[NetBehaviour] the recession is over

Dyske Suematsu dyske at dyske.com
Mon Aug 24 22:59:34 CEST 2009

Thank you Pall, for sharing your personal account. And, I'm sorry to hear
all those things are happening to you.

This recession has been strange in that some were affected quite badly,
while others aren't at all. I've read a lot of articles about Iceland, so
I'm pretty aware of what's happening there. In fact, I thought at one point
that I can learn what's coming to the US by studying what's happening in
Iceland, but that hasn't materialized.

Economic hardship is a real paradox for art. As I said before, I believe
that recession is ultimately good for art, not only because it encourages
more creativity (via "creative destruction") but also because people
(including the audience) become interested in asking deeper questions about
life and our culture, which inspires more serious art (as opposed to art
that is primarily about trend).

But, on the other hand, art ultimately is a pursuit that only privileged
societies can afford (especially fine arts). So, we do need some degree of
excess or surplus for art to flourish. If artists have to spend every waking
moment working to make ends meet, no art could be produced.

This is the ironic thing about life. Every meaningful thing in life seems to
come out of a catch-22 situation. I suppose it wouldn't be interesting or
meaningful it it comes out of an obvious situation.


Dyske Suematsu
419 Lafayette Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 646.723.3943

On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 4:15 PM, Pall Thayer <pallthay at gmail.com> wrote:

> Recession over? Not close here in Iceland. Luckily my family and I
> aren't amongst the hardest hit. A lot of people here took risky loans
> to buy cars and homes and various other things, some frivolous, some
> not. These loans were in foreign currencies. The idea being that the
> Icelandic krona would keep getting stronger therefore the payments
> would get lower over time. The payments for those loans have now
> doubled. But as I say, we didn't have any of those. My wife and I both
> have federal student loans and we have a federal housing loan. So we
> thought we were safe. When the company I work for laid off around 100
> employees, I narrowly escaped losing my job. Again, we thought we were
> safe. My wife teaches part-time at the university, where enrollment
> has doubled, and part-time at a high school so we didn't think there
> would be any problems there. The layoffs at my company weren't enough
> to save it so we all had to take a pay cut. Not too much, still felt
> safe. My wife had received her teaching schedule and everything was
> fine. Well, the price of some things were on the rise but it didn't
> seem too bad. Then my wife received an email saying that due to budget
> cuts at the university they would have to drop one of her courses.
> Damn, that takes a chunk out of things. Prices are still on the rise.
> In fact, everything is skyrocketing now. Utilities, insurance, loan
> payments, food... everything's gone up. Petrol has more than doubled.
> Budget cuts in the local school system are affecting our two children.
> Instead of 20 students in a class, they are now 30 and the day has
> been shortened so they now have to be alone home for 2 hours before
> going to school. And prices are still going up. What little surplus
> income we had gradually disappeared and now our credit card debts are
> slowly creeping upwards. Our savings are gone. We're living
> month-to-month and we don't have enough. In the news today: On average
> there are now 20 police officers working at a time. That's in
> Iceland's largest urban area with a population of about 200.000.
> Sometimes there are as few as 10 officers patrolling the city. Crime
> runs rampant with waves of break-ins that sometimes involve violence
> if someone happens to be home. On top of everything else, it's really
> depressing.
> On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 6:08 PM, Dyske Suematsu<dyskes at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Has it really been bad for you? If so, what have you experienced
> personally?
> >
> > I've been asking everyone I know around the world what their personal
> > experiences are with the current recession. ALL of them described some
> bad
> > experiences of their friends but NONE of them said they themselves
> suffered.
> > The general consensus is that they can feel it to some degree, but feel
> > disconnected from how things are described in the media.
> >
> > It's like how non-New Yorkers felt about 9-11. All they saw was what they
> > saw in the media. Supposedly something horrible happened but they had no
> way
> > of confirming that it's not Hollywood special effect. Many people had to
> > come all the way to New York just to see the vacant lot in the financial
> > district. They literally came to see nothing.
> >
> > Personally, I feel like the Dotcom bust was much worse than this credit
> > crisis, and other people I know have agreed.
> >
> > But a 20-something girl in my office space told me that when she was
> hanging
> > out with 10 of her friends, they realized that 6 of them lost their jobs
> > recently. This is what I was expecting for everyone around me, but I only
> > know a few people who lost their full-time jobs. I'm 42 and most of my
> > friends are around 40, so it might be that only the younger generations
> are
> > suffering.
> >
> > Ironically, New York appears to be shielded from this recession even
> though
> > we triggered the whole recession. The real estate has gone down here too,
> > but nowhere as bad as other states. Believe it or not, I hear that some
> > neighborhoods are still going up!
> >
> > Either way, recessions are good for art anyway. When the economy is good,
> we
> > become lazy, and nothing truly creative comes out, because it's better to
> > keep doing the same thing to make money.
> >
> > My own personal take on the economy is that we are in the eye of the
> storm.
> >
> > I would love to hear other people's personal accounts of the recession.
> >
> > Best,
> > D
> >
> > -
> > Dyske Suematsu
> > 419 Lafayette Street, 2nd Floor
> > New York, NY 10003
> > http://dyske.com
> > Phone: 646.723.3943
> > http://twitter.com/dyskes
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 12:29 PM, dave miller <dave.miller.uk at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> relax
> >> phew!
> >> cor blimey!
> >> the recession is over!
> >>
> >> It's been so bad - do you know it may actually have been a depression!
> >>
> >> But now
> >> Baby we're on our way to the moon!
> >>
> >> Oh yes it's been hairy over the past year
> >> and TV has been pretty depressing.
> >> But now there's mass jubilation and dancing in the streets
> >> fuelling gains on the FTSE
> >> and house prices are going back up.
> >>
> >> There's a remarkable upturn
> >> It's noticeable
> >> A surge in confidence among professionals
> >> Optimism
> >> Speculators and investors are getting ready
> >> Bankers bonuses are back! executive pay is up!
> >>
> >> Now we can dream about getting jobs again
> >> of going back to work
> >> We can hope for some of that famed trickle down
> >> To buy one of those big back 4x4's
> >> that we always wanted.
> >>
> >> On the other hand
> >> Please dont tell me it's phoney or it's a sucker’s rally
> >> or that economic pain has been merely delayed by massive government
> >> bailouts
> >> or what's coming is bigger and badder
> >> the mother of all meltdowns
> >> blood and thunder ...
> >>
> >> Maybe they're all lying to make it seem better?
> >> Maybe it's just an attempt to sucker in our money before a big dump by
> >> insiders?
> >> I just dont want to hear that
> >> I don't think I could bear it.
> >>
> >> Do you think it might be?
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >
> >
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> --
> *****************************
> Pall Thayer
> artist
> http://www.this.is/pallit
> *****************************
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