What is pretentiousness? Why are we afraid of it? And more controversially: why is it vital to a thriving culture? Writer and editor Dan Fox argues that it has always been an essential lubricant in the development of the arts, from the most wildly successful pop music and fashion through to the most recondite avenues of literature and the visual arts. Fox advocates critical imagination and open-mindedness over knee-jerk accusations of elitism or simple fear of the new and the different.
In this talk, he introduces his new book — a timely defence of pretentiousness as a necessity for innovation and diversity in our culture — which draws on his experiences growing up and working at the more radical edges of the arts as co-editor of frieze and as a musician.