Painting by Katarina Countiss
Excerpt from The Meme Machine by Blackmore, Susan J. (Book – 2000) page 173
If the idea of exchanging goods for taking on memes seems unfamiliar, we might think of the bartering of memes that goes on all around us. We are used to the idea of paying for the information we want, by buying books or newspapers, paying our TV licence, or buying tickets to the cinema, but if people want to impose their ideas on us, then they have to pay to get our attention, like advertisers and politicians do.
Insight and Outlook: An Inquiry into the Common Foundations of Science, Art and Social Ethics by Koestler, Arthur (Book – 1949) p.286-287
The artist and his work do not provide the current like an electric company, only the installation; the current has to be generated by the consumer. We know that emotion cannot be handed on from a person or an object to another person, like food or money. We tend to fall into the mistake of taking a metaphor at its face value, and believe that the stage play literally “provides’ us with a thrill against cash payment for our seats, and that emotions are thus traded like wares. What we buy on the market of Art—a picture, a book, or a seat in the stalls—is however, not an emotion, but a set of stimuli deigned to elicit integrative impulses in us and to canalize them in such a way as to lead them to satisfaction—while otherwise they would remain frustrated, or look for coarser outlets. For our nervous system constantly generates all kinds of tensions which run through our minds like stray eddies and erratic currents. The set of stimuli proved by the work of Art draws energy from this tension-generating organic source and leads it to catharsis. It does not drain something that it has previously pumped in; it draws, as it were, on the consumer’s own reservoir of integrative energy.