It’s great when you can “interact” with the artist. You will remember that for the rest of your life.

The following post is a looong one – it is meant to introduce you to some of the reasons behind running our projects – you can also choose to look at the images and videos to get the idea – enjoy 🙂

HotstixI will never forget when we decided to go to Kippies one evening and Sipho “Hotstix” welcomed everyone by the door with a big smile and said “Enjoy the evening”. Wouldn’t it be great to have a cup of coffee with your favourite musician and discuss a few issues – or get in touch with him/her in some other way? Should artists be these mysterious beings (celebrities) that can only be seen on TV or a big stage by their audience? Is that actually what the artist want?

(photo from here)

Who is the artist?

NagyapoWhen I teach mathematics to somebody, he’s already standing at a certain degree of precision, maybe at a very low degree. He couldn’t get higher by the way that I call him idiot when he’s less precise; but I have to convince him that it’s worth coming up. Of course it’s worth only if he demands it. However, it doesn’t matter at all if one doesn’t have a demand on it; then we remain where we are…”

Source: Extract from László Kalmár’s letter to Miklós Szabó (Szeged, 19/2/1947) In: Kalmár László: Integrállevél. Matematikai írások, Gondolat, Budapest, 1986.]

Nagyapo - lecture

The WordPress team says ( and many others ) “Code is Poetry”, my grandfather talked about mathematics as if it was the highest art form ever existed, so for me everyone is an artist (and audience member) a bit (or a lot) like in what they call web 2.0 culture.

Anyone who has a passion for his or her work or hobby and is ready to say that there is no such thing as “perfect”.



There are many artists – or people in general – that interact with their audience in interesting ways – ways and means that we can also learn from.

They use these skills and tools because they think it is absolutely necessary for their work as an artist since without the input and feedback from their audience they can’t establish whether the message got through or not.

Here are a few artists that have developed their own special way of interacting with their audience. Artists, bloggers that I learn from every day.

Paulo Coelho and the Experimental Witch project…

Paulo Coelho is a great writer – and I love the fact that he finds blogging useful in his work – he also has discussions and Frequently Asked Questions on his blog that helps him get feedback from his audience – which would otherwise be impossible since he has a global audience with fans from all the corners of the world.

His latest project, The Experimental Witch is a new tool that helps him get his fans involved. He says :

Throughout my career as a writer, I’ve met people that trusted me without knowing me well and they have helped me, enabling me to follow my dreams. I’ve been visiting the pages of readers this last year and I’ve seen excellent works by actresses & actors, musicians, directors, etc.

That’s why I thought: why not make a movie together? I would retain the rights of the film based on my latest book The Witch of Portobello while developing this partnership.
Please follow the link to the website to read the Rules and participate to the Project!

Telling the story – Ethelbert’s E-Notes

Ethelbert’s E-notes

One of the responsibilities of an artist is to report on the world around him/her in a way that is simple and yet entertaining. Like Izz, Ethelbert posts his comments regularly on the day’s issues. He is also a teacher, a lecturer and holds poetry recitals – which helps him interact with his readers on a daily basis.

I met Ethelbert about 15 years ago – when I walked into the library at Howard University. He was very kind and was ready to answer all my questions and went out of his way to find interesting classes to attend during my short visit to Washington DC. I didn’t know then that he was a wellknown poet and a lecturer, quite a celebrity known worldwide. He has been blogging since early 2004 with daily posts in which he lets his readers and students find out about literary events, theater shows, concerts, interesting lectures, the poem he just wrote, the friend he just met – he also comments often on the current political situation, and anything else that he finds worth mentioning for some reason.

Click to visit his E-Notes and see how he tells the story of his Unviersity, his town, his community and more …

How Gilberto Gil and Vieux Farka Toure and many others take part in a new remix culture

CCMixterWhen it comes to music and especially jazz – each pieace is based on the piece played seconds before – each musician gets to be the performer as well as the audience in a very direct way. There is no time to ask permission – “can I please take this and add a bit of that to it” – instead this becomes the rule – building on each other’s work – and nobody gets upset.

CC Mixter SA

Gilberto Gil, Vieux Farka Toure, Peter Gabriel, DJ Fresh, Zap Mama and many others use the ccMixter as a tool to let their fans remix and build on their music – they set up “remix competitions” in which they make one or some of their songs available online in “raw form”, you can download acapellas, and other audio elements seperately and remix it with your own music. Once the remix is ready – you can re-upload it back to take part in the competition.

From :

This is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons, where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.

Remixers If you’re into sampling, remixing and mash-ups grab the sample packs and a cappellas for download and you can upload your version back into ccMixter, for others to enjoy and re-sample. All legal.

Podcasters, directors and music lovers If you’re into music, browse this site to hear some of the great remixes people have built from sampling music on this site, all licensed for use under Creative Commons license.

The Wired CD

These musicians are saying that true creativity needs to be open, fluid, and alive. When it comes to copyright, they are pro-choice. Here are 16 songs that encourage people to play with their tunes, not just play them.
WIRED magazine, November 2004 issue (CD was included with magazine.)

Wired CD

From the Wikipedia:

The Wired CD is an album that was released in 2004 as a collaborative effort between Wired magazine, Creative Commons, and sixteen musicians and groups. The Wired CD was distributed inside the front cover of the November 2004 issue of Wired, which also featured a variety of interviews and bios of the performers. Unusually, the songs were released under one of two Creative Commons Licenses, permitting sampling and file-sharing of the songs. (Read more)

Maria’s blog – blogging the process

Follow me!

Eversince I “met” her in cyberspace her warm and friendly attitude towards her readers has amazed me.

She finds so many different ways to share her experiences while working on her play, Baaahhh!!! – the blog tells the story, she also adds YouTube videos and slideshows – actually she promised to work on setting up a Yahoo messenger version of the play 🙂 (Ok this was not serious…. or …. is it?)

Baaahhh!!! reading

Click to see Maria’s blog and the slideshow about the reading on July 14th.

Using open licenses

CC licenses

As opposed to copyright – open licenses (like Creative Commons licenses) consider also what the audience would like – not only what the audience “mustn’t do”.

Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from “All Rights Reserved” to “Some Rights Reserved.” (From the CC site)

A video Presentation about Creative Commons Licencing

As I see there are many bloggers around here that have a CC badge on their sites including Kanute, Izz, Steve, and even Steve ….amongst others….

African conversationsAt ArtMarketOnline we also experiment with open licenses, one of our artists, Makh has recently published his first book using such a license :

Makh’s license


Monday9amTV – a film guy who becomes the audience for each film he makes


Nic is a special storyteller & blogger – he says it with short films – which are 5-6 minute interviews with people – he makes his films available free on his blog as well as YouTube:

“The films feature characters as varied as rock stars to the homeless, philosophers to the dying, and free spirits to those who fell in love. ” (from his blog site)

“The films appear to capture people ‘unplugged & naked’ and to provoke an exploration of what it means to be truly alive. They are a quietly provocative & a personally engaging study of the extraordinary hidden in the ordinary. ” (says the same About page)

It seems that for Nic – his audience is his paint brush and actually he becomes the audience every time he makes a new film. When it comes to the interaction with the audience – it feels as if his film project was based on the fact that he is “just an ordinary guy” who is “determined not to miss the experience of his own life” – and so he looks for different people and asks them a few questions in order to figure out what not to miss…- and then he lets the people take over. Click here to see his films on YouTube.

Me – by Nic Askew

There are infinite examples – these are just a few – I hope the message got through:)

… So what I actually mean to say with all of this – I think it is essential to notice that the audience is always there (be it one person or many) and it’s up to all of us to find our unique way to make them part of the performance …