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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Arts and culture

It seems like there is a cultural debate (if you can call it that) going on about something to do with arts, culture, NZ music. I haven't read any of it properly but it is vaguely interesting and it is raining so I might as well write around the topic.

I like a wide variety of "cultural" things. I go to museums, galleries, exhibitions, dance, concerts, gigs etc. I am just as likely to go to the ballet and opera as I am to go to a heavy metal gig. I love older painting styles but I also like modern abstract art and weird-performance art. I like mainstream pop-rock and I like alternative-indie music. However, I don't like cultural snobs. There is nothing wrong with pop music. You don't have to like it, but it is just as cultural as experimental noise rock.

I like NZ music. I go to a lot of local live acts and I buy cds if I like them. I think a lot of NZ music is great. I think a lot of it wouldn't appeal to most NZers, but some of it actually would if they get a chance to hear it.

However, I don't think the current funding system is quite right. A few people get funded. Lots of people don't. You can't fund everyone who wants to be an artist, and surely if one person deserves to be paid to express their creativity then everyone deserves to be paid to express their creativity? And the arts thing is so subjective how can you possibly say one person's creativity is valid and worthy of funding when someone else's isn't?

I am an artist/musician but I also work a fairly high paying and long hour high stress job. I pay quite a lot of tax. It is my choice to not be a poor struggling artist, but I do not like the current system where lots of taxpayers money gets thrown at the arts. Who decides where all that money ends up? Who decides what is the appropriate cultural direction of NZ? I imagine it is a small group of arty types who are not at all representative of most New Zealanders.

I am not like most New Zealanders. I am not "mainstream." I am an artist, but I am not exactly an arty type either. So all of this annoys me.

Why? Because I like my art and my music better than everyone else's funded-partly-by-my-taxes art and music. I would rather the government spent my portion of the arts money on me (or even better that it didn't take it in the first place). This would mean that I could work less and spend more time creating art that I like. I could also spend more of my disposable income on art that I like and want to support, not art someone else decides I should support.

Comments:
Hello,

I like your article on the Governement's spending on Art. What an interesting view you have. I too write about art and the things in life. I recently submitted and article that is being published on www.greenroom.ws

You may want to consider being a contributor to Green Room. It a new website that supports the art, community, culture, etc. Really good stuff they have, plus they sell cool one of a kind objects and products. I think the launch soon, something like the ned of the month?

Sam
 
Hello,

I like your article on the Governement's spending on Art. What an interesting view you have. I too write about art and the things in life. I recently submitted and article that is being published on www.greenroom.ws

You may want to consider being a contributor to Green Room. It a new website that supports the art, community, culture, etc. Really good stuff they have, plus they sell cool one of a kind objects and products. I think the launch soon, something like the ned of the month?

Sam
 
Of course the Libertarian answer is that *no* arts should be funded by the government, for several reasons:

1) People shouldn't be forced -- through taxes -- to pay for arts they don't like.

2) Any government funding solution is going to then require a Ministry of the Arts composed of "official" "experts" who decide what's "worthy" of being funded.

All arts should be funded privately, otherwise we end up with everyone paying for stuff that practically no one wants. Privately funded arts are paid for only by those who want what is produced.
 
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