The left wing suspects that art is opium; the right suspects it’s PCP. Neither recognizes it as the conventional, civilized forum that it is. Failing to recognize this, they assume that ordinary citizens are not cognizant of its conventional nature either and thus cannot be trusted to distinguish artifice from actuality, words from deeds, signs from referents, narratives from actions. This is elitist balderdash, yet for the past thirty years, the left and right wings of American culture have urgently conspired to “civilize” art itself. To mitigate art’s ability to civilize us by striving to civilize art itself

Excerpt From Perfect Wave by Dave Hickey