WINZ ask for your assets so they can see if you generate income from the. So if for exampled you had put away $X for your retirement, WINZ will deduct from your benefit the interest on savings as that would count as income.
But Jacqui is right - I think we're mostly in agreement here.
I'd say so - to even find any wisdom in Zen at all. But I still don't buy it wholesale. It seems to me like the anguish and heartbreak that goes into a lot of great works is not always pure foolishness. Maybe I misunderstand them, but that comes with the mystical territory.
The degree to which I agree with you will depend on the degree to which you accept that art is a technical ability.
But not solely a technical ability (although yeah, that’s what art actually means)
I sometimes get introduced as an artist. I normally correct that by explaining that I am an art technician. I go on to explain how my job is to broker for artists working on sculpture building projects and who don’t have enough technical experience, particularly in metal fabrication, to easily achieve there project alone . Apart from specific technical experience, I can negotiate the appropriate price for an artist who needs industrial services supplied.
without anything like the level of accountability demanded by PACE
More accountability employs more people to do the accounting. Sadly it usually results in fewer people doing the work as well.
I’d say so – to even find any wisdom in Zen at all. But I still don’t buy it wholesale.
Ah....I've muddied the waters by mentioning Zen. The story is really about how, having perfected a skill where the actual technical ability has been subsumed into a non-thinking "pure" action - and this can be your rally car driver, for want of a better example - a person can be completely confounded by their own inability to analyze how they actually do it. You don't need to buy into Zen Buddhism to see the truth in that, Ben.
The bane of all sorts of groups - teachers for one. Getting a good balance is what is vital.
I really can cook fish
And that can become an art form as well. Heston Blumenthal did a series called in search of perfection one episode of which was his search for the perfect fish and chips. The fascination for me was watching someone so talented and dedicated focussing so intently on doing one thing.
But yes if you have the ability and desire to create (written) works of art then please do so again as they contribute to society in a way that most of us (certainly not me) cannot. But if you get more pleasure out of cooking the perfect fish, well there is real value in that too.
Islander - I think doing both sounds pretty wonderful!
I’m not an artist. In fact I’m pretty sure I have the exact opposite gene set from those that are genuinely creative. So my thoughts about it are from the outside.
It has always seemed to me that art is a crap shoot. It’s a statistical game. If you pay 100 artists to create, then you get 20 pieces of crap, 60 pieces of average, 19 pieces of good art and 1, possibly, great work. The only guarantee is that is you have no artists you get nothing.
So why pay for any art? Because I have no doubt, and nor do most reasonable people, that art (even the average art) contributes to the health of society. There are studies showing exactly that. It’s the reason there is art in hospitals.
But when the government pays for art there is a problem. It is simply that the pieces of art that are crap always make for a better story than the average, good, or great works. “this piece of shit (art) cost us three hip replacements”.
But we need to pay for artists to create to ensure we create the art that makes our society a better place to be. We need to pay. And the best way to do that is to pay tax and use that tax to pay artists to create. PACE sounds like it was a very good scheme for doing that. A way of recognising that “artist” is a valid career that contributes to society as much as laying fibre optic cables.
And we just have to relax and accept that some of the art, and artists, we get for our money won’t be all that ... creative.
This seems the perfect place to post the recent BBC Imagine documentary: 'Ai Weiwei: Without fear or favour'.
It's here in full on YouTube:
Ai Weiwei is an extraordinary man -- he seems to virtually define what an artist is.
I was struck by the way I liked every single work in the film, from his early New York street photography to the sculptures and Beijing's "birds nest" Olympic stadium. Absolutely inspiring, in both aesthetic and political terms.
Ah....I've muddied the waters by mentioning Zen.
I don't think so. It was on my mind even when I said that art was in the doing, not the final product. But just thinking about it again, gave me pause to consider the numerous objections to that being the whole story. I remember trying to keep a Zen-mind during a design session involving a manager, in which discussions to-ed and fro-ed, became heated, stuck, broke free, scrapped everything, started again, etc...the end result was quite good, but I found it pretty hard to see how waves of relaxed ease could accompany such a task.
Ai Wei Wei? Wow.
Thanks for posting that Russell. It was totally transforming.
It was totally transforming.
I meant "transporting", but the other word works as well.
Jessica, I think we may have had the same case worker (or at least they'd been on the the same course). In 2003, after moving back from the the UK with not much money, I went to the local WINZ office, explained that I was looking for a job in theatre - what I'd been doing in the bloody West End for the previous few years - and would love to be on PACE so I had time to find some work. The case worker explained to me, in the way you would with a small child, that I wasn't eligible for PACE because:
a) "You might see one of those jobs advertised in the paper, not like if you were a flute player or something."
b) "You can't really give me any evidence that you actually have the experience to work in this area." (despite having written references that stated the opposite).
So I ended up on regular unemployment benefit for about five weeks until I got a pretty depressing job until I could get a better one.
Luckily I had a much more positive experience a few years later after some post-grad study and was on PACE for 6 months, which was a really valuable time, giving me the space and time to work and get experience. There wasn't many courses, except one where a horrible angry man shouted at me and told me it was no wonder I was on the dole if I couldn't make it to the course on time (actually I had run out of petrol precisely because I was on the dole) but a pretty great case worker who was totally supportive.
The story is really about how, having perfected a skill where the actual technical ability has been subsumed into a non-thinking "pure" action - and this can be your rally car driver, for want of a better example - a person can be completely confounded by their own inability to analyze how they actually do it.
Anyway, as you were. I'm not going to get stuck into a discussion about 'what is art' again.
Brilliant doco about Ai Weiwei, thanks Russell. Inspiring.
My favourite example:
In The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy it is possible to fly as long as you don't think about the fact that you're flying. It's not terribly hard. All you have to do is throw yourself at the ground and miss.
Which reminds me of Giovanni's mention of Michelangelo and sculpting. I was trying to think of where I'd heard the claim that sculpting is easy:
You want to sculpt an elephant? Just take a block of marble and chisel away anything that doesn't look like an elephant.
On the unemployment benefit there’s the two week stand-down, and the requirement to have exhausted all your liquid assets before you qualify.
Um, I’m pretty sure that’s only for the Emergency Unemployment Benefit, which is what students can get during their vacations. And the Accomodation Supplement is asset-tested. The UB itself is not cash-asset tested.
Correct, the UB is not asset tested. But as you say, the AS is, and that can be a real pain if you live in an expensive place to pay rent (like Auckland or Wellington) and have, for eg, a term deposit over $8K.
It all comes down to talent, determination and team. Too many "artists" have low productivity and useless biz skills (quality,organization, bloodymindness, etc). They need luck and infrastructure. Generally, It won't happen. Meanwhile in India and China. ... Heaps of folk. And audience. Me, I'd put money into trade apprenticeships. No room for navel gazers there. That said, Bachelorette talking to Kim Hill Saturday, bucks the trend. #nzfixthings
Ai Weiwei is an extraordinary man – he seems to virtually define what an artist is.
I was wowed at first by the documentary, but my intuition tells me to think about its formula. Jackson Pollock springs to mind.
It was interesting how Ai Weiwei at one part needed to be interviewed via his macintosh computer because the Chinese authorities didn’t approve, yet staging an installation at the Tate Gallery, didn’t seem to be a problem.
This sort of art requires coordinated effort. The Artist is the product, primary share holder but not the entire company. Ai Weiwei is one hell of a good product, because he’s brilliant, he knows the formula and he’s got the stamina.
I think Ai Weiwei is a definition of what an artist is, but lets not forget about Christo and Jean-Claude They spent years and years negotiating consent to wrap the Reichstag.
I can't help thinking the real problem with artists in New Zealand is the work it takes to move from a small audience of genuinely artistically interested citizens into the wider small but bill paying public, a public unsure or uninterested in what the medium can produce for them
Art is a journey as vaild as Maths and both disciplines involve an ability to create a new appreciation of us wonderfully weird homosapiens, and the establishment of asthetic benchmarks.
Van gough painted a world in angles of rich intoxication that is glorious in so many ways, with colours and shape that he must have beaten his mind up with to produce
When i'm Minister of Education at the age of 95, after the global climate meltdown, I will install art as a subject as valuable as maths, as well as a general understanding of philosophy and when it's not too hot we'll all have a sing.
Good post Robyn.
Good post Robyn.
Thanks, dude. As an admirer of your art, that means a lot.
I’ve only just now read that article that Robyn linked to in the opening of her post. (This one.)
… In written answers, the ministry insists that Pace is “not a programme or scheme”, despite Ms Tizard using such words, but instead a “tag in the system that indicates the job preferences of a client”.
Hmm… PACE = “Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment”.
It’s just a “tag in the system”, but it gets called a pathway to arts and cultural employment?
Nowhere else to put this:
RIP Frank Whitten.
RIP Frank Whitten.