We Need Art More Than We Need “Content”

Yet, more people than ever focus on churning out the latter

Marta Brzosko


With such a workstation, people have the power to influence society. The question is, how are they using it? Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

I thought that being a content creator would grant me a life free from conformity. Ironically, it’s done the opposite.

The concept of “creator” hints at the freedom of expression. But, when prefaced with “content,” that changes. Creating content, by definition, means filling up a pre-existing container. Whatever comes into that container needs to fit its shape and size.

Similarly, content creators need to adhere to predetermined standards and expectations. This means 99% of their work regurgitates what’s already been said.

It reinforces echo chambers and information bubbles.

Meanwhile, the world desperately needs art. Art opens doors to new conversations. Its purpose is to question expectations — not meet them.

Art may be our path away from internalized capitalism and confirmation bias — and towards the solutions that we’d never come up with through “consuming content.”

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

Content produces predictable outcomes. Art makes you think for yourself.

Content has a predetermined purpose. Content creators are encouraged to ask themselves “what’s in it for their audience” before they even write the first word of their article or video script.

That’s useful from the marketing point of view. If you’ve done your research and know your audience's expectations and pain points, you’ll be successful. You’ll give them the exact cooking recipe, workout routine, or listicle they’re hungry for.

The problem is, everything you create this way is predictable. Your creation is a marketable product with a defined scope of usefulness. You know who it’s for, how they’ll implement it, and what kind of person they’ll become as a result.

What content doesn’t give to the audience is a chance to think for themselves.