Psycho-Pass as you know is a series I think about a great deal, so I wanted to create this section, Psycho-Pass Sundays, to talk about whatever it may be that I’ve been thinking about in regards to the series over the past week. It may be an in depth analysis or a looser analysis like today or really whatever I feel like at the time.
This week, following on from my article last Monday, I’ll be talking about art under the SIBYL system.
The paintbrush makes a painter, not an artist
There is a distinct difference between a painter/musician and an artist. An artist can be one of those things but being them does not make you an artist, everyone can paint but not everyone can create art. And I don’t mean that it takes talent in making music or painting to create art, the quality of a painting or song is not indicative of somethings artistic quality.
This is very important because art is the voice of revolution, art sends a message, like I have said before it is ultimately a means of conveying complex thoughts through different mediums. SIBYL (obviously) does not like the idea of revolution and as such takes steps to effectively outlaw the artist.
Thankfully we are actually given quite a bit of insight into how SIBYL treats artist in the flashback episode “Devil’s Crossroads” where we see Enforcer Yayoi Kunizika’s past as an “authorized artist”. This is someone who SIBYL allows to play music, a musician who is “safe” to listen to, that won’t cloud your hue.
There is a reason Kunizika was authorized by SIBYL to play music, she wasn’t creating art with it or at the very least not art that was worth anything (as is posited by the singer Rina who says that art made under SIBYL’s restriction is worthless). When Kunizika meets Rina for the first time she is pulled away from her by a band member who reminds her that “unauthorized artists” can cloud a person’s hue. This is without regard for the content of said artist, simply put just being an artist is bad in SIBYL’s eyes.
Banning something like art is not a good idea in most cases, as you can see in the show Rina and Rikako do some violent things under this artistic oppression, however by making the public not want art under the fear that it might increase their crime coefficient it nullifies the spread and effectiveness of art quite efficiently.
This of course does create one of the SIBYL system’s holes, it’s suppression of art creates people like Rina and Rikako. Art is an outlet for many, if you have listened to any of Eminem’s work I’m sure you understand that to him it’s partially a way of indulging in violent urges without resorting to actual violence. When you prevent someone from having that outlet they will act on their urges in another way, like Rikako does. Her father was not a murderer, because he did have that creative outlet and when his daughter did not she resorted to murder to satisfy her desires.
So in essence, art is bad for society but good for the human experience. Makishima sums this up right before his death: “Everyone is alone. Everyone is empty. People no longer have need of others.” In a world where SIBYL takes away that need for human understanding it takes away a need for art. It’s another interesting facet of the question of whether one can really call people living within the system “alive”. Their lives are better but are they really happier? Much art is focused on the idea of pain and it can unify people through that negative emotion by way of creating an understanding that words alone cannot.
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Thanks for reading,