Saturday, 2 March 2013

Free Art and Art for Free?

Part of the 'Don't Ignore the Issue' Series 

Free Thoughts on the Matter

1. Books, art and music have been virtually free for generations, all one had to do is go to the library, museum or switch on the wireless. All this 'topical' talk over whether music/books/film/art should be free is an ongoing debate between artists that already have the means and those that would like to pay their (exorbitant) rent for their slum cell but can't afford to.

 2. Food and housing and silk scarves should be free but since they're not and musicians/artists have to pay for them like everyone else, so...

3. The cultural and media industries as a business made billions for their selves using a handful of highly visible artists.Very few artists have ever made a living from their work. Why should the majority suffer for the fake lives of the few?

4. Artists may take an outside point of view of society but they are not outside of it, they are part of it.  Unless everyone does their job and then gets paid according to how pleased their 'customer' is why should artists.

5. When people value things, they pay for them, when things are valuable, they look after them. How many Banksy rats and other paintings were scrubbed-off or covered over before they were worth a fortune?  Now councils, auction houses and private owners fight over them.

6.  Paying only as a donation is paying someone's wages as a 'tip' or gratuity. Basic living, minimum wage first.  Many professions use tips to signify customer appreciation.  Tips should be an optional extra (and go straight to the worker who earned the tip).

7. Historically, there has always been been a division between artist workers and keen amateur.  The amateurs should not be allowed to set the agenda for those who need to work for their living.

8. People have always paid accordingly. Buskers and street performers put their hat outside of busy places like theatres for people to throw coins. Inside theatres, people have paid up-front for something they have traveled miles to see in particular.

9. Artists and writers that do free art, do art that is free. Favours and internships aside (for now) it's just so much clearer to know where one stands from the start.

10 Let's get priorities straight, live for free and pay for art!

NB: This article has been written by me and published on my blog for the purpose of giving to you for free. However, if you publish it elsewhere without my permission or acknowledgment, I may be mortally offended and may well sue your ass off

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