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/

Cirxus London Performance

FoolishPeople, whom a vfew of you will have come across if you followed the links around the full circle of the “Elements” podcasts have just made an announcement. kkompatriotss in the kkontinuum that is kkoagulaa, FoolishPeople, one of whom is our very own eemersonn are set to begin a run of their latest piece of Weaponized Art in London on May 25. We are excited about this and urge all who can make it to enter the experience of Cirxus.

Come back often in the coming weeks, as we share the art and design process for “Aurum Nostrum No0n Est Aurum Vulgi”. We will have news on this release shortly.

CIRXUS

25th May – 13th June 2009

Starting time:
8.30pm & 9.15pm
STUDIO K

Written and directed by John Harrigan
1957- Seascale, the North of England. Cirxus is an old English circus lost in the shadows of the smoke stacks of Calder Hall, the world’s first commercial nuclear power station. FoolishPeople will use mythology, shamanism, music and dance to bring the darkness of an atomic circus to life. The performance will allow audience members to step into the world of an old English circus lost in the 1950s, explore its sideshows and meet extraordinary characters from the past and future.
Athalia the ballerina waits in the ring for Loudon the Clown to return with directions to the Black Pool, the mythic site of the Home Sweet Home, the final show of the season. Join her as she begins a bizarre and wondrous search for Loudon through the irradiated secrets of Cirxus, where she must face the macabre atomic menagerie, haunted by circus animals and navigate her way through the maze of strange, hallucinogenic sideshows on the other side of time. Immerse yourself in the world of Cirxus, where theatric arcana and Atomic fallout irradiate the sawdust arenas of our inner worlds.
Presented by FoolishPeople
Written and Directed by John Harrigan

Creative Team
John Harrigan
Lucy Allin
Victoria Karlsson
P. Emerson Williams
Claire Tregellas
Tereza Kamenicka
This is a promenade performance in Arcola’s new industrial space, Studio K. Cirxus is based on fact: the German Bremen University confirmed that radioactive contamination by Americium-241 found in some soil samples taken by Greenpeace 11.5 km south of Sellafield, were 400 times higher than those taken 11 km from Chernobyl. 51 years on, the villagers of Seascale still live with the ramifications of the accident at Pile 1 of the Windscale Works Atomic Energy Factory.
Cirxus will be FoolishPeople’s first London performance run since the critically acclaimed Dead Language at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2007.
TICKET INFORMATION:
• Ticket Prices £14/£10
• Tuesdays ‘PAY WHAT YOU CAN’ (subject to availability)
• Free tickets are available for under 26s under the Night Less Ordinary Free Ticket Scheme Monday-Thursday evenings for the first 2 weeks (please ring box office more information) PLEASE NOTE:
• No concessions on Fridays and Saturdays
• Proof will be required for concessions
• All tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE

Cirxus Image by P. Emerson Willliams.
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