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Blog // Images
January 14, 2012

Generation Slash Revisited

Chase Jarvis recently posted a copy of his interview with Juxtapoz magazine. It’s a great read if you are into photography, fine art of just the whole big creative thing. A few lines really stood out for me, “And for what it’s worth, I’ve been told my whole career that being a hyphen, that not […]

Chase Jarvis recently posted a copy of his interview with Juxtapoz magazine. It’s a great read if you are into photography, fine art of just the whole big creative thing. A few lines really stood out for me,

“And for what it’s worth, I’ve been told my whole career that being a hyphen, that not having a simple title or a term that describes you or your art is horrible for one’s image, or marketing, or brand, or whatever. Which is total bullshit. I’m doing just fine without a specific label right now. Most people that buy my work or that I work with in a commercial capacity are just fine with not having a buzzword to describe the work. Fitting into a tidy little box isn’t my job— my job is to make stuff and get people to see and think differently.”

A few years ago I wrote a book review that dealt with “…what it means to be a “slash person,” namely, someone who has a slash between the different facets of their “career;” marketer/author, policeman/personal trainer, rabbi/comedian – that sort of thing.”

Back then I was wondering if the slash (or hyphen) trend was a generational issue. I’m not sure if that’s the reason, but it’s certainly something that is defining our age.

Going back a little further, into the late 90s, it seemed to me that a lot of best and more dynamic academic research was “inter-disciplinary,” which is an academic version of the slash; one field overlapping with another – economics that drew on sociology, educational research that used cultural anthropology, philosophy that borrowed from cultural theory and so on.

The musician-photographer-writer thing works for me. But, it is a portrait painted with the broadest brush strokes. Looked at another way, it’s just the category headings for things people have paid me to do in the last eight years.

You’ll have to find the hyphens that work for you. But, I really encourage you to break free from the one word description of what you do and who you are.

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