beating the dead hobby horse

From: xander!!! . (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Mar 12 2006 - 11:17:26 PST

my reaction to the 'hobby' houpla is that there are many forces and voices
that attempt to margainalize or devalue the place of art making in the world
and i sort of feel like why would artists want to contribute to this (and i
felt like calling filmmaking in the context of this list a hobby was doing
this). if it's your life's work, and you make it work (by clockin in a job
and doing it at night, or teaching or starving) then it is connected to your
identity and who wants to be told that something that is deeply connected to
how you concieve of your self is not serious.

Marlyn Brackage wrote

"And I think that the original point of this discussion was that a lot of
people benefit financially from organizations and activities that depend
upon art works, without there being any compensation to the artists -- and
whether or not that is ethically supportable."

i wicked agree...when people or institutions profit from work and the worker
does not this is exploitation, and if you do nothing about it, then you are
complicit in the exploitation which is why i think conversations about entry
fees and and attempts of artists to be engaged in the business of the
distribution of their work is necessary and good.

>From: Cari Machet <email suppressed>
>Reply-To: Experimental Film Discussion List <email suppressed>
>To: email suppressed
>Subject: Re: hobbies
>Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 12:36:55 -0500
>On 3/12/06, Marilyn Brakhage <email suppressed> wrote:
> > On Saturday, March 11, 2006, at 10:44 PM, David Tetzlaff wrote:
> > >
> >
> > > For most people, hobbies are more than a diversion, they're a form of
> > > deeply elaborated cultural practice,
> >
> > Well sure -- LIFE is a form of deeply elaborated cultural practice.
> > But surely some distinctions can be made between different orders of
> > activity.
>distinctions yes but judgements based in ego inflating purposes mostly
>isn't about being distinctive or catagorizing for understanding purposes
> > >
> > > It's clear to me that for a lot of the people I've met with serious
> > > hobbies - record collecting, for examples - is a kind of artform
> >
> > Words can become meaningless. All is art/nothing is.
>at first iwas like NOOOO
>all is art
>all is art
>but hmnn
>maybe this is true
>i geuss it depends on ur veiw of what art is
>i am aligned w/ robert smithson and fluxus and david hammon
>who's greatest work to my mind
>was his stand set up on the street where he sold snowballs
>so yes i would have to say i disagree
>all is art.
> > >
> > > And, and I mistaken or aren't we arguing over semantics,
> > > and everyone here thinks filmamking is a worthwile activity whether
> > > one gets paid for it or
> > > not - given that we can control our art, but not control the market
> > > for it
> > > (and yes, in strict eonomic terms, there is no income without a
> > > market).
> > > Ctreative work does 'profit' us in non-economic ways, no?
> >
> > Semantics, of course, can be very revealing, just as there are
> > subtextual meanings suggested by the words, "everyone here thinks
> > filmmaking is a worthwhile activity . . . " Again, the artists I know
> > don't make films "because they think it's a worthwhile activity." That
> > doesn't sound like the motivation of an artist. I mean, I help my kids
> > with their homework because I think it's a worthwhile activity. I read
> > because I think it's a worthwhile activity. Or whatever. But there is
> > a kind of artist -- filmmaker or otherwise -- that is not an artist by
> > choice, but of necessity. (Some would argue for that as necessary to
> > the definition of "artist," in fact.) And I think that the original
> > point of this discussion was that a lot of people benefit financially
> > from organizations and activities that depend upon art works, without
> > there being any compensation to the artists -- and whether or not that
> > is ethically supportable.
> >
> > Presumably, teaching people profits one in non-economic ways too. Or
> > performing life-saving surgeries. Or building good houses for people
> > to live in. Or any number of other worthwhile and rewarding
> > occupations. But if the work of an artist is wanted, why should it not
> > be paid for by those who want it? After all, that artist also has to
> > live and eat -- just like the teacher, and the surgeon, and the house
> > builder. When you are ready to do all your teaching for free, then you
> > might be in a position to suggest that artists should do the same. . .
> > . Of course, whether they get paid or not, artists WILL go on being
> > artists. That is their fate.
>hmmn (again)
>i would say "will"
>"fate" seems so out of body
>bcause it is an interaction i would say "will"
> >But the question is whether or not other
> > people taking financial advantage of that is acceptable. . . . If your
> > university stopped paying you, would you go on teaching there?
> > Probably not, unless you are totally obsessed with teaching and
> > couldn't live without it. But if that were so, would I then call your
> > teaching an "artwork"? No. It may be a deeply elaborated cultural
> > practice. It could even be an obsession. Or perhaps if you were
> > financially independent and could afford to do so, you might even do it
> > as a "hobby." And it might be extremely worthwhile. But it still
> > wouldn't be an "artwork." -- And that need not be interpreted as a
> > value judgment. It is simply a distinction -- which I believe is one
> > of the inherent purposes of words. . . . I mean, one could talk about
> > the art of teaching, the art of fishing, the art of record-collecting,
> > the art of cooking, the art of war, or what have you. But surely,
> > then, there is also that something that artists make.
> >
> > For some people on this list filmmaking may be a hobby. For some it is
> > not. (Professional craftspeople aside), there are Sunday afternoon
> > painters, and then there are artists. Surely we know the difference.
> >
> > MB
> >
>hard stuff
>cause who decides and when
>particularly cause i know (and love)
>what is catagorized by the artworld as naive artists
>as u are on the west coast of the continent
>have you seen 'watts towers' in cali?
>often these people are catagorized as hobbiests
>who have just sort of vacant minds
>- may even have mental or intellectual problems -
>(who is that filmmaker - a woman - who makes super 8 films
>w/ intermitten sound ((as super 8 is so good at))
>that are so much like diaries?)
>'vacant minds' cause they are uneducated and can't verbally
>go on and on about whatever
>(as if famous artist always 'say' things that actually mean anything
>re: explainations of their work)
>here is a great book on the subject
>"art brut - the origins of outsider art" by lucienne peiry
>it is alot about dubuffet and his huge amount of respect/love
>for the art and artist that are considered naive and what he did about it
>i think the big problem i have with 'difference'
>is that inequality can seep in and
>making artists cultural 'gods'
>and naive artists 'peons' is not evolved in anyway
>nor is it something that is in the best interest of art
>the purpose of art and artwork is at question here
>i am aligned w/ lewis hyde in his writing of "the gift"
>in which he concludes that if the overiding aspect of the art is as
>then it is lost in it's purpose - not only in that it has lost it's
>holistic purpose
>but that it is commodified souly for commodifacations end
>as david hammon has work that is baught and sold at high cost
>(moma has one of his works)
>this all of course has exceptions
>he is rare in that he has been able to side step or walk through
>with his art (his self) intact
>however he doesn't have a ginormous studio (mansion)
>and tons of little minion assistants making little marks for him
>but lives humbly in a loft in harlem working solely (souly)
>For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.