[NetBehaviour] The privileged few are tightening their grip on the arts

ruth catlow ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org
Tue Sep 16 14:36:07 CEST 2014


Patrick - respect is due to you for your work and the impact of the many 
tactical media artists (Yes Men, Etoy, Ubermorgen etc.) who address 
power where it swaggers.

However "recognition by the money elite" currently also impacts (through 
money and mass-media ties) wider access to all kinds of arts (their 
creation and appreciation) by more diverse people.

It's not only about artists' working conditions, but about what kind of 
society we want, and about how to provide ways for all of us to engage, 
stimulate and "better ourselves" (individually and collectively). 
Shopping is not enough.

We can also end up arguing the toss about whether, when we are eeking 
out the last few pennies from our stricken public coffers, whether we 
choose to commission an artist or pay for life saving health care. The 
"a luxury or a life" argument. But this ignores the fact that austerity 
ideologies justify subsidy and support to many other more well heeled 
sectors of society. Which I think brings us back again to Michael's 
post; ) "The marginalisation of working class voices in the arts is a 
consequence of the fact that our rulers believe they have us licked and 
under control in general."

It's good to see a-n building up an argument from different perspectives 
as part of their Paying Artists campaign.
http://www.a-n.co.uk/tag/paying-artists



On 15/09/2014 19:35, Patrick Lichty wrote:
>
> Honestly, I think it just depends if you want to be recognized by 
> money elite.  We have been doing work that has gotten press for 
> decades on a small budget, but I agree it gets tiring to do work 
> continually that is never funded for decades.  It leaves you a little 
> tired and with a lot less money than you might have had for retirement 
> (I mean at 90, you gits!)
>
> *From:*netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org 
> [mailto:netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org] *On Behalf Of *michael 
> szpakowski
> *Sent:* Sunday, September 14, 2014 11:04 AM
> *To:* NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
> *Subject:* Re: [NetBehaviour] The privileged few are tightening their 
> grip on the arts
>
> It's interesting that the original article uses theatre as a starting 
> point. Having started out in the late seventies working in the theatre 
> and keeping a toe in that camp until very recently I can vouch for the 
> change.
>
> I remember on my second job ever in 1977 I asked one of the guys in 
> the small touring company I was working for what he'd been before he 
> became an actor. "A burglar", he replied. It was true -  he came from 
> a poor working class area of a big industrial town and rebelled in 
> perhaps not the most social of ways. He'd wanted out though & learned 
> to play the bass, joined a band and then got into acting through the 
> many connections and opportunities there were then ( and which were 
> not tied to expensive training). He later became quite a celebrated TV 
> performer playing a part that was related to his earlier life and 
> authentically so.
>
> Many of the people I worked with at that time came from similar 
> working class backgrounds to my own - I myself am the child of a 
> Polish refugee turned furnaceman in the Sheffield steel.
>
> Now , unless it is someone who worked their way in through the soaps, 
> working class accents are produced to order by the "skills" of the 
> largely privileged cadre who can afford to make it through drama 
> school. In the 90s I taught theatre to FE students one of whom (the 
> daughter of a classroom teacher from Essex) went to RADA, through 
> merit not connections. I went to see her rather star studded West End 
> debut ( a triumph which gave her a good deal of class satisfaction) 
> and she told me she'd spent three years at RADA playing "second 
> secretary" or similar whilst the sons and daughters of those already 
> in the "biz" or simply the well heeled and confident scooped the leads.
>
> What is the timeline? - I can tell you exactly what it is - when the 
> working class were fighting and winning in the UK, mid-sixties to 
> 74ish, miraculously there were ways for us to "better ourselves" in 
> other ways than struggle.
>
> It took awhile for these gains to be chipped away but it has been 
> downhill in proportion to the series of (often entirely unnecessary) 
> defeats that have been the outcome of workers' struggles since the 
> Winter of Discontent in the late seventies.
>
> The marginalisation of working class voices /in the arts/ is a 
> consequence of the fact that our rulers believe they have us licked 
> and under control /in general/. My greatest hope (and belief) is that 
> sometime before I shuffle off we will show them how wrong they were.
>
> michael
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> *From:*ruth catlow <ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org>
> *To:* netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org
> *Sent:* Sunday, September 14, 2014 1:53 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [NetBehaviour] The privileged few are tightening their 
> grip on the arts
>
> Do we care if our arts are increasingly practiced, disseminated and 
> discussed in the media by a privileged few?
>
> Were the post-WWII gains in diversity an illusion? or did time really 
> stop, and start going backwards?
> If so when did this reversal start?
>
> Early 80s, mid 90s, early noughties?
>
>
> On 14/09/2014 11:12, marc garrett wrote:
>
> The privileged few are tightening their grip on the arts | The 
> Guardian - http://go.shr.lc/1wsoLXu <http://t.co/LqXQEQDy72>
>
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