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Tristian’s Arts Advocacy

Hi everyone Tristian here, it’s time to talk about arts advocacy and what better place to do it than Canberra!

welcome
People say there’s also good coffee

 

I went on a road trip to canberra this week with my family so I could come to the NAVA conference last weekend called Future/Forward. I heard it was about artistic courage so I figured they needed my insight.

National association for visual arts (NAVA) is an arts advocacy body which means its their job to explain why visual art should exist, because artists are really bad at it.

One bunch of artists who are extra bad at it is the ABC, they try their best but unfortunately their best means, “making ads with celebs saying what shows they like”.

PLAYSCHOOL
This is a bit like if you’re “finding nemo” and a bunch of sharks from the liberal party are going to eat you and the way you fight back is to list your best attributes to some sea sponges nearby

 

The big line of Future/Forward was “artistic courage” but that mostly meant “can artists have the courage to get paid”.

ESTEHER
Artists have no self-esteem so if nava can help them ask for some money that’s a big thing

 

I didn’t understand the point of lobbying government on behalf of artists because why would government ever want to help artists?

THINGSUHATE
likely

 

RECAP OF THE 2015 BRANDIS RAID

I wrote about this before so I won’t go too detailed but a few years ago artists protested a Sydney art thing for being funded by Transfield and then George Brandis and Malcolm Turnbull did everything they could to punish artists for standing up on their hind legs.

SHEER

Then brandis took lots of money away from australia council and the big performing arts companies had huge amounts of artistic courage by keeping their mouths tightly shut about it.

The conference started feeling a bit too much about sucking up to dickhead politicians the more I thought about it so I went and checked out art stuff in the national gallery of Australia instead.

I’m pretty connected so in the evening I had dinner at Parliament House.hiTristian

DAY 2

Next morning I made sure to not look at the ABC and instead went straight to Parliament for day 2 of the conference.

I met Sam in the security line, he works for friends of the earth and was going to meet some political people.

sam

 

I liked day 2 better, I felt like the people there were ready to have more interesting conversations and break some s̶h̶i̶t̶ things.

moreofthis

Mitch Fifield’s the arts minister now that Brandis got fired for being completely s̶h̶i̶t̶ bad at it. He said the usual things ministers say about the arts being good for the economy

Fifiled1

 

fifleild2
“my colleagues do not care about your search for meaning so just tell them art makes $$$”

 

At lunchtime I talked to some interesting people.

meganx

 

There was a really good presentation by a guy called Abdul about equity.

acess
Hello colleagues, remember you are in a bubble

 

Also there was a pretty cool session about arts media and how to advocate properly “in the system”. My brother was there and drew all that stuff so go look at it if you want to.

Someone tried to start a movement for an “arts strike”. I think that the main problem the arts has is that it doesn’t know how to reach out to “normal people”, so that seemed like not such a brilliant idea.

TAKEARTAWAY

That got to my main problem with the whole conference, I’m not saying theres no place for “arts advocacy ppl” but I think if their main tactic is to be constantly chatting up government and wealthy people hoping for scraps then they might be missing something.

TRISTIANS PRESCRIPTION

Artists want to share their art and communicate with people, thats why they do it, not to get paid. So help them get paid but also do a lot to get them to help “normal people” and “young people” make art.

If normal people get to make art they like doing it and they don’t hate artists as much. Young people like making art already, they just stop because people say theyll never make a living.

bloody artists
You have to connect these up in their heads

 

If you don’t have normal people and another generation of artists on board then your art strike will be about as good as the ABC showing “save the ABC” ads to people already watching the ABC.

ABCSTUPID

Tristian Blumenstein is an 18-year-old aspiring journalist studying Media Entrepreneurship at Latham University. His brother David posts his most important works at nakedfella.com.

RELATED STORY: READ NAVA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ESTHER ANATOLITIS ON HOW $2 BILLION IS TO BE SPENT ON ART GALLERY BUILDINGS BUT NOT A CENT FOR LIVING ARTISTS TO MAKE WORK TO GO INSIDE THEM

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6 responses to “Tristian’s Arts Advocacy

  1. Its funny that people comment that there are insights here as to me its what always goes on at Arts gabfests.

    Since the 90s onward Australian Arts has grown a HUGE layer of management that wasnt there before. THIS has sucked up a GREAT deal of the funding. Contemporary Arts Institutions such as Artspace, Sydney and IMA, Brisbane now have 10 staff or more each when once they had only 2 paid staff AND the art was the same quality. NAVA is a Govt entity so dont hold out any hope there.

    All Arts Institutions should be defunded and the money channeled straight to the artists and actors, writers etc. BUT that would never happen as Govt insists on quasi Govt entities.

    AUSTRALIAN ART is GOVERNMENT ART.

    1. i was reading a book called “bullshit jobs” by david graeber and if u buy into it that means about half of all jobs in the world shouldnt exist.

      the whole lobbying thing is weird and an industry he says kinda flat out shouldnt exist (a bullshit indusrty) i guess its a kind of translation service, artistsdont know how to talk to government so they need these lobbying ppl to take whats good about art and feed it to politicians in small little chunks while patting their bums the whole time saying “shh shh its ok to pay artists they will make back 20 times your ROI”

      do we need those ppl? i dont know
      i read an article about a lady called “jess magic” who hums and plays a ukulele to elon musk and peter theil and uses her “heartistry” to make them cry and actuall feel an emotion and then they “donate” her piles of cash

      thats kind of the opposite of aus art/govt art, i guess the nava/arts mgmt system at least lets artists do their thing without making them suck directly on the balls of a rich patron?

      maybe artists would be helthier if they did have to suck on a rich mans ball tho, not sure

  2. Welcome back, Tristian. Is this just a guest appearance—a kind-of Tristian-on-tour appearance or are you back on board permanently?

    And by the way—that stuff about Canberra having good coffee is really just an urban myth. The last time I had a good coffee in Australia was in the main shopping strip of Yea (in Victoria) in 2011.
    But yep, lots of parks for the kids here in our national capital. And we’ve also got the National Library—as our very own ‘suppository of wisdom’.

  3. A lip smacking buffet of surgical insights, thanks Tristian … here’s to us mere mortals making more art … drew a picture of a glass of beer raised but couldn’t post it here. :)

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