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Forked from Madrox/
Created April 16, 2021 14:20
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Art is Not About You

Art is Not About You

Forked from a community statement about Clojure

The only people entitled to say how art 'ought' to work are people who make art, and the scope of their entitlement extends only to their own art.

Just because someone creates something does not imply they owe the world a change in their status, focus and effort, e.g. from artist to community manager.

As an appreciator of a piece of art you are not thereby entitled to anything at all. You are not entitled to a say in how it evolves. You are not entitled to timely updates. You are not entitled to the attention of the artist. You are not entitled to having value attached to your complaints. You are not entitled to this explanation.

If you have expectations (of others) that aren't being met, those expectations are your own responsibility. You are responsible for your own needs. If you want things, make them.

Art is a creation and delivery mechanism, period. It means you get the output of a creative labor. All social impositions associated with it, including the idea of 'community-driven-development' are part of a recently-invented mythology with little basis in how things actually work, a mythology that embodies, cult-like, both a lack of support for diversity in the ways things can work and a pervasive sense of communal entitlement.

If you think artists do not do anything for the community, or is not listening to the community, you are simply wrong. You are not, however, entitled to it being the effort, focus or response you desire. Artists get to make their own choices as regards their time and lives.


The time to re-examine preconceptions about art is right now. Morale erosion amongst creators is a real thing. Your preconceptions and how you act upon them are your responsibility and yours alone. Artists are not going to answer for them or to them.

If the way an artist's creative process isn't for you, a process which produced art you loved in the first place, paradoxically, so be it. I'm sure you know better about the one true way to make art. But kindly don't burn the community down on your way out, with self-serving proclamations. Yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but, tragedy of the commons and all that.

I encourage everyone gnashing their teeth with negativity at what they think they can't do instead pick something positive they can do and do it.

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