Tag Archives: video art


20 Nov


DickturpinTaylor Swift seems a highly unlikely Fair Pay for Artists Warrior, but she explained her breakup with Spotify surprisingly cogently (for her), in the context of an unsurprisingly current concern:

“I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music. And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”

Before you start sarcastically playing the tiniest sad violin in the world for a poor little rich girl who just happened to have a new album to shill that week, be aware that all artists whose music is featured on Spotify or other streaming services receive a paltry $0.006 to $0.0084 (i.e. 3/500ths to 21/2500ths of a US dollar) per play of their song. Plus, when Taylor Swift has got somebody bang to rights then they should know they’re making a horrible mistake with their strategy. By deliberately gaming this system with an album of short silent tracks (Sleepify), the band Vulfpeck still only made about $4 per person per day even when their fans colluded in playing the silent tracks all night, every night until Spotify realised what was happening and kicked them off. Spotify claims 70% of revenue goes to “rights holders”, but this is a slippery argument because the rights holder isn’t necessarily the musician.

Likewise, an official partner of YouTube earns between $2.50 and $5 per thousand views, with only the most popular YT stars making the top whack. An upper band YT partner who managed a very creditable ten thousand views would make a pathetic $50. A million views– which sometimes happens accidentally but is not easy to do on purpose– nets you $5,000 (about €4.000 or £3,200). This might seem like a lot until you realise how few million-plus videos there are on YouTube compared to the morass of other content, how notoriously fickle and volatile the internet’s lumpenproletariat is, how long it may take to creep over a million views, and how rarely any one independent creator consistently churns them out unless they have the resources of a traditional media organisation behind them and can afford to devote themselves to it full time.

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25 Sep

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See some of Artbollocks Theatre, series 2 at the Outcasting: Fourth Wall Festival of artists’ moving image work in Cardiff this October. Various dates from October 6th at Porter’s Bar Cinema, then at ATRiuM, University of South Wales from October 13th. Other screening programmes continue throughout the month at different venues, including Chapter. Launch on October 1st, 4-7pm. Even leaving myself aside (which is both hard to do and extremely foolish because I’m AMAZING) there are some great artists, commissions and films in this one. Anyone who doesn’t like it or doesn’t find it appealing is dead to me. YOU HEAR? Dead.

New art bollockers brought to justice soon in Artbollocks Theatre 3: Super Cop.

Also, bloody hell, how did it get to be October already?


13 Jan

In this case creativity should really be spelled with a K, for K Hole. I was reminded of this great film by Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling because their new one (below) has already gone super-viral too. It’s a mordant comment on the way our culture festishises creativity– as part of modern child rearing and pedagogy, as an adult lifestyle choice, as a tool for social improvement– while reviling anybody who is genuinely and totally creative because real creativity is sometimes dark and messy and unnerving, and it doesn’t reliably arrive on schedule or under budget. Or something. If you ever thought Sesame Street needed a bit more ontological horror, these videos are for you. You should also try watching Fraggle Rock as an adult. Seriously, that shit is morbid.

Creativity really is a beautiful pie full of raw guts.


22 Mar


“My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal, which bothers some men. The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina. Yes, they don’t like hearing it and find it difficult to say, whereas without batting an eye a man will refer to his dick or his rod or his ‘Johnson’.” Maude Lebowski

You don’t need me to tell you that the Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski is a classic; just ask the internet. It’s also remarkable for having two painfully accurate satires of contemporary artists in it. The art talk and Julianne Moore’s mid-Atlantic Sylvia Plath drawl, geometric hair and snotty attitude are all perfectly observed, and hilarious. In fact there’s three painfully accurate satires of contemporary artists if you count The Dude’s landlord Marty and his almost entirely unattended vanity premiere of a self-devised interpretative dance/performance art piece to Mussorgsky in a “nude” bodystocking and plastic vines. I’m sure many of us art lovers have been to those shows and regretted it.


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28 Dec


… are just two of things that happen when Kanye West decides he’s a video artist and makes a seven screen installation to be shown in Cannes. Well, in a tent in a car park in Cannes. Naughty Kanye isn’t the first and nor will he be the last artist to massage their CV by claiming more approval, imprimatur and enthusiasm for his work than actually exists. Like those artists, he’s probably gambling (and he’s probably right) that people will notice “Cannes” first then skip all subsequent processing.

A ridiculous Muppet... and some kind of pig thing?

A ridiculous Muppet… and some kind of pig glove puppet thing that isn’t Kanye West? (IMAGE UNRELATED TO KANYE WEST’S VIDEO INSTALLATION.)

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