An arts investigation from the UK concluded further work to “democratise” [183] school children’s access to musical education is required [184] These efforts should be applauded. No doubt

To us it sparks a broader question, is art being subsumed under just the title of democracy? We believe it is. Unknowingly most day to day choices can be equally constrained

Let’s first agree on democracy in practice. Paying homage to every piece of click-bait out there which ostensibly has to include some short list, here’s one for democratic participation and action;


i. Recognition

that one is an independent participant; and

ii. Retention Of Choice

such as the right to abstain or seek alternatives; and

iii. Conscious Participation

an understanding of one’s role, influence and involvement


True democracy is conscious, active participation [185]

The collection of rules and procedures are what allows it to be called a system. Inherently then a system's operational confines are established

As democracy results from self-selected participation, if one of the above requirements is absent then a system may rightfully not be called democratic. Democratic choice is conscious and self-determined. If a system itself is not democratic then democratizing influences of actions through choices presented within such system only go as far as the system permits [186]

Unless participants themselves have ongoing definitional power of their role, latitude within a system can be to misuse the 'democratic' definition as a logical inconsistency appears. Without that power of selecting terms for involvement then practically the semantics of democratic do, in action, become commandeered by no more than its theoretical principle. Hence the phrase, presenting just a title of democracy

To palpably extrapolate the [title of democracy] concept, we turn to more far reaching examples. Protests often do no more than voice this title of democracy. While the freedom of expression can be openly touted in public demonstrations the protest action may not, for one example, materialize participant’s missing pay checks in the face of an extended government shutdown. Retention of actual choice can be practically removed

Use of technology fuels the most pervasively enacted forms. For example, existence of decentralized blockchain based currencies does not require centralized bank’s acceptance and exchange of such. Systems can contain a form of choice, say to use or not use decentralized cryptocurrency. Systematic constraints are quickly apparent when trying to pay taxes in Bitcoin or buy insurance with Ether

Think of quickly agreeing with the lengthy pages of writing that were presented during your last software update or installation

Statistically it can be that very few individuals on the planet genuinely conceive any major corporation’s use and sale of user's readily collected personal data. In 'democratic' nations this involuntary situation persists with many such corporation’s services and software still widely used


On the surface these can be very easily presented. Here some might claim that by choosing to participate right now, in say a protest demonstration or to use cryptocurrency, that they are indeed meeting all above criteria for democratic action. Straight away, this could be true [187]

Likewise objections can be raised as the title of democracy concept is applied to say online artwork promotion or sales channels. For creators those mediums, despite possibly biased search algorithms or various limitations, allow for immediate dissemination of artwork and may do so to posting producer’s apparently lasting economic benefit. Instantly viewed, this interpretation could also be true

There is an overarching fact that we, as people, are typically hardwired to seek direct benefits, rewards, returns, results, gratification and justification. Short-sighted feedback does form tangible, viable evidence towards whatsoever chosen course of action. In all cases though we eventually come to an unanswered consideration, the influences of chosen actions over time]


immediacy frames the picture

yet repeated actions can have a compounding effect


In a [constrained] system, independent participation may be justified as a singularly democratic action when failing to consider that such singular actions contribute to the continuation of a [constrained] system as a whole

Take a selection of options A to Z as presented by any system. Conscious participation may be removed from limitation or obfuscation in understanding lasting effects of one’s role, influence and involvement thereby resulting in, once more, just the title of democracy

[As pertains to education commonly caregivers act as proxies yet the foundation applies equally to those placed in deciding roles. Secondarily, it is often only when the scope [number] of dissenting participants threatens a structure itself that select change does materialize]

Even for those of the highest character, to make the most with what you have been given today under the circumstances, is all that could be asked. Conversely today, more than most any other time in history, the capacity for recognition and retention of choice may not be reliant on any one system [188]

Nowhere is this more tangible for artists, creators and most all direct services. While we have waxed poetic on topics from politics to education, these are admittedly not our areas of focus. They do not interest us as much as others. Group allegiances with faith as set precisely through a sacrificing of logic are for us what should be avoided and, we try not to participate

TOF® is tailored for artists, creators and direct service providers whom control their means of production and operation. Tattoo artists, designers, craftsman, body modification professionals, models, performance artists and the like. On a micro-scale the work flow and principles of their creative process hold all requirements of democratic action. To impose top down systematized requirements on how their work is defined or enacted is akin to constraining creation

Our structure provides each member with the potential to choose their terms and conditions of engagement and directly benefit from those. In broadening operational barriers out as widely as humanly possible, to only that which is simply legal within a given jurisdiction, we aim to solidify participant’s defining control of their self-selected engagements

Compounding such actions of personal choice or how this might extend into broader spheres from say politics to education is – in the democratic nature – not decided by us

We simply offer different principles in control. Ones that are removed from multiple constraining systems wherein conscious participation is dependent on nothing more than member's retention of choice in tandem with personal capacity. It's our acknowledgement of potential

Forgoing the endless, age old debates of “what is art” we turn rather to a common denominator. However implemented art exists to invoke emotion. From wonder to lust or disgust and all in between, the specific emotions as invoked and how that is done becomes immaterial

To consciously define personal choice independently enacted is democracy in action. Selective re-purposing of systems to enable private, personal choice is TOF®’s art

Now we invite you to define, create and live yours