Arts alternatives further explored

March 29, 2009

I am not arguing against selling one’s art to make a living at all. This is a valid return on the energy and makes perfect sense on some levels.

I am challenging the undervalued and exploited position of the arts in the present society.  I am challenging the prevailing thought that the arts are entertainment for a few by a few and are no more significant than that. I am challenging the marginalisation of everything the arts stand for which is culture and our essential humanness.
The arts are not seen as essential, therefore artists are put in aposition where we need to argue and convince, compete with other artists and profile ourselves to get the attention of people to buy what is seen as a fringe or luxury product anyway.
I know I am not going to change this by myself, but I do know that my voice is one voice in a ground swell of other creatives who are seeking to create positive changes  in the way the arts are seen in a society based on commercial  rather than social/spiritual values.   

Making beautiful products available for people to buy is just one way to bring the energies artists work with into the world.  Creative expression is a powerful healing force for the person practicing it and for the people touched by the end result of the creative expression.  I want to see more room for this, more acknowledgement of it in the mainstream. This means a fundamental change, a society moving toward more spiritual values rather than just material ones. There needs to be a balance, there needs to be an emphasis on right brained functioning as well as left brained. 

This would mean that beauty would become as important as function when designing a building. It would mean that values would change to be able to once more be able to pay artisans to decorate architecture with stained glass, wood carvings, frescos, murals, tapestries and other embellishments which lift the heart and spirit. 

Public spaces would become more friendly to people, cars would be limited to certain areas, children would be able to play outside in safe green spaces.   Neighborhoods would plan festivals and celebrations, people would eat together regularly and share each others cultures through story telling exchanges, theater and dance.  Workplaces would be designed for the health and well-being of those who work there, and there would be less separation between creativity and work.  Hospital environments would be warm, homey gentle places, full of silence, or music, living green spaces, rooms for contemplation and recovery. Rather than the hypertechnical super efficient noisy madhouses they often are, (incidentally with forests of GSM masts on the rooves, sending radiation throughout an environment that is meant to be for healing.. )!

There would be respect for values besides commercial ones. Objects would be valued primarily for their aesthetic and enchantment quality and their ability to contain stories and cultures, not for whether they could be bought and sold.  People would be treasured for their eccentric differences rather than forced to conform, and would have more freedom to create their own means of livelihood rather than fitting a certain job description. 

Thousands of grass roots creative initiatives would thrive and contribute to the diversity of life.  

All of these trends are already present in the society to some degree, they are fragile though and  need to be recognized, nurtured and strengthened.

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