alright, hi there. i’m a moderately accomplished visual artist, poet, novelist, and fanfiction writer who’s about to be That Guy.
so right now there’s this whole “don’t tag as #me or #kin” thing going around (as well as people drawing interactions between characters and saying “don’t tag as #[ship name]), and there’s started to be this collective decision that this is now a moral burden on the audience. that consumers of art have the moral obligation to go through an artist’s blog before reblogging any of their art and find out their opinions on specific tags before tagging them as such.
i am here, with my multiple published works and several years in online art communities, to tell you that this isn’t how art works oh my god.
it is not the moral obligation of a consumer of content to go find out every single thing about an content creator and try to conform to the original intention of a piece of artwork. intention in creating artwork is all internal. in some artwork, it comes through externally to the audience without them having to hunt it down; however, in artwork where that is not the case (often where the artist doesn’t want the intention to be externally obvious), the motivations for creating a piece of art are entirely internal on the artist’s part, and lose their relevance one the art hits an audience.
because what’s the job of an audience? to fucking interpret art.
once you put your content out in public, you are opening yourself up to feedback, critique, interpretation, and derivative content. that interpretation will not always line up with your original intentions for a piece. sometimes, that interpretation will be wildly incorrect. but it doesn’t matter how incorrect it is–an audience has the right to interpret your art and react to it in any way desired, and it’s that reaction and interpretation that creates the two-way dialogue necessary for good art.
good art doesn’t come from masturbatory “here is every single thing about this piece that you need to see and here is precisely how you should interpret it” circlejerks. good art inspires creativity, not cuts it off before it even begins.
see, i get really passionate about this because this is the same shit authors like Anne Rice used to go after fanfiction authors of their work. at one point in time, there were actual lawsuits against fic writers and fanartists for supposedly infringing on the original authors’ intellectual property by creating derivative work.
and a lot of those stemmed from pieces where the audience’s interpretation of a character or a story was different from the original author’s. a common one was where a fic author would make a character gay, and then the original author would be like oHOoh NnNOnOO NOoott the HomoOSeXUalLS!!!111!!
anyway. tangent aside, once you put your content out in public, you are entering into an implied agreement with your audience where they are free to interpret, discuss, and create derivatives of your content, without regard for your personal feelings.
yes, art can be personal, and that’s good! but public art is a two-way dialogue between an artist and an audience. it can be extremely personal on the artist’s part, but if the artist still chooses to make the art public, it being personal doesn’t have an effect on whether or not there’s a moral obligation of the audience to stick to the artist’s original intentions.
in short, if you really have such a huge personal problem with someone relating really hard to your OC and tagging as #kin, or with someone seeing flirtiness in how you’re drawing your two favorite characters interacting, then you shouldn’t be putting that content in the public sphere. it’s fine to have those sensitivities, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or flawed somehow, it just means that the particular content you’re creating is too personal and shouldn’t be put into the public sphere.
sharing art is a great experience, of course, and it’s always good to have a circle of close friends, maybe an art teacher or something, who can give you feedback and help you improve. but like… if you can’t deal with public engagement with your work, then don’t post it on a public account. email back-and-forth between friends or pass your sketchbook around instead.
anyway i have no idea how to end this *fingerguns* B)
Obviously this is a big thing right now in the phandom. People are feeling hurt, anxious, angry, and a plethora of other emotions. Rightfully so, considering the circumstance. I’m upset that someone would have the audacity to (allegedly) share Dan and Phil’s address on the internet as well and (also allegedly) go and actually stalk them in person.
Before I begin though, I’d just like to state that I honestly don’t know the whole situation. I don’t know of the people involved nor have I even seen proof that it actually happened. I trust that it did, but again, I don’t know the circumstance. All I’ve really seen is the response, which I’m going to come back to.
I’d also like to say I originally didn’t want to write this, for reasons which will become clear as I go on. However I felt like it needed to be said. I realize a lot of you may disagree with me, but I hope you hear me out.
Personally, although I’m not condoning what the alleged person did, I feel like as a fandom we could have handled this situation differently. Let me explain:
As we all know, things spread. Fast. When things like their address or even things like the V-Day video spread, we are very eager to go to our blogs and write long rants regarding the situation. After all, our blogs are where we are free to let out our emotions (which is a great thing!)
And while I think commenting on the situation is understandable to some degree, my thought process is simply that by talking publicly about the situation, it keeps the situation fresh. When we talk about things it not only reminds people who may have forgotten it even happened, or alert people who never even knew in the first place.
I for one wouldn’t have even known this happened had it not been for people talking about it on here.
And while I would like to believe the phandom are only people with good intent, it unfortunately is not. There are people who see people talking about the address and then become curious and go to seek it out for themselves.
We saw it and still see it with the V-Day video. People find the information, save it, and sometimes even share with friends.
In my opinion, we need to sometimes understand that reporting and privately messaging the perpetrator the reasons as to why they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing is more efficient and sufficient. It gets rid of the information by having it removed and doesn’t draw a large amount of attention (which is usually what the people who share that information want anyways.)
And if you wish to educate your followers on the situation given they come asking questions, I would recommend you private message them instead of posting it where anyone can see.
For instance, I had seen information regarding Dan and Phil’s address and the V-Day video once a long while ago, both of which I reported and sent a calm message to the uploaders asking them to refrain from posting them again. I don’t think those are up now, nor did many other people see. Therefore, the information wasn’t passed around near as rapidly.
I also always ask my followers to go off of anon whenever asking me about the V-Day video. Otherwise I won’t respond. And when I do respond, I always only share an overview of the situation. I never share any direct sources to the video (most of which are always taken down thankfully) nor do I include specific names. I simply provide a way for people to not be as curious and hopefully never go looking for it themselves.
I feel like if we all tried to handle things less publicly, perhaps things wouldn’t escalate quite as much.
I know some people shared information on the address situation with good intention. For instance, I saw how some people decided to warn the phandom just in case Dan and Phil felt they had to move because of this incident. However, would it be our business in the first place to have to know why they decide to move? Not really, at least from my perspective. Although I admit I’d probably still be curious as well. Who wouldn’t? Yet, we would have to settle with ourselves that we won’t always know and we have to trust Dan and Phil.
As a phandom, I think it’s admirable that we all stick together and try our best to protect Dan and Phil.
However, I feel like instead of being situation specific, we should work together to promote a general sense of respect towards Dan and Phil more often (meaning even when things like this aren’t happening/getting attention). I also think that by setting a good example for our followers, we can ensure that most of the phandom does what it can to keep Dan and Phil safe and maintain trust with them.
I understand that a lot of you may feel differently from me. That’s okay!
I’m also not judging anyone who decided to speak out against the stalking. I applaud you for caring so much. You’re a reason why this phandom is so amazing and caring.
I just think we should all try to keep this in mind next time something big happens or the next time you see something that is invading their privacy.
So I guess what I’m saying is this:
Block, report, and try to keep things as low-key as possible. That way things don’t become any bigger than they already are ^^
Yep. That’s a giant pink condom. On a monument in a park.
But it’s for a great cause! New South Wales agency ACON created the installation in Sydney, Australia’s Hyde Park to raise raise awareness among gay men about how they can help in ending HIV transmission by 2020. [via]