Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: What PACE actually does

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  • Lilith __, in reply to Islander,

    while I am an exceptionally good fishnchip cook (and fisher) maybe the land would like my latent unborn stories better?

    Yes!!!!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Thanks Lilith!

    But then, I think, I really can cook fish...but I am picky about freshness & mediums and - o phuque it all-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Dunno.

    I'm pretty sure they'll like your writing better than your cooking. Which is not to say your fishnchips aren't nice, but your words will reach a lot more people. I hope you keep fishing, though. There's something very enheartening about the thought of you out there with a spear every morning.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Islander,

    Thanks Lilith!

    Not that cooking can't be an art form...but stories are less perishable!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Islander,

    It so greatly upsets me when I think about great artists in this country who are not living in the comfort they should be. I think of yourself, Islander, and Douglas Wright, as just 2 examples of people who should be lauded and feted the rest of your days, who have contributed so greatly to the culture of this country, who have put us on the map in many ways, and yet, somehow, we fail to acknowledge that there are some people who really are such treasures.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • steviant,

    It's painful to see right-wingers put unemployed people through the wringer for a number of reasons, principal among them the fact that they know that without a large margin of the population unemployed, scarcity will drive up wages and that doesn't sit well with employers, who will in turn will use their vast resources to punish the government at the next election.

    Despite this rather obvious fact, it seems that the same people who benefit (no pun intended) from this situation show no hesitation in bashing the unemployed and insinuating that they are in the position they are in because it's a "lifestyle choice", a claim that most people I know who are unemployed find offensive, given their weekly struggles to pay for food and rent.

    The only people on the dole as a lifestyle choice are criminals using a benefit to cover their otherwise unexplained income, or fraudsters with more than one benefit.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2011 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to BenWilson,

    Nets & rods mainly! (I only use a spear for flounders.*)
    I am not trying special pleading:I know there are many many skilled & special individuals among us all. I am thinking of people like – just as an ‘for instance’- my mother who has huge people skills but who is sidelined from using them because – she is over 80-

    *Flounders are spring tides, or when the bar blocks. You catch many more in nets then, but it isnt - o shit, it isnt so much fun

    Runs away after admitting fishing is a lot of fun...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to steviant,

    Nice nick :)

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    One of the things ignored by the likes of Pullya Benefit and her hoards of resentful taxpayers is the fact that these beneficiaries spend their meagre incomes in local shops and businesses thus helping the economy. If it were made even more unpleasant to receive a benefit many would resort to theft and we are forever being told how much our police force costs every time they have to actually do what they are paid for. I was listening to a conversation this afternoon between a bunch of local business people who had been out fishing all day and were swilling back “A few well deserved beers” I got gradually more and more sickened by their conversation “Bloody freedom campers shitting everywhere, they don't spend any money up here”, “they are one of two types of people” one of them said, “Sickness beneficiaries or retire-ees ” not sure of the spelling of that last word but it seemed to differentiate between those with a good pension plan and those on super. I guess. They were a resentful bunch, resenting having to pay for anything and resenting those who can't afford to live the life of Riley…

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think "barely functioning human beings" is overstating the case.

    A little, yes, sorry - lazy me. I meant socially, in the context of a work environment with its hierarchies. I know I have been that at different times, and with none of the talent. But it also bears making the point that this holding this job down business, the drudgery of it, is hard, and is not for everyone, and the stoics amongst us should sometimes consider that they're also lucky to be cut in that particular way.

    Not all of those who aren't are creative geniuses, however some of them are and they do have a knack for pointing the way to thinking of work and its value in a different way. The reaction to Tao Wells' Beneficiary's Office show in Wellington last year I thought brought out all of these themes and showed how violently our society reacts to being told certain things.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Most people on disability benefits are not "barely functioning".

    I didn't say they were. I was saying barely functioning people would be better off there than on some system that's trying to force them to work, even in the arts. Or they're wards of the state, as in the case of the totally insane or those with massive loss of brain function. That's what I think of as "barely functioning human beings".

    But it's an imprecise term that Gio raised, and I notice he's come back to address that. I'm presuming he meant "not socially functioning". Which is much wider and does suggest that they could even be highly appropriate for work that is not especially social. I think that's what Islander was getting at, that she found cranking out books to be within her powers right up until publishers started insisting that she be torn from her comfort zone and shoved in front of crowds. There's no way I'd call her "barely functioning". She's extremely high functioning, just eccentric*.

    *Inspiringly so. When I'm finally allowed to be eccentric, I'll be following some of her model, I'm sure. Well, put it this way, me and the boys will be doing a lot more fishing.

    Edit: And not carrying on like the guys Steve was listening to. That's a different kind of "not socially functioning", a kind which I really want to avoid if possible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to BenWilson,

    There's no way I'd call her "barely functioning". She's extremely high functioning, just eccentric*.

    I'm not sure that's even eccentric - aren't writing books and engaging in public promotional jaunts two entirely different sets of skills? We have a pejorative word for writers that do one and not the other - recluse - but really there's no reason to assume one should be good at both of those things.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I'm finding the image of artists/creatives in this thread often a bit disturbing. Some of you seem determined to portray us as outsiders, abnormal and not-like-you! This follows the Romantic stereotype of artists as troubled geniuses existing outside normal society.

    Sometimes I wish artists were seen now as we were in medieval times - as tradespeople doing a job.

    Most creatives I know are driven, dedicated, practical, and hardworking.

    ETA: and speaking for myself, I *love* the sound of my own voice, and rather like public speaking! We're all different....

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm not sure that's even eccentric - aren't writing books and engaging in public promotional jaunts two entirely different sets of skills?

    It's not entirely on account of that that I call her eccentric, and I certainly mean nothing bad by the term. I consider myself quite eccentric too. As far as I'm concerned, it's who I am, and I hold onto it quite tightly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Lilith __,

    Sometimes I wish artists were seen now as we were in medieval times - as tradespeople doing a job.

    When's the last time you were asked to fresco a chapel? Seriously, the times have changed. And whilst a lot of painters/sculptors/carpenters/architects thrived in that particular multiskilled environment, writers still needed to find themselves a wealthy donor. I think the point is that making art work financially is quite hard, and it is in fact by and large nothing like being a tradesperson in most circumstances. You can't charge by the hour, and some of the things you make - I'm thinking againg of Tao Wells' work as an example - are unsellable. It doesn't mean that they're not valuable to us and that we shouldn't invest in them.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    whilst a lot of painters/sculptors/carpenters/architects thrived in that particular multiskilled environment

    Who said it was multiskilled? I'm talking abour medieval workshops, not Renaissance Men! Painters painted, sculptors sculpted. Most of this work was done under contract, with the content and materials and style specified in that contact, often in finicky detail.

    making art work financially is quite hard, and it is in fact by and large nothing like being a tradesperson in most circumstances

    I think we may be talking about different things. Avant garde conceptual or perfomance art is difficult (although as Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst can attest, not impossible!) to sell. But many contemporary artists and designers work to commission, contract or brief. And commercial artists and illustrators and graphic designers and model-makers and set-builders and tattooists (to name a few) are either paid by the hour or under contracts specifying so much work for so much pay.

    As I was trying to say above, the creative arts are diverse, and so are the people pursuing them.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, fair enough.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I was wondering when this discussion would turn to "what is Art?". I know exactly where Lilith is coming from, too. I'm from the school that art has an extremely wide range, although I can see that does rather degrade the term itself. To me, art is the way something is done, not what it is that is done. Most trades seem to have artists, the way I see it - carpentry can be an art-form, not just architecture. But that's not what something like PACE is for, it's for recognized art-forms. As such, it can shoot itself in the foot, because anyone who is really avant-garde is pushing the boundaries of the art-forms endlessly, and will not only struggle to find paid employment, but will also struggle to prove to any board that they're really doing art at all.

    Sometimes I wish artists were seen now as we were in medieval times - as tradespeople doing a job.

    I kind of see it backwards - I wish that the art in trades could be more widely acknowledged. And not just tradie trades, but professions too. It's always struck me that a lot of artists in established "arty" fields are rather patronizing about the level of creativity to be found in the general population. People come up with incredibly creative solutions every day, doing the most mundane things, or highly technical things. Often those things are only appreciated by their colleagues, but that's exactly like "high" art, which so often has very little wide appeal.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's always struck me that a lot of artists in established "arty" fields are rather patronizing about the level of creativity to be found in the general population.

    Really? I find the opposite. Indeed I wish that the tradesperson mistique were criticised more - but it isn't, which is how Weta gets routinely contracted to produce public art of mind-boggling mediocrity.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Of course public art can suffer from a confusion as to its purpose. I remember some years ago, I think it was in the late 80s or early 90s, Bing Dawe was commissioned to design and make a sculpture to go in the children’s play area in Cathedral Square, and when he produced the work, many City Councilors were dismayed, because it wasn’t suitable for children to play on. What they actually wanted was play equipment, not sculpture.

    Likewise, I wonder if hiring model makers and expecting them to produce interpretive, conceptually-based sculpture is just a mistake. The modelling and naturalism can’t be faulted, it’s the idea content that’s missing.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Really? I find the opposite. Indeed I wish that the tradesperson mistique were criticised more - but it isn't, which is how Weta gets routinely contracted to produce public art of mind-boggling mediocrity.

    So the artists you know actually think tradies do good stuff, then, but you don't? I'm confused.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I don't think that the work they do is necessarily art, no. Neither do the artists I frequent, but I haven't detected any particular snobbishness. So called art technicians for instance are highly valued.

    Culturally I think we've tended to homogeneise all contributions, everybody is creative (although if you're an accountant that may land you in jail) which is wonderfully democratic until you find yourself with a $5 million, 5-metre high bronze vagina on your waterfront.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    5-metre high bronze vagina

    Isn't it a bronze *vulva*, technically?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, sorry. I was making a vague gestures towards ladybits - I'm such a prude.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Danielle,

    Isn’t it a bronze *vulva*, technically?

    The living (albeit inert) embodiment of the Twatcock?

    [Coat]

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

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