..on Tue, May 31, 2005 at 01:14:50PM +1200, Helen Varley Jamieson wrote:
i don't know the stats on comparative per capita
arts spend between australia & here but it
certainly *feels* like there is a lot more
funding there, & the much larger population base
means more audiences & therefore greater direct
the lack of [funding] opportunity was precisely
why i left for australia some 8 years ago.
shame it hasn't improved.
i also find it bizarre that politicians keep on
going on about tax cuts as if everybody wants
them. personally, i would rather pay more tax &
have free education & better funding for the arts
& health. when tertiary fees were introduced in
the early 1990s, economic research that showed
that a 1% increase in the top tax bracket would
remove the "need" for fees, while a 3% increase
would fund health as well ... i don't have the
most up to date figures but most western european
countries are over 50% for top income tax rates
with countries like sweden being even higher.
ours range from 19.5 to 40.2 with the average
here in denmark many pay around 50% in tax, but the
return on that tax, from insurance through to healthcare, good museums
and festivals seems immediate and tangible. interestingly
i hear less people here complain about the amount of tax paid,
instead they debate about /*how*/ that tax should be spent.
like so many countries in the western world, the amount of
arts funding is directly relative to their ambitions
for cultural tourism. arts funding is never really about an
altruistic support of human expression and thought, so much as
an economically rationalised spending prospectus to the ends of
nz has it a little harder albeit, a very large wet border to cross
just to catch a festival. a big enough event however would at least
rattle up the locals into seeing that people, alot of people, actually
like this stuff. perhaps government subsidy of an external media arts
festival would be a good way to 'spend' on the arts.
the digital/art-tech arts are another story however. new media artists
positioning themselves within the same spectrum of funding as the traditional
arts is dangerous and foolish as arts funding models not built
around event financing or artifact-as-saleable-goods innately appear
less economically rational. instead new media arts should position themselves
as a valuable extension and accomplice of industry to the ends of a diverse,
market-stimulating supply of research and development.
whether or not we as artists feel this way about our own work is of
little consequence - ultimately new zealand digital artists needs to
strategically and publically position themselves as a fruitful and
sensible redistribution of taxpayers money to the ends of stimulating
the production of new funding frameworks.
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Artist in Residence IT University of Copenhagen
Department of Digital Aesthetics and Communication
Rued Langgaards Vej 7
DK-2300 København S