Operator Speaking by Zachary Constantine

A Radical Imperative to Artists

2012-02-26 23:25:03 // The Operator

* and why it’ll never catch on

The Imperative

Stop expecting money and esteem from art. The role of the artist is to tell the truth.

Won’t Happen

The assumption that producing content is equivalent to producing art is absolutely false – it is the conceit of the content producer that a given photograph, string of words, or paint-on-canvas is meaningful and, therefore, “art” – consider artwork mistaken for garbage (and, as happens most often, vice versa).

To the untrained eye, many artists’ work might be mistaken for refuse: many well-pedigreed objets d’art can be considered over-valued (particularly should one consider the relative value of a $1.1m “piece” and the number of people facing malnutrition but for the lack of a dollar’s worth of calories, vitamins, and minerals) – and therein lies the truth no self-respecting artisté would utter.

In a nobler world, there’d be no need for such admonitions – but we’ve yet to see that nobler world and, barring the serendipitous discovery and magnanimous distribution of some as-yet-unimagined technology, the pursuit of such is ruinous.*

Meaning is conceit and greed is law while energy is a zero-sum game.

* … which is not to say that the pursuit of cultural adjustments in line with such developments is inappropriate – it is simply counter-productive to individual and cultural survival so long as other individuals and cultures cling to the regressive stratagems which have evolved from the demands of present-day energy availability (i.e. the limits we humans have yet to surpass or even, in the context of peak oil, fully acknowledge).

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