Archive for Swans

The Good, The Bad & The Elitist

Posted in Thoughts and rants with tags , , , , , , , on September 24, 2013 by Eyeless

“Il buono, il brutto, l’elitario”

This post was meant to be posted in the end of August. Shame on me.


Here’s what I have to say on “On the protection of art”… There are few insults to art as big as the elitists who try to “protect art” (merely speaking from my own perspective as an artist here). I’m not talking about copyright this time. I think censorship belongs to this subject as well, but what I’m trying to focus on is that in some peoples heads, there’s this idea, that today’s artists cannot measure up to past talents, and because these past talents raised the bar pretty high, new talents must strive for higher or at least equal standards. In other words, most of todays art is not REAL art (tsk, whatever “real” art is). This idea also states that if you, as an artist, do not reach the same type of complexity and symbolic depth as these “past geniuses”, your art will lose complexity and symbolic depth altogether.

One example I have is someone commenting on a song by the band Swans, using the above statement. Swans implement a monotonous, droning sound which slowly escalates into a lengthy and powerful crescendo. Said person expressed his dislike towards this sound on the basis that Genesis’ prog rock style is much more complex, and would fill the same amount of time with more complex riffs, solos & intelligent soundscapes. Nothing bad was really said about Swans, but it was hinted that, even though their music has a good vibe to it, it will never surmount the perfectionist sound of Genesis. This person’s belief was furthermore explained: todays music has fallen farther and farther away from the musical foundation built by the 70’s prog rock, therefore, it is no longer to be considered an art form.

My reaction is this: Come on, guys.

I love Swans and I love Genesis. I love drone and I love prog. None of these exclude the other. None of these exceed the other, and more importantly: No one wants someone else to tell them what is true art and what isn’t (Unless you’re  totally new to the concept of art & think there’s a distinction between true and false art I suppose); it’s clearly not for anyone to decide. Surely a subjective opinion on art is everyone’s right. Surely you’re free to observe and express your opinion based on your observations, but remember, as is everyone else. “I’m just expressing my opinion” is not an excuse to unjustify the reactions of others. There isn’t a need for guardians-of-art; only the people who would take on such a role would think there is a need for it. Sadly, they’ve forgotten that art is really nothing but freedom of expression. No one has exclusive rights to freedom; it’s a collective right.

Now, some of you owe the douchebag jar some money.