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Why the Term ‘Experimental Art’ Makes Me Laugh…

All of the definitions of “experimental art” that I could find were pretty vague.

Which was great, because they supported my position that the term “experimental art” is a bit laughable.

Since I don’t have a concrete summary that explains what experimental art is, let’s look at the definition of the word “experimental”:

“Serving the ends of or used as a means of experimentation.”

Doesn’t that describe all art?

Next, let’s look at a couple of synonyms for “experimental”:

“exploratory, investigational”

Doesn’t that describe all art?

Now let’s look at the adjective “avant-garde,” which some might use interchangeably with “experimental”:

“Favoring or introducing experimental or unusual ideas.”

Doesn’t that describe all art?

And finally, let’s look at a couple of synonyms for “avant-garde”:

“innovative, inventive”

Ask it with me now: Doesn’t that describe all art?

Well, art worth talking about anyway

That’s why I find the term “experimental art” redundant.

Art is risky, whether or not you label it “experimental.”

The label almost seems like a disclaimer used by artists concerned that critics will think their work is weird or bad.

But all art released to the world has the potential to be misunderstood and/or disparaged — even photorealistic drawings and paintings.

We could call it “experimental art” or we could just call it “art.”

That’s why Pooblíche was a joke

Last week, I introduced our April Fools’ Day product Pooblíche that created a standard for content worth publishing.

It must be:

  • Valuable
  • Part of a business marketing strategy
  • Ready to be promoted

To optimize your chances of seeing powerful results from the content you publish, it’s critical that you think about those elements.

At the same time, content marketing is always an experiment and you’ll waste time if you wait until your content is “perfect” before you release it.

You waste time because you must practice to improve and keeping your ideas to yourself does not give you the full experience of practice.

It’s the difference between thinking about doing yoga and actually performing a sequence of asanas. Only the sequence of asanas will improve your flexibility and strength over time.

We could call it “experimental content marketing” or we could just call it “content marketing.”

Liberation for the content marketer and more fun for the audience

If someone wants a quick summary or definition, they can look on Wikipedia or Merriam-Webster, like I did when researching information on “experimental art.”

Modern content marketers don’t mimic sites like Wikipedia or Merriam-Webster. They know their content shouldn’t be a definitive treatise on a topic.

“Strategic” doesn’t mean a rigid plan, either. It means effective content marketers take their readers, listeners, and viewers on their journeys with them.

They build their authority not by knowing it all, but by weaving thoughtful opinions into their useful wisdom.

Experiments don’t always meet your expectations, and sometimes people won’t like your work or get its point.

That’s part of the journey.

Your job is to focus on the people who stay, not the ones who leave. It’s liberating for the content marketer and way more fun for the audience.

The people who do have fun with your content become your subscribers and enjoy following you.

Experiment to evolve

I can always find something to be embarrassed about in my old content:

  • Why did I use that word?
  • Eek, too many exclamation marks.
  • Confusing sentence.

But publishing articles — especially when I didn’t feel quite ready — helped me grow.

It was part of my evolution, and my current writing is part of that unfolding journey too as I continue to work and get better. In the future, I could look back on this article with a more critical eye and wish I had made different choices.

That process never ends, and it only begins if you commit to focused, strategic content marketing.

So, are you ready to peel back another layer to further your evolution?

Perhaps, dare I say it, get a little “experimental?”

Let us know your thoughts on experimenting and evolving in the comments below.


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