Monday, September 26, 2005

"Indie" culture

You may wonder why there is so much cultural content on the World Wide Web today? Why do so many artists, musicians, and writers offer their art freely?

It's the counter-culture of the new millenium. A culture independently grown by artists free of corporate entanglements. It's a movement free to express the truth as seen through a billion different lenses. A virtual home for countless pilgrims to explore the meaning of being. Contrast this with the stark realities of the corporate culture industry.

"In the thirties, Theodor Adorno had declared, 'All comtemporary musical life is dominated by the commodity form.' Those leftists who made democratic claims on behalf of popular music he dismissed with scorn. They missed the totality within which that music was created. 'The culture industry intentionally integrates its consumers from above ... the listener is converted, along hils ine of least resistance, into the acquiescent purchaser.' In so doing, the industry strips listeners and artists alike of real autonomy, of the power to change the system that the music serves. 'The consupmption of light music contract[s] the interested of those who consume it.

- from Mike Marqusee's Chimes of Freedom: The Politics of Bob Dylan's Art
The insidious influence of corporate culture is that it stifles innovation until new works are reduced to cookie-cutter replicas. This is the beginning of the end of any great civilization. Dont' worry I don't think we're there yet.

The World Wide Web provides artists with a new media. A media in which they can participate on a level playing field with the bog dogs!

Weblogs are a great tool for anyone who writes. This weblog, for instance, allows me to post my ramblings for all to see. The reading public will decide whether or not my writing is worthy of their time instead of some corporate editor. Weblogs by the way have become an important part of the new media lately.

There are several web sites dedicated to promoting the music of independent artists. SoundClick.com is one of the best. Musicians can post their songs there for the public to listen to. Many allow fans to download their music free. Fans will still purchase the music they like on CD because it provides better sound quality than MP3s. Some musicans use these sites to sell their CDs on independent labels.

Personal web sites allow artists of every variety to promote themselves. However, this involves specific talents in web design. Artists may wish to hire someone to help them out rather than try to learn HTML or a web page editor.

The point is culture market is becoming more democratic and artists are free to be innovative. The online market decides what is worthy and what is not.

Everyone wins except the corporate giants.


Copyright 2005 by Mark Leon Winegar

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