Work: Surviving the Arts


Exploring issues of sustainability in the arts.


–by Scott Pinkmountain


Production Fatigue Part III

Embracing Non-Commercial Values


In the last couple of columns I’ve bemoaned the intensifying slickiness of our collective cultural landscape. To my eyes and ears, the heightened production values that filter from commercial advertising and entertainment through to independent arts are reducing the handmade element of the work and our capacity for authentic expression and thus meaningful communication. I’m aware that “authentic” is a contentious word. I use it here simply to reference work made with things other than commercial competition or social gain as its primary motivations.

It is impossible to separate out my ideological stance from my personal taste, as is usually the case. Store-bought electronics lazily dialed to factory-programmed, “out of the box” settings and beats are a direct performance of unexamined, passive consumerism. Replication of short attention span, info-snack, click-baiting in literature or visual art further perpetuates our collectively compromised intellectual processes. Re-enactment of high-gloss, surface-centric celebrity idolation among subculturally-identified individuals, even in ironic form, embodies the values of objectifying patriarchy. Continue reading