[NetBehaviour] naughty boy

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Aug 19 02:15:26 CEST 2009

It's not instrumentalist; it's more fundamental. If you're crazy with 
stress because of bad health care, little or no income, you just don't 
function well. If you have students, I assume you're full time - my two 
courses at SVA won't even pay the bills (adjuncts get next to nothing). I 
have nightmares over this, migraines, etc. In other words there has to be 
a modicum of feeling you're not going to lose your apartment or your 
teeth, you're going to have some sort of stability somewhere. I don't have 
that - it doesn't sound like 'naughty boy' does either.

- Alan

On Wed, 19 Aug 2009, Simon Biggs wrote:

> I always feel guilty seeking to justify to students why they should persist
> with completing their degrees, whether BA, MA or PhD ­ so I don¹t. They
> often say they want a degree so they can get a decent job and balance that
> with their creative practice. They say they see me, with a job and an
> artistic career, as a role model. I point out to them I left school at 15
> with no qualifications -  to be a hippy. Other than being an artist and
> coincidentally securing various positions because of my artistic activities,
> including my current one, I have never had what I consider a real job in my
> life. I¹m just a good for nothing artist ­ at least in the eyes of the taxi
> driver or plumber I often encounter (people with real jobs). It seems that
> being good for nothing can be more rewarding than being socially useful.
> I find it a worrying that people judge themselves by whether they are
> gainfully employed or not. Everyone has something to contribute. We live in
> societies, both poor and wealthy, that historically have tolerated
> significant percentages of their populations being what, in todays terms, we
> would consider economically inactive. However, economic inactivity does not
> mean a lack of productivity. There are so many ways that people can
> contribute value to themselves and those around them without getting a job.
> I never wanted a job anyway!
> We should not allow an instrumentalist view of life to become paradigmatic,
> especially in creative practice. That is the death of the artist.
> Best
> Simon
> Simon Biggs
> Research Professor
> edinburgh college of art
> s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
> www.eca.ac.uk
> www.eca.ac.uk/circle/
> simon at littlepig.org.uk
> www.littlepig.org.uk
> AIM/Skype: simonbiggsuk
> From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com>
> Reply-To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
> <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
> Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 13:25:23 -0400 (EDT)
> To: Theory and Writing <WRYTING-L at listserv.wvu.edu>
> Cc: <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
> Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] naughty boy
> My degree's in english, which has been useless all
> these years; Azure's is in environmental conservation from NYU (mine's
> from Brown). She hasn't been able to get work; I teach from time to time,
> part-time, and the stress is incredible; I think about suicide, running
> away with Azure, etc. etc.
> Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201

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