.

Among those Lopez speaks to is Michael Mohan, whose debut feature film, ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS, will be featured as part of the Sundance Film Festival’s new Next category, for low- to no-budget films. Mohan, whose film, a comedy about two high school buddies who reunite in their 20s, was shot on a series of nights and weekends stretching over two years, is a perfect example of what it means to be an artist today: He regularly blogs about the movie, posts frequent Facebook updates about the film, and appears to be selling the chance to star in his next short film to anyone willing to pony up $2,500. On the brink of what could be his big break — or at least his chance at serious exposure — Mohan, is decidedly optimistic about not just the future, but the present as well. “It’s not like it’s going to be crazy,” he tells Lopez. “It is crazy, right now.”

Pretty sure he means that in a good way.