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Formal Creativity

I read a fair amount of arts-related media, which exposes me to a lot of advertisements for artist workshops and various funding opportunities for artists. While I support encouraging everyone to find their own creative voices, a lot of these programs are a bit too cynical in their tacit implication that fine art is an industry in which participants should strive to find their personal articulations of insider consensus. For what seems like a sizable majority, creative pursuit is analogous to the prisoner’s dilemma, with so-called creatives working within the parameters of unspoken systems, currying favor with entrenched powers. It’s all so hackneyed–and this from the folks who allegedly comprise the cultural elite. Like hundreds of millions or billions of others, I’ve always been drawn to and pursued creative endeavors, and I guess I’d long hoped to connect with people and share ideas through these efforts. Lately, though, I’m more turned off than ever to the politics of various creative fields and find myself thinking that remaining in obscurity might be a more rewarding outcome, given the hoops people willingly jump through in order to attain and maintain success.

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