This is all a rich vein of conversation, but what can be done ?
There has been a suggestion here that some level of correspondence might
be appropriate - and I'm sure ACE will be fairly resilient to that - but
it might help jog the conscience of some officers that a set of
decisions that may have been taken individually have created a
compounded effect upon an important area of practice (was any review
made at this level or were all the decisions made at the individual
application level ?). So who is to lead on this ? (Bronac ?)
Is there also scope for a more strategic approach aimed at reminding ACE
of the paradox of their position ? (again this has been articulated well
in this list over the past 24hrs). However, without an internal advocate
it might be difficult to get any purchase for such an approach. There
was a suggestion that other alternative sources of funding from ACE
might be available from 2012, so perhaps the best that can be gained is
to get them to acknowledge a mistake that requires a national response
in 2012 ?
The academic partnership and independent approach are positive stories,
but personally I'd like to see an Arts Council that recognises that the
most significant areas of practice are often those in emergent forms and
seeks to invest and nurture them.
But like Simon, I'm up north across the border and not feeling the pain
directly, but it has come as a real shock to see so many organisations
that I have worked with directly being culled in this way. Like the
early practice of video art in the UK that has been resurrected through
research projects like Rewind, the best we might achieve here is to hold
on to some kind of legacy - but perhaps that's better than a landscape
devoid of any memory of this work and hope for its future influence.