[NetBehaviour] The strange tale of Rhizome and its Arts Council funding

Simon Biggs simon at littlepig.org.uk
Wed Oct 30 19:52:50 CET 2013


I don't think you can describe Rhizome as large. It's two and a half people, basically - and survives in main part from donations, as US state arts funding is so poor. I think it gets some money from the Warhol Foundation charity too.

The Barbican is large but mainly funded from the City of London, not the Arts Council. I assume the Arts Council funded this project as a one off UK based project. The sum in question, £15k, is modest.

It's a question of principle. For the first 20 years I lived in the UK I did so on an Australian passport. During that time I received a number of Arts Council grants. I once asked one of their people whether it bothered them I was Australian. They replied that they never looked at the colour of people's passports. It's good to work in an inclusive environment so I'm not bothered about Rhizome being funded, so long as it is transparent.

The more important question is about quality. Was this the best use of limited public funding to assure the best artistic outcomes? I'm in no position to make that judgement. I'm not sure who is.

best

Simon


On 30 Oct 2013, at 17:56, Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:

> On 30/10/13 08:40 AM, marc garrett wrote:
>> 
>> Also, the money was from a UK budget & there are lots of smaller groups
>> in the UK need of support who are not as big as the Barbican & Rhizome.
> 
> Quite.
> 
> Internationalism and avoiding splits are not considerations when a large
> American organization is taking money from local organizations to pursue
> cold war style cultural imperialism.
> 
> The "informal UK arm" should be ashamed of himself.
> 
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Simon Biggs
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s.biggs at ed.ac.uk Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
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