Chris Boardman Music Blog: Monday Musings: Scarcity vs. Abundance-Have we been duped?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Monday Musings: Scarcity vs. Abundance-Have we been duped?

Have we all been duped?

A component of 20th century business was the idea that scarcity could be manipulated and controlled. We were also systematically conditioned to respond to cost thus creating artificial  vs. organic value. Prices would rise if the consumer believed that fewer “copies” of that item they desired were available. In some cases this is true. Precious metals such as gold, platinum, silver are finite resources but the people who profit in the entertainment industry are the ones who control access to the item we desire rather than the creator of the product. 

The business of art is nothing more than selling a receptacle (painting, record, photo, movie) that enables the user to trigger their emotional memory. Great art will continue to engender an emotional response not because of the package it comes in...but from the emotional intent captured at the moment of creation.

Where does the desire for art come from? 

With billions of people on the planet it is safe to say that human emotion and our need to be connected is abundant . But the packaging created by a business to expose and create artificial scarcity is not. Good art (packaging) will capture your attention. Great art makes you feel.

Art as a product (a CD, DVD or painting) is physical but its value is derived from the emotion created by engaging with the art. And, the ultimate judge of the value is the user of the art....not the packager of the art. In social media one metric of value is determined by how often a piece of art (or content) is shared which suggests that art is a container of emotional value that is then transmitted from one to another. Sharing online has nothing to do with ownership. It has to do with our inherent human desire to feel connected. Social media platforms monetize access not ownership or distribution of a physical product. Value is judged by the experience created.

The challenge for the artist is not to create the flashiest physical container for their work. The challenge for the artist is to create value in the form of an experience that undeniably taps into the abundant nature of human emotion. People will do the need not be overly concerned about it.

The basic question for the artist is “where is the value? Packaging or emotion?”

You  be the judge.

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