Apr 012009

Art manifesto for a derailing culture.




Professionalism can essentially be described as a fascism of democracy. A streamlining of form and content in order to make its content as easily absorbable by as many people as possible while supressing anything that might get in the way of that absorbtion. Professionalism – the product of a consumer driven, capitalist democracy – is therefore the sum of that society’s reigning cultural conventions.


  • Professionalism allows the brain to navigate information uncritically by collective conventions of communication, perception and understanding.
  • Professionalism is all about the removal of content in the way of the most basic comprehension.
  • Professionalism in art is pointless and occlusive to the search of what is human.
  • Professionalism is ultimately the death of art.


Art is all about the human condition. It is not about aesthetics or concepts; although these aspects of a work may fascinate us due to the mental challenge or surprise they can present. Nor is it about renewal of style or ideas in a sense of progression, as art historians traditionally would have us think.

Art is all about the uncharted areas of human experience. Personally and collectively.


Art forces the brain to actively seek out its meaning and substance, because it is not appearant due to its lack of function. It is not the cultural equivalent of a murder mystery, as most seem to think, but merely the brain’s underlying effort to establish a pattern to the experience encountered. 


Machines, the apex of professionalism, are crudely limited by bit size and the complexity of their mechanics. Humans, by nature, are unpredictable and inaccurate. Human beings are organic and analogue, subtle and infinitely detailed in emotions and motives. Human essence cannot truly be expressed in a way that could be labeled professional. Only a highly stylized and shallow charicature can.


Professionalism therefore is a negation of art because it suppresses key aspects of human nature. Feelings and behaviors like insecurity, hesitancy, timidity, inconsistency, indecision, erraticism, fickleness, confusion, unpredictability, imprecision, laziness, neuroticism, absentmindedness, ambiguity are all in direct conflict with the idea of professionalism. Although professionalistic cultural products often depict these human states, they only do so in clichéed ways, so the audience is never in doubt as to what is happening.

What is worse is that the author can never apply these states as an integral part of the creative process as the bulk audience would be completely baffled by the ambiguity of the experience. The audience would suffer under the mental strain. Our professionalistic culture has made mental weaklings of us.


Professionalism is essentially the absurd eradication of all conflicting emotions.


Every human trait that is collectively considered undesirable to a degree, no matter how human, is suppressed by basically all of our mass media institutions which seem to worship Professionalism – the discreet proponent of capitalist interests. The truly scary part is that even most anti-consumerist media abide by the rules of professionalism too.


The tragedy is that our cultural output suffers not only from a misguided point of focus, but also a direct negation of its art. For every fraction of effort that is directed at professionalism, an equal fraction of artistic potential is lost. This makes for a very unfortunate cultural bottom line in a consumer driven democracy.


Collectively we prioritize professionalism over art and therefore we are reducing our self-appreciation, our weltanschauung and, to some degree, the way we live our lives to that of machines.


Art is the interhuman language and code for the charting, communicating and recording of our being. And collectively, our most accurate description of the human condition.



– Simon Gylden, 2009.