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Why I don’t like marketing

September 14, 2007

Why don’t most artists like marketing? What is it about this activity and its underlying values that tend to clash with artistic ideals?  Answering for myself, art is based on my soul values and is governed by those. Marketing is based on money as the bottom line and all the consequences of this attitude. Greed, manipulation, short term thinking, and exploitation come to mind.

What I dislike about the mostly unquestioned paradigm of commerce is the assumption that everything has to be exploited to make a buck. If you have a blog, then that needs to be commercialized (I read about a woman who attended a 12 week course to learn to do this!).  If you do art, then it needs to be packaged, put on a site or in a gallery, priced and sold. If you have a skill then it needs to be exploited for as much cash as the market will bear.

I dislike the fact that taking a stand against this near religious conviction is to be isolated and pigeon-holed as either not serious about one’s business, or plain stupid.

Sure we need to survive, but let’s acknowledge the desperation under this drive to take everything we do, are or think and try to get cash for it. It reminds me of a young child who shows her father a drawing. He playfully offers her a dollar for it and 15 minutes later she comes back with 5 more. What got lost there in between the first spontaneous artwork and the 5 subsequent calculated ones?

We can’t avoid the subject of buying and selling, but we need to find alternatives to the way things are. There are ways of functioning in the world of goods exchange that don’t compromise our deepest principles. We need to seek and create these alternatives together.   To be continued in a future post.

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4 Responses to “Why I don’t like marketing”

  1. itsescapology Says:

    Inspiring blog! 🙂

  2. itsescapology Says:

    Me again. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Richard Borden Says:

    Excellent! right on the money!


  4. […] Substitute “transaction” for “work” and I would agree with both arguments. My philosophical bent is utilitarian (specifically negative utilitarian) and both the above arguments are basically statements of rank-ordering of preferences. That which is better is preferable to that which is okay, for the exact same reasons that that which is not intrinsically bad is better than that which is. With me, it all boils down to rank ordering of preferences. Employment is what exists at the intersection of acts of work and acts of transaction. Employment is what transforms work from an end in itself to a means to an end. I like how S. Zoutewelle puts it: […]


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