‘Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; enable a culture to fish and you feed it for a lifetime’…
In this post, I’d like to dig a bit deeper and take a look at the inner workings of the Latency Problem – after all, as with most tricky problems, the first step towards solving it is understanding it. So, here we go…
Latent Value Emerges temporally. It is a process. A successful solution must facilitate that fundamental truth in real time. Not encumber, or circumvent it, or wait around for it like a Bonus Bond bus that may never come!
The process of determining real value emerges as the Artist’s career progresses and as a piece of work’s Latent value is assessed and re-assessed. This inevitable process of Latent Value Emergence happens for all Artists, in all disciplines.
For writers, musicians and film-makers, the Latency Value Emergence Process is enabled via copyright law ensuring, and incentivising an ongoing income for good work.
A single transaction of money for one-off ‘freehold’ product does not permit the same process to achieve the same job for Fine Artists.
This makes it very hard for Fine Artists to manage their value in terms of income, especially if they sell their best work early in their career for a low price.
The knock on consequences of this are that Artists are (quite reasonably) dissuaded from a career in Fine Art. The cliche of the struggling Artist as victim is reinforced. Less Fine Art is made and, the Ecology of Fine Art is malnourished.
It also means that the grass roots relationship between Artist and Buyer is perpetually characterised more by the negative consequences of this unsolved inequity, rather than mutual enjoyment and mutual self-interest.
If this all sounds a bit dramatic, then lets take a moment to imagine a world where the Latency Problem had not been fixed for writers, musicians, Filmmakers and their audiences via copyright law…
Would John, Paul, George and Ringo have become the Beatles?
Would Dylan Thomas have become a journalist? Would his poetry have taken him to America?
Would Woody Guthrie have inspired Bob Dylan? Would Robert Zimmerman have become Bob Dylan?
These are popular examples, and I do not wish to suggest that musical, film and written culture would not exist at all without some form of copyright protection, but I believe it is fair to say that within a capitalist economy those cultures would be considerably the poorer without it.
Imagine the impact of the Artists like those pictured above amplified through the culture of Fine Art across a much broader and diverse range of self-determining talent. Perhaps that gives us a clue as to what we might be missing out on.