Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gerry Bonds: Arts are in peril. Ya don't say.

Was listening to KOSU this AM and heard The Living Room with Gerry Bonds addressing the challenge of art museums to bring in traffic in the last half of the show.  That's a monthly production and today's show was the first of the year.

(When that program becomes available, it can be heard HERE.)

Some of the remarks I heard were about how there was an attitudinal paradigm shift in management toward the goal of making art museums less intimidating to the hoi polloi, contrasted to the previous attitude of if-you-didn't-"get it"-you were unsophisticated-so-byebye. Yeah, that's basically part and parcel of why I gave up on continuing to support certain arts programs myself even though I'm not your typical uneducated unwashed member of the hoi polloi.  I've seen living, walking talking self-contradictions over the years...you know the type: they want to recruit new interest and new participants but turn their back on you when you actually show evidence of knowing something and then all of a sudden you become a threat to their "expertise".  Fork that snit.

The program reported that old thinking versus new thinking was along these lines: previously, art museums considered each other to be competition; now, it's entertainment venues that are the enemy.  Previously, art museums were all about art history in chronological order; today, they're about stories involving the art.  Previously, art experts served on boards and admin; now, it's non-experts (and I got a chuckle out of this, having ripped experts on this blog more than once before--this got my applause). Previously, art museums stood off from engaging the public; now, they're trying to be the community living room, a public square, where things like chess games and music also take place.

Chess games--the venue of time travel to the future (insofar as success is determined by considering possible future moves and then arrive at a strategy to block all future moves except for the ones by which  you defeat your opponent).  Yes, I do believe that the Doctor said something about how time lords invented chess, and that doesn't surprise me in the least.  Nearly all military battles are won or lost based on the success of anticipated moves of the enemy whether on a game board or on a battle field.

I would suggest something further to engage interest in art--as a method of time travel, and I'm not talking about historian type history--that's the thing these people on this show were attempting to abandon, and I applaud that--I'm agreeing with their stated observation that art is better presented as a human experience, and further suggest that orientation toward presenting exhibits as a means of the public traveling to the time period on display;  you know, the life of the times.  Art of all varieties spring from what life was like in that time period.


Egypt's constitution still remains to be voted on, and I say again that the problem with it is that it wasn't composed with the input of representatives of Egypt's different factions.  What is promising is the part that outlaws religious parties.  This both separates mosque from state and it also shows the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood Party regardless of how it uses words to present itself.  I hope that it also places all people under constitutional law including the president, which was the main problem with Morsi failing to be subject to law.  But I also hope that it puts the military under civilian command. It's necessary for Sisi to fail in a bid for the presidency, especially since he's looking for a mandate to come out of the vote for the constitution.

I recently heard that the Muslim Brotherhood was basically saying that the old constitution was fine and there was no need for this new one.  Really?  Then why was Morsi dictating changes to it?  Sorry, not buying that one.

Meanwhile the riots in Thailand pose to throw a monkeywrench into TPP negotiations, and I'm sure pro-labor activists like that idea...and I've said before that I disagree with that position and mainly because of the renegade nuclear powers in that area.  Something like the TPP is necessary to stabilize the area, even the renegade nuclear powers (North Korea, I'm looking at you; China is part of the TPP negotiations these days, and I'm not sure where that leaves Russia).

I haven't been ignoring the turmoil in Brazil, but it's true that class disparities have been going on for a long, long time--the tiff over the World Cup arena is just the breaking point.  Brazil has been pretending the poor and poor children just don't exist by tossing 'em into inhumane jails, and then pretend surprise when, say, a bus gets hijacked by a gunman and then just pass it off as occasional "terrorism".  Brazil, it's your turn to reckon (instead of ignore) your "99 Percent" and realize that your teachers  are at the crux of what becomes of the future of all your children.
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