The speaker is Robert Florczak, who gets a modest entry in Wikipedia. While the situation is certainly more complex than he describes, I tend to agree with a number of the assertions. Some questions that loom are how do you distinguish simple, functional commercial art and illustration from "fine" art? Is it mere technique, is it some kind of aesthetic content? What? I would like to hear his answer to that, because I suspect he would start arguing for the validity of a lot of commercial art. But what is missing from commercial art is the kinds of tensions that artists build into the more challenging pieces of fine art. Sometimes these tensions are mere eddies in the stream of fashion as artists find new ways to insult the viewer through scatalogical elements or just incongruities like pickling a ten-foot shark and immersing it in a tank:
But other times, an artist like Francis Bacon builds the tension into the work with the basic elements of art:
The difference between the situation in the fine art world and the classical music world is interesting. There are hosts of great museums in most urban areas that display the great works of traditional or classical art alongside works of contemporary art and they are praised for doing so. They are even, largely, financially viable. The new Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, which cost a fortune to build, paid for itself in only three years:
Symphony orchestras do something similar: they are like museums of classical music, presenting for the listener, the great works of the past alongside more contemporary works. They are doing exactly what museums are doing. But symphony orchestras are constantly being reviled for this! They are supposed to toss aside the presentation of conventional concerts for something more relevant like playing in a parking garage or a pub. Audiences are supposedly dwindling and getting older. But if this is true, why? Attendees at art museums don't seem to have this problem.
I wonder if the huge presence of commercial pop music is distorting the landscape somehow. Does how pop music is produced and consumed distort how we see and hear classical music? After all, there is no particular reason why all music has to be a head-banging cornucopia of excess, is there?