So I never posted my finished Garnet cosplay. Sowwy~ I get so excited during cons, I never really take formal pictures.
"There is a huge amount of bad art in the world but some of it is a store of value that appreciates reliably" is confusing to me
I couldn’t just buy a print of some kid’s bad anime fetish art from deviantart and expect to sell it later for more money, the difference isn’t intrinsic value, it’s some social thing and what is that thing and why does it exist
Why is there this process that selects certain people from among the multitude of artists in the world, certainly not generally the most talented or interesting, and gives them the title of Duchamp-style bestower-of-value? What differentiates Takashi Murakami from any old hack straddling the ground between satire and erotica (of which there are zillions on the internet) and involves him in these gigantic financial transactions while his Deviantart counterparts struggle to pay their bills? And gets magazine articles written about him, but not them? Why is there an Art World, and what does it have to do with art, a thing that people are constantly creating everywhere, often at very high levels of craft, and typically getting paid very little if anything for?
I think this is a really interesting question and I’ve been pondering it since you posted it yesterday.
My theory is that it can be understood as an emergent behavior, rather than anybody “deciding” that Takashi Murakami is the hot shit.
The first condition for the emergent behavior is that there exist Ultra-rich people who already have everything they could ever need or want, and everything their family could ever need or want. The good ones in this position become philanthropists (like Bill & Melinda Gates fighting malaria). But the ones who aren’t that good: what’s the only thing left for them to do with their money? Status competition with other ultra-rich people. They want something that’s A. unique, so that if they have it, nobody else can have it, and B. famous, so other rich people will be impressed.
(a lot of ultra-rich people probably think they are being philanthropists by “supporting the arts”, because they don’t have the moral perspective to see why 8 million dollars spent eradicating malaria might be better than 8 million dollars to Preserved Shark Dude. These are the people who could really use the “effective altruism” message.)
These guys are looking for “Verblen goods”, which are “better” the more you pay for them because they exist to signal luxury or whatever. So instead of the normal economic competition to be cheaper, there’s a competition to be more expensive. That means there’s effectively no upper bound on the price of “art objects”
But, to get at the crux of your question, how do they know to collectively agree that Murakami is the guy to throw money at and not any of the millions on DeviantArt doing the same sort of thing? Here I think we have to invoke:
1. The fact that power-law distributions are a recurring pattern in nature, i.e. any situation where 20% of the X control 80% of the Y. (20% of the software bugs produce 80% of the bug reports, 20% of the books generate 80% of the book sales, etc.) We should expect 20% of the artists to suck up 80% of the attention, even if this were a “normal” economic competition, which it isn’t.
2. Network-effects leading to winner-take-all contests. E.g. a social network site is only useful if your friends are already there, so everybody tends to flock to the site that’s already most popular, so you end up with one dominant player, a few specialized niche sites, and all other competitors die off. In art, the more famous something is, the more people will pay attention to it and the more famous it will get.
3. The fact that there’s no objective way to rank modern art. In representational art there’s still a lot of subjectivity and taste but at least you can sort of agree that some artists have better technique or composition or depth of feeling than others. When skill is irrelevant, there’s nothing keeping the competition tied to reality, no limiting negative feedback mechanism, and competition becomes pure perception — what we call a popularity contest.
I think these things together mean that you can start with a thousand people, all initially at zero fame; add a tiny amount of random noise; and whoever gets the tiniest bit more attention than their peers, due to sheer luck, will start attracting more and more attention in a runaway feedback loop until they’re ultra-famous. You can’t objectively rank quality but you can objectively rank fame (how many people have heard of you) and that’s what the ultra-rich art buyers are looking for, in order to impress their friends.
This phenomenon might also explain why some people who haven’t done anything noteworthy are just “famous for being famous”, or why everybody in the high school knows who the most popular kids are even though they didn’t do anything special to become popular.
Thoughts? Evidence for? Evidence against?
There’s actually been experiments where they take a bunch of (“sufficiently competent”) recordings by unknown artists, and then have a group of people listen to them and rate them. The catch is that you can see the current rating of the song (a la reddit) when you are browsing them.
In repeated trials, they found that there was no one song that people thought was “best”, even though the song choice remained the same — instead the “best rated” song was always based on early leads in the voting.
Combine that with the fact that the rich have literally a thousand to the average person’s one “vote” for art, and then you get stuff like this.
And then on top of that, there’s the layer of the “free market” which is basically the rule that you can make money if and only if you can convince people to give you money for something. The visual art world is mostly about this aspect, which is why I hear visual artists are getting out of the biz.
Anonymous said: Hi, I heard we need your permission to connect to Pesterchum via IRC. How should I contact you to discuss this? Here? Pesterchum? The forums? Smoke signals?
Please ask off anon.
A few people are asking to see the whole thing, which I don’t think I can do, because of reasons.
First: to get the full effect you would have to read it as it was originally published, as centered white text on a black background with enormous variable line breaks, and I think I’d have to change my whole tumblr theme to get that to work
Second: it’s 14,000 words
Third: there’s poetry
Fourth: there’s poetry that was inspired by listening to this song
Fifth: You are probably thinking that I wrote this as a funny joke. It is not a funny joke. I was extremely serious about this cartoon lizard wolf situation and its terrible epistemological ramifications.
Here is an excerpt to demonstrate how serious the business was.
this story is one of the first things i knew about blurds
we were not friends at first
jonomancer said: Hi Blurds! I am attempt to communicate with blurds! Wait I can't type newlines in this question field? That's dumb. Have you seen Snowpiercer yet? Post-apocalyptic Korean sci-fi film based on a French comic book. It's really good. It's single-handedly changed my attitude towards movies. I also saw a cartoon called Rick and Morty where I think the voice actors are just making up the dialogue as they go along? it's pretty good too. You might like it.
Thanks to all who have participated in communicate with blurds tuesday! My ego boundaries are slightly less porous as a result! There are still nearly two hours of tuesday left by local blurds reckoning - act now and be a part of what is technically history in the making!
Answer: no I haven’t seen either of those!
re: Rick and Morty, the main showrunner Justin Roiland (Dan Harmon actually doesn’t do as much on the show) is the voice actor for both Rick and Morty, but you may know him as Lemongrab. The same guy ALSO did House of Cosbys, which was a viral flash animation hit you old fogies may remember from the pre-Youtube days.
nostalgebraist said: If the present uniquely determines the future, then specifying the present implies a specific future. You can't specify the present and the future at the same time, because the specified future might not be the one determined by the specified present. On the other hand, you can put walls around something without any paradoxes. But specifying the present and the future is like "putting walls" around something, except in time rather than in space. So time is not just like a fourth space dimension.
I think this is a more elaborate logical justification than the conclusion requires! Just trying to conceive of something called “the present” in spacial terms is enough to give me the heebie-jeebies.
I just finished reading Julian Barbour’s “The End of Time” and it was a pretty great read and inspired me to go back and relearn some physics stuff. This is pretty typical of the stuff he addresses in that book.
My serious physicist friend says Barbour’s kind of philosophizing is as useless as string theory until you can show how it improves or better explains anything.
(yes im just now making my way through Neal Stephenson’s reading list from Anathem)
here goes. i decided to write up my PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with Dashcon and the people running it. i was there while Dashcon was being founded. i was the head of one of the committees and i actually got to work pretty closely with one of the co-owners. so if you wanna learn about how Dashcon was founded and the downright horrific inner workings during that time keep reading. also if you just want a good ass laugh. the owners may have changed some of the methods they were using but I must say: Dashcon is one of the most unprofessionally run events i’ve EVER seen. right from its inception it was a train wreck. [featuring skype screenshots, wow!!]
ok that’s it for dashcon reblogs i swear
So, after all the night’s confusion and misinformation we want to give everyone the full explanation of the events surrounding 7-11-2014.
First, we did owe the hotel money, and that is nothing I can get around. It’s extremely common to owe a hotel money for an event at the door, and we made our prepayments beforehand. We have an extremely good track record when it comes to making the appropriate payments for the appropriate things, and doing so in a timely fashion.
We worked out a plan with the hotel to give them money slowly for the entire course of the weekend, which was more than 100% feasible for us. However, 12 hours later one of our admins was unexpectedly pulled into a meeting with higher-level hotel staff, at which point they were informed that convention management had to procure $20,000 by the end of the night. It was an extremely sudden change, especially since we had sent them a number of payments before and a considerable sum the night before.
We could not have been reasonably expected to prepare for the plan to change so suddenly. This sudden change put us in a place where we would not be allowed to open on the morning of 7/12, unless we had the full amount for them the night of 7/11. Unfortunately, the money we needed to pay that amount would not have been coming in until 7/12 in the form of walk-in attendees, as is customary for conventions. Saturday is always the biggest day.
While the hotel was aware of this, they still required the money to be provided by 10 PM CST. I know that many people believed this to be false, but this was largely due to a miscommunication within hotel staff.
The alternative to the route we perused was to allow the convention to be shut down. Below, is an official letter from the hotel proving that this money was indeed owed, and we had no other route to pursue.
Those who donated VIA paypal, we will be refunding you guys after the convention as soon as possible, starting with the largest amounts, and moving down from there. We can’t thank you enough for the quick response, and we really would have been closed down without the drastic measures which were taken.
The hotel it’s self was great and they worked with us extremely well, and they are looking forward to having everyone here this weekend!
Please please please do not give the hotel staff any crap, this change came down from the heavens above.
For those panels which were rearranged, they will be rescheduled to the best of our ability and will be happening tomorrow!
Looking forward to this weekend!
Okay, this is sketchy as fuck, for the following reasons:
- Why is your proof whited-out?
- Why would the founder of DashCon have signed this letter?
- Why does the letter start with re:; this implies the sender is replying to an email sent by DashCon that says “payment addendum”?
- Why is it dated the 12th when the demand was made on the 11th?
- Why is “the total amount owed” in the past tense?
- "All other terms of the contract remain the same" implies the contract has changed, which means both parties need to agree to it, so that makes no sense; if there was an alteration to the contract, there would be a contract attached to the letter
- There’s no receipt with this letter
- That doesn’t look like real hotel stationary
- What hotel takes PayPal as a method of payment, seriously?
- Most of the time conventions are arranged beforehand and money gets paid upfront, so shit like this doesn’t happen
- People are claiming the hotel kicked people out of their rooms, which would already have been paid for and therefore guests would have no reason to be kicked out
- The hotel has been contacted and was unaware of this occurring
You’re not getting refunded.
What kind of con hopes to pay off the SPACE THEY’RE IN and the MAIN DRAWS by the “walk-ins” on Saturday? $20,000 is the cost of only 308 weekend badges, and the con is claiming it was expecting 3,000.
Bottom line: They just got the hotel for free (via donation) and didn’t have to pay WTNV and didn’t refund anyone for them not showing up. Basically, probably their two largest costs are completely gone, letting them pocket the entire amount. If it wasn’t a scam when it started, it sure as hell is now.
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