Author Topic: Your audience doesn't care  (Read 648 times)

The Johnny

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Your audience doesn't care
« on: April 22, 2019, 03:38:22 pm »
And you shouldnt care about if they care or not either.

Is expression intrinsecally an act of communication? I propose that it is not.

This repugnant person named Anna Freud once said, that when we express ourselves we are trascending our "autistic tendencies" towards a social "communication directed towards others", to be recognized and praised by others... but she was wrong in this as she was wrong in so many other things.

If the only thing that differentiates an "autistic activity" which is gratifying but without form, from an elaborate  polished product, is the search from self gratification to a gratification by others, then they cant be technically called too different from one another. Its the same godamn thing, its all the ultimate search for gratification, be it in a masturbatory manner in the first sense or a voyeuristic masturbatory manner in the second sense. Not only one would be jacking off for pleasure, but demanding that those observing like it! How unreasonably demanding!

Perhaps the real mark of craftmanship is about transforming this formless idea that you have in your mind, and making it tangible, polishing, correcting and perfecting it in the process... its like diving for jewels from a wrecked ship in the ocean that is our mind, which we retrieve and then restore them to their former glory.

Thinking about an audience in the creative process and seeking for them to accept or even worse, to praise your work is just pure corrupting madness... its the perspective of a salesman or a seducer, that implies stooping low to the stylistics, themes and fantasies of the lowest common denominator.

At what point, does thinking about your potential or current audience, degrades your entire work into a glorified type of "fanservice"?

Cramulus

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 04:29:28 pm »
I think about this a lot.

In my front pocket, I keep this little gem of advice from David Bowie: Never play to the galleries. There's something that made you want to "do art" in the first place. Honor that, not the audience. Why are you creating stuff, really?


That being said, I'm in a space where my audience is not ready. And because my art is running live action role playing events, big interactive weekends -- without an audience, the art doesn't exist.

I take an annual sabbatical to Europe, and I play games outside of my region. I get energized by the cool way they work. Then I come back to new england, where the game format/style has been crystalized for 20 years, static. I try to bring home the Fresh New Take, the wild uncertainty, the freedom from the old forms.

And often, the reception I get is like Marty Mcfly doing a wild guitar solo for the 1950s bopper crowd. Everybody's hands are over their ears. They don't get it.

I know their kids are gonna love it, though.


I find myself planning events, but having to sand off the edges, water it down, make it more accessible to someone who's only had the same meal for 100 weekends. I try to tease them out, move their expectations just beyond their existing frame of reference.

I've learned that the audience doesn't know what it wants until it has it. People read about a larp concept and go "OMFG that's awful, that will never work, I'd hate it"... but then in actual live play, it does work. So I find myself doing this sleight of hand all the time - having a spoon full of sugar handy so that they will actually taste the strange new idea.


LMNO

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 04:56:40 pm »
Musically, this has been a debate in my head for years.  If there is a joy in the playing, and that's the only reason to play, then there should be nothing wrong with staying in your garage and being joyful with no one but you (and any band mates) to hear.

But we are a social species, and there is a fundamental difference when playing your music in front of a receptive audience.  It's a tangibly different kind of joy.

Of course, there's a tangibly different kind of sorrow when it doesn't go well, too.

And once recording gets involved, you can either make a document of the event or creation and keep it on your hard drive, or you can start a soundcloud page.  And if the song is just for you, there's no reason to release it, ever.  But if you do decide to release it, why are you doing it?  For others' approval?  For their money?  Why the hell should I care about whether you like my music, if I'm doing it to please myself?

But again, a human craves approval, especially regarding what skills they think they have. 

So there's a tension between "art for art's sake" and "art for enjoyment by the group". 

Al Qədic

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 05:21:03 pm »
I've learned that the audience doesn't know what it wants until it has it.
This. Not only will audiences deride good ideas, but they'll actively clamor for bad ones. This is a sentiment that one of my favorite YouTubers holds; she used to be part of the Brony analysis community, back when the show was just teetering on the edge of disaster and the fan base at large seemed decently sensible. Then she noticed a trend in the show's writing that was developing. They were playing to the wishes of the Brony community. Not the actual little-girl target audience...the grown adults who, all other crude MLP jokes aside, don't have a bone in their body for showunning or writing.

We got episodes centering around tertiary characters who didn't need that kind of development.

The fans wanted more screen time for a princess; we get an episode that, whoopsie-daisy, mangled its message about self harm and depression.

Fans wanted more emphasis on lore over actual shit happening, so we get arcs of random important wizards coming almost out of nowhere and their magical artifacts that serve as little more than plot McGuffins.

The 100th episode of the show was a slice of life about all the background characters.

Points for trying, guys, but that shit isn't what makes a show worth watching.

And then they redeemed a crazy dictator and made her into a Good Person™ again, but sent a little foal to Hell. And it's been downhill from there. :lulz:
O, the Frog fell down to Tehran.
To fix the broken hourglass in the sun.
From the gates, to the city, to the market so pretty,
They'd not leave until they were done.

Said the Goddess to the Frog,
"You'd best be moving along."
So sayeth the water, the words of Anahita,
But the Frog just made themselves a bog.

And lo, they said:

"May I have your shoes, miss?
O great Water Goddess,
I've a journey that I need to start."
She responded from her knowing, wise heart.

With this, said the Goddess,
"Go now, take these shoes with."
And covered their webbed feet with glee.
"You'll do good not to disappoint me."

Thank you for completing the free trial. To view the rest of this poem, nag me about it...I might not respond by giving you the rest of it, but when has that ever stopped you?

The Johnny

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 08:24:03 pm »

***Cram***

Tbh my position which reflects what Bowie said is a very idealistic take on creating. Only someone that doesnt care that much about their own wellbeing or doesnt have urgent neccesities that are expected to be solved by their creation can do this... freedom of expression, to call it something... freedom of expression that is not bound by monetary concerns.

Like, i dont want to sound like an asshole, theres people that in some way or another get stuck in this situation where they have to "fanservice" because otherwise they wont pay the bills or put food on the table... i get that, and its ok... but i still think thats more providing a service than creating something authentic.

To clarify, my rant was more about people that despite not having monetary limitations choose to fanservice because what they want is this narcissistic gratification... to me thats just the pure perversion of creation and missing the point.

And while i can symphatize with people that have to compromise doing half creation and half service... if its just full service then they should really check their priorities and maybe get a different job. It sickens my stomach when a person manipulates someone else for profit, even if the manipulation isnt harmful. (i dont mean this towards you in specific, i mean in general)

The Johnny

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2019, 08:43:06 pm »
***LMNO***

Everyone has a different take from their respective field of creation (that is ok, im just pointing it out)... that being said im an academic creator.

You speak of the joy in itself of playing music, and if that is the sole purpose of doing it, then why share it... perhaps its not fundamentally about the money since in this scenario that wasnt a problem... but the thing is, profiting from something you didnt even need to profit from opens up a realm of possibilities, like being able to budget doing more things or possibly even to create as a full time job.

I mean, sure, we all seek, i dont know if approval, but acknowledgement? But solely seeking approval is a bit of a slippery slope where one can forget what they felt the need to create and devolve to creating what they think others want.

The Johnny

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 08:46:28 pm »
I've learned that the audience doesn't know what it wants until it has it.
This. Not only will audiences deride good ideas, but they'll actively clamor for bad ones. This is a sentiment that one of my favorite YouTubers holds; she used to be part of the Brony analysis community, back when the show was just teetering on the edge of disaster and the fan base at large seemed decently sensible. Then she noticed a trend in the show's writing that was developing. They were playing to the wishes of the Brony community. Not the actual little-girl target audience...the grown adults who, all other crude MLP jokes aside, don't have a bone in their body for showunning or writing.

We got episodes centering around tertiary characters who didn't need that kind of development.

The fans wanted more screen time for a princess; we get an episode that, whoopsie-daisy, mangled its message about self harm and depression.

Fans wanted more emphasis on lore over actual shit happening, so we get arcs of random important wizards coming almost out of nowhere and their magical artifacts that serve as little more than plot McGuffins.

The 100th episode of the show was a slice of life about all the background characters.

Points for trying, guys, but that shit isn't what makes a show worth watching.

And then they redeemed a crazy dictator and made her into a Good Person™ again, but sent a little foal to Hell. And it's been downhill from there. :lulz:

Thats sort of what nauseates me, it transitions from the terrain of creative writing/drawing to the terrain of product engineering guided by focus groups (which the fans play the part of).

nullified

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 09:13:59 pm »
Question:

Is it not possible to /have both/? Can you not take enjoyment in the art of that /in-between/ space, balancing your wants with an audience’s? If you pull it off masterfully, is that not art itself?

Why is “providing a service” contrasted with “making art”, when the service itself can be considered art?

Obvious answer: nothing new is happening, it’s safe, pandering to a crowd.

But me, I don’t like rejecting something being art simply because it’s been done before. If that’s the case, the last art I know of in any medium was in 2011, if you have a very strict definition of “been done before”. If you have a much looser definition, it’s all been exactly the fucking same since prehistory.

Fuck that. Entertainment can be art. Repetition can be art, fuck, that’s the point of techno /and/ a whole new wave of avant-death metal, listen to Legion of Andromeda for Christ’s sake. Art just has to mean /something/ to /someone/ in my opinion. That’s it, that’s the bar. Put a piece of dogshit on a plate, if it tweaks someone somewhere the right way and starts some fire inside them, who the /fuck/ is anyone to say that isn’t art?

We see, in snobbypants art circles, talk about “found art” and “natural art”. A photographer does nothing but put their iPhone up to a fern unrolling and they nearly drop the phone and take the picture from trying to catch it. Something happens and it ends up a weird vertical smear of background warping into this spiral fern. “Ah, such majesty!” say rich white people who want to feel somehow superior to everyone else.

The art there is a bunch of shit this human barely even impacted save to put it out into the world. If that can be art (and I think it can) then anything, anywhere, anytime, can be art. Something can become art later on after ages of having a non-art nature.

The line between art and entertainment is imaginary, and the line between regular art and fine art is even less than imaginary: it’s stupidity. Two people can do identical things, but somehow the first one was a moron and the second one is a genius. Fine art is a function of how good you are at bullshitting explanations on the fly, and how well known you are to art snobs. That’s it. It has nothing to do with the art itself.

And if you are making something, it’s art if you’re putting yourself into it, if you’re getting that catharsis, whether you play to an audience or not. If you made it and you felt more than you would stamping out license plates, it’s art. It’s yours. Feel proud.

That’s my take.

The Johnny

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2019, 09:35:43 pm »

Something that I omitted from my OP was that i got inspired to write this based on two things: forum posting and my book.

-In a purely mental draft i thought of, i was thinking of how everything we write in a forum is talking about ourselves in one way or another, a very narcissistic activity... and how in a sense nobody cares about us and what we say, not that they should mind you... and how if we want to earn attention, we put enough effort to our words, to earn that attention... but in that process, our original and baseline "ME ME ME" gets transformed into something greater, even if it doesnt appear to be about ourselves anymore, deep down it is... something among the lines of transmuting our self centered brain turds into something of value... thats kind of why the OP has references to narcissistic gratification even if the original draft got scrapped.

-And like creating an academic book is kind of weird and thats my personal position regarding creation... in this case its not about the joy of reading or writing, because the kind of texts i have to tackle its like pulling fucking teeth alongside with the citations, formatting and making it comprehensible its kind of a weird compulsion of forced labour if i might say so. So why write it? Because its an argumentative critique that i cant leave unsaid and have a clean conscience... and i mean, even tho the process is arduous work and theres no joy, it does bring me some peace because thru that work the thoughts get structured and well defined, like an ideological cleaning and sorting exersice within my own mind... and why publish it eventually? I mean, an argument and a critique is a message after all, so if a message is to be known it has to be published after all.

Perhaps im a very bitter person, and i can strive to someday create out of joy.

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2019, 10:07:40 pm »
The best ways to get audience to care is something like letting the mic feedback for a minute or threatening their life by throwing live grenades at them. Also nudity, although it has lost it's power due the actionsd of the damn liberals :argh!:.

All and all, trying to get people to care about anything qith little or no importance to theiur lifes is always destructive. That care ia taken from theiur families and loved onesd.
I get trauma from stuff most don't even notice.

The Johnny

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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 06:08:36 pm »
Question:

Is it not possible to /have both/? Can you not take enjoyment in the art of that /in-between/ space, balancing your wants with an audience’s? If you pull it off masterfully, is that not art itself?

Why is “providing a service” contrasted with “making art”, when the service itself can be considered art?

Obvious answer: nothing new is happening, it’s safe, pandering to a crowd.

But me, I don’t like rejecting something being art simply because it’s been done before. If that’s the case, the last art I know of in any medium was in 2011, if you have a very strict definition of “been done before”. If you have a much looser definition, it’s all been exactly the fucking same since prehistory.

Fuck that. Entertainment can be art. Repetition can be art, fuck, that’s the point of techno /and/ a whole new wave of avant-death metal, listen to Legion of Andromeda for Christ’s sake. Art just has to mean /something/ to /someone/ in my opinion. That’s it, that’s the bar. Put a piece of dogshit on a plate, if it tweaks someone somewhere the right way and starts some fire inside them, who the /fuck/ is anyone to say that isn’t art?

We see, in snobbypants art circles, talk about “found art” and “natural art”. A photographer does nothing but put their iPhone up to a fern unrolling and they nearly drop the phone and take the picture from trying to catch it. Something happens and it ends up a weird vertical smear of background warping into this spiral fern. “Ah, such majesty!” say rich white people who want to feel somehow superior to everyone else.

The art there is a bunch of shit this human barely even impacted save to put it out into the world. If that can be art (and I think it can) then anything, anywhere, anytime, can be art. Something can become art later on after ages of having a non-art nature.

The line between art and entertainment is imaginary, and the line between regular art and fine art is even less than imaginary: it’s stupidity. Two people can do identical things, but somehow the first one was a moron and the second one is a genius. Fine art is a function of how good you are at bullshitting explanations on the fly, and how well known you are to art snobs. That’s it. It has nothing to do with the art itself.

And if you are making something, it’s art if you’re putting yourself into it, if you’re getting that catharsis, whether you play to an audience or not. If you made it and you felt more than you would stamping out license plates, it’s art. It’s yours. Feel proud.

That’s my take.

Not even a compromise, but what i could think of as a synthesis of this sort of dialectic i established, is to create something for a given target audience, without taking into account if they would like it or not. Im talking at the level of personal intention regardless of the manifestation of it; maybe its about personal integrity in your creation even if its a turd and even if its not "original".


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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2019, 07:15:10 pm »
For me, art is INHERENTLY about communication. Maybe that's because I'm more of a propagandist than a proper artist, but fuck it I make art and sometimes I get paid for it, so I'm allowed to have opinions here. If something fails to communicate what I intended, or at least strike some kind of chord, I consider it a failure. It doesn't matter if the audience likes the fuckin thing, I just want them to get hit in the face with it.
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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2019, 07:22:15 pm »
I agree art is communication, though I would argue not every artist is actually in tune with what they are communicating. I also suspect whatever the receiver receives is more important than what the artist intended to communicate.
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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2019, 07:28:48 pm »
I agree art is communication, though I would argue not every artist is actually in tune with what they are communicating. I also suspect whatever the receiver receives is more important than what the artist intended to communicate.

I agree what is received is more important, but I feel like sometimes this is used as a cop out for artists who don't want to get better at making their art say what they meant. If you make something and people interpret it in a way that you didn't mean and don't like, you need to examine what it is you're putting down that's being picked up that way and modify what you're doing. Sometimes an unexpected reaction can be a magical thing, and that's worth keeping a door open for.

I'm not remembering the exact quote or the source, but there was a piece of advice to writers or artists that went more or less "dig in deeply to the specific to find the universal." If you're strictly communicating, it's tempting to keep things as precise and surface level as possible. It reduces the risk of misinterpretation. But the surface isn't where the feelings are, it isn't where you can connect on that deep level that differentiates art from other things humans do. "Someone I love died" is communication. "He was" is art.
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Re: Your audience doesn't care
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2019, 07:36:06 pm »
I agree art is communication, though I would argue not every artist is actually in tune with what they are communicating. I also suspect whatever the receiver receives is more important than what the artist intended to communicate.

I agree what is received is more important, but I feel like sometimes this is used as a cop out for artists who don't want to get better at making their art say what they meant. If you make something and people interpret it in a way that you didn't mean and don't like, you need to examine what it is you're putting down that's being picked up that way and modify what you're doing. Sometimes an unexpected reaction can be a magical thing, and that's worth keeping a door open for.

I'm not remembering the exact quote or the source, but there was a piece of advice to writers or artists that went more or less "dig in deeply to the specific to find the universal." If you're strictly communicating, it's tempting to keep things as precise and surface level as possible. It reduces the risk of misinterpretation. But the surface isn't where the feelings are, it isn't where you can connect on that deep level that differentiates art from other things humans do. "Someone I love died" is communication. "He was" is art.

Absolutely agree 100%.
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman