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Re: Re[2]: [thewire] Re: subcultures and hegemony.

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  • Patrick Oliver
    Point taken, Simon. Although I think artists should be free to criticize any system, regardless of how they get funding. Over here our Mayor, Rudi Guilliani,
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 2, 2001
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      Point taken, Simon. Although I think artists should be
      free to criticize any system, regardless of how they
      get funding. Over here our Mayor, Rudi Guilliani, is
      threatening to put together a "decency commission" to
      look in to who the city's arts funding goes to. The
      concern: should tax payers' money go toward funding of
      art that some tax payers find offensive. Chris Ofili
      actually received death threats for his Holy Virgin
      Mary piece. And yet I found his intentions with the
      work to be utterly decent. But perhaps thats just
      me...


      --- simonsmith@... wrote:
      > 'New music' is a great advert for the success of a
      > blend of capitalism with a liberal dose of
      > good-old-fashioned socialist state support. How many
      > Wire artists have had a helping hand from state arts
      > funding, or even exposure on publicly-funded
      > broadcasting? Even in the market-worshipping US.
      >
      >
      >
      > Pragmatism ... that's the name of the game nowadays.
      > I do raise an arched eyebrow whenever 'Arts
      > Council-type' artists kick and scream and rail
      > against a system in which they seem to be prospering
      > very well indeed thank you very much ... both
      > artistically and, sometimes, financially.
      >
      >
      > ______________________________ Reply Separator
      > _________________________________
      > Subject: RE: [thewire] Re: subcultures and hegemony.
      > Author: patrick_oliver@... at INTERNET
      > Date: 02/04/2001 09:45
      >
      >
      > >I suppose you could argue it's capitalism that
      > brings us the music in the
      > first place.
      >
      > Fair point, but you seem to assume that it is some
      > sort of done deal. As if Francis Fukuyama was right
      > and this really is the "end of history". God forbid.
      >
      > Its true that capitalism has brought us affordable
      > mass dissemination of reasonable quality music. I
      > for one have no gripe with capitalism per se. You
      > are right to suggest that marxism and capitalism are
      > not entirely mutually exclusive.
      >
      > One of the mistakes Mr. Fukuyama made (as indeed do
      > the US and British popular press) was to confuse
      > Marxism with Leninism/Stalinism/Maoism. All of
      > course shelved neatly in the "Communism" aisle.
      >
      > My problem with things as they stand is precisely my
      > problem with Leninism. That capitalism is something
      > that is constantly morphing. What used to be called
      > a free market is quickly becoming a hegemony
      > overseen by roughly 3 huge multinational media
      > conglomerates. That just as power went to Lenin's
      > head, the goal of the modern corporation is to
      > maximise profits by whatever means necessary, this
      > usually acts against the notion of a market being
      > free and open.
      >
      > Who was it said the now tired and overused "Absolute
      > power corrupts absolutely"?
      >
      > So now your average media supercompany knows what
      > you buy, where you bought it, what you watch, what
      > you wear, when you buy Pampers, when you buy booze.
      > The window of new technology, along with the
      > admittedly great advances in music creation and
      > dissemination, has also let in extremely intrusive
      > forms of marketing. My advice... use cash.
      >
      > There are people who are employed specifically to go
      > into chat rooms to observe discourse as well as
      > market certain products, fashions, ideas. Maybe even
      > to defend capitalism? Kidding.
      >
      > While corporations usually use the argument that
      > they simply make consumers aware of choices upon
      > which they may or may not act, its these very
      > corporations that own and make available an ever
      > decreasing set of options. Capitalism as a system is
      > not the issue, its what is happening to the system
      > (which may or may not be a natural development,
      > after all its really what Marx saw as the final
      > stage of capitalism, what Lenin was trying to
      > acheive by speeding up the process of
      > industrialisation).
      >
      > My problem, therefore, is mainly with what
      > potentially may lie in the future. Of course Wire
      > readers are not high on AOL/Time Warner's list of
      > markets to break. But you all seem to spend a great
      > deal on music. You appear to be well educated and
      > gainfully employed. So who knows.
      >
      > By the way, whoever it was that menioned the sick
      > appropriation of irony into the mainstream - well
      > said!
      >
      > Patrick
      >
      >
      > --- Jawed Ashraf <Jawed@...>
      > wrote: > > > This whole discussion has raised a lot
      > of
      > > fascinating points. And I
      > > > > think what Simon said about Flitwick and his >
      > band is a great idea for
      > > > > protest. It reminds me a little of the
      > scottish > collective called
      > > > > Diskono (some of whom are based in stirling, >
      > where I'm staying at the
      > > > > moment). They announced a few years ago that >
      > they were going to
      > > > > destroy the 100 rarest electro records (at
      > least > i think it was
      > > > > electro), causing a sort of mini-uproar, with
      > > magazines like mix-mag
      > > > > and other record fetishising publications >
      > printing the story.
      > > > > of course, diskono never intended to destroy
      > the > records (they didn't
      > > > > even have them). it was just a practical joke,
      > > but it said something
      > > > > about the whole record collector thing (i
      > might > be incoherent in this
      > > > > cause i'm about to be kicked off this computer
      > > so am rushing).
      > > >
      > > > Just a small thing before I read the rest of
      > your > post (I know
      > > > it's a stupid
      > > > way of acting) : collecting record isn't >
      > capitalism at all IMHO - because
      > > > records, as they are produced, are mass
      > commodity > - when you begin to
      > > > collect them, they somehow get unique in the >
      > process, at least to
      > > > you. They
      > > > turn into one entirely distinct part of your >
      > record collection, and this
      > > > collection is a puzzle unique to its owner...
      > Then > I can somehow
      > > > understand
      > > > the uproar, because some people would have
      > thought > "hey, they're about to
      > > > destroy something that could have become part of
      > > my collection" or "Gosh,
      > > > someone could do this with my collection"
      > (hoping > I'm not too incoherent
      > > > too)
      > > > I suppose you could argue it's capitalism that >
      > brings us the music in the
      > > first place. A hundred and a fair bit years ago
      > you > couldn't buy music to
      > > listen to. You could only go to hear it
      > performed. > (If you were reasonably
      > > rich you could buy sheet music, though...)
      > > > It seems to me that back then music was almost a
      > > purely social thing. It
      > > was found in the home round the piano (if the
      > family > was well off), or in
      > > the pub/cafe or in the local music hall, or
      > theatre > or concert hall, or
      > > opera house. Going back further in time, music >
      > would seem to have been
      > > everywhere, in the streets, the markets, the fairs
      > > etc.
      > > > In the more recent of those days there were
      > stars, > for sure. Whether it was
      > > the grand dame in the music hall (famous
      > throughout > her community) or the
      > > world-renowned opera singer. So, the cult of
      > stars > was already well under
      > > way before the first records.
      > > > Moving forwards in time from the first
      > theatrical > performances of music
      > > (hundreds of years ago - when did people first pay
      > > to listen to music? When
      > > did music become a form of paid-for entertainment
      > in > isolation from theatre,
      > > bull-fight, grand ball etc.?) capitalism has >
      > provided a framework for
      > > artists to gain income from their work, whether it
      > > is composition or
      > > performance. "Western" society has been enjoying
      > > this trade for hundreds of
      > > years.
      > > > It seems to me that along with the
      > commodification > of music has come greater
      > > and greater sophistication of music. Of course,
      > you > could argue this is
      > > pure coincidence. Beethoven didn't continue to >
      > write music of ever
      > > expanding sophistication because it was a way to >
      > earn money (or did he?).
      > > On the other hand some might argue that music
      > hasn't > gotten better than that
      > > written by Beethoven (hmm).
      > > > Personally I view the increasing sophistication
      > of > music with passing
      > > time/capitalism/education/globalisation/media as a
      > > good thing. It's
      > > enriching. The alternative is to suggest that we
      > > all farm the land, produce
      > > our own food and have no leisure time, barely >
      > acceptable welfare, state
      >
      === message truncated ===


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    • Jawed Ashraf
      I have to admit it gives me a chuckle that the NY art scene was so advanced throughout the 40s-early 70s and now gets on its high horse over stuff like this.
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 2, 2001
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        I have to admit it gives me a chuckle that the NY art scene was so
        "advanced" throughout the 40s-early 70s and now gets on its high horse over
        stuff like this. Not to say it doesn't happen in London - but NY supposedly
        led the way out of conservatism.

        In the UK it's been accepted for decades that the dole (unemployment
        benefit) is a crucial funding source for young musicians (and other kinds of
        artists). Think what a fantastic investment this has been in terms of the
        billions of pounds of international record sales by groups in the "pop" era,
        most of whom could only survive at the beginnings of their careers making
        music cos of the dole.

        I have friends who lived this lifestyle. OK, so they didn't "succeed" but I
        have an EP of theirs from their John Peel session. What is success?

        Presumably one can do an M-something on this subject, too.

        Jawed

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Patrick Oliver [mailto:patrick_oliver@...]
        > Sent: 02 April 2001 19:39
        > To: thewire@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: Re[2]: [thewire] Re: subcultures and hegemony.
        >
        >
        > Point taken, Simon. Although I think artists should be
        > free to criticize any system, regardless of how they
        > get funding. Over here our Mayor, Rudi Guilliani, is
        > threatening to put together a "decency commission" to
        > look in to who the city's arts funding goes to. The
        > concern: should tax payers' money go toward funding of
        > art that some tax payers find offensive. Chris Ofili
        > actually received death threats for his Holy Virgin
        > Mary piece. And yet I found his intentions with the
        > work to be utterly decent. But perhaps thats just
        > me...
        >
        >
        > --- simonsmith@... wrote:
        > > 'New music' is a great advert for the success of a
        > > blend of capitalism with a liberal dose of
        > > good-old-fashioned socialist state support. How many
        > > Wire artists have had a helping hand from state arts
        > > funding, or even exposure on publicly-funded
        > > broadcasting? Even in the market-worshipping US.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Pragmatism ... that's the name of the game nowadays.
        > > I do raise an arched eyebrow whenever 'Arts
        > > Council-type' artists kick and scream and rail
        > > against a system in which they seem to be prospering
        > > very well indeed thank you very much ... both
        > > artistically and, sometimes, financially.
        > >
        > >
        > > ______________________________ Reply Separator
        >
      • R. Lim
        ... The city didn t fund the artwork s creation, it funded the museum that exhibited the work. It shouldn t be a surprise to anyone that not a whole lot of
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 3, 2001
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          On Mon, 2 Apr 2001, Patrick Oliver wrote:

          > get funding. Over here our Mayor, Rudi Guilliani, is
          > threatening to put together a "decency commission" to
          > look in to who the city's arts funding goes to. The
          > concern: should tax payers' money go toward funding of
          > art that some tax payers find offensive. Chris Ofili
          > actually received death threats for his Holy Virgin
          > Mary piece. And yet I found his intentions with the

          The city didn't fund the artwork's creation, it funded the museum that
          exhibited the work. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that not a whole
          lot of public funding goes directly to artists. Which is probably the way
          it should be- I wouldn't trust the US gov'ts taste in art.

          -rob
        • Patrick Oliver
          Which is probably the way ... You re right, of course, Guilliani s concern is that public money is going to museums that house CERTAIN works that CERTAIN
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 3, 2001
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            Which is probably the way
            > it should be- I wouldn't trust the US gov'ts taste
            > in art.
            >
            > -rob

            You're right, of course, Guilliani's concern is that
            public money is going to museums that house CERTAIN
            works that CERTAIN people find offensive. It gets more
            ridiculous every time I go through it in my head. The
            Brooklyn museum of art has a stunning permanent
            collection including fine early Egyptian and
            Mesopotamian pieces. Rudy was planning to close the
            whole thing down because of the (temporary) Saatchi
            exhibition. One can't help noticing that a certain
            Charles Saatchi was the only person in this whole
            sorry story who not only got away scott free but made
            a decent coin at the same time...

            Patrick


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          • jamello@aol.com
            In a message dated 01-04-02 17:12:20 EDT, you write:
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 4, 2001
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              In a message dated 01-04-02 17:12:20 EDT, you write:

              <<
              I have to admit it gives me a chuckle that the NY art scene was so
              "advanced" throughout the 40s-early 70s and now gets on its high horse over
              stuff like this. Not to say it doesn't happen in London - but NY supposedly
              led the way out of conservatism.
              >>

              One clarification: it isn't the "NY art scene" that's driving this matter,
              it's a single, narrow-minded, control freak mayor who others in city
              government are scared to tangle with. But, he'll be out soon-ish (thank
              goodness for term limits) so hopefully things will evolve.)

              -- Jack
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