Making a List

By Lewis Hyde

One organizing idea of Bill's book Arts, Inc. is that our default conceptions of "art" and "culture" leave us blind to and powerless before many of the forces that in fact affect expressive/cultural/artistic life.  Bill and others have offered examples in these posts:  the consolidation of radio stations, the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, the Supreme Court's ruling on corporate money in politics...  

To make a list of these things is to come at "expressive life" from the substantive rather than linguistic end of the puzzle.  What are the problems that might be solved, or at least better enjoined, if we could get beyond our default conceptions?  

To continue the "what's in and what's out" thread, then, might we generate a more formal list of the topics or policy areas that Bill and others hope to see come into focus?  Bill's initial post offered a starter set:  

intellectual property, broadband penetration, amateur art practice, media regulation, the vitality of for-profit arts companies, non-school arts learning, Fair Use, union policies, and access to cultural heritage.

A later post adds a few more:  "media regulation, corporate archival preservation policies, revenue streams that flow to the arts industries...."  Russell Taylor suggests we look at "what role an expressive life should have in a developing democracy" and consider the idea that "our ... adherence to 'star' hierarchies in the arts contributes actively to social and economic inequalities, just as in the realm of sports."  

My own list would include:  

*  Claiming the fair use doctrine for all realms of expression.  As many of you know, good work has been done in this realm by documentary filmmakers.  I myself have tried to start up a project for teachers and artists in higher education.  (Funders:  please call soon!)  There's much to be done here.  

*  Designing online libraries to maximize the circulation of knowledge, consistent with current law.  Specifically there are serious issues at stake in the Google Book Search Settlement that is now before a Federal Court.  The disposition of that lawsuit will shape our expressive ecology for a generation to come and yet much of what is about to transpire seems to me invisible to the "arts & culture" community.  

What other topics belong in this list?  
January 27, 2010 11:26 AM | |


This Conversation Are the terms "Art" and "Culture" tough enough to frame a public policy carve-out for the 21st century? Are the old familiar words, weighted with multiple meanings and unhelpful preconceptions, simply no longer useful in analysis or advocacy? In his book, Arts, Inc., Bill Ivey advances "Expressive Life" as a new, expanded policy arena - a frame sufficiently robust to stand proudly beside "Work Life," "Family Life," "Education," and "The Environment." Is Ivey on the right track, or more

Our Bloggers

Adrian Ellis; Alan Brown; Andras Szanto; Andrew Taylor; Bau Graves; Douglas McLennan; Ellen Lovell; Bill Ivey, William James; James Early; Jim Smith; Lewis Hyde; Marian Godfrey; Martha Bayles; Nihar Patel; Russell Taylor; Sam Jones; Steven Tepper


Contact us Click here to send us an email... more

Archives: 61 entries and counting


AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
State of the Art
innovations and impediments in not-for-profit arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
The Unanswered Question
Joe Horowitz on music

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary