June 01, 2020, 11:43:58 PM

Author Topic: Art vs Artist  (Read 2209 times)

Offline Yora

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2020, 03:16:50 PM »
I see the work and the creator as separate entities. You can judge the work on its own merits and completely ignore any information about the creator. If you want to. Anything about the creator does not change what the work is.

However, there is a difference between being critics, an audience, and customers.

As a critic, the identity of the creator is irrelevant. This is all about the work.

But as audience for a work, we are almost always also customers of the creator. Even when a work is apparently free, then "you are not the customer, you are the product". The creator is probably getting paid by advertisers for drawing a crowd that will be exposed to ads.
Even in the case where you get the art without having paid for it, you're probably going to tell others what you've been thinking about the work and as such do advertising for it.

There are almost no circumstances in which you can consume art without it somehow putting money into the creator's pocket, even in a very indirect way. And that means you are supporting the creator. You're not just supporting him, you are actually encouraging him to keep behaving in the way he does and give him confirmation that there  won't be any bad consequences for him doing so. The money keeps flowing and you help making it happen.

And this is why, as a consumer, I do not engage with the works of creators I regard as objectionable. When I talk about their work in a positive way, I am promoting their work and encourage others to give them money that signals them their behavior is okay.

The one exception that I can think of is that I still quite enjoy Lovecraft. But I did think long and hard about it, and did do some serious research that made me conclude that his xenophobia wasn't just regular racism, but resulted from severe psychological conditions. I judge him by the standards of being mentally disabled so I am giving him a pass in that regard. And I guess it helps that he's been dead for almost a century.
I'm also a big fan of Robert Howard, and when I saw people describing him as racist and misogynistic, I also did a good deal of research on him. And I found the opposite being the case, so I have no problem with actively promoting his work. But I still felt the need that I had to check, rather than just ignore the accusation.
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Offline Skip

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2020, 05:12:41 PM »
If the author is deceased, we surely are no longer supporting them in their behavior, right? I can see the logic for living authors, but for ones who are dead?

It does seem like a lot of work. Art comes in many forms and has many creators. I'd spend half my life researching the morals of others.

But everyone gets to make their own choices.
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Online Alex Hormann

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Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2020, 05:41:01 PM »

As a critic, the identity of the creator is irrelevant. This is all about the work.


I would disagree on this point. I think if you're going to analyse and critique a book in great detail, you have to consider the person who made it. A review doesn't need to tell you about the author, but if you're looking at theme and symbolism or anything along those lines, you're bound to find things the author has put in deliberately, which often but not always reveals a fair bit about the author.

When it comes to reading books in general, I couldn't care less who the author is or what they did. Orson Scott Card is homophobic, but that doesn't mean Ender's Game isn't exciting and though-provoking. The vast majority of authors I enjoy reading old very different political beliefs to me, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that i like their books. The person behind the page is, from an enjoyment perspective, utterly irrelevant.
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2020, 07:36:34 AM »
I know Saraband  won’t read Seanan McGuire but  I’ve forgotten why and I think Nighteyes  too is not keen on  McGuire

Done some searches but can’t find why there don’t like McGuire.

remember this topic with some authors acting poorly.

 http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-book-discussion/hugo-awards-2015-controversy-sad-puppies/msg98291/#msg98291
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 09:10:39 AM by Eclipse »
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Offline Rostum

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2020, 08:00:54 PM »
Quote
I know Saraband  won’t read Seanan McGuire but  I’ve forgotten why and I think Nighteyes  too is not keen on  McGuire

I know she pushes hard for nominations and votes come award time. A little unseemly perhaps but I don't know if thats the reason? Would love to find out.

Ahh does this involve getting johnathon Ross cancelled?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 11:29:48 PM by Rostum »

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2020, 04:54:12 AM »
I thoroughly enjoyed a lot of Steven King's stuff, but he just came out calling to oust the Senator from Maine for simply voting to see the evidence in the impeachment trial, and now Steven King is dead to me.

Offline Yora

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2020, 10:08:46 AM »
No, that doesn't make any sense.

He's been very vocal about Trump being a crook and the Republicans making the impeachment a farce the whole time. Apparently he wants her gone because regardless of how she voted about witnesses, he's certain she will acquit him anyway.
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Offline Skip

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2020, 05:54:32 PM »
Good grief. We may as well start picking what we read based on what football team the author supports.

I just finished reading another novel by Nevil Shute. Every one of his novels (I've read several) has been memorable and genuinely touching in a way I've not encountered with any other author.

Should I read his biography? What if I find out he was a terrible person? How do I un-read someone? Is it enough to vow never to read another? Should I confess publicly? Go on a campaign to enlighten others to the terrible truth? How deep does my outrage extend?

I repeat: good grief.
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Offline cupiscent

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2020, 11:12:05 PM »
Should I read his biography? What if I find out he was a terrible person? How do I un-read someone? Is it enough to vow never to read another? Should I confess publicly? Go on a campaign to enlighten others to the terrible truth? How deep does my outrage extend?

I repeat: good grief.

Do/read/decide whatever you like, Skip. For some people, myself included, stuff I know outside the artistic work can't help but seep into my mind during the consumption of the artistic work, colouring my enjoyment of it.

I mean, if there's a scene in a book where there's dubious romantic consent, I'm going to feel slightly icky about that scene, but if I know the author has a bad reputation for getting handsy at conventions, I'm going to feel even more icky about it. Or if a book has paucity of female characters, I might give the author a pass (or at least wait to see what else they produce) but if said author has a lot of misogynist remarks on record, GO STRAIGHT TO JAIL, DO NOT PASS GO.

I don't go looking for these things, but I'm active and aware in spec-fic circles. I hear things. (And I also go looking for the social media of authors I like so that I can stay abreast of what they're doing next.) And it's not (always) that I won't enjoy that creator's work anymore. It's that it is more difficult to enjoy it when I know there's some unpleasantness behind it.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2020, 04:47:17 AM »
Good grief. We may as well start picking what we read based on what football team the author supports.
I know people who pick who they speak to according to how much beer they drink. I think this sort of thing is part of life (and applies to many parts of life, not just reading); I'm less affected than most, but I understand how it can affect people.

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2020, 11:08:55 AM »
Good grief. We may as well start picking what we read based on what football team the author supports.

That too!!! If you aren't rooting for... the sportsing I like to sports then it's OVER!

Do/read/decide whatever you like, Skip. For some people, myself included, stuff I know outside the artistic work can't help but seep into my mind during the consumption of the artistic work, colouring my enjoyment of it.

Exactly what cupe said. It's not outrage, Skip, its that.

In an ideal world, the art would be just the art. If I'm able to keep the rest of that baggage at bay, then that would be great. But my brain is porous and stuff seeps through, whether I want to or not.
 
Like the Joker movie.  I read some interview with the director and I couldn't stop being revolted by him enough to go see the movie.

The Witcher was a hot mess.  Interviews with Lauren Schmidt made her sound like just an awful person to work with. But Henry Cavill's nerd-enthusiasm for the show was really endearing and that made me want to watch it even though the plotting was a mess and the magic was random and illogical af, the music was god-awful pop music like something out of "high school musical" and they made Yennifer petulant instead of powerful, I still found myself enjoying it.

I can't watch anything Star Wars related because the whole viciousness of the online debates over the movies makes me ill and watching a Star Wars movie reminds me how repulsed I am by both sides of the fandom, even if I actually liked the writing and direction (it's not bad but, it still feels written like fanfic with cosplay extras, choreographers and costume designers)

I have a hard time reading Heinlein or Orson Scott Card b/c of their politics. In those cases it actually bleeds through into the work-- it would be like reading a militarized Ayn Rand in parable form. The unrepentant fascism of Bennet's City of Blades made me ill by the time the book was over and unable to finish the trilogy.

I love everything about Ursula Le Guin, in part b/c of who she is and the insight it affords her writing.

All that said, I totally plan on reading Mists of Avalon one day, regardless of the stain there.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 11:23:00 AM by J.R. Darewood »

Offline Skip

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2020, 04:51:46 PM »
I'm not trying to persuade anyone here, and I don't read others as trying to persuade either; we're just trying to sort out and explain where we stand. So, with that in mind ...

I understand how knowing about the author can color one's enjoyment of a book. I read Glory Road and Starship Trooper as a young man and loved both. I read them again about a decade ago and not only did I see the heavy-handed political preaching there, I knew its context because I'd read some biographical information about Heinlein. I think that lessened my enjoyment still further. So, affected by external knowledge, sure.

I see that as different from knowing--let's keep using Heinlein--the political prejudice and then refusing to read that author because of that knowledge. Here I go back to my original point. If I'm going to make buying decisions based on the life rather than the book, then that's a moral judgment on my part. And if it's that important, it seems to my I am morally obliged to research every author before I read them. Which strikes me as absurd. But failing to do that strikes me as hypocrisy, or at best laziness. What, I'm only going to raise a fuss over things I learn by accident?

To go back to the first point, I do recognize that what I know of the life could cause such a strong reaction in me that I just might not be able to bring myself to keep reading that author. But that doesn't mean I would take to social media to condemn it or urge others not to buy the work. That smacks of puritanism, to me.

But it's all good. Folks can go ahead and take the positions set forward on this thread. I'll still like them. ;-)

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Offline Matthew

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2020, 11:19:31 PM »
I think we should make a distinction between what an artist is and what they believe.

A rapist sports star is very different than an author with extreme political views.

One has no defense, while the other is just an opinion.

Refusing to read something because you don't agree with their politics is the same as burying your head in the sand. "I refuse to consider their point because I am right and they are wrong! No I don't need to know what their points are or any arguments that might help me understand them better, I don't want to know, because I am RIGHT!"

Offline cupiscent

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2020, 02:04:30 AM »
I'm not trying to persuade anyone here, and I don't read others as trying to persuade either; we're just trying to sort out and explain where we stand.

Thumbs up! :D

Refusing to read something because you don't agree with their politics is the same as burying your head in the sand. "I refuse to consider their point because I am right and they are wrong! No I don't need to know what their points are or any arguments that might help me understand them better, I don't want to know, because I am RIGHT!"

Hmm. Yes. BUT I don't owe anyone my time (or a chance to convince me), especially if I think it will aggravate / pain / bother me to read their thing, and/or if I think there is something else I could read that I would enjoy more.

Put simply: why would I bother reading the fiction works of people I know have odious political views when there is so much other great stuff to read? :D

Offline Bender

Re: Art vs Artist
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2020, 02:43:47 AM »
Is it just books, or have people stopped appreciating Michael Jackson music too?
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