One of the things I like about Kickstarter is that it allows you to circumvent the ArtGrantSystem™, which is usually adjudicated by small juries of your peers. Which is all well and good if your work conforms to the kind of work that is generally supported by, well . . . a small jury of your peers. Of course, the ArtsGrantSystem™ will also, if you are successful, bestow you with the affirmation and self-worth that being accepted by that system provides.

But that’s neither here nor there to me. You see, one of things I’m interested in these days is how to create and distribute outside the ArtSystem™. (Which is not to say that I haven’t seen some truly amazing work brought forward and supported by the ArtSystem™. I have.)

But the ArtSystem™, like all systems, is mostly preoccupied (whether it knows it or not) with self-perpetuation, with propping up the status quo, with gate-keeping, with commerce.

(Everything, though, is a system of some sort. Heck, even my personal approach to photographing and disseminating the resultant work is a system. A system of one, mind you. But, like every system, it too is corrupt.
I like to think it’s not as corrupt as large, institutional, governmental, and corporate systems, and because I have so little reach, is only corrupt on a small scale. But let’s be honest . . . nothing in this chemical world is pure.)

Further . . . with the ArtGrantSystem™ your pitch is pretty much private, shared only with the administrator(s) and the jury. If you are successful, of course, you’ll let people know. If you are not successful, well, no one needs to know, right?

On the other hand, Kickstarter is public. You succeed or fail right out in the open.

And that brings me to my least favourite thing about Kickstarter . . . the need to constantly sell. Sell, sell, sell. Twist some arms, maybe call in a favour or two. Such a drag. Not only on the psyche of the seller, but also on the psyche of the prospective supporters.

But the fact is . . . advertising works. To be successful on Kickstarter (in my experience) you need to constantly remind people you’re trying to make something happen, and that it won’t happen without their help.

I try to remind myself, though, that advertising can occasionally be useful in a positive way. Most adverts pass right through my head, I pay no attention. But every so often I see something advertised and I think to myself, I think, Tony, that looks like something worthwhile. If I hadn’t seen the advert I’d never have known.

Of course, even if something looks worthwhile I still must consider the ethical/moral aspects of the thing, and I still must decide if it’s worth spending money for it.

So consider this an advert for selling you a copy of After the Fact.

I’m at 60% now, but things are slowing down. So if you’ve been thinking about helping make this happen, now might be the time to chip in. Please and thank you. Go here and support this project.

Trailer Nº 2 . . .

Author: Tony Fouhse

Tony is an Ottawa-based photographer.