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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
December 2008
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Lately I’ve been thinking about the relationship between fans and artists. Between creators of works (of art, prose, music) and those who view, read, listen to those works. How the relationship changes depending on how popular a creator becomes. Well known or famous artists and writers and muscians.

Part of what has been consuming is the question of whether there IS a relationship between creator and consumer. Is it just that a creator creates and the consumer consumes. Is the object all that matters? If someone handmakes furniture, and you purchase and use that furniture, do you have a relationship with the person who made it? Does that change if it’s a novel or painting or song? Does it depend on how much of the creator is in the work? If it does, how can you tell how much is in it? How far then can the consumer presume upon that relationship? Does the creator need the consumer to presume? Without someone saying that piece of work filled something inside of me, does the creator still feel like they made something?

I keep coming back to the idea that it’s a good thing we don’t have to like the creator to like the creation. Children aren’t really an example, but rational people would try to not hold parents against their kids. Works aren’t sentient, but I think you can also make the same separation. Maybe, should.

I start thinking about this because I’ve started reading fiction online. Writers whose subject either is ignored by major publishers or who write fan fiction which can’t be published or who just write for fun or who self publish. I’ve also started thinking about this because I’ve become a fan of My Chemical Romance as in reading their blog and watching interviews. I’ve never done that before. I’ve had bands that I loved every song they put out before. In HS, most notably, it was Fleetwood Mac. Then later, Weezer, and then Ben Folds. The Delgados. Etc. But I’ve never gone looking to the creators, except to see other works. I’ve never taken the collective works and had that create an interest in the creator.

I think I’m finding that I actually am very good at separation. The My Chem guys are interesting, but it’s not changing how I like their music. Their music isn’t forcing me to have a continued interest in them. I’ve read and enjoyed books by people I know unpleasant things about. Here’s where it breaks down for me though. If I like a person, there’s a certain fondness for things they create that’s tied to my fondness for the creator. But it layers my opinion of the works, without obscuring. I can tell if some part of me thinks it’s shit or gold.