[spectre] // The State of Art //
jhopkins at tech-no-mad.net
Mon Aug 8 17:02:16 CEST 2011
Hei Simon, et al... a few glitched musings...
well, I don't think it's the norm, based on my experience, for people on the
spectre list to have deep knowledge from both sides of the Atlantic, I was
based in Northern Europe (IS, FI, NO, DE, NL, LT, LV, SE, DK, FR, IT) for about
18 of the last 25 years, participating in many of the events from which spectre
arose, with the balance of that time in the US (Boston, LA, NYC, Colorado,
Arizona, Washington DC, Alaska) and Australia (Sydney, Melb), and I was
constantly amazed at the lack of knowledge of the US when in Europe. Of course
'everyone' has been to NYC and perhaps California, but neither of those places
are typical by any stretch of the vast pseudo-cultural agglomeration that is the
US. And there are massive and monumental cultural stereotypes that are
frequently invoked among Europeans when framing the US. I have been to all 50
states, and spent significant time in a majority of them; both rural, suburban,
and urban, observing, photographing, writing, so I take the allowance to pass
along observations and comparisons whenever possible.
Within Europe, I am better traveled than most Europeans as well, with time spent
in numerous (central but also non-nexus) places across 20 countries.
With that experience, I can state that there has been, on average 'easier' money
and easier access to cultural activities in Europe, along with greater
participation (if only as passive consuming audience) by local populations. One
of the reasons I stayed mostly in Europe was the easier access to funded
situations. It has changed over those two decades, yes, everywhere.
As someone else remarked earlier, the absence of health care is a critical issue
in 'autonomy' in the US ... but, anyone working in the arts here likely falls
below the limit for paying (much if any) taxes...
Maybe it's just a difference between the path the money flows along -- through
the state a bit more or through the corporate sector a bit more... Does this
really make a difference in the end? It is the movement of abstracted social
value, following a pathway mandated cumulatively by the social institution
through which it passes: subsequently re-distributed to certain participants in
the social system.
In places like Norway (admittedly unique because of petrodollars), there is
simply no comparison to the US. I have numerous friends who lived there and
elsewhere in the Nordic countries and have survived by their art alone (though
not without complaining about the meager NOK10k project stipends). They do a
bit of optional teaching.
But maybe it is comparing blueberries and mangos: each social system seeks
self-survival, each individual within is motivated to the same, generally. Each
expends what is necessary to maintain viability, then with what is left-over,
both life-time and life-energy, they push expression of presence outwards
towards the Others. Energized creative output requires an energy source. Each
social system has relatively different access to differing sources, qualities,
and quantities of energy.
In this regard, Europe and the US are different. In some sectors, there is more
sufferation, in others, less. There are the hungry scattered everywhere. The
gorged and vacantly satiated are Legion as well. But creative flow, while
always theoretically available, comes to where there is a pathway,
human-to-human for it to move along.
There are those individuals who, sacrificing an extended life, use the energies
immediately available to them to burn up, brightly Lighting their immediate
surrounds for a short time. Or those who speak in the still, small voice which
eventually moves mountains. What affect would wealth have on their trajectory?
I think impossible to predict or determine even in retrospect. A faster burn?
A longer fade, an ensuing state of walking death? A bigger NAME?
I ask somewhat sarcastically: Is it possible to have a creativity without cash?
I answer, channeling Blake: "Where any view of Money exists, Art cannot be
carried on, but War only."
I have not observed elsewise over the years: this retort resonates through every
established cultural institution, through those struggling to become established
cultural institutions, and through a sizable fraction of the humans who populate
Neither cash nor credit are energy sources, they are only proxies
You can't eat money.
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