Culture

by Nina Paley


Filed Under:
culture



Mimi & Eunice: Ye Olde Technologie Killing Culture, Scribes

from the the-more-things-change,-the-more-they-stay-the-same dept

Ye Olde Technology

Last month a well meaning friend in San Francisco wrote to me:

Netflix hurts and an idiot student told me last spring,"Why pay too see Sita at the Red Vic when I can watch it on the Internet
for free."  I tried to be polite in my answer...  I fear theInternet, Netflix, and other forms of amusement are killing what is left of independent theatres which means it will make things harder for artists to break even on productions.  We will end up with a culture based on cell phone images "edited" on toy computers. 

To which I replied,

Actually, the "idiot student" is right - there is no reason to go to the cinema for the "content." The reason to go to the cinema is for the EXPERIENCE, which can't be replicated by isolated watching at home. Netflix and the Internet aren't "killing" cinemas; clinging to exclusivity as a business model is. Cinemas should be emphasizing the irreplaceable experience they offer.

And I drew the above cartoon. (Sita Sings the Blues ended up pulling in a great audience at the Red Vic, too.)

The second one is based on the Stop Piracy in NYC proaganda campaign. Maybe they'll sue me for stealing their idea!


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  1. icon
    Greevar (profile), 8 Jan 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes they would. People appreciate the physical containers of art. That's why XKCD and explosm can sell printed books of their comics despite posting them on their site for free. Nina Paley is also selling printed version of her comics. If Da Vinci lived today, his digital works would entice people to buy physical copies and commissioned works. I could easily download all of his works onto my computer. What good is that? I can't hold it. I can't hang it on a wall. I can only stare at my monitor. The physical goods have more value than the infinite digital copies that can be made from it.

    My examples of alternative models for making money with art are not the exceptions, they are the rule. They point out one plain and simple truth: People will pay you for what you can do. That's how most contractor work goes. You claim to be an artist, it should be staring you in the face. It doesn't matter if you believe me or not though, the genie is out of the bottle and there is no amount of law, litigation, nor force that will stop it. I suggest you stop being stubborn and take note of the people that are finding ways to make a living without relying on copyright. Your livelihood depends on it.

    So adapt. Do what others are doing. Get paid for your skills. Art is a service, not a product. Get paid for your services. Tomorrow's artists will be like the freelance artist of today but merely working on projects for a larger number of clients.

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