Why do members of the Creative Class prefer cafes and a walk down Main Street over pro sports and big ticket concerts? Says Richard Florida:
The street scene is eclectic. This is another part of its appeal. Consider that eclecticism is also a strong theme within many of today’s art forms. Think of DJs in Harlem nightclubs of the 1970s who started the technique known as sampling” – fenetically mixing snatches of music from different records, on different turntables, for the crowd to dance to. Think of the proliferation of hyphenated music genres like Afro-Celt. Think of Warhol, Rauschenberg and a host of visual artists after them appropriating images from news photos, comic strips, food packages, wherever. Eclectic scavenging for creativity is not new. Picasso borrowed from African art as well as Greco-Roman classical forms; rock and roll pioneers melded blues and R&B; and one could argue that the literary DJ who really pioneered sampling was T. S. Eliot in The Waste Land, a poem built largely by stringing together, and playing upon, quotations and allusions from all corners of the world’s literature. Today, however, eclecticism is rampant and spreading to a degree that seems unprecedented. It is a key element of street-level culture – and eclectic taste is a social marker that can usually be counted on to distinguish a Creative Class person. Eclecticism in the form of cultural intermixing, when done right, can be a powerful creative stimulus.