In past centuries, fortunate artists found patrons in the aristocracy or the church who would support their work. In the 20th century, art institutions and foundations stepped into this role with residency programs funded either by wealthy donors or by public donations. More recently, a new variety of artist-in-residence program has emerged, this time sponsored by big companies.
The software company Autodesk invites artists to spend up to six months working in their facilities, giving them a stipend and funds for their materials and using their work to support development. Amtrak gives writers-in-residence a free ride on their trains without any contractual obligation. In contrast, Facebook has its own quasi-secret artist-in-residence program which pays to create – and own – artwork that adorn the walls of its buildings.
Elizabeth Segran describes these evolving opportunities for artists, with a hovering question around what is really motivating companies to do this and what they expect in return for their sponsorship. Welcome to the brave new world of the corporate-sponsored artist… Read more >>
In Oakland, California, container homes are banned as urban blight. But what if they were made into art? Sarah Beckstrom created this house last year attempting to demonstrate how a search for alternative styles of urban living can mix utility, efficiency and art. See the whole project >>
[Dispatch posted by the Bureau for Agent A in the field] .
“Rather than finding ourselves in an era of unprecedented change, we may find it is one of crushing tedium, uniformity and vacuous conformism.” writes Richard Martin as he looks back at true revolutionary periods from artistic, political or corporate perspectives. “People really should stop talking about talking…” he adds.
His proposal for starting the slow change processes that may produce a rich harvest many years hence: “Play them at their own game… accepting a role alongside them and operating as an outsider on the inside.” Read more here >>>
Adam Curtis presents his theory of how political and economic elites have gone beyond propaganda into deliberately crafting confusion and informational overload in order to neutralise public understanding and opposition. This summary traces the methods back to a long-time advisor to Russian President Putin, who emerged from avant-garde art to develop informational ‘non-linear warfare’.
When the political purse-holders gradually eliminate financial support for universal education, a number of responses are possible. Protest is one way to respond. Resignation – either through opting out of education, or through studying but only by accruing massive debts – is another. Creating a new, parallel system is another… Cue the emerging model of Free Art Schools…
Postcard: image & text based missive sent to friends by travelers. Babylon: (1) capital of Babylonia in 2nd century B.C, often considered the first city. (2) Rastafarian term for capitalist civilisation. Liberation:the process of seeking and embodying freedom for, and by, all peoples