Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm in Love

I read this.

I have one fundamental objection to it's content.

The first two lines are misleading:

'I don't want to be a salesman.

I want to be an artist. I know it's not easy, but it's what I want.'

Here's what I do as a visual artist -

1. draw a picture.

2. try and sell it.

So as an artist, part of my job, is being a salesman. With just one catch, being an artist is something I aspire to as a job. Anybody ...ugh let me string this out for emphasis... can be an artist of course. The nature of art is that you can't say what is and isn't art, and by natural extension anybody can choose to identify as an artist. 

But if you want art to be your fucking job you have to sell it. You have to generate an income. So if you want to have as your job being an artist and spend as little time as possible doing other shit to pay bills - you gotta make money. 

If you are in theater, this means 'putting bums on seats' and if you're a painter this means selling drawings, and if you are a writer it means selling stories or articles. That's it.

Oh except of course the one fucking loophole - you can just be gifted money, via a grant. Then you aren't an artist though, it's not your job, writing grant applications is your job. When successful you can create any shit you want because there's no connection between your income and your audience. And for some people, their practice as an artist is indulgence of the self, or less glamorously 'any shit you want'. You can call yourself an artist, but I won't respect that. Not as a job, because there's no way for me to possibly conclude your income is derived from talent.

And on talent, here's Steven King:

'"If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.'

So I guess if you've ever received a grant, you are at least a talented writer in Steven King's eyes. Maybe. Maybe if you cash the check and it doesn't bounce and you use it to construct an art space featuring deconstructed boxes assembled in a way to make us reconsider our relationship to spaces and don't pay the light bill, you don't have talent.


Other than that, I'm in love with this post I read.

Shit rang really true, for example:

'They have convinced themselves, and many others in the marketing industry, that selling is not the purpose of advertising.

They go to conferences and write books and make presentations that tell us that the nature of consumer behavior has changed. That selling is no longer our raison d'etre. That the purpose of advertising is to co-create, or to have conversations, or to buildrelationships or communities.'

From this, I have been emboldened, because these untruths are equally true of the arts. I have been emboldened to never sit and politely take the pure bullshit, that is about having a conversation with the audience, or co-creating. 

I'm tired of plays where I sit down and a fucken actor from the show talks to me. Fuck off. I'm (in theory) a paying patron. I came to be entertained. I came to see, listen and judge and you already have my money

I'm tired of going to art shows and seeing shit I have to walk around, or sit on, or hang from, or swing in to 'understand'. Furthermore for it to be something I can't buy, most often could easily recreate myself, and have to read a fucking essay stuck to the wall to kill time and compensate for the fact that I've turned up somewhere to see one piece of art that I can take in in 12 seconds or less.

It's just bullshit. Art is a platform from which you yell from. It's a priveleged position, a glamorous medium through which the talented can talk and the untalented listen. Why would you make it a conversation?

Why would you 'co-create' with people who aren't taking the risks, but came to support you in your endeavor. You are punishing the risk averse for following your lead. You are the heroic standard bearer shouting a rallying cry 'to me! to me!' and when the foot soldiers come flooding in looking to you for leadership, you say 'thanks! please rescue me, I've put us all in danger.' 

Under a strict behavioral definition of how to have a conversation, you can I guess view it as a two step process > 1. make a statement (create the art) 2. ask a question. (do you want to buy it?)

To which they can say 1. a statement (yes I will.) 2. ask a question. (when will you deliver it?)

That to me, is the only 'conversation' I want to create through the power of art.

Fuck all that other shit.

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