(Australian) National Cultural Policy Submission

There is still a week to go if you want to Have Your Say on the mooted National Cultural Policy, due out 2012 sometime. And you should, reading-type-blogger-person that you are… you should have your say.

  • Take just (6) minutes to fill out the quick survey, then when ticking boxes and writing three sentence responses infuriates you…
  • Submit a fuller response to the 5 or so questions below.
  • If you’re exceptionally lazy, feel free to crib my submission for ideas. I know that imitation is the highest form of compliment, but try to resist the urge nakedly plagiarize, it will make my efforts look bad, and baby Jesus will cry.
  • N.B. You don’t have to be part of, or represent an organisation to respond. They want to hear from individual artists, and (more to the point) I want them to hear from individual artists… *Ahem*

About you or your Organisation

Specious Pty. Ltd. as founded in July 2007 with the specific goal of starting a non-hierarchical and socially networked series of micro Radio Stations. Its' board is composed of a diverse group of young people active in a range of fields, from Broadcast Radio & Advertising to Librarianship & Activism. We are active in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Brisbane and Berlin

Do you support the development of a National Cultural Policy, and why?

Yes and No. Current bureaucratically organised Arts Funding has directed vast sums of money away from little-c-culture that is democratic and accessible to all audiences, and into capital-C-Culture in our prestige Art Galleries, Orchestras and the Opera House. This reinforces a cultural divide in Australia that falls quite strictly down class lines, impoverishing those most in need and exacerbating divisions already on the rise, and destructive to Australian life and society.

If leadership can be shown, and some this spending redirected back to ‘the culture’ more broadly to address these pressing issues, then so much the better. No one should reasonably expect to see a large reorientation of funding in this direction; but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t happen.

I would direct the curious reader to take in the ABC Arts documentary by Marcus Westbury, ‘Not Quite Art’ (Links on his blog, or just jump directly to the smh.tv site for the show)

What are your views about each of the four goals?

I’m very enthusiastic about Goal 2:

“To encourage the use of emerging technologies… enable more people to access and participate in arts and culture”

This is the most actively worded of all the goals, and the only one that engages with the technology that is changing our lives, the way we consume culture, art and, well all information.

More emphasis on this goal will have the greatest chance of addressing the aforementioned inequalities of access that actively discriminate in the current funding arrangements.

It will also engage a broader audience by reaching out to young people who are actively and aesthetically antagonistic to the current funding and dissemination models, and actively and aesthetically engaged in all of the new technologies.

What strategies do you think we could use to achieve each of the four goals?

Actively supporting New Media, New Art and New Artists–

I’m for simple active goals: Offering Prizes for innovative iPhone, Android and SMS applications. Particularly the latter, which is cheap, universally accessible and relatively undeveloped as an artform despite the fact that it is the primary way in which most people write poetry, or even write these days. Put a cash bounty on that.

Financial or Tax incentives for partnerships between private sector and commercial entities and non-profits for R&D exist, but nothing specifically for the arts, and there are no visible bodies facilitating the process.

Perhaps this could also be supported in the form of Scholarships and support for Experimentation and R&D towards new forms of audience engagement and education through these (and other) emergent technologies.

More showcases & workshops with foreign nationals that have succeeded in these areas overseas. A great thing to pair with prizes and or R&D support, and an activity that promotes itself.

How can you, your organisation or sector contribute to the goals and strategies of the National Cultural Policy?

My organisation is actively engaged in creating New Technology for audience engagement, as are all members of my board in some way. We concentrate a wealth of connections, knowledge and experience in emergent media and ideas.

Our sector– New Media, is the embodiment of the second goal, and

I am also always willing to help.

I personally am highly connected internationally in my field (New Media / Broadcast Media) as well two other fields of Civil Construction and International Aid. Up to and including EU MEPs, Diplomats, Construction V.C. and Aid Money.

Are there any other goals you would like to see included in the National Cultural Policy?

I’d like to see more direct action with at least 20% of funding tied directly by goals or statute to actively encouraging the media and initiaitves that support young people through new media. This is the future we should be investing in, not wildly expensive Opera that is more than capable of funding itself given the net worth of its Audience.

As I said before: Prizes work so well for young people. More cash prizes for cool projects. What is a cool project, you ask? Let the Kids decide. It’s their tech’ and their future.

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