Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Commodify THIS!


No time right now to say much about Maria Miller's speech today apart from:

  • That someone wants something from our work which isn't our primary driver, or even misunderstands it, is no reason not to help them get what they want, so long as it doesn't damage how we do it. (We wouldn't send someone just out on a first date away from a play because they didn't primarily want their values recalibrating that night, would we?)
  • Commodity is not a pleasant word is it? Can you ever remember hearing any use it warmly in any context? Unless she meant co(mmunity)-produced oddity, in which case I'm all for it.
  • There isn't, so far as I'm aware, yet a law banning us from having more than one case for the arts, if we need to. My preference personally is for a holistic view that embraces economic and cultural, individual and collective, instrumental and intrinsic. I want working in the arts, even as An Artist, to be a great but 'ordinary' job you can live a life on, not one that sets people apart, as well as something a bit special. So if we need an economic argument for some people or at some times, and a spiritual argument for others, etc... fine.
Many other thoughts, but best stop there for now, before I dig any deeper. Anyway... someone sent me a link this morning to this little animation, which I thought said something entertaining and profound, in a quirky, small way. By using it on my blog - used to share ideas, but also part of the Commodification Strategy currently helping me earn a living - I may be turning it into something it isn't. But it will turn itself back regardless.

(Funnily enough, the person who sent it me - Dominic Smith of the fantastic glittering Pixel Palace to give him due credit - just told me, when I was asking who'd made this, that he found it by googling 'machine that turns itself off'. Which is funny because I thought the machine was turning itself back ON....)


Sunday, 14 April 2013

How the hell could an onion smell of a political doctrine?




Unsure about adding to the flow of words about Mrs Thatcher, I thought I'd share two unpublished poems from my upcoming book that connect to her and her ideas. You can find them on the blog I started for that here

The first is from a sequence called The Dunno Elegies (a pun on Rilke's Duino Elegiesand references the place where Thatcher did her famous 'walk in the wilderness', perhaps the closest she came, briefly, to thinking desolation might not be a viable or reasonable way of carrying on. It also draws on memories of visiting the offices of Tees Valley Regeneration, on that very land, surrounded by call centres and colleges. Is it a place or a community, beyond being a site? That we even need to ask the question is part of Thatcher's damaging legacy. 

The 2nd poem takes a more tangential and playful approach.