Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I MEAN IT! Stop right now.

There is enough art already and we just don't need any more to add to the pile. I know some of you will have objections.

But it’s just instinctual, I’m naturally creative.

Civilisation is founded on the suppression of certain supposedly “natural” instincts; furthermore, as conscious beings we have the ability to choose which of our instincts we follow. Own your consciousness – choose not to create.

I come from a family of artists.

You are still seeking the approval of your parents and have introjected their expectations of you. This superego thing is controlling your life.

I think all acts of creation have value.

You have idealistic notions of art which suggest that you haven’t been in contact with much of it.

I am a recognised artist whose works have been praised.

You are a narcissist whose self-worth is dependent on others.

It’s my livelihood.

You are a capitalist who implicitly supports a system which encourages class division.

I want something that will endure when I am gone.

You have a fear of death which only be maintained by the production of art which, in any form, is susceptible to decay, degradation or disappearance into history’s ash.

Art is what separates us from the animals.

You have a fear of animals. Go to the zoo or out into the country to confront this fear (but please don’t paint the animals or anything).

I want to give voice to the oppressed, to those silenced by our society.

You want to further that oppression by speaking for others.

Art is a spiritual/life-affirming/personal growth experience.

You want to avoid real life. Try volunteer work.

I just love art.

Borrow other people’s art.

My art could change the world.

You have a messiah complex. Don’t project your hopes onto art, just change the world yourself.

I spent a lot of money on an art degree.

You were never, ever going to make that money back.

My parents spent a lot of money on an art degree.

You are not responsible for your parents’ poor financial decisions. Don’t make the same mistakes they did.

The arts are a vital aspect of our economy.

Art shortages only make existing art more valuable.

The arts are a vital aspect of our culture.

You have a fear of other cultures.

The arts allow us to pass on valuable lessons to our children.

Speak to children. Become a teacher. Not an art teacher.

I can’t do anything else.

That’s a decent reason I suppose.

I want to create something that demonstrates my thoughts and feelings about the world.

You feel that nobody listens to you and that your opinions are somehow unique. Start a blog.

I want to make something that will bring pleasure/joy to others.

Don’t ignore currently available sources of pleasure/joy. Get a job in advertising to promote these sources.

Art is empowering.

So is a sound understanding of the cultural structures which engender disempowerment.

I’ll never know if I’m a great artist unless I give it shot.

Just assume you are and never allow yourself to be proven wrong.



Ben Ellis said...


Thoughtful Theatre said...


Thoughtful Theatre said...

and also what inspired this? did some one deeply offend your sense of what art should be?

Anonymous said...

I'd say this is pretty much an artistic manifesto, myself...

Born Dancin' said...

I can't give reasons for what prompted this since any reason could be refuted by the logic of my argument itself. Curses! Undone by my hubris! Very well then, carry on everyone.

Ben Ellis said...

Perhaps it's one of those Hegelian circles - the very clear reasons people need to stop are the very clear reasons people cannot. Its precision cannot contain itself. Or something.

Thoughtful Theatre said...

I know..we should make a show about all the awful reasons people make art! :P

richardwatts said...

It's already been done, Thoughtful Theatre - see Michael Dalley's delightfully scathing Vaudeville X.

Apollo said...

The logic is all correct.
Art is nonsense and needs to be binned.
Social networking is far more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Please STOP WRITING!We don't need any more.Information pollution.We don't need any more to add to the pile....find another hobby.Also please stop thinking.You are overthinking.You have enough crammed in that head of yours.

Anonymous Recycled Art Maker