[spectre] Response New Media & Art Institutions to Governmental Cuts

V2_ joris at v2.nl
Fri Jun 17 10:52:01 CEST 2011

Response New Media & Art Institutions to Governmental Cuts

Source of innovation is eliminated

Netherlands, June 15 2011

Dear Mr Zijlstra
Dear Members of the House of Representatives

One of the many decisions in your arts policy paper "More than quality; 
a new
vision on arts policy", is the liquidation of the total infrastructure 
for new media
and art. The media arts & technology sector, which has acquired a place 
in arts
policy in the past 8 years, has been abolished. The socalled 'development
institutions': STEIM, Waag Society, V2_, Submarine Channel, WORM and
Mediamatic are losing their structural funding. In addition to that the 
Media Art Institute, a visual arts institution which also works in the 
media arts field,
loses its government funding. These structural institutional resources 
will be
rerouted into a new Fund for the Creative Industry, which's mission is 
to stimulate
the social and economic value of the creative industry as a whole.

*New media art is an independent art discipline*

The existance of new media as an independent art discipline, including 
production, audiences, (inter)national networks, and events, is 
completely denied
in this proposed new arts policy.

New media art is a discipline which questions and researches the 
developments and challenges of our times, and designs new applications for
these issues. It has its own idiom and art practice. It is an 
independent discipline
sustaining independent thematics, international networks of media labs, 
publications and presentations. The Dutch model of these cooperating new 
labs with crossovers into other fields (social, educational, economical) 
has been
an exemplary model since years. The above mentioned 'development 
are internationally renowned, part of vast international networks, and 
to the position of the Netherlands in the fields of new media and art.

*Paradox: punished for success*

Like no other arts field, new media art makes connections to other 
fields. Its R&D
functions are relevant towards the total field of culture, as well as 
heritage and
media. Exchange with science is continually growing, it plays a vital 
role in the
innovation of social domains, and has a large impact on the current 
renewal of
education. The paradox now is that new media art is widely acknowledged and
seen as very relevant, but its source: artistic research including its 
outreach, autonomous art prodcution and international network, will now be

*Project based vs structural*

The policy paper indicates a choice for a project based way of working, 
and for
that reason a total cut in institutional funding for R&D. This is a very 
way of reasoning as R&D activities need long term commitment in order to be
able to develop from experiment to result. It also requires excellent 
and a sustainable infrastructure, including complex relationships to 
social fields,
business and science. The new media institutions like no other have 
paved the
way for such cooperations, and have shown that arts, sciences, business and
society in general can work together in meaningful coalitions. International
cooperations that have been opened up to Dutch partners also exist thanks to
long term policy. With the abolishment of structural support of these 
new media art
institutions, the basis is washed away and it will be impossible in the 
future to
enter into long term commitments. Like European funding for and 
participation in
research and projects, and participation in national research programs.
A project based way of working interferes with continuity.

*Talent development*

The new Fund for the Creative Industry is also supposed to work on talent
development in a project based manner. This is contrary to the needs of the
educational field where there is a demand for structural connections. 
The new
media and art institutions have acknowledged that and play an important 
role in
development of talent and skills through the programs they have set up
together with vocational institutions and universities. They also offer 
and work with PHD students. The very same sustainable long term 
structures are
necessary here in order to be able to structurally work within education.

*The way the Fund for the Creative Industry should work!*

New media art can only contribute to the mission of enlarging the social and
economic value of the creative industry, in case the Fund is enabled to:

(1) issue longer term institutional subsidies and

(2) means are explicitely made available for artistic research, 
artistic production
and audience based activities

We sincerely hope that you will involve the new media and art 
institutions in the
set up and creation of the new Fund, and that the above arguments will 
lead to
the desired adjustments. We will be more than happy to share our views 
with you,
as well as the knowledge that we have in the area of international new media
arts policy.

Yours sincerely,

Waag Society
Submarine Channel
Netherlands Media Art Institute

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