Is It Art? Is IT Legal? Is It, Bugger…

Industrial Dissolution

The US stock market was on the receiving end of a real RIMM job yesterday, with the maker of the Blackberry taking a bath with a 25% drop. Pandora, the day after their IPO dipped below their initial $16 stock (shock) value and Morningstar, who usually are content with being the megaphone for the economic propaganda emanating from our owners and masters state that their real value is $5. thus is just the latest in a strange, fractal synechdoche bit of moving sculpture/ performance piece/ electronic installation piece called the market.

Don’t worry, as of noon taday, US markets are up an average of 0.40%. This is on the back of collective wisdom assuring us that Greece will greaze up for the international banks so they can complete the job on them and turn their land and infrastructure into property held by the banks.

Dry stuff for a creature such as this kkoagublogg, dealing as we do with music and art, so here’s a video for some entertainment comfort to cleanse the palate:

Vincent Van Gogh had a hard life, selling merely one of his paintings in his lifetime and that to his brother. His name is now cloaked in glory, with works ending up as wealthy art collector concubines and images of same gracing postcards and posters worldwide. The people and institutions involved in the above shenanigans are the same who decide what is declared important in art, what music is to be a real economic commodity. Also, the law does not apply to them. These are the people who are currently buying and selling Warhol art, in a pass-around similar to the collecting and trading of pokemon cards. This could be a Warhol bubble. Hedge fund managers are in the dual role of Pangenitor and Panphage for all art and culture just as they are for public companies and nation states.

The Artistic Impulse - A cure for it is imminent

Does anything artists/writers/musicians do matter in the wider culture? Did it ever? Most of the creative types I know prefer to ignore such matters, but this may be a defensive posture in a world that does everything it can to discourage them from the path they’re on. And the ones rewarded end up effectively neutralized. Success in the outlying genres is a nice middle-management descent into stupor at best, or a terrible burden on top of the dayjob and what’s left for home life.

There have been multiple declarations of ART WAR in the last few years, but things rarely update after the manifesto is posted, usually on a free blog platform. Hey, we did that! Well, not declare ART WAR, but post a manifestooo right here. We may be developing more music, now that we broke it, or something entirely different. The process is the product and the conversation will determine what, how where with the who being every living and dead creature…

Trailer for the documentary “What is ART? Inside the Mind of the Artist as They Speak the Truth” by Steven Johnson Leyba featuring H.R.Giger, Genesis P-Orridge, Howard Bloom, Joe Coleman, Richard Metzger, David J, Mark Bode and more answer the difficult questions, what is Art?what is TRUE ART?, what is the difference between art and entertainment?, what is more important the artist or the art? Is art important?  

It’s kind of a bourgeois thing to sit and speculate on w(h)ither art?, declare this form or that form dead, and debating back and forth to estimate the time of death. Hey, it’s all dead and in ruins along with the future, literacy and quite likely the industry currently eating up your time in exchange for the means and permission to stay alive for your natural span and do so in sheltered accomodations, owned or rented. The future is here, the future once promised is dead, long live the future, dead music and all.

Audio addenda:

Doc Hammer @ Dragoncon mp3

Fiction in the Age of Inequality mp3

Textual etceterata:

http://observatory.designobserver.com/feature/make-do/27998/0

http://www.viceland.com/blogs/en/2011/04/04/russias-art-war-an-interview-with-voina/

http://blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat/2011/06/17/research-in-motion-a-permabull-bails/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2011/jun/17/hauntology-critical

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/feb/16/featuresreviews.guardianreview17?INTCMP=SRCHpsychogeography

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-isnt-wall-street-in-jail-20110216

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/164268/20110616/pandora-ipo-analysts-point-to-5-after-shares-drop.htm

Far Flung, the Rose Madder Crowd

The best place for an artist is to not be beholden to anything but the work. Well, that’s the ideal. What is often forgotten is that in the continuum of creation to curation to collection only creation is production. Dealers, A&R people and publishers tend to be more aware of this than the people at either end of the process and keeping that in mind helps one understand the minds and actions of the middle-men who usually end up with most of the capital generated. An artist who is going to enter into that dance has to treat these arbiters as employees. For those who don’t, alternative possibilities are multiplying rapidly.

Yes, public arts funding has been in the sights of politicians here in the US for decades, and in the UK for at least the last ten years. There is much hand-wringing onm some circles, and in the circles in which I move there is certainly an awareness of what’s going on, but for most of us, this funding being available or institutions existing never made a difference.

 For funding individual projects and fundamental organizational efforts one may consider taking it to the crowd. It is not uncommon for even labels to take pre-sale orders for CD releases, though it varies from situation to situation how much of that pre-sales are needed to fund production and manufacturing. Smaller labels rarely give anything for production these days, with the relative affordablility of DAW’s and even digital mastering tools. Another that is becoming more common among independents is crowdfunding through sites like Indiegogo, Wefund, music specific entities like Pledgemusic and Kickstarter.

The latter option presents a two-pronged opportunity for artists, film makers, musicians and cultural organizations. On one hand, appealing directly to their audiences for support diminishes the need to shape the work to fit tastes and agendas of the people holding the money or massage those grant writing skills. And a successful campaign engages thoso who already love the work early in the process even while expanding their reach to new supporters.

Turning Point

The March Violets surely could name their price at any of the larger indie labels for their new release, but they are opting to let the fans help and in return people supporting their effort are let in on the process, through frequent communication from the band and access to free dowbn load of tracks well before anyone gets to hear them. With the two already given to their Pledgtemusic supporters, they are richly rewarded indeed.

Saith The March Violets:

We have always been fiercely independent, and the music industry has changed beyond recognition since the days of “Grooving In Green”, “Snake Dance”, “Walk into the Sun” and Rebirth Records. But WE haven’t really changed, we may be older and wiser and indeed wider, but we still have the desire to push the sonic envelope and show everyone that we are unique and even more relevant now the political climate has gone full cycle back to when we began.

And there are now so many more ways of connecting with our loyal fanbase and indeed making new friends. So we’ve teamed up with PledgeMusic to do just that; to welcome you into our twisted little world and offer you the chance to get your hands on some amazing exclusive offers. There’s signed and hand designed merchandise, exclusive stuff old and new, the chance to spend time with us in the studio and even get drunk with us. We are excited! Join us on this continuing adventure.

Part of the reward for artists is to be part of a direct general cultural dialogue that would be harder to initiate. In the case of The Yes Men Fix the World, there is no way any of the media companies that are essentially mouthpieces of our owners would ever support such a venture. They went to Vodo, which has the advantage of the crowdfunding and expands that with a distribution platform that allows for streaming and bittorrent downloads. And filmmakers are taking to crowdfunding in greater numbers since the major studios dissolved their «independent» subsidiaries.

Art careers traditionally depend on either appealing to the small group of people holding wealth or creating somthing innocuous enough for millions of people to want to buy prints for their living rooms. Alternatives for ennabling creation are dveloping and continued innovation is sure to develop. The next step is creating a distributed culture including dialogue, dissemination of work and support systems outside the establishment. As the real economy is being abandoned and working and middle classes are thrown out as no longer necessary within the developing infernal economic alchemy, the artists and thinkers who haven’t been relevant to their Brave (no longer) New World are there to welcome them. Interesting times lie ahead, and the bits falling off the decaying monolith may be a great place to start gathering building materials.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/culture-cuts-blog/2011/mar/11/crowdfunding-arts-wedidthis

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/culture-cuts-blog/2011/may/16/art-emin

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/themarchviolets

http://vodo.net/yesmen

http://www.publicindividual.com/blog/interstitial-spaces/mobile-social/platforms/04/privacy-and-anonymity-for-creatives-castrproject-crowdsourcing-and-media-production/

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