There is no such thing as an Audience

January 6, 2008

People are interested in what other people are doing, not what you have made for them.

Communities are formed to share an interest, not to service the needs of a third party.

Audiences are a construct that paid-for producers are supposed to be addressing.

Audiences are a cheap Catholic bi-product. The Beatles are still “More Popular Than Jesus.”

Spectators are those who are gripped by the design ability of the author who is besotted with a problem. Spectators are dreamers; when their aspiration is being played out in front of them, they become transfixed. It is the Society of the Spectacle that persuades against dialogue.

If you set out to design for an audience, you design for nobody. If you set out to design for yourself, the audience will be intrigued. If you perform, the authenticity of your craft becomes questioned; if you break the Forth Wall, you may just find the mutuality that the audience respects.

Across all creative practices (science, art, business) everyone is in search of the ‘social’. Designing for Society will ultimately lead to a fascism – a belief in doing something for the ‘greater’ good. Unfortunately, the ‘greater’ lofty aspirations are a Faux Cult [sic], a society that doesn’t exist, a society that has needs beyond what we require. Our aspirations need to be rooted in personal achievements – only then can we work together through mutual interest. Narratives require an aesthetic that transfers its own space-time to your space-time without displacing your own journey through space-time. This conduit is Stateless, not Social. Antidotes and morals are not rewards for engagement, they are taxes – which is the storytellers goal.

Goals are for a player in a game that doesn’t want you interfering.

fantastic-four.jpg

If you want to keep designing for an audience, here’s your soundtrack. Good luck.
[via John Ottman's website]

Here’s the video of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle. Worth a watch. Play the ‘Fantastic 4 Rise of the Silver Surfer’ soundtrack in the background and read the subtitles…

And thus the problems with Social Objects; they are spectacles, deeply personal but utterly banal. Not because of the collective Methods the participants create, but for the need to identify cause, reason and outcome. Relational Aesthetics sought to escape the Object mentality; utilising institutional spaces for social engagement, to open the modality of definitions to see what is beyond a construct.

As Debord states in the video [38m10s]

“In this moving game-space, and from the freely chosen variations of the rules of the game, autonomy of place may be rediscovered, without reintroducing exclusive reattachment to the land, and thus bring back the reality of the journey, and life understood as a journey and having it’s entire meaning within itself.”

I’m spending time thinking about Stateless Objects – objects that have reception to mean anything the audience wish to attach to it, they are persistant because they have no value to dissolve, they are Useful and as Beautiful as the Engaged User wishes them to be. Stateless Objects are acountable, designed and measured through the transactional success within the object, the Usefulness of the Methods (peoples micro and macro actions). To design transactions, you need to understand the relationship between design, production and distribution and the Four Humble Demands. That’s what I’m using the Creation Plane for.

Audiences are without goals and thus only exist in the minds with goals. Here are some good speeches about this with a virtual audience within a simulacra of a spectacle.

6 Responses to “There is no such thing as an Audience”

  1. Rob Myers Says:

    “Spectators are those who are gripped by the design ability of the author who is besotted with a problem.”

    The artist is the first spectator of an artwork. Enthusiasm is infectious.

    “Relational Aesthetics sought to escape the Object mentality; utilising institutional spaces for social engagement, to open the modality of definitions to see what is beyond a construct.”

    Relationalism reifies social spaces and relations, commodifying them for consumption by the managerialist ruling class that predates the dot commie nouveau riche. Instead of God creating Adam you have the managerialist artist creating society.

    “I’m spending time thinking about Stateless Objects”

    In coding, the best way to avoid state is to use Functional Programming. Affordances are infinite functions (sets are functions) and products are compositions of these.


  2. [...] Zero influence – There is no such thing as an Audience “If you set out to design for an audience, you design for nobody. If you set out to design for yourself, the audience will be intrigued […] if you break the Forth Wall, you may just find the mutuality that the audience respects.” (tags: ***** performance planning objects narrativeobjects narrativeenvironments narrativeactivism transmedia storytelling design participation mediacloud platforms stateless api socialmedia collaboration voyeurism learning acw) [...]


  3. I remain unconvinced that there is no such thing as an audience, or even that an artist should properly deny its existence, that they cannot recognise an audience and yet remain uninfluenced by it.

    An audience that one attends to or designs for is a market.

    We need a collective noun to describe the group of people who choose to witness an artist’s work. ‘Audience’ seems to be quite reasonable, and does not necessitate that the artist have a relationship with them.

    The very conception of such a group shouldn’t be enough to corrupt an artist’s independence – even if the artist acknowledges their audience.

    Of course, as an audience get larger, an artist may be tempted by its market potential. The audience may then suspect that because of their size they must now be being attended to, that their taste biases the artist, e.g. to produce ‘more of the same’. Who knows the truth of this except the artist?

    I am a member of your audience therefore your audience exists.

    Whether your audience has zero influence over you, or vice versa – that is the question.


  4. @crosbie

    The longer we hold onto the established roles of an audience the worse it becomes for the producer trying to evolve notions of relationship with the artifact of production, desitribution and design.

    Habitual performances of an audience erode the affordance of the creator. Further, the creator may exist as a collective, whose audience fluctuates with themes from the collective.

    Say, when people follow or research a theme across various platforms and channels; does that theme have an audience?


  5. I think I’m just defending the use of the term ‘audience’. I’m not trying to hang on to any ‘established roles’, nor do I think use of the term necessarily perpetuates them.

    Of course there may well be some kind of linguistic determinism that straight-jackets people’s thought processes concerning relationships with art (romantic notions, etc.), but that’s just language for you. Difficult to fight the inertia. Perhaps create new words?

    So when I say ‘artist’ I always intend the term to mean one or more people involved in a creative process, i.e. collective just as much as solitary. Perhaps the singular nature of the word biases thought toward the solitary case?

    Similarly, when I say ‘audience’ I also don’t intend it to mean a congregation assembled at a particular location, nor that its members are a static set that could ever be enumerated let alone identified.

    Those that attend/follow/appreciate the artist or their work may be termed the artist’s audience.

    Those that follow/appreciate a theme may well deserve a separate term, say ‘afficionados’?

    Anyway, I recognise what you’re getting at, but does it really require such nihilism as to deny the very concept of an audience?

  6. Gavin Heaton Says:

    Just thinking about this today … nice timing, David. I think you have done all my homework for me ;)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • RSS The Main RSS

  • RSS Clippings

  • Fresh on Flickr

    Small Worlds - rathergood.com

    Small Worlds - rathergood.com Screenshot

    Purefold

    what are you doing? - Wolfram|Alpha

    Wolfram|Alpha

    [Page 227] Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science | Online

    noum (noum) on Twitter

    Katy Sissis (vromma) on Twitter

    More Photos
  • For the machines…

  • RSS Wordie!

  • Marketing Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory
  • Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    %d bloggers like this: