We want more than just "Chicken or Beef"!
Earlier this year, I wrote to the big media moguls asking for more exposure to art in the mainstream. Specifically - to have prime time news, sport and also a few minutes on the latest in The Arts and Science. I received an instant, very short email response telling me sport was the tradition and there is no room for other stuff that people aren't interested in. Such short sighted views are inconceivable.
The problem is (as my mother so eloquently said), if you stick a bunch of people on a remote island (such as Australia) and only feed them "chicken and beef", they'll either love chicken or beef - because they don't know anything else! This is what's happening to Australians through the Australian media. We need to be exposed to more variety (especially The Arts & Science), not just sport and sensationalised news. Yes, there is Art on TV and in society, but you have to know what you're looking for and go searching for it.
Art and Science should be mainstream, to encourage more creative thinking, compassion and progress in society. Surely we can be more educated and intellectual than what the media determines us viewers want or need.
Art is a creative language for the soul at any age - a language we can all easily learn to appreciate, understand and speak fluently. All this requires is exposure to art in our everyday environment, as a viewer or/and as a creator.
I'll keep sending my letters, run photography workshops (including at primary schools), keep introducing arts festivals in schools and parks and now I'm busy curating a collaboration of collectable fine art photography at a big annual arts event in Perth, WA.
So, the solution is easy: We can ALL do something about this. We can all write to the media, the government, our primary/high/tertiary schools, etc... telling them we want more exposure to The Arts and Science (if that's your cup of tea) - not just one reality tv show after the other, or repeats of the same (repeats) shows each year. Not just the news, sports and weather report day in and day out. The big guns need to "see and hear" that we no longer want just "Chicken or Beef"!
Extracted from my blog.
I only wish it was so easy. It's like all the supporters of GLBT trying for equal rights. I think society/media/people change like eroding earth. They just move where they are told and where everyone else goes. I think writing letters only works for getting gift cards for poor service at your local Chili's.
P.S. All the "I think"s were intended as such.
"I'd Really Rather You Didn't Use My Existence As A Means To Oppress, Subjugate, Punish, Eviscerate, And/Or, You Know, Be Mean To Others. I Don't Require Sacrifices, And Purity Is For Drinking Water, Not People."
The problem is not limited to Australia, I am afraid. It is the whole western society, to guess the least. And I believe it is not a matter of pure choice. It is systematic calculation, systematic deletion of things which allow people to think autonomously. Remember stories where regnants would forbid writing because they did not want the truth to spread? We are not that far from that, me thinks.
The media pushes chicken and beef because it is something that can be sold by Somebody else. They would quite never put on something you can't buy. Plus, art is something that makes people self-conscient.. Would that regnant allow such a thing?
Ahh, but there is a lot of money involved in art. I'm talking Art, not photography business.
I heard from an arts professor recently: "Artists are some of the most generous people around". He is right!
Well, someone has to get the ball rolling.... I'm doing my bit. What about you?
Last edited by Nicole; 11-02-2009 at 08:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.
The average media managers idea of art is a dogs playing poker poster. To them, it's another world, and any other world then their own is to them small, boring and unimportant, particularly if it can't be hyped and sold in volume to reality show zombies.
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This+the "heavy metal reel"= You should be my Mentor, Jason. :-)
You might want to check out (some) Canadian media. CBC radio, and to a lesser extent, CBC television, present a wide range of culturally significant broadcasting. As public broadcasters, their budgets have been slashed brutally by successive governments for over 30 years, to the point on any given broadcasting day, much of the programming is given to repeats of earlier features.
Originally Posted by marco.taje
Nonetheless, arts and sciences are given a prominent and respected role in programming. One of my favourites, Ideas, has been on the air since 1965, and presents a veritable cornucopia of essays, documentaries and lectures on all manner of comtemporary thought.
Rather than complaining about what is not there, a kind comment congratulating any coverage at all on arts-poor media might encourage broadcasters to increase the time they commit to arts programming. (for example... "I really liked your feature on the art of fence building, let's have more of this kind of programming." )
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points
system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
If consumers (viewers) makes sufficient noise then the retailer/supplier will eventually get the message.
Example: Telstra finally removed their fee for consumers to pay their bill (non-electronically).
Gawd, why are we even watching TV ?
- yes I understand that maybe I'd watch more television (like 4 times a year maybe ?) if there were art related topics, but we now have the internet eg: http://www.apug.org/forums/video.php to keep our eyes square (or widescreen now I guess, doesn't have the same zing to it tho huh)
As for national broadcasting - its pretty indicative of society, lowest common denominator rules - its eaten its own tail for decades now no matter how much people have lobbied for more balanced programming ...
It has to make immediate or at least short term economic sense, no appeal to a greater or longer term significance to society will make a dent, even if there were someone 'on board' with any sway in the industry - noise is just... well, noise - it makes no impact whatsoever on the graph of programming topics vs. advertising profits.
We need to be smarter - and yes, I understand I bring nothing to the table here ...
But letter writing ???
Cleared the bowel problem, working on the consonants...
Where's the "We Can Do It" camp?