The MachinimaExpo 2012

     Strangely enough there is another machinima festival scheduled for the same time as SLACTIONS, which I posted about yesterday. My initial intention was to write a post promoting the event which in turn will help the machinima artists. But I have changed my mind in order to speak about a few other things instead.
     If you read the post about SLACTIONS then you will recall that I lamented the fact that they did not give any credit to the actual artists who created the machinima that the event relies on to exist. Just now when I received the press material for MachinimaExpo I saw that they also did not give any recognition to the machinima artists, that I could find anyway. There is credit given to the organizers and keynote speakers as there should be, but none given to the actual artists who make the event happen in the first place.

     All that needs to be done is for a separate page to be created on the website which lists the names of the artists involved. It creates an online history for those artists and it is essentially a modern portfolio. It lasts for ages online and can be found when Googled. I had posted here a while back how my work was featured in Vogue Magazine. It sounds nice but it is really quite useless to be in print media now. The record of the article has ceased to exist except with those few who still have the print magazine in their basement somewhere, because they have a hard time throwing anything away.   Ok I have it in my basement.  Same goes for TV or the newspaper. They are initially effective but quickly fade and cease to exist. A well read blog or website is now superior to print.

     So back to the artists. Many are good at creating art but few are also good at marketing their work. So they need help and that responsibility rests with those using their work to build events. Now this post is not directed specifically at MachinimaExpo and SLACTIONS anymore, I really do believe it was just an oversight and I expect they are all unpaid volunteers rushing around doing their best.  But I feel like ranting today and maybe incorporating some swearing into this post. This type of thing has been going on for ages and some of blame rests with the artists as well.  
     You see, somewhere along the line artists have been convinced that what they are able to do artistically is somehow inferior to other skilled professions. People approach artists and say things like "I don't actually have any money to give you, but it will be great exposure for you if you fill my restaurant with your paintings!"   And sadly many artists have such low self esteem that they actually feel honoured to spend six months spending hundreds of dollars on paints and canvas to fill some restaurant with beautiful artwork, allowing them to sell more pasta fagiolis.  Have you ever asked the owner of a restaurant if you can buy a painting from their wall? no because you assume the restaurant owns them.  "No you can't buy it arsehole! get out of here!"  They wouldn't actually say that because if they did sell your painting then they will take a 50% cut.  A 50% cut for.....what?
     I mean if someone asks you to give free paintings for their restaurant you should really say "No no thanks anyway, but I think you should paint your own artworks and put them on the wall.  Yes that's right asshole, lets see your shitty stick-men drawings all over."   Would anyone go to a roofer and say "Hey so I have a leak in my roof and its really fucking everything up.  I was thinking you could, you know, redo my roof.  It would be great exposure for you.  I will even put a sticker on my window that says Bob did my roof.  And, you know, if you get some business from people seeing my sticker, you know, you should maybe give me like 50%.  Hey! why are you punching my face?"

     Maybe ask a Lawyer or a mechanic.  "So my car doesn't seem to move anymore.  How do you feel about spending the day trying to fix it you know?  If it starts working again it will be great exposure for you.  You know people will, like... you know, see it moving and shit and go "holy fuck look how straight that car is moving!.... I wonder who the mechanic is"  And, like, if I hit a red light, and someone knocks on my window and asks why the car is moving I will say it was you."

     Ok my blog post has just become me making up silly scenarios that make me laugh.  But yes please in the future credit the artists who work so hard creating the content.  Credit them where it will last.... webpages.  And artists, before we give our stuff away we should ask them how they will promote us.  Or pay us... haha just kidding.  We have skills that they themselves do not have, and it is every bit as valuable as any other skilled job or trade.

End of rant


Ricky Lee Grove said…
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Bryn Oh said…
I know you will talk about the film makers but my post is about the need to give artists an online record that can be found when Googled. Something lasting that can be found years down the road. If you add a page then great that will be beneficial to all the machinima artists.
And as far as the second part, I have no connection to either event other than by having work in it.
Pooky Amsterdam said…
Thank you Bryn - Here is a place that lists the artists - you might have missed it -
and you an be 100% sure we do support and mention the artists constantly in many ways - YES the separate page is a wonderful idea too!
DanCoyote said…
Dear Bryn,

We have disagreed many times over the years, but on this issue we agree completely. I've even used a similar metaphor, although I tend to compare asking artists for free work to asking a plumber for the same thing. Either way, people DO somehow, have the wrongheaded notion that plumbers should be compensated and artists somehow do not need to eat, support themselves of their families.

In the past I opposed artwork for retail on LEA sims while I was a board member (2010-2012), this was not because I didn't want artists to be able to survive, but because the LEA model was agreed to be less retail gallery and more museum. And despite the fact that I supported this policy, it was agreed upon by the majority of the LEA board at the time.

I can say that on on this present issue that we are in full agreement and that in my nearly 30 years as a working artist more often than not, I have been asked to give my work for free, often times by publishers or graphic designers who would NEVER work for free no matter what.

Why does this occur?

Its complicated. I think you are correct about some of the self esteem observations, but more insidious than that I think is the idea of what constitutes "value" in western society.

I also think that digital work has a perception of less value because of the ubiquity of digital tools. The idea that "everyone" is an artist might be theoretically true, but just because you change a washer on your faucet at home, does not make you a plumber. Hence, just because you make a collage in Photoshop, or Second Life, does not make you an artist. The idea that "everyone is an artist" degrades people like yourself who have worked their tails off for decades to hone their craft, pay their dues and produce consistently high quality work.

So there's the "value" issue, the "perception" issue and the "misnomer" issue. Please don't get me wrong here, I am not trying to make arts elite or kick anyone who works on art and calls themselves an artist out of the "club", just saying that if everything is art, than nothing is art so why pay artists for it?

Its a sticky wicket that is further compounded by the open source and free culture movements where content is expected to be as free as the air we breathe. Back when I was selling a lot of work in SL, some people from the free culture movement even called me names because I actually charged a premium for my panels. Which incidentally, were "one offs" and have never been resold in SL again. (such was the agreement with collectors)

Again, it is a difficult nut to crack. Having said that I wanted to alert you to a series of Art21 blog articles that will happen later in November and invite you, and your readers to visit Art21's blog (starting November 19th) and join the discussion on the subject of profile, funding and exhibition opportunities for New Media artists.

We hope to start a discussion that informs and educates so please contribute if the mood strikes you. Your ideas and opinions will be valued. (and yes, it is not without some irony that I suggest that people contribute their writing without compensation! :sigh:)


DC Spensley

AKA DanCoyote Antonelli
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
One day you all will agree, the sister of Bryn was always right.
Anonymous said…
It's a pity, but uses to be that way as Bryn writes. In the same position are a lot of dancers, journalists and audivisual technician professionals. It seems that when you do a creative profession, people don't have to pay you for your work. And as there's a lot of people that do it by free (because they love dancing, or painting,...) or incredible cheap...the right value isn't given. This just drive us to a deprorable fact: just people with money can do this type of professions, the talent doesn't matter.
Anonymous said…
Don't pay you or/and neither credit you, or change your creation without asking you perms...
Bryn Oh said…
It's true unfortunately Noke. I would like to clarify though that the latter half of my post was just a rant not about SLACTIONS or MachinimaExpo. They do work hard to promote the artists it was more that I wanted them to create designated pages for the artists.
AndrĂ© L said…
Bryn, we a sorry and we accept fully your comment, you are right. The in fact is that we are doing this for the very first time and we really want to let all people involved satisfied, just because this isn't about us, it is about machinima, producer, tools and the research. We are preparing all the rest of the slactions material and as soon as possible you will receive more news of what we are doing on backstage (the festival it is not over in our view). Your fan, cheers

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