Saturday, May 14, 2011

Climate Calling

Here's a call for artists to get out in front of the movement to save a liveable climate. I agree with this in general, although part of me asks why is always artists who need to work for free. We have a hard enough time as it is trying to make enough money to get by. Most of us quit because it's just possible to have a decent life and be an artist.

Instead of asking people to sacrifice more, and donate more (which we all need to do anyway) maybe there's a better way. A win-win somewhere where artists can get paid something, even if it's not a lot, for their work, and help promote a cause at the same time. (The solar and wind power industries have transformed themselves into win-win situations, so it can be done.)

Yes, this is the most important cause that any alive today will have to grapple with, but still there must be a way to bring change without relying on pure volunteerism. In the age of the internet and crowd sourcing and kickstarter.com, there must be a way to do that.

The other thing about this call for artists is that it's really a call for propaganda. Art that's specific to a cause, whatever that cause, that's trying to influence people, is propaganda. Art that isn't propaganda, is simpler. It tells the truth. Commercially viable art tells truths that aren't terribly inconvenient and doesn't ask people to change. Propaganda does that. I'm all for saving the climate, but let's not call it art, let's call it what it is: propaganda. That's fine by me. Propaganda can still be great, and rewarding to do artistically.

Maybe I'll keep thinking about that win-win thing.