Smoke Signals Artist Manifesto
“The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.”- Toni Cade Bambara
“It has become easier for people to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism” -Mark Fisher

Meaningful art transforms, alters, and incites. Making art as a form of expression, a practice for truth telling and rooted in assembly is powerful. Art is a realm of dreams, imagination, and possibility. It offers us the majestic consciousness of feeling, the undeniable truth, and a sense of community. Great art encourages us to delve beneath the surface of human consciousness and to make the invisible visible.

We seek artists intent on challenging, not reinforcing the Western status quo. We seek marvelous art rather than the mundane.

We seek surrealist artists, poets, and visionaries. To create a different world from this rotting one, to be more than entertainer or escapist, to offer the people presence and alternative values. We seek poetic revolution and freedom dreams.

Solidarity is not a luxury, it is vital and necessary for our survival and our creativity. With every thread of our being, artists must confront and oppose individualism.

Throughout history, our art and culture have been used as a commodity and vehicle to entrench and export capitalist values: individualism, patriarchy, materialism and the like.

In today’s social media celebrity culture, artists are forced - more than ever - to become brands to cultivate a network of influence and support from corporate “gatekeepers” and private (corporate) patrons. They soon find themselves with less creative freedom, with others making money off of their projects and guiding their voices towards the safety of conformity or the false pretenses of “trends”. This commodification of art changes the process, dehumanizes the artist, and erodes their relationship with their community.

The most precious artistic investment is time. Yet, in this labor driven economy, idle time is a sin. Therefore artists, poets, philosophers are most troubled by the inability to decide their own relationship to time and labor with the intent of process. If there is not time or space to engage in an artistic process, to meditate, to reflect, to wander in thought and emotional honesty, then the resulting art communicates a sentiment of coercion, mass production, and propaganda. It can exhibit little effort, poor execution, and a need for outside validation,

We all have something to offer. What are your gifts and what is your purpose? This is how you decide your offering to the community.

Every artist should write an artist statement. What do you seek to understand, what do you want your art to accomplish, and what medium(s) best communicates your values? What does your time mean to you? At heart everyone is an artist but not everyone can make art because we are not all afforded the time to reflect, imagine, and create. How do we use art to democratize the people’s relationship to time?

Every artist must ask themselves, what is their relationship to money? Is it our agreed metric of value? What are new values we can create? More people are questioning capitalism, the worth of money versus the importance of time, energy, and process.

All western propaganda claims that a world without capitalism is bland, lackluster, without creativity, innovation or risk. We are taught that a society founded on socialist principles will wipe out individualism, art, and imagination.

We seek artists willing to animate a world that shows us new values and forms of expression toward communal needs.

We must resist mediocrity for the sake of representational art. All art demands complication, nuance, and depth; gravitate towards the soul, the feeling, and spirit.

Should our art fail, we will create new forms of expression. Ultimately art is not absolute, what comes of art is what we are willing to uncover, reveal, and resolve within. What we are willing to create determines the contribution and importance of our art.

This is an oath for our future and the preservation of collective values. This is a commitment against capitalism and it’s exploitation of art and therein our humanity.

Will You Join Us?

Written By: Aja Monet
Edited By: phillip agnew

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