In my last blog post, I talked about human values and NFTs. I have argued that if we look back into history, artists have often written a manifesto in times when they were unsure about their own values. I am not unsure about my own personal values but thought it is a good idea to write them down. A manifesto does not have a fixed, universal definition. It is rather a kind of public announcement of goals and intentions.
The current situation and strong discussion about the use, environmental friendliness, and sustainability of NFTs have shown me how important it is for me to write down and record my own values. They serve as guidelines in an uncertain world that I want to come back to, work with, and live with on a regular basis. Maybe it will be a stimulus to enter into discourse and think about your own values. I would be happy, it would inspire other landscape photographers.
Here is my attempt to come up with my personal manifesto.
- Values are very important to me in life. Among them are love, peace, freedom, respect, tolerance, dignity, honesty and sincerity, modesty, moderation.
- I believe in kindness in dealing with each other and positive life energy, which is transferred to other people.
- I believe in the power of love, friendship, art, philosophy, mathematics, and music to transform the world.
- I believe in life, in happiness, in a smile, and in a shared laugh.
- I believe in regular time-outs, mindfulness, presence, and care for my mind, body, and health.
- I appreciate ideas and the power of creativity.
- I respect nature, my fellow human beings, my work, and art and try to inform myself regularly, educate myself and actively support sustainability, collaboration, and co-existence with nature through my behavior.
- I try to always be self-critical of myself and my behavior with an open heart.
- I am willing to admit mistakes, which in the long run should lead me on a path to being more human.
- I believe that service to others is a service to me.
- I prefer not to say anything if I have nothing to say. I prefer not to show pictures when I have no pictures to show. A quiet voice also has a voice.
- I try not to be seduced by an algorithm that tries to optimize variables like likes, followers, engagement, or trade volume (those are just placeholders – there are many others). I refrain from any illegal measures to abuse these variables through bots or tricks.
- It is important to me who buys or collects my photographs and why. My pictures are self-portraits. Therefore, I don’t want them to become a commodity of a capitalist mill, heartlessly neglected in physical or digital archives.
- I like to invite people into my space, to my exhibitions, to my written word worlds, but I don’t want to follow people or organizations for the sole purpose of profiting from them or gaining advantages from them.
- I rather prefer interested audiences to find me rather than shouting out loud what I have done.
- Money is not a goal for me. Humanity and a clear intention with a message are more important to me than a monetary return. Income is secondary and merely the result of impactful work with a message that is accepted by fellow humans.
Maybe I will stumble from time to time, but I will not give up pursuing these values.
What are your values? Maybe you try creating your own manifesto. When creating it, you may think about some of the following questions:
– Who you are, what do you do the way you do, and why it matters to you?
– What’s your why? What’s your purpose?
– What would you like to change and leave as a legacy?
– How would you like to communicate to the world concerning your purpose?
– What retains from your art, when you erase financial value?
Let me know when you created your manifesto, or, is there even room for a Nature First or general landscape photographer’s manifesto many artists can relate themselves to?