to placard: letter & following to Spectre Listserv for media art and culture in Deep Europe

[-The following is the elsewhere of Deep Europe referred to here -]


reading with interest the causes and claims, from Nederlands, to Brasil, Slovenia, England, cutting funding for the arts and culture, I would like humbly to submit another explanation, other, that is, than economic expediency, or ignorance and gross (and net) stupidity on the part of policy-makers. The state is scared.

I would suggest that it is the institutional throat that is being cut, having seen a similar culling of institutions in NZ: cutting funding goes together with removing the autonomy of arts and cultural institutions, same as universities – any erstwhile politically autonomous institution, and therefore locus of critique. But when I say critique, I mean at the level of a power, which is that of institutions, of the power.

Where is the undermining of the power actually occurring that governments might be frightened? At a wholly other level. Yet the muting of institutional critique can be seen as a reaction to certain events, the recent financial crisis among them, the ongoing crisis around energy consumption/production – and its economics – included. I suggest this muting to be in reaction and to entail two actions on the part of states and nations: cutting funding to and removing autonomy from educational, arts and cultural institutions.


Simon Taylor

[- here is Spectre -]

[- what follows followed -]

cultural value is being substituted for economic value, yes … as the state sells out … to its own hunger for justification, authenticity, that “altes Europa” rag … and betrays itself.