Interesting Dated References: You having artistic dreams and ambitions that were in any way commercially viable; You deluding yourself into thinking that art-for-profit is not art at all, when you are in fact jealous the mediocre things you produce fail to spurn the interest of more than ten adult males with personality disorders.
Best Line: Said by delusional middle-aged person with expanding debt and waistline — “I’m going to finish this zine/album I’ve been working on.” Said by delusional middle-aged person with receding hairline and dreams — “We should collaborate on some type of artistic endeavor.”
Social Context: Self-deception.
Summary: If you’re going to banish your artistic expression to the most unrewarding of pursuits (fringe art and music), you really need to accept there are only two types of people whom are ever going to consider buying your “art.”
Your Friends — They feel somewhat sorry for you, but that’s only a small factor in their enthusiasm. What you have to understand is that your mediocre artistic endeavours, however futile, actually increase their self worth. Yes, you’re making terrible art that no one will ever, EVER remember eight years from now, but the fact that you are making art gives your friends a feeling of authenticity. They can say to themselves, “I support artists.” They genuinely appreciate the diarrhea spray that is your creative output, and for that you should be grateful to them as you can sell them absolutely anything.
Random Strangers Looking to Break into a Scene — I get it. He’s a great guy who shows up at all your shows/pop-up shops/installations. And yes, his girlfriend seems cool. She even bought her own copy separate from his. But that guy is (unknowingly?) trying to use your back as a stepping stone for his own dead-ending career. You’re at a “rebel craft fair,” talking to someone who enthusiastically gives you money for your limited edition Risograph Zine with super-limited 8-track of field recordings of elderly people complaining. Then pumps up your ego (“People don’t understand your art,” “You’re the true underground”), so you really have to question whichever business model they’re using for their own career. But don’t be rude. People like this usually have liquid cash readily available, and you can sell them absolutely anything.
So, what to sell these two groups? Sell them a “zine.” As long as you sign it and write “#XX of #XX” on it, a zine can literally be a folded-in-half napkin with some doodles on it.
Don’t have access to a printer? Sell them music! It’s easier than ever to make music these days. If you make music you don’t think you can sell, release it on a format that will be totally impossible for the end user to listen to and give it some new name. Cassettes are great for this. 96% of the people buying cassettes don’t ever listen to them or even have the equipment. 67% of people who buy vinyl don’t even have a turntable! Are they demanding a download code? Fuck them! Say some shit like, “Downloading is too commercial.”
Sure it sounds daunting, but it’s really not. To get started, go to a thrift store and buy some old shit nobody wants, like a used VHS tape (or in this case, Betamax). Old shit can be endlessly recycled into new art. Don’t have a message? Doesn’t matter! Just take random imagery from old shit and your new art now has authenticity. Consumers, fearing you’ll expose them as being vapid with nothing to contribute, will read their own issues into your art and give it actual credibility.
Want everyone to think you’re subversive and into really rough sex? Then use images of men and women interacting in ways that can be taken out of context, such as these:
Here we have the added advantage of the images being off center. Making things off center is the number one way to convince people your art is genuine and authentic and has a lot of thought put into it. So get these images into a booklet, or a J-card for your cassette tape, add in some random text, and you’re done! By the time the prospective love interest realizes you’re really only into conservative sexual practice they’ll be so attached it won’t matter. Aesthetics and personal ethos are essentially wrapping paper made from shit that people use to attract partners in order to protect themselves from being lonely.
Are your parents too supportive for you to use sexual imagery in your loner art? Then stick with other more emo things, such as images of pain or death. Don’t worry, you don’t have to read any books on philosophy or existentialism, your audience certainly hasn’t! Just say things such as, “This project is a meditation on death and loneliness,” and watch the brows furrow with fake understanding. Use images like this:
Then put really long, nonsensical titles on everything. Some examples: “The Last Breath of The Eternal Fortnight of Sorrow,” “… for the sky opens and the tombs fall upward though i am alive … ,” or, “A Struggle Unrewarded; A Darkness Turned to Light.” The title of your book/music project needs to make absolutely no sense. Oh, and if you can’t think of a title, just pick some random words in Latin and put a picture of a skull somewhere on the art.
A lot of people (who are in their 30s-40s) like to use death and mortality imagery in their art because they’ve run out of ideas. They’re through their optimistic 20s and have nothing left but to be pessimistic. Pessimistic art is the last stop before (thankfully) a person stops making art all together.
– The world sucks now.
– Life is a meaningless dead end.
– This guy has a good mustache and suit.
The illustrations featured in this tape are well done, but no credit is given.
Poster and Box Art: See above.
Availability: There doesn’t seem to be any retro, first-aid fetish site that would upload a video like this.