Video didn’t kill the arts; technology did.

AI generated art.

Whenever I think of technology and the arts, I think of the scene in Star Trek Beyond (2016) when Fight the Power by Public Enemy is playing, and Scotty states, “Music’s a bit old-fashioned for my taste, not to mention loud and distracting.” That one scene sums up where I believe technology is taking us; a world devoid of the arts.

Later in the movie, the song Sabotage by The Beastie Boys is used to destroy the enemy. It’s painfully apparent that the captain is the only one who knows the song. The crew is intrigued by the music, and a couple of the crew members are even moved by it. Then the Dr. turns to Spock and asks, “Is this classical music?” Spock responds, “Yes, Dr., it would seem to be.” Only a select few in the future know anything about, much less care about, music. I find the paradox in this scene intriguing.  

The brilliance of that scene was far ahead of its time. The complete lack of understanding of the pure genius of the Beastie Boys by this crew was painstakingly apparent. And there it is… I can hear millions of outraged geeks boisterously complaining that they LOVE the Beastie Boys. And predictably, many of those folks have already stopped reading and begun their smear campaign against this post. Well, here’s the TL;DR portion for those folks if they’re still paying attention: The tech culture is a soul-less one entrenched in domination at all costs, which has all but destroyed the arts.

When writing the above, I asked myself, “Would you rather live in a Star Trek Beyond future or one with Ruby Rohd and Diva Plavalaguna?” My answer was simple… I prefer to live in the more cultured and colorful future of The Fifth Element (1997) than that of the highly homogenized future presented in the more recent Star Trek creations.

Ruby Rohd:

Diva Plavalagun:

Now, let’s get back to The Beastie Boys… In 1989, I went to a record store with enough cash for two CDs. I knew one of the two I would be getting but had promised myself that I wouldn’t decide on the second one until I did some investigating. Cellophane Square was the name of the store I would be visiting. It was a small local record store with employee reviews of albums. I was excited because this would be my first “new” music purchase in a while. I had just finished my collection of David Bowie picture vinyl records of older albums, which I still have, and I was itching for some new music.

I spent a couple of hours in the store reading reviews. I had whittled down my selection of new music to two choices and could not make up my mind. Having been in this predicament in 1985, I let one of the employees influence my choice. That time I walked out with the album, Around the World in a Day by Prince, which is still one of my favorites. This decision now required employee input as well. I was familiar with The Beastie Boys and had the album Licensed to Ill, so I was hesitant to come home with another album by a band I knew. Ultimately, I took their advice and came home with Paul’s Boutique. Over forty years later, that album is still another of my all-time favorites.

Album cover of Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys.

Twenty-six years after Paul’s Boutique was released, the radio station KEXP took a whole day to break down the album. Yeah, that’s right, a radio station took an entire day breaking down all the samples and connections to other artists in that album. Not many albums are so rich in culture that an entire day can be devoted to breaking it down. And Paul’s Boutique was only The Beastie Boys’ second album! That breakdown can be found here:

I’m sure some are a bit perplexed by that previous paragraph. A radio station breaking down an album and dedicating a whole day to one album? Yes, that should be called out and addressed. KEXP is a commercial-free, listener-supported radio station in Seattle, Washington. The radio station started fifty years ago with the call letters KCMU. KEXP is located in Seattle, where I was born and raised and still call home, and I grew up listening to it. I still slip up from time to time and call it KCMU. My love of the station has never diminished; this household is an “Amplifier household.” Those who donate monthly are called “Amplifiers.”

KEXP is unique in today’s world for many reasons, but the primary one is that it’s people-powered, and humans select the music to play. It’s also “Where the music matters.” Most DJs are not locked into playing a genre or specific format. The producers also give DJs the liberty to play and do what they want with their programs. One of the best whimsical shows I’ve ever listened to was when the fill-in DJ Marco Collins did a spontaneous “Dance Party.” KEXP promotes artists and their work in both traditional and cutting-edge ways. But KEXP is not just a radio station. The programming at KEXP includes an extensive amount of community service and outreach. KEXP is a community that impacts and influences culture.

My husband and I outside of KEXP, waiting in line to see Gorillaz.

I’ve intentionally digressed a bit and want to get back on track… So how did we get from me taking a bus and then walking six miles uphill in the snow and needing to rely on humans to find new music to explore and enjoy to where we are today? I believe the answer to that question is the same as the answer to this question: Why is there only one radio station I know of with the tagline “Where the music matters” which can live up to that tagline? The answer is “technology.”

Musicians are far from the only artists I’m talking about. The fine arts are being destroyed in the same way the musical arts have been gutted. Culture is becoming so homogenized and sterilized by technology and tech money that it’s like bleach being tossed into a load of brightly colored clothes. Technology is turning the arts and artists into rotting fish carcasses on shore.

We have the tech sector to thank for astronomical housing costs in urban areas worldwide. Cities that were once a hotbed of culture and arts are being leveled when it comes to housing prices – all cities are expensive now – and most artists can no longer afford to live anywhere near a city. Galleries in these cities now compete with other businesses for high-paid tech workers who don’t buy art. This results in galleries competing with high-end retail and other bling. It also reduces the number of galleries in which emerging local artists can gain exposure. Yes, I know about coffee shops, but that is not enough! Coffee shops focus on coffee. Even Starbucks sold its soul in favor of mass-produced “art” and glorified junk food. Starbucks is now nothing more than a coffee-focused McDonald’s; prove me wrong. Money bleached any sense of culture Starbucks had. The same money that bleached Starbucks has made a hasty retreat of culture in our cities due to the influx of highly paid tech workers.

A glaring example of culture’s exodus from urban areas was presented to me the other day. My husband and I took our Frenchie (Boom Boom) to a few galleries downtown. First, we went to an opening for one of the artists we collect. After that, it was off to another opening for another artist in our collection. Historically, the path we were taking went by a few other galleries and artsy home stores. Those have all been replaced by yoga studios and other soulless stores catering to the tech crowd. It wasn’t very reassuring to see the bleaching which had taken place near Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square.

As we were walking, Boom Boom did what dogs do and pooped. There were five tech bros following us. One of the five stopped and stood there loudly yelling, “Ooooooo, oooooh, oooooh,” as Boom Boom took care of business. His bros stepped to the side in silence as this man-boy did whatever he was doing. Boom Boom shot him some side-eye as he shit. I also hit him with some side-eye. The silence from everyone was probably enough to embarrass him. Nope. He carried on and then rejoined his bros, who were all looking at their phones, and they all started walking and talking again as they continued to look at their phones.

His tech bros thought it perfectly okay for a grown man to act like a child seeing a dog poop for the first time. I’ve been around the tech industry to know that this is a mild reflection of how cultureless and life-deprived those in the tech industry are.  It’s also a perfect example of the maturity level of most tech bros. After all, Dropcam (now Nest/Google) started to find out who was not cleaning up their dog poop. Anyway, the tech bro enamored by my dog taking a crap must have thought dogs pooped like this:

The king of the tech bros for a while was Shawn Fanning. He’s no longer king because he’s only worth a measly 2.8 billion dollars. Shawn came to wealth and notoriety by stealing from artists and making it easy for everyone else to do so. Shaun was one of the founders of Napster, which broke onto the stage in 1999. Napster allowed people to share their music collections so others could download them. This allowed anyone to spit in the face of copyright infringement. Everyone could download any music they wanted for free. People were also sharing songs by artists before the official release of the song without permission. In my opinion, this was the beginning of the end for the arts.

When he founded Napster, Shawn knew full-quality audio recordings were large files. He also knew that the size of an MP3 audio file was so much smaller that it could be downloaded and shared in a heartbeat. MP3s eliminate portions of the audio file to reduce their size. By doing this, the audio quality is compromised so the file can be transferred more efficiently and consume less space on your phone or other devices. In concise order, we went from the quality of the music to the number of items in our collections. Tech bros and gals began to think they were audiophiles because they had extensive music collections. Large collections of music files that had been stripped of all their glory… A cringe-worthy move any real audiophile would laugh at.

Tech bros and gals had no clue they were listening to crap files; most still don’t. They pushed this crap onto the general public, and it became mainstream. Napster was the beginning of the end of quality music and artists sustaining themselves. Tech bros and gals set a precedent for others to think diminishing the quality of art and ripping that art from the hands of the creator was perfectly okay. Tech companies, along with tech bros, and gals, mainstreamed theft from artists and bastardizing their work.

A common word used to soften the blow to those harmed by technology is “disruption.” Disruption is something that should not be thought of as having positive implications. Yes, sometimes disruption is needed, but unfortunately, the tech sector thinks disruption is goodness. Napster diminished or erased the income of countless artists, and that type of disruption is not good. Think of it this way… If someone came in and stole all your money and everything you had created, would that be a positive disruption? Elon Musk’s disruption at Twitter has made a few tech people rethink the tech sector’s mantra of “disruption is goodness.”

The tech industry needs to learn that disruption for the sake of disruption is not good. Just because we can do something does not imply that we should. Morality was tossed aside by the founders of Napster. Tech and Napster culture could care less about the artists they were hurting; they wanted to disrupt, make a name for themselves, and get rich. Nothing has changed much in the decades that followed Napster’s rape of musical artists.  

Disruption for the sake of disruption is something children and immature adults do when they want to break things with complete disregard for the impact it will have on others. As I was looking for an image to use for disruption, I was appalled to see that not one image had an overtly negative message. Most were passive-aggressive ones indicating disruption is good. Here’s a good representation:

But the one that caught my eye was using Scrabble-like tiles to spell out the word “disruption.” My head exploded. A player cannot have ten tiles in Scrabble! Players are limited to seven tiles, but then I realized this was the perfect example of how tech firms and corporate America play the game… They show complete disregard for the rules and those whom the laws protect. They only care about winning.

As I scrolled through hundreds of pictures, one image with countless variations kept popping up. Seeing all these variations cemented my opinion that tech companies do not care about their negative impacts on consumers, culture, and society. Not one interpretation of the speedometer being maxed out had any indication of the moral and ethical implications of disruption. Each image just showed full-throttle disruption was goodness:

Then I stumbled across this one image with all sorts of implications about disruption. I realized it summed up my beliefs about disruption and the tech sector perfectly… Disruption has become a virus or cancer in society. This is driven by the tech sector’s lack of moral guidance as it worships the almighty dollar.

First, we had software mainstreaming theft from artists and the bastardization of their work. Next came the hardware. Sonos is one tech company I had high hopes for. I saw them working with artists and merging the arts and technology beautifully… Initially. Sonos is a wireless speaker maker which was founded in 2002 and geeks worship its hardware. I was an early adopter. I stuck with Sonos over the years due to its excellent customer support and the innovation they were doing. In my opinion, their customer support is no longer what it was; it’s mediocre at best. I also believe innovation at Sonos has plateaued, and they are pretty comfortable being nothing more than a modern-day radio.  

Over the years, I’ve only two had two significant problems with Sonos. First was their inability to provide lossless playback over Wi-Fi. Sonos claims to support lossless playback over wireless, but this is not the case for larger setups. As soon as I expanded my Sonos speaker collection beyond three speakers, Sonos could not handle the bandwidth required for lossless playback. After I crossed that magic threshold of three speakers, reliable playback of lossless files on my setup was unobtainable. I was furious. I got disruptive and emailed the CEO of Sonos. It turned out the only solution Sonos had for me was to wire my wireless speakers if I wanted to continue listening to lossless music files.

My exchange with Sonos was so pointed and spot-on that it led to them changing their documentation about their support of lossless playback. The following lines are for the Sonos lawyers… I still have those emails, and the free Play 5 Sonos sent me over my disruptive exchange with Sonos. I will publish those exchanges if you do what shameless layers are paid to do. Here’s a snip of one of them:

In that exchange, I was disruptive with Sonos because I am a music lover and a consumer advocate at heart, and Sonos had promised me lossless playback. I want to hear precisely what the artists creating the music intended and refuse to listen to MP3s at home. Why would I want my musical experience compromised by listening to songs where the richness of the experience has been minimized? Okay, now I hear all those pissed-off Sonos owners getting upset in HD Audio. Not lossless, mind you, just HD… There’s a difference. Don’t worry; Sonos fooled you the way they did me.

During one of my phone calls with Sonos about lossless playback, I stated that the quality of WAV files over MP3 files was immediately noticeable. The response was, “You must have great hearing because I can’t tell the difference.” I was like, WTF? How can you NOT tell the difference? Seriously, I couldn’t believe his statement. Several years later, Sonos has shown me that I am not alone in my ability to discern the difference between lossy and lossless formats… Sonos has started trumpeting their support for HD audio (not lossless). If MP3 was good enough for Sonos, why is Sonos flip-flopping by supporting high-res audio now? Are people starting to realize the tech sector sold them a bill of goods regarding MP3 files?

To keep a long and technical conversation short… Sonos still refuses to let consumers play back music how artists intended it to be listened to unless the consumer jumps through hoops. Sure, it will work for a few speakers but not in a whole home solution. We have ten speakers by Sonos, an Arc for the home theater, and two subs. I’ve told Sonos I will get one more sub, but then I’m moving on to a company that will deliver what it advertises. I hope Sonos steps up to the challenge, but doubt it will.

Many Sonos owners with turntables may feel confused and bamboozled at this point. You should. You do not get lossless playback of your records by default. I have a turntable and get lossless playback and recordings because I have jumped through the hoops required to make that happen. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that record you are playing is more than likely being compressed. If you got the turntable because vinyl sounds better, ask yourself if lossless sounds better, not if vinyl sounds better.

Here’s a pro tip: Rip your vinyl in lossless and have the convenience of a digital recording of that vinyl record.

My other problem with Sonos is that it caps the limit of artists and songs consumers can have in their library for playback using Sonos. They claim that the cap is 65,000, but it’s another misleading claim by Sonos. The cap is bound to memory; it’s not a static number. Many users have complained about hitting the cap at less than half of the published number.

Sonos told me in 2022 that they never intend to raise the cap. This is because Sonos has found its niche as an expensive and glorified streaming device, a modern-day radio. Sonos has no intention of letting audiophiles (mature or aspiring) listen to however many songs they want in their collection using Sonos exclusively. So much for extensive music collections! It looks like Sonos will now ride the wave of mediocrity into its sunset.

Did he say Sonos has become nothing more than a radio? He did! Sonos products are not for audiophiles who wish to hear music in its full glory wirelessly. Nor is Sonos a solution for those who want to have extensive music collections. Furthermore, I believe Sonos has been as disruptive as it will ever be. They’ve hit their apex as fancy radios for streaming compressed music files. I challenge Sonos to get their act together and stop chasing their god, which is money. Sonos needs to remember their gods are the artists producing the music they capitalize off of. Sonos is at a do-or-wither moment by my books.

A couple of years after Sonos, Spotify disrupted everything again by streaming compressed audio files. I cannot state it any clearer than this: I loathe Spotify. Spotify raped artists not even five minutes after they had been previously raped. It’s like tech decided a gang rape of artists was perfectly okay, and the public turned a blind eye. The limited series The Playlist (Netflix) nicely covers the serial rapist Spotify. I recommend the show, cutting ties with Spotify, and using that money to purchase music and build your private collection. Spotify does not need your money; artists do.

Streaming is where the tech industry (including Sonos) has bet the bank. Those streaming companies do not pay artists anything more than a token. They are not only exploiting the artists; they compress the audio and push it on consumers as a first-rate experience. Yes, I know about Tidal. Tidal may pay artists about 60% more than other streaming services but let’s put that in perspective… Tidal pays about $13,000 for one-million streams of a song. If the same mediocre artist sells a million CDs at about $13.79 a pop, and that artist gets 15% of the sales contractually, the artist would then take home approximately $2,068,500.00. Tidal is still raping artists. I beg everyone reading this to buy the album and stop partaking in the gang rape of artists.

Streaming services also use algorithms to decide what music you should listen to. No humans, just computers, are dictating what music people are presented with. – Yes, snowflake, I know there are exceptions. – Radio DJs don’t even choose what you will hear unless the dial or URL is pointing at a radio station like KEXP. There’s little to no risk taken with artists when it comes to music anymore. People say they love music but refuse to explore artists. True music lovers still buy CDs and records, rip them to lossless digital files, and create personal playlists that span genres, generations, and cultures—snowflakes like myself who still appreciate the arts, artists, and choice.

Pop quiz… What was the last musical genre to explode onto the scene? It was not hip-hop. Hip-hop started in the 1970s. Rapper’s Delight by The Sugar Hill Gang is known for being the first hip-hop song to be played on the radio in 1979.

Rapture by Blondie was the first rap video to be played on MTV and was part of the station’s first 90-minute rotation:

Arguably grunge, also known as “the Seattle sound,” was the last genre of music to take the world by storm. Grunge surfaced in the mid-1980s and spilled onto the stage in the early 1990s. Remember, Napster was launched on June 1, 1999. It is no coincidence that there has not been a significant new genre since grunge. Nothing can break free of the stranglehold technology has on the music industry and the artists who create music. And no, bedroom pop is not a noteworthy genre… It’s just a realization that music aficionados are sitting in their bedrooms waiting for something to give.

Most of us have thought we are entitled to free music since the late 1990s. When Napster disrupted the music industry, the first significant hit to global record sales was registered. The recording industry was sent into a panic. In 2006 Spotify joined in on the technological gang rape of artists; nothing has been the same since. We’ve also been served music that algorithms think we will like for decades. When MTV played their first video on August 1, 1981, they got it dead wrong; video did not kill the radio star; technology did.

So how does all of this apply to the fine arts? Earlier I mentioned that the tech sector and its money are like bleach on culture. Artists are being priced out of cities, and those who appreciate the arts need to take extraordinary measures to seek and find new artists or sit back and be spoon-fed art which an algorithm thinks you will like based on your tastes.

One of the most prominent fine art websites is Algorithms dominate Artsy. I tell Artsy what I like and get presented with more artists the algorithm thinks I might like. If I hit Artsy from a private browser, I will be given a lot of safe and nondescript art. Sure Artsy will spoon-feed me the artists they consider up and coming, but I like to find them long before they hit Artsy’s radar. To try and do this on Artsy is beyond difficult. Furthermore, I try to purchase on Artsy, and the gallery tells me that the margins on Artsy are too slim to even negotiate on shipping. Artsy’s impact on the income of galleries and artists cannot be quantified yet, but I’m sure they are not considering the artist first. Arty wanted to disrupt, and they have.

As a collector, I see it as almost criminal when I find a gallery not listed on Artsy. I believe they are doing a disservice to the artists they represent by not listing them on Artsy. I still get worked up about this internally and need to stop and remember that it costs galleries a small fortune to be on Artsy. The expensive nature of listing on Artsy and the small margins galleries get from Artsy make it difficult for many galleries to justify the expense. As much as I want to see galleries – especially those doing well – get as much exposure for the artists they represent as possible, it’s a bottom-line thing and their call.

Further bleaching the fine arts are websites built on artificial intelligence, which let anyone create “paintings” in seconds. I made one in moments by typing “Salvador Dali on acid.” The image at the top of this post was also generated by AI.

Salvador Dali On Acid
Generated by the Artificial Intelligence system DALL-E-2 in less than ten seconds.
The image at the top of this post was generated with DALL-E-2 as well.

Every day people are typing strings into a browser and generating images faster than they can go to the bathroom. These images then get put up for sale as art in digital stores with little to no effort. The bastardization of fine art has now reached its apex.

A recent snafu by the Museum of Museums in Seattle showcased the disconnect between tech and the arts. That boondoggle pushed me over the edge and led to this post. As most know, Seattle is one of the technological hubs of the world. Microsoft and Amazon call the area home. Google, Meta, and many other tech companies also have a significant footprint in Seattle. Greg Lundgren, the founder of the Museum of Museums in Seattle, decided to do a “Microsoft vs. Amazon” call for art. He decided to capitalize off the tech bros and gals calling themselves artists who unequivocally refuse to support the arts. He wanted to show the art of the well-paid employees of these two tech giants. The backlash was fierce, and he canceled the show.

Greg Lundgren’s move showed how out of touch with reality he was. The immediate backlash has been written about extensively. One thing I have yet to see written about is what kind of “artist” he was trying to attract. I’ve worked in the tech sector my entire life. I’ve collected handmade items my whole life as well. My husband and I have collected fine art for decades. Tech and the arts have never intersected for me until the pandemic. The apparent need to expand visibility for artists was made painfully evident during the pandemic and eventually gave birth to this blog.

In all my years walking the halls of tech companies ranging from small businesses to the world’s largest software manufacturer, my love of art and tech never merged until now. It’s not that I didn’t talk about art at work or walk the halls looking at the behemoths’ impressive art collections; art and tech are like oil and water; they don’t mix.

I’ve met many “aspiring artists” at work. One of whom had some of the paintings they created hung in their office. I was a little impressed by the pieces despite the uniformity of the look. We talked about art, and I showed this individual some pieces my husband and I had collected over the years. I was surprised by their response; it was more inquisitive than informative. They were clueless about the basics of local galleries, local artists, and even some of the more known and popular artists. A few weeks later, I walked into their office after hours to chat, and they were painting… BY NUMBERS.

I quickly learned that painting by numbers was a thing in the company, and groups met to do this. Most of these people wanted to be artists and thought a paint-by-numbers group of tech workers might help them become one… Seriously?

Another phenomenon I encountered several times in the tech industry is aspiring artists with storage lockers full of their work. I’m not sure if these people think they might be the next Hilma af Klint or if they even know who she is. I don’t know if these people are seriously trying to show their work or if it’s just a hobby someone with a significant income can indulge in. They never have their work up for display in their office. Despite knowing I collect art, they’ve never offered to show me images of their work. They’ve never attempted to engage me in a conversation about art. Not once have they even asked about art walks which are so common in the Seattle area. Yet they want me to know they are an artist with a storage locker full of their own paintings. These people are well-paid tech workers with a hobby. They are not artists in my books.

Hima af Klint: Paintings for the Future, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo: Paul Drinkwine

The next type of individual in the tech sector I’ve found is the commodity collector. Someone who sees art as a commodity. Yes, artists need money, and I will always encourage buying art so I will tread carefully here. The ones I’m going to single out are the billionaires. Whereas they could easily set up communities for artists to learn and thrive – structured and time-limited communities with a bit of oversite – they buy art instead. So much art that they cannot display it. Like hoarders, they set out to collect and make it known that they collect.

Paul Allen is the most well-known of these commodity collectors right now. When he would purchase a piece from a gallery, he would require both the gallery and the artist to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement prohibiting either from talking about the sale. So, artists who had their work added to the most expensive art collection on earth couldn’t mention it. There was nothing in the deal for the artist other than the money. A simple acknowledgment from Paul Allen that he had picked up a piece by an artist could have helped the careers of so many artists.

I know a piece Paul Allen picked up that was not in the recent auction of his “entire collection,” which fetched over $1,500,000,000.00. Reiterating… The work, which was in the $50,000.00 range, was NOT in the auction of his “entire” collection. Why wasn’t it there? Money laundering? Did he gift a $40k piece and report it (as required) to the IRS? Did his sister decide she wanted to keep it? If this happened to one lesser know artist, how many pieces in his collection disappeared? What’s the worth of the missing pieces? Did $2,000,000 or $2,000,000,000 worth of Paul Allen’s art collection vanish? We will never know.

I will not say how I learned that Paul Allen picked up the piece I’m talking about because I assume the NDA is still in place. The estate did not list the work in the auction, which is why I’m sure the NDA is still in place. I will say that I did not learn about the acquisition from the gallery or artist but I know for a fact he acquired the painting. I will also say it is one of my favorite pieces by an artist whose work I love. I also think this artist is a good human who positively impacts humanity.

I then watched as another Seattle artist publicly attacked the unnamed artist above. That attack led to hardships for the artist. That attack also came from an artist I would never add to my collection. Primarily because her work is paint tossed on a canvas, lamp shades, or whatever she can find, but even more so, she tried to create a controversy by targeting an artist doing good. Why do I think she attacked him? To generate attention for herself. I think her work is crap and have said so publicly, which is very hard for me to do. I’m not an art critic but a humanity critic, and my love of art and humanity intersected here. If artists want to take down other artists publicly, they put a target on their backs. I gave the attacker a chance to clarify her stance on this issue, and she declined… So be it, Liz.

Imagine if the artist who was attacked and the gallery that sold this piece could talk about the sale to Paul Allen… I’m willing to bet that if Paul Allen had let the artist and the gallery representing them discuss the purchase, it would have significantly boosted his career. I also doubt another artist would have publicly shamed them when no shaming was warranted.

Paul Allen saw art as nothing more than a precious commodity and investment opportunity. There’s no denying that good art is just that. Art can and should be part of a well-balanced portfolio. But this tech billionaire could have done so much to help the artists whose work he collected, yet he only saw their art as a commodity. He had an opportunity, unlike most, to help develop artists and advocate for the living artists he added to his collection, but he chose not to. He went even further and legally silenced the artist and the gallery representing the artist.

The tech culture is not one of creativity. It thrives by capitalizing on (or purchasing) the ideas and creations of others. I’m not saying there are no creative types in the tech industry; many exist. Most have sold their soul to the hefty tech paycheck and perks. The particular exemption is the creative who has not sold their soul in this environment. I know of a couple in this tech-dominated era who have broken the chains of their well-paid jobs with excessive benefits and are now artists.

An anomaly in this tech-dominated era is someone like myself who will support living artists and tries to give more visibility to artists and their work. Some would argue that this is a self-serving endeavor. Sure, I am promoting artists I collect. But I have also gone out of my way to promote artists not in the humble collection my husband, and I have. I am begging those in the tech sector who think they are cultured to support the arts in ways they never have. See shows (not movies), buy music, buy art, go to concerts, be an art critic if that floats your boat, donate heavily to radio stations like KEXP, and most importantly… Find ways not mentioned here to impact the arts community positively. Please use your creativity to help creatives committed to being creative for a living.

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