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Intro to Soul values versus Commercial values

September 19, 2007

During an exhibition opening I once attended, someone quoted a Dutch Parliament member as saying :

‘Artists are on the extreme fringes of the entertainment industry; creating for a few by the few, with no real justification to exist’.

This exemplifies an attitude which lies at the very roots of our Western society. Our structures and beliefs are based on the rational, scientific and commercial.  If you look at the want ads, you will see that the highest paying, therefore most valued jobs, lie in the areas of management, finances and technology. 

On the chart I made on this subject, the ‘rational’ etc are in the page’s middle. Next, in a ring around that you have what is now fashionably called the ‘creative sector’. These are the film makers, museums, advertising agencies, festivals, galleries, theaters, creative software companies, etc.

And way out there on the ‘fringes’ are the artists. What else is floating out there in the margins with us creatives? Ie, what does not have an immediate commercial or otherwise exploitable function in the society?

Beauty, Reverence for Nature, Fantasy and Imagination, the Child, Chaos, Mystery, Imperfection, Enchantment, Emotion, Intuition, the Sacred, Rituals, Things that take a lot of Time to make, and finally, things that are Different and don’t fit in.

I call these ‘soul’ values as opposed to commercial or market values.

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