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Tanks for your support
April 27, 2010, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Get Activist, Great Stuff

I wrote a piece a while back, ‘user pays’, that explored how artists can now use technology to directly pay for their work. This would seem to be a good thing and an example where you can put  ‘good business’ into practice. You are the client when you consume art/content/stuff that someone else/an artist/musician has made.  You expect to be paid for your work why shouldn’t artists?

It cause quite a bit of commentary:

How many artists have kids and a mortgage?? If it is an ‘artist’ – truly – then demographic stereotypes are shifty and illusory

Comment by lucy November 24, 2009

artists aren’t demographic stereotypes they’re people

I think the point might be: why shouldn’t artists have kids and mortgages? Why shouldn’t productive, creative, innovative people producing work that people want be able to have an income that provides a sustainable lifestyle?

Comment by katiechatfield November 25, 2009

I still find it amazing that people who are highly principled and who are champions of all kinds of social justice might not think about their  boundaries when it comes to making art sustainable.
Information Is Beautiful has produced an eye-opening chart (How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online? ) that explains just how many units (digital, physical or streaming plays) that a musician would need to sell to earn the US monthly minimum wage of $1,160.
Love micropayments – but nanopayments? LastFM pays $0.005 per play. As music lovers: where are our boundaries for this new kind of serfdom to music distributors?
Jen Bekman was recently named one of the most influential women in technology, and has not only some interesting things to say about this, she’s created something that can allow us all to put our hands in our pockets to support the artists we like and help us be proud of liking art and wanting it in our lives. In 2007 she  launched 20×200, an online gallery selling artist editions, with some prints starting at only $20. It’s  taken both the art world and the tech world by storm: Since its launch more than 65,000 prints have been sold. She spoke to Fast Company about  defining boundaries:

I was on the phone with a dealer who’d reached out to me about some kind of business proposal. At the end of the conversation I thanked him and said that it was a nice change of pace to have someone reach out to me, because most dealers haven’t exactly been receptive to what we’re doing. And he said, “Are you kidding? I fucking hated what you were doing when I first heard about it. I thought it was horrible and bad for the art world. But the more I looked at what you were doing and how, I realized that it’s the future of the business.” That was awesome.

I want everyone to collect art. I want people to be embarrassed if they don’t have a collection that they’re proud of and can talk about. Because that means that their homes will be happier, and that artists are being supported on a grand scale which will make for a better society. And I believe it’s the first time in history that it’s possible.

I’m looking forward to seeing how projects like  Fundbreak might seed a little change here. It’s a  crowdfunding platform developed for artists, musicians, filmmakers, journalists, designers, entrepreneurs, inventors to raise funds and give the project creators the break they need to realise their goals and aspirations.

Again it will mean that artists will be asking you to fund art. Until then: maybe it’s time for a boundary check. How much does art contribute to your life? And how much are you willing to pay to keep it?


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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Katie Chatfield and mo' stash, SocialMedio. SocialMedio said: Tanks for your support http://bit.ly/amhbvo […]

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I first found the balloon tank at The Whistling Duck
here:
http://anguswhines.typepad.com/angus_whines/2010/04/balloons.html

It’s one of my favorite blogs and full of eminently stealable stuff

Comment by katiechatfield

A great post Katie. I hadn’t really considered whether I have a responsibility to reward people who’s art I enjoy. But why ever not!? Love 20X200 and they’ve recently started shipping to Singapore. Rock on.

Comment by James Sowden




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