Art is Inherently Free

16 Mar 2014

Art has existed for as nearly as long as there are records of human activity. The idea that a cave painting, sculpture, story, song or dance is a piece property is an extremely new idea in comparison. Because for the majority of human existence art had always served a higher purpose. It's hard for a modern Westerner to grasp but probably trivially simple and self-evidently true for any modern aboriginal person (try telling an Australian aboriginal person that their dance, the one in which they give thanks for crops, is a piece of property and they shouldn't perform it unless someone pays them.)

Our greatest novelists, composers and painters have been overwhelmingly poor. The pillars of modern Western artistic culture are built on people who created despite not being able to pay the rent, or even feed themselves. If money was the driving force, or an absolute necessity for artistic creation we would have nothing today; no Mozart, no Van Gogh, no Proust.

The idea that modern corporations must be able to exploit art for commercial gain is a deceitful lie powered by greed. It would be nice if people could make a decent living making art, but to imply that without money we would have no art is to do no less than ignore the majority of human creative history.