Author Douglas McLennan argues that in our financially troubled and hyper-conservative Tea Party era, the arts community does itself a disservice by putting funding at the center of the conversation because the public's more concerned with cautionary belt-tightening than investing in aesthetic risk-taking. McLennan:
I think as long as it’s about money, the arts lose. As long as the conversation starts with funding, the arts lose. Yet that’s where the arts often start; if the debate is about money, then we try to prove what a good investment the arts are. But the problem with economic impact studies is that if someone isn’t in the market to invest — no matter how good the return is — they won’t. Concurrently, the problem with arguing aesthetic value is that if the aesthetic values aren’t my aesthetic values, they don’t sound compelling to me.
Conservatives have been successful not because they have a better economic case, but because they make an argument about values. In a time when people are angry over a sour economy and a lack of accountability for those they perceive got us there, they preach caution, living within our means, and trying to impose more responsible behavior. Argued in these terms, again, who wouldn’t sign on?
In February, CL Food & Drink Editor Besha Rodell and I attended a collaborative event between pop-up restaurant Dinner Party and local arts co-op Dashboard in a vacant Westside warehouse. The event and its spirit felt immensely Atlanta, "a glimpse of how and what creative minds might accomplish when assumptions (of what a gallery or a restaurant is, for example) are put aside" we said in the article.
When I first read Wyatt Williams' profile on local author Blake Butler published last April, I printed out a copy, picked it up, walked over to another editor's desk and said something along the lines of, "Please read this. I'm worried because I don't want to change anything." Since then, Wyatt's also written memorable profiles of The Help author Kathryn Stockett and "CNN Newsroom" anchor Don Lemon. And done a pretty damn good Hunter S. Thompson impression.
And then there was Curt Holman's expansive, compelling profile of Tyler Perry in April, in which he referred to the Atlanta entertainment mogul as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery — wearing a housedress and granny glasses." And the time he braved a Cobb County premiere of Sarah Palin's The Undefeated. Curt also produced a poignant piece this fall about the film industry not only abandoning 35mm, but destroying 35mm archives, and the effect on local movie theaters such as the Plaza.
Comedian Jamie Ward kills with weapons of mass hilarity.
Filmmaker Eric Haviv conquers Cannes with serious shorts.
Animator Takuro Masuda makes short films with guts.
Choreographer and dancer Helen Hale makes magnetic, inviting performances.
Conceptual artist Nikita Gale explores the language of advertising, one photograph at a time.
Laura Straub is vouching for small-press lit one book at a time.
Andrew Benator, the meek who inherits the Earth.
Plus, an oral history of pioneering underground art and music space Eyedrum and the people and projects to watch in the coming year.
Come hang/get free dranks tonight at Beep Beep Gallery to celebrate and check out our newest Art Boxes!
Among the most recent actions was Arts Advocacy Afternoon at the Georgia State Capitol held January 25 by the Georgia Assembly of Community Arts. The event allowed artists and arts supporters to gather, train and speak with local legislators. Among the afternoon’s attendees was local artist, and Hudgens Prize winner, Gyun Hur.
We contacted Hur and asked her to recount her experience at Arts Advocacy Afternoon, including what she learned and whether or not she considered it effective.
This modern-day Frankenstein of the arts (sans the death and destruction), artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will discuss his art and career at the High Museum of Art tonight at 7 p.m.
The electronic artist—whose works have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the 50th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Winter Olympics 2010 in Vancouver—specializes in interactive installations that blend technology with performance art and architecture.
The lecture, Antimonuments and Subsculptures, is presented by ART PAPERS LIVE! and co-sponsored by the High Museum of art and the Délégation du Québec à Atlanta.
Tickets to tonight's lecture is free and open to the public. Limit two tickets per patron. For more information call 404-733-5000 or visit www.high.org. For more on Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's work, visit his site at www.lozano-hemmer.com.
Curious what a wave of moving chairs and searchlights controlled by heart rates looks like? Take a peak at the videos of Lozano-Hemmer's work below the cut!
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