BB #1

Brain  Bubbles. If the name’s not immediately fully descriptive (especially when combined with previous post about seeking a new voice), I’ll explain another time. I’ve already written too much saying that much.

This is not particularly reflective of anything in particular; just ruminations about then and now. More reflective of peculiar than particular!

I went from a performance-oriented west coast art work environment to a Midwest office corporate environment. The cultural context comparisons continue to endear, befuddle and amuse. The contrasts have some main axes: west coast social versus Midwest social; art world versus corporate world; content-oriented versus object-oriented.

I’ve always been a fan of the old, “compare and contrast” jams. (You can always tell a duffer. They tend to think everything’s a “rip off” of something else. They’ve got the compare part down cold; now they need to improve their contrast chops.)

Anyway, along the long corporate years, I’ve often smirked at the contrast between corporate budget concerns that disallow donuts at monthly meetings (donuts!) and Hollywood spending tens of thousands on daily catering. Donuts once a month seems so… trivial to me. A film, a concert tour, a major play; it takes big budgets to pull these off. Budgets in the millions sometimes.

I guess it’s a matter of scale and moment.

Hollywood is like titanium. Amazing stuff, but sometimes brittle. A great deal centers on the performance (and public appreciation of) of the key, most costly players. The element of fickle public perception (both of performers and content) makes success brittle.

Success is elusive and hard to hold. Sports is also this way; the most visible individuals in some ways are the business. (And in all cases, business is business, and the real money-makers are the owners.)

In general, art produces single items at a time. Corporations produce a range of products over time. Art produces its product hoping it’ll be liked (or at least regarded). Corporations live off producing what already sells. New products are a bit like art. Will the public like them? New Coke, anyone?

So naturally the art and corporate worlds have very different business models.

I just wish the corporate one wasn’t so stodgy and stuffy sometimes.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

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