Monday, 6 July 2009

Art *is* Advertising

Advertising for the artist. Or least that is how it should be seen. Following on from my last post on Digital Busking, it seems to me that if artists thought of their art as advertising for them, then they would think about the other side of art - community. Community is where the money is, it is the real fans of the artist that will pay to see them at a concert, or an exhibition of their works, and some of the better off fans may donate money directly to the artists (if the artist followed the concept of 'digital busking' and included a donate button on the home site of social networking page).

I wonder how many fans, you downloaded music illegally would turn around and 'donate' money?

I suppose we have some idea as to how it would play out like the stella NIN torrent downloads and Radiohead's half arsed attempt (least they tried), both pulled in some cash. I know some have said these are established bands and others would not be able to do this - missing the point that most new music comes up from the grassroots and P2P is the best soil.

If artists started to look as their art, not as a mere product, but as a way to engage a community: then the idea of art as advertising becomes more appealing. Instead of worrying about policing the P2P networks, they could concentrate on their fans, and one thing all fans have in common is they like to go to the source - the original creator.

The art becomes a first step in setting up an online community - forums, blogs, P2P downloads via magnet links, new web2 remix sites all run under Creative Commons licences. The artist can offer premium hard-copies for sale, and real fans (the ones who would by them in the first place) would be happy to pay. Other fans would love the community and donate to keep the community up and running. It may be an idea to offer fans the option to subscribe to the website, and make regular small payments, to keep it buoyant.

Fans are probably the greatest Ad-Men on the planet and P2P is the best way to distribute digital works (and with virtually no costs to the artist).

So artists, stop thinking of money first and remember why your got into art in the first place. The rules have changed, you do not have to go through business to reach your audience, and it's time to make these new rules work for you.

CC it. Share it. Create a community. Collect some cash.

It's a new day.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Busking in modern times.

I not talking about busking on street corners or the underground (UK ref) like in the old days but 'digital busking'. The serving up of digital art over the internet seems to make a lot of sense as you can reach a huge audience - unlike a pitch in the real world. The days of having to stand of a street corner and perform in real time are numbered, now you can busk via mp3 player, and distribution via P2P by magnet links posted on social networking sites. Anyone can do it, and not just music, pictures, movies anything you can digitise.

Yet busking sounds to many as almost being like 'begging' but is it?

Comparing busking to advertising and it's hard to tell them apart when you cast off preconceived idea and take a good long look. If you see an ad and like the look of what you see, you may go and buy the product. It you like the performance of a busker you give them some money.

Now you may think the two are not alike, but advertising is not always tied to a 'product'.

This of an advert for a charity - if you are moved by the advert you may give to the charity. This about that for a second and let it sink in, the charity is pretty much doing what a performer does when busking. This point of view has other implications.

Think of a political fund raiser ad - you like what you see and you may send in money. The politician has just 'busked' (and I bet they do not see it as 'begging'). You may also give them your support and vote for them (much the same you may support an artist).

Now think of music from an independent artists as an 'ad', served up over P2P and social networking sites - if you like it you send them money via online payments from anywhere in the world. Digital busking.

Busking seems to be a good model for art and music in this day and age. It opens up art to all, as all art would be served up via 'digital busking', copyright would be copyleft, and you could share the music and art your love with your friends and family, and even share it with people of other cultures. Art becomes a social enabler, the sharing of ideas and expression of common bonds.

More importantly the power of P2P would be unleashed!

Business would still be in the mix providing the ISPs, the net, commerce (payment collections). it not all revolution, just returning art back to the people and getting business doing what business does best (deals and exchange), and technology working at maximum efficiency (P2P vs streaming).

The only ones to suffer would be big media labels at first, but I'm sure they could come up with ways to make money (adverts), even cinema and movies could adapted (like timed hour ticket and you could walk out of one screening you do not like and go to another, and if you do not watch a whole movie you have credits left and you can come back - credits via the net).

Instead of seeing art as a 'product', it should be seen as an 'advert' for support. To free the artist to create new art, new project, without fear of censorship or compromise with executives...