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Arts Life & Philosophy

A Life Full of Holes

There are two types of people that hide: crooks and introverts.

Crooks hide their identity so they can profit off ambiguity. Introverts hide their identity because they enjoy isolation and quietness.

Most people live on a need to know basis. Living in dubiety frightens them. They need to know what you do, who your friends are, how you work, and what you do in your off-time so that they can feel more comfortable in their own lives. They fight to be understood.

The essence of being human is an uncomfortable duality of ‘rational’ technology and ‘irrational’ belief. We are still a species in transition.

J. David Lewis-Williams

A life full of holes scares most people. Look at artists like Banksy, Actress, and Burial – everyone wants to know who they really are. The irony is that they don’t hide at all but rather let their work speak for themselves. It doesn’t matter what they look like and what they say other than what’s already expressed in their work.

Anonymity and ambiguity are more interesting than conformity. Crooks, introverts, and artists want to be heard but remain misunderstood, mostly because they’re still adapting. An identity is elastic. Plus, the fun of mysteries is that they keep people guessing.

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What’s ‘Art’ Anyway?

Everyone is a writer, photographer, musician, and marketer these days by virtue of cheap tools, cheap software, and free Internet distribution. The good news is that people are becoming creators rather than passive consumers. Self-expression gives people an opportunity to stake their claim and build their own audience.

The bad news is that when everyone shares their work it clutters discovery and makes it even harder for the real professionals to stand out. As a result, quality content gets lost in the morass of amafessional noise. Consumers have a hard time deciphering who takes it seriously and who does it as a hobby.

But the Gold Rush of online creativity can only be a good thing. It means that the real artists have to work harder to market their own work. Realizing this, Bansky took residency in New York and produced one piece of art every day for a month which he promoted on Instagram and YouTube.

Bansky reminds all artists that they need to hustle, as the marketing is a reflection of their own belief in the work. If the creator doesn’t think it’s worth sharing and talking about, no one will.

Art is really arbitrary. Most artists never get discovered at all because the clan of influencers never take the time to understand their work. Paradoxically, anonymity gives more freedom to the artist to create whatever they want. The canvass is truly blank.

Makers are going to make and consumers are going to consume. The best stuff may not end up on top, but because of technology and the Internet more good artists may get discovered than before which brings hope to producers and curators alike.

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‘City as Canvas’: an exhibition of New York graffiti art

It conveys the urgency of its creation; graffiti was, after all, a crime committed in haste, at night and under precarious conditions.

The world is a canvass, as it is for advertisers. The only difference is that graffiti artists pay through rebellion.

Right Bansky?

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I wish you could recast and reshape online advertising like you can outdoor advertising. Those Facebook ads, pre-rolls, and pop-ups are so invasive yet the only you can do is click out or steer your eyes away.
I wish you could recast and reshape online advertising like you can outdoor advertising. Those Facebook ads, pre-rolls, and pop-ups are so invasive yet the only you can do is click out or steer your eyes away.

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Free Marketing at the Apple Store

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann used to “surreptitiously put Pinterest on every computer in his local Apple store.”

I still do this. There’s a rush of excitement in loading up your website on the store’s machines. You could be discovered!

With nearly 100 million visitors a quarter, using Apple store computers to display your work is like stealing free ad space. Don’t tell me you haven’t done this before.

The Apple store is a free museum, much like the public walls are Banksy’s canvas. How else is anyone going to find out about you if you don’t dare to show your work?

Blend in. Show the people what you got. But don’t just do it because you can. Believe your work is actually worth seeing.