RESISTING THE URGE TO COMMODIFY
by Jeremy Danté
inspired by the sounds of murcof’s “martes” album; i thought about my need to relate everything i know to the mainstream. particularly in the realm of style, i have found myself gravitating towards greater forms of minimalism, more understated translations of dress and ultimately a much more refined approach. again, in the trenches of creative conversation often had with leya, we discussed this need to popularize with methods of exploitation, which eventually rid certain aspects of appeal from things we love & cherish with exclusivity. culturally, socially- through forms of media, hell- it starts as early as kindergarten. “did you make any friends?”, we’re asked after our first day of school; reminding us that it is necessary to be liked. as we grow up, we start to recognize these trends of ‘like’, making greater attempts to fit in. as age progresses and through our experiences, we may begin to reject these ideas & conform but in opposition- become social rebels or lightweight social deviants. yet another pattern that is somewhere in a sub-category for what we know as ‘popular’ or ‘common’. it is in these stages that we develop individuality. it’s a natural feeling to have- to feed into the pattern of the popular. but what is popular, really? abbreviated, crunched and repackaged for musical media, pop has become the soundtrack for manufactured characters of irresistible melodies & widely accepted themes. on the outskirts of the universal language of music lies the shell we know as fashion. what is the fashion equivalent of pop music? trend. every which way you look at it, the popular standard follows us. it’s threaded into our social conscience very early on & often times, this is the root of mid-life or identity crisis, emotional breakdowns or depression. it all starts with the idea that popular is best.
but is this true? is the most popular always the most impactful; always the most effective? no. certainly, to be accepted- to accept yourself is healthy & necessary. but where do concerns of mental health come in when your need to commercialize something, in your own private world, is driven purely by the fact that you need others to validate what you deem as valuable? value is self defined, yes? you determine value based on the ideals or standards that you have set for yourself. right? that or you follow the prototype that has been taught to you, an example that was lent by your parents, those smarter, older, wiser. for myself, i’ve always managed to find ways to relay information through my own establishment of relativity from the mainstream to the luxury sector. with an under layer of creative interest, most of my discussed topics here will now revolve around the social conscience that is one with style & image, as seen in popular media, american culture & sociological climate. i thought of leya; her ability to put me on to something completely new & unheard of- at least to me. my instinctual need to share these secrets of greatness overwhelmed me. flooding my mind, through emails & shared files, unending conversations- leya began to open my world even greater. through inspiration, i felt and questioned my need to popularize or exploit what she had been showing me. we’ve spoken often about this idea of commodification & very often speak of the need as well as importance of creative production. for you to be present through some form of creative work- whether that be written, photographic, illustrative or even in conversation. there is no evidence of execution if you bottle your thoughts- right? your habits of sharing- is this exploitation or an attempt to inspire those around you?
i’ve felt myself drift into a larger space of individualization at that point; through greater exposure to sound, alone- i’ve felt my direction shift, especially with my approach to content here. i think, especially on the internet- we’re built to become even more enhanced in our expectation to be liked. facebook even created a button, specifically for this social need. but as i drift further into re-direction, i find myself taking a liking to the idea of deactivation. not deactivation creatively, but socially- to a certain extent. while sharing is not harmful, either is preservation. there needs a certain aspect of disconnect to give way to a re-connect. while some things are better shared, some things are better left sacred. sacred being, untarnished by the dreadful routine of social approval. i’ve come to expect a certain level of approval from you as the reader, but have discovered that this level of ‘like’ is far less important than my concept of self content, satisfaction with what i produce and with what i associate my name. im seeking that feeling of relief, when i am able to execute something as vividly as i pictured in my mind. giving in to the urge to commercialize something is fine, but only through good intent; to allow that commodification to be translated so the masses can digest something otherwise to powerful for their remedial minds. no shade, all truth- sometimes you just need a breakdown. in outlining my direction very carefully, i find it necessary to pose questions, pitch scenarios & push perceptions so that my sense of disconnection is well placed enough to establish that new connection. there’s that image that has been floating around the internet, the one with the woman wearing that t-shirt that reads, “all blogs post the same stuff” – yeah, that no longer applies here. in other words, fuck the format- we’re moving forward, into uncharted territory. if you thought what i was doing before broke new ground- get your shovels ready, we’re going deeper.