In address to recent news involving Poor Dog Group, Olga Garay and – All Art, and also taking up the gauntlet Marissa Chibas threw down, here’s a thought on a protest.
Objectives: Well, not to increase government funding for the arts (this seems like an effect rather than a cause, and since a constitutional amendment seems unlikely, the money will come and go… unless, we do want to go for a change in the constitution, guaranteeing a certain portion, etc… Although my first priority would be for the establishment of a Minster of Peace, who could prove to be our access…). The goal is to shift the understanding of what arts are, and how they impact the growth and protection of society. Once this is on the table – the reality of our impact beyond the appealing idea of it – then arguments for comprehensive support (government, foundation, business, individual) can be made more effectively. Art, health care and housing as human rights, then the work of engineering access…
Method: A total, international, month-long art-strike, December 2014.
A day without art is a symbolic disaster. A month without art is actual, sustained ruin.
First, this will go nowhere without the big players: No Hollywood films released or shot, no Broadway, no Christmas Carol, no video games streamed, no television (of any kind – journalism is an art; the videography that sustains it is an art), no radio…
No Army recruitment ads; we will need to win over the military.
It will need this scale.
Also, no independent or grass roots work… If we want to be strict about it, no babies named during the month, since this involves esthetic discipline. No weddings beyond civil service.
Then, possible rolling strikes – No haircuts, no bakeries, no ice cream, no plastic surgery, no shoes sold, no GAP…
No jokes told, no anecdotes. No sermons.
No grammar or ideas – meaning that all correspondence would need to be stripped down to – what? Maybe simplest to shut down the internet completely (the protest will need to be planned immaculately).
No art school.
I’m not being rhetorical. How far can we go with this? What forms and forces to we gather to our purpose, how can we mobilize them, for what period of time, and to what end?
We have to go to the root; we have to change hearts, even our own. Our protest needs risk at the level of Selma if we’re serious about art as a human right.
I propose that Poor Dog Group administer this and that it become the great work of their lives to date.