League of Free Arts
Art is the most fragile element of societies. It is our duty to protect and promote it. As artists, critics and lovers of all arts, we ensure that free creativity can find its space.
Emancipation only exists when every artist has an independent web-presence. Artists must have the tools to shape their own space. Attachment to social platforms is undermining their freedom.
The League of Free Arts encourages creators to (1) demask and denounce the culture industry and to (2) support each other’s creativity against commercial distortion.
Authentic art is free. It expresses a conflict between the artist and the world. This expression is a quest for conciliation, confrontation or transcendence. A work of art is subjective and unique.
We denounce mass deception disguised as art and the commercial standardisation of culture. We denounce monopolists who take advantage of the alienated to make money in the name of art. We regard this as a threat to democracy and critical reasoning.
Art is not a profession, not a trade, not a business. Though the authentic artist should live for art, it is not legitimate to live from art as a main source of income. Independent art cannot submit itself to the market law of demand and supply. It must arise and exist for everyone, yet despite everyone and everything.
The league is active both on-line and off-line. It encourages, supports and undertakes different measures to strengthen the cause of free art. Among its initiatives may be counted:
What’s wrong with social platforms?
1. Social media are synchronising platforms: They provide users with the same default account. In an independent network of artists, people build their website as they wish.
2. Social media are walled gardens: You can only connect with those who have an account. An independent network does not need an intermediary platform.
3. Social media are run in centralised private servers: The contents you share do not belong to you and can be erased without your consent. They may remain on the server after being deleted.
4. Social media are funded by adverts: You become a product to be offered and sold to advertisers.
5. Social media trivialise communication: Everybody is encouraged to act and react too quickly. Slow, moderate and critical thinking cannot break through the spell of artificiality.
6. Social media cannot control hate speech: Elaborated and refined content is exposed to abusive and bullying language.
7. Social media are a threat to democracy: During any major election, armies of bots sabotage the platforms to manipulate voters and undermine trust in democracy.
What does authenticity take?
Art is something subjective and unique. Freedom from the culture industry and from media monopolies is difficult. It requires an attitude that, among other things,
Sacrifice, because art is not a business. Critical reasoning, because art is also enlightenment. High ambitions, because transcendence is not trivial. Universal rights, because art is also compassion.
What does peer-to-peer support look like?
1. HTML and CSS literacy: Artists support each other with the key web-design languages. They contribute to inclusion and de-centralisation.
2. Independent network: Only a strong network ensures a visible place for independent art on-line. In the League, walled-gardens are replaced by a participative mailing list.
3. Regular meetings: The League organises regular meetings for members to interact. You need face-to-face support and debate to mature.
4. Facing an audience: The League organises events for single artists. Interaction with a critical public is a good input to creativity.
5. Mention of merit: Artists mention or review each other’s work on their respective sites. There is no commercial pressure, they act out of genuine interest.
Flag of the League
The League of Free Arts has its own flag: A white, freely stylised, capital E on the left, with background in tyrian purple. The E stands for emancipation – from the culture industry. The free font style alludes to the freedom of creativity, subversive or conciliatory.
The background refers to high aesthetic ambition and transcendence. Tyrian purple is the imperial colour of Ancient Rome. The flag portrays art in its conflict between sublimity and subversion.
Joining the League
Anyone can join the League of Free Arts. As the League has no central website, its activities and debates take place via mailing-lists. To join our main list, please fill this form.
The League is based on free support and initiative. Joining the League will make you stronger as an artist or art lover.