In November, 2012, the Minnesota Department of Revenue notified the musician Venus DeMars that her tax returns would be audited. DeMars, a respected fixture in the Minneapolis rock scene, had performed since the mid-nineties as the lead singer of All the Pretty Horses, a moody, glam-inspired rock band. She and the group had released half a dozen albums and toured throughout the United States and abroad. Her accountant had deducted business expenses, such as money that had gone into touring and performance. But it quickly became apparent that the audit didn’t arise from any arithmetical errors. At stake was whether she was, indeed, an artist.