02 Nov Amanda Palmer’s Controversial Kickstarter Campaign
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Amanda Palmer’s Accidental Experiment with Real Communism
By Joshua Clover
October 2, 2012
From The New Yorker
Amanda Palmer, the singer who raised a spectacular sum on Kickstarter to fund her new solo album and then asked for volunteers to play with her for no pay when she went on tour with her band, Grand Theft Orchestra, a few months later, is the Internet’s villain of the month. Her hypocrisy becomes particularly egregious when you consider her supposed artistic lineage. She started out as half of Dresden Dolls, a band that achieved cult popularity in the aughts, and which she described as “Brechtian punk cabaret.” Bertolt Brecht and punk rock suggest some affinity for social justice—or even anti-capitalist militancy. Now she is a folk singer, a genre that often takes up the cause of social justice. This throws her peculiarly unjust plan into still sharper relief. Beneath that, however, is an interesting set of problems about art and work in an age when the mechanisms for valuing them have broken down.