It’s sort of a piece of nostalgia to release the sheet music that way, but it’s also very, very forward-thinking — Beck is relinquishing his claim to owning this piece of music to his fans. I think that’s a very modern interpretation of intellectual property. Maybe that’s one of the defining elements of what it means to be an artist in the modern age.
This must be the month of copywrongs: New York coffee-lover Sam Penix, who tattooed his coffee shop’s logo on his hand, received the following letter from the legal agency representing New York State:
Everyman Espresso’s unauthorized and confusingly similar use of the I ♥ NY® logo” violated federal trademark law and implied “a misleading designation of source, origin, endorsement, sponsorship or approval by the New York State Department of Economic Development of your merchandise.”
What a way to punish a man celebrating the very love of his city that the logo was designed to celebrate in the first place.
Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that iconic graphic designer Milton Glaser, who created the I ♥ NY identity in 1977, has famously never seen a cent in royalties.
Palmer’s logic here is itself generally identical to cold, hard free-market capitalism.
I think there’s a lesson to be learned from Palmer, and it’s not the falling-into-the-crowd lesson she offers. Yes, she’s correct: The web offers an opportunity to fall into the open arms of fans, in ways that weren’t available before. Here’s the catch: The web also makes it near-impossible to fall into the arms of just one’s fans. Each time you dive into the crowd, some portion of the audience before you consists of observers with no interest in catching you. And you are still asking them to, because another thing the web has done is erode the ability to put something into the world that is directed only at interested parties. Its content isn’t like a newsletter mailed discreetly to private homes; it’s like a magazine on a newsstand, asking to be purchased. Telling the world all about your life can look generous to fans and like a barrage of narcissism to everyone else. … It’s amazing how many of the decisions Palmer makes wind up exposing precisely that disconnect, between the way things look to the interested and the way they look to everyone else.
There’s little question that in an attention economy where readers are treated as sellable eyeballs, what passes for journalism thrives on controversy — even if manufactured. But rarely does a magazine manage to miss the point as completely, for the sake of cheap controversy, as the New York Magazine piece on Amanda Palmer excerpted above. Padding the easy jabs and commonplace truisms, disguised as some sort of meaningful cultural observation, is the gobsmacking, intentionally dry reductionism of Palmer’s infinitely insightful TED talk, robbing it — no doubt for melodramatic effect — of all its lyrical candor and beauty. (This is where Palmer’s recent, equally compelling keynote on the joyful rewards and trying punishments of sharing your art online resonates with particular poignancy.)
But perhaps the silver lining of an article like this is that it points to a systemic challenge with the age of crowdfunding: For all its creative empowerment, one of the toxic byproducts of Kickstarter culture is that everyone contributing money now feels like they can contribute creative input as well — ironically, warping the very integrity of the art they’re enjoying enough to support in the first place. And, above all, it illustrates, by its very virtue of missing the point, that one of the internet’s greatest gifts is precisely that it allows us to turn to what we’re interested in and turn away from what doesn’t. The tendency to point ever-swelling fingers and shout insults at that which does not interest or please us is not a failing of the internet, and most certainly not of Amanda Palmer, but of human nature at its worst.
“Finding the art look for a book involves, first, reading it. The inspiration comes from what the author has done. Inasmuch as I’m doing something creative, I’m doing it in service to them.” ~ Chip Kidd
The Art of Cover Design – an inside look from the Random House creative team, featuring the brilliant and prolific Chip Kidd, whose latest masterpiece was the cover of Neil Gaiman’s now-legendary commencement-address-turned-book, Make Good Art.
This stuff is hard to talk about, in large part because artistic choices are often indistinguishable from commercial ones. … The best work is often created in conversation with audiences, not by an artist talking to himself or herself in a windowless room. All art is compromise, too, because we’re working with flawed materials and trying to speak the angels’ secrets in the language of humans.
Half a century before today’s ArtsTech boom, an invitation to Nine Evenings: Theater and Engineering from the New York series Experiments in Art and Technology. Found in MoMA’s exhibition of vintage invites and announcements, Please Come to the Show.
When you start to think of the arts as not this thing that is going to get you somewhere, in terms of becoming an artist or becoming famous, but rather a way of making being in the world not just bearable but fascinating — then it start to get interesting.
Something seems to happen at about adolescence where the thing that we call the arts – so, let’s talk about a drawing – it’s a piece of paper is a place for an experience for a kid. When they’re drawing, they have a thing that they do when they approach a piece of paper that’s very different from when an adult approaches a piece of paper to make a picture … There’s this point when that piece of paper, which was a place for an experience, turns into a thing that’s either a good or a bad picture. And so many people tell me stories where they can remember exactly when that happened.