Hi Sarah & all,
I have been discussing the subject myself on other lists such as
netbehavour & to others privately through email...
I am extremely angry.
Yesterday was a significant day. A big shift politically, where the
ideology of an neo-liberalist agenda successfully disarmed half of the
media art orgnizations in the UK. Some excellent groups who were grass
roots, doing amazing stuff were attacked. I can't even bring myself to
mention their names at present, because it feels too raw. Already in the
UK, artist groups have been just about surviving on minimal amounts of
income. Yet due to generous dedication, enthusiasm and imaginative
approaches we have all witnessed an expansive and valuable contribution
to society, as well as towards the arts across the board. Our endeavors
collectively and separately have influenced many of the younger
generation to take on and consider the practice of media art in their
own practice. But also, (of course) it has been watered down by the less
critically engaged sectors of art culture also. This more reflects the
vulnerability of media arts (related) practice, in respect of its
presence and status in the art world and every day culture.
There has been, and still are excellent digital and media art
organizations and groups receiving revenue in the UK from Arts Council
funding, actively changing things via their own, critical approaches.
Media art organizations across the board deserve more attention and
appreciation regarding its high output and intelligent production. By
closing over half of them down, cutting off the supply of revenue when
these organizations have been offering so much quality to our culture,
whilst receiving a reasonably modest sum is not only short sighted, but
serves in sending us all a message that there exists an active bias
towards more established and privileged sectors in the art world. Gone
are the days when art was supported because of its challenging contexts,
it is now more about what fits in via a top-down agenda, not the
criticalness of the art or culture itself, as a whole.
As some may have noticed, our funding is at the lower end of the scale,
and obviously fails to reflect sufficiently the amount of hard work we
actually put into getting everything up and going. A seven day a week
job, with thousands of hours missing from our personal lives. We were
lucky to slip through and somehow remain funded. But, to be honest - it
does not feel that positive when looking around at what's left, as half
of our culture has been deleted in one day. I have always valued the
networked elements of having peer practitioners out there to share
ideas, as well as be challenged, informed and re-educated by them.
The recent cuts are unethical and declare a shallow contempt towards
others who wish to explore more adventurous solutions creatively.
Already the established art world was content with propping up useless
and culturally vapid artists via unquestioning protocols and lazy
initiatives. It has aways been a difficult terrain to deal with when
having to re-educate those who were not willing to engage with media art
contexts, even though they ran galleries and art magazines and proposed
a (supposed) agenda towards new forms of art practice, hypocritically.
It is not only the Government and its neo-liberal onslaught on anything
of human value and worth, that has helped in hurting our once dynamic
and thriving culture - it was the systemic ignorance of a hermetically
sealed art world also.
wishing you well.
> Hi all
> Yes a letter to journalists as soon as possible is the way to go, can we collectively draft it here? With some international input too please from those of you on this list who have been followers and supporters of new media art in England... It would also be good to have some voices from the new media art orgs that were successful, such as furtherfield and lighthouse perhaps, who could comment on what the loss of their extended networks means for their work? Mike, what does it mean for AND fest that one of the three orgs behind it was cut; rebecca what does it mean for AV fest that partners in the city such as Amino or Isis were not successful?
> Does anyone have any names of journalists we could contact? it is hard not to see it as massive de investment in a little understood or appreciated artform.
> Hurried thoughts from London... If any non British based readers on this list have thoughts or need an explanation, do speak up!
> On 31 Mar 2011, at 11:08, Gary Thomas<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Ditto what Taylor, Mat and Mike said..
>> And I think Ele's suggestion of a letter to The Guardian would do no harm.
>> (It was only after the guardian's cutsblog mentioned that our gfta had been rejected that ace called us to encourage us to resubmit)
>> This isn't just about cuts - it's about a lack of balance in their friggin portfolio!
>>> Begin forwarded message:
>>>> From: Ele Carpenter<[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Date: 30 March 2011 21:50:33 GMT+01:00
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] ACE funding
>>>> Reply-To: Ele Carpenter<[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Here is the list of organisations to be cut on Guardian blog:
>>>> It's such a long list it's hard to comprehend - and as Clive says the
>>>> media arts seem very hard hit within the percentage of visual arts
>>>> cuts. I'm sure there's someone on this list who can download the
>>>> Guardian data and do the maths?
>>>> Whilst everyone is reeling in shock, could we draft a letter to the
>>>> Guardian? At don't think it's gonna make a difference - but visibility
>>>> seems important. Maybe there'll be a Media Arts Block with the
>>>> http://artsagainstcuts.wordpress.com protests now.... ?
>>>> Any ideas?
>>>> On 30 March 2011 20:45, Clive Gillman<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>> Don't want to start a new line, but it feels like some comment is needed on
>>>>> the complete wipeout of ACE-funded organisations working with new media
>>>>> announced today - folly, PVA, Mute, Access Space, Lovebytes, Proboscis,
>>>>> Vivid. Been out of the loop in England, but is that it for Arts Council
>>>>> England support for new media ?
>>>> Ele Carpenter
>>>> Lecturer, MFA Curating, Dept of Art, Goldsmiths College, Uni of London.
>>>> m: +44 (0)7989 502 191