[From the English edition of 2013, edited by Marx Brutlag and Engels Prescott]
Manifesto of Anti-Buzz
A specter is haunting the internet – the specter of Anti-Buzz. All the powers of the old blogosphere have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter: Indie Blog Pontiffs, Hype Aggregator Czars, Teen Tumblr Radicals and Corporate Chart-spies.
Where is the creative offering that has not been condemned to anonymity for not being cool, hip or buzzworthy? Where is the creative that has not screamed against the dampening curtains of ever-shifting trends?
Two things result from this fact:
I. Anti-Buzz is already naturally in existence in the appreciation of quality and substance.
II. It is high time that Anti-Buzzers should openly, in the face of the blogosphere, publish their views, their recommendations, their findings, and introduce this lingering ghost of Anti-Buzz with a manifesto of the movement itself.
To this end, Anti-Buzzers of various tastes and interests have here assembled at MonoFesto and sketched the following manifesto.
Article 1: Replacing the Cult of Cool
Although no one professes allegiance to cool, the inherent structure of most critical outlets remains beholden to finding the newest and most talked, tweeted about artists and creations. In fact, the desire to be in the know is often unconscious (as most genuinely want to listen to good music and read good books) but nevertheless props up a false front of appreciation. We seek to replace this cult of cool with the cult of quality. By stripping away labels, time, view counters, and ranking markers, we aim to reveal the bare substance of creativity. The objective is to hold a selected piece in a cultural vacuum and let only the product speak to its own value, a value that is free to attract or repel an impartial audience.
Article 2: Reexamining the Digital Wasteland
With the huge ocean of internet outlets, thankfully recognition is no longer based on the acclaim of a small oligarchy of critics; however the new despot of math is equally as arbitrary. Buzzworthy status requires mass numbers; hits, views, links, tweets, and posts. Pure numbers may initially reflect a democratic issuance of quality, but the human factor involved in these tallies once again corrupts the math. The sheeple factor, the mob mentality to join what is gaining momentum, destroys the hope of the majority assigning value.
The result of this system has been the formation of an ever-expanding digital wasteland. Even the praised and lauded pieces prove ephemeral, quickly cast into the moray to make room for the newest stimulus. This mass accumulation of tracks and texts and frames long since experienced is inevitable with more users and digital publishing options; however, how we view this collection is key. The wasteland is actually an abundant garden of limitless treasures.
Truly an unparalleled time for creative discovery, the way of navigating the garden is also of importance. Most outlets currently aim for finding “like” items and funneling you down a narrow and acute path. We champion the exact opposite, floating freely without boundaries or channels in order to give any and everything a chance for consideration. The natural winds will guide you sure enough to a goldmine of creativity if all is given an objective eye.
Article 3:Humbling through Transparency
Take two types of music friends:
1. The friend who finds a talented artist and holds on to it dearly, as it surely must bolster their pride in being one of the chosen to appreciate and know of this great find. They wait for you to come over and to drop the needle nonchalantly, waiting patiently for a complimentary remark or the questioning of the source of the sweet sound, and then only to reply with, “What? You don’t know about …. yet?”
2. The friend who recognizes the good fortune of crossing paths with an unexpected talent and hardly waits for needle to return, to reach the last groove before calling to say, “You must hear this immediately.”
We aim to be the later.
We believe that substance should be shared with an air of brotherhood. Often we cling to what we find as if it reflects something grand about us, that it makes us better for recognizing it. This attitude helps only to drive the cult of cool and leads to manipulation and distortion of quality, as substance is wielded about as tattoos of worth and value within our culture. Tastes may be reflective of our unique personalities, but they hold very little weight in determining character or influencing our roles in the lives of others.
We pledge to humbly separate self-evaluation from the desire to share substance and commit to transparency in the source and path to finding each gem. A transparent path being the most beneficial for others to choose their own way.
The surfer is often faced with the dilemma of finding a perfect wave. Keep it to himself and assure availability of enjoyment or share the stoke in the spirit of the sport and risk the saturation and loss of access to the wave. This dilemma does not exist in this world, scarcity is nonexistent.
The treasure is abundant, inexhaustible and open to all, so we pledge to share with the purest of intentions, to let the work carry on with as little defining, valuing or labeling as possible. We seek humility since selecting a piece is already a subjective placement of value.
Creativity derives from the need to share experience. We aim to help share, nothing more.
Out of transparency, the inspiration for this manifesto: