HOW TO RECLAIM THE COMMON?
I think that artists could play a role in re-visualizing post communist Romanian urban space, but it seems like this article relies on that idea too much. The people need to get together and protest the capitalization of their remaining public space. I don’t really think that, as the article states, the Ranciere idea that “…political possibility is situated in the realm of aesthetics.” is all that is needed as it seems a bit naïve to think this. Although, this beatification and reclamation needs to start somewhere, and there’s no better way to start feeling good about ones community than having an arts scene. In this particular instance, the art scene should be politicized and critical, but the article doesn’t seem to suggest this too overtly. This situation reminds me of the efforts in Detroit, especially turning vacant housing into art spaces and the development of urban gardens. These new realizations of public spaces are very beneficial to the community, but you have to politically mobilize to compete with corporate interests.
USE A BICYCLE – THE APPRENTICE IN THE SUN
Being a biker, I can relate more to the beginning of the article when he talks about distractions, efficiency getting around in a city, and I do agree that more people should “use a bicycle”. But this solution to transpiration needs is very city centric. Biking does help with pollution, especially in congested cities, but there are so many other politics involved with the issue of pollution, that to give so much faith in the bicycle is sort of delusional.
Also, with his work, what’s up with the sexulization of the bicycle? “Something slipped gently into my right hand. It was the grip of a handlebar – her handlebar…I led the bicycle to the center, started upon her gently, threw my leg across and settled gently into her saddle… My feet pressed down with ecstasy on the willing female pedals…”(pg 22). Then he sort of creates a myth about the bicycle by casting parts in bronze and plaster? It is a mode of transportation that is very personal and utilitarian, but this fetishization of the object is kind of ridiculous when it is purely aesthetic and not functional. Perhaps he should convert the bike into an energy producer from the act of peddling it? The metaphors were kind of weak too; yes, police and the military use bicycles, but the military also uses cars, shoes, hats, sunglasses, etc.
It is true. The state of art funding is probably at its lowest point in this country, but what can we do now? The Temporary Services article stated that, “Universities continue to crank out masters of fine arts who have next to no possibility of getting gainful employment and little to no role in creating future employment outside the already tiny pool of highly coveted tenure track positions.” It also made a rallying cry to revolt against the institution for being exploitative by walking out and unionizing, but then you would get fired and not have a job and get replaced by one of the thousands of MFA grads who would gratefully take your job. A few years ago, Dave Hickey wrote an article in Art Forum and mentioned what the potential positive ramifications the market crash could have on the gallery system. Basically, in good ‘ol Hickey style, he said that it will filter out “shit” and maybe then the art world will be more critical about what they are calling or valuing as art. This is harsh, but the art world/system isn’t blameless in this oversaturation and inflation.
It does seem like a new business model needs to be forged. In the State of the Union article, Scholette states, “Widespread de-regulation has certainly increased prosperity for a few, but it provides no substantial “trickle-down” advantage for the many… not within the contemporary art world, a notoriously unregulated market.” So we have an art economic system that is the same corporate system that leaves people poor. I kind of don’t think wealthier artists would buy into his plan to invest in a community if it’s the same type of corporate system. I don’t see too many corporations doing this. I can’t even imagine working in the publishing industry as in the Elms article, especially because it is hemorrhaging jobs left and right and there is the competition of internet sources that are often very hyperbolic, even though they might be erroneous.
I like the idea of different modes of public funding, such as Sunday Soup. It seems like more than ever, though, fine artists need to learn new skills perhaps not traditionally associated with them, such as web design, computer coding, and technological literacy. I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of these artists, especially with MFA new media programs everywhere now, but most artists outside of these programs don’t have these new skills that are sought after in the job market, especially with the title “Creative Technologist” popping up everywhere.