I took a course in cultural anthropology one time or maybe it was the other one about the bones and stuff, where I learned that humans migrate, for the usual reasons, war being a big one because it wipes out shelter and food. Following the herd, weather events on a global scale, cosmic events like asteroid collisions causing a type of nuclear winter. Not much has changed really. Random shit still happens and we up and move. Brexit from genetically defective inbred island mutants notwithstanding.
Folks take their better war tech with them, Neanderthals with their bigger brains and bigger bodies were wiped right out because we had domesticated wolves, a really viscous war tool, and the resident folks living in the new place, got raped and their heads bashed, killed by new diseases to them..
This is actually good for our species because the immune system seems to like the challenge of new foreign bugs, our bodies are strong because of adversity, we overcome injury through exercise. We are built to run all day and follow the herd.
And we evolve as a species.
A kind of evolutionary tough love.
Here in North America my grandfather migrated/immigrated to lands west of Calgary, the army had displaced the usual residents using their better war tech for him, he proceeded to grow grasses (wheat) to live off, promptly got diabetes went blind and went broke.
We have only been trying to live off grass (agriculture) for 6 thousand years or so (?), and we are not good at it. Sedentary diabetes modules is what we have become, what with sugar thrown in the mix life is short but its not sweet. Don’t even get me started on what tobacco and high fructose corn syrup (other types of grasses) does to us.
The mapping of the human genome wiped out the notion of race, but we have different cultures for sure, based on different war tech primarily (IMHO) to deal with our anxiety that all humans have brought with them from the jungle. Oh and religion for the same reason. Anxiety and hostility and religion go hand in hand.
So one of our cultures or religions is not better than the other, and because we are the same human species we are all thinking the grass is greener in our neighbor’s yard let’s migrate there or in our retirement let’s travel, and we have a taste for rape called lets meet interesting people and sleep with them, in college, or any opportunity really, sowing our wild oats continually as it were.
So now I am an artist, my preference.
It’s insane, eugenics really, to think I am smarter or more talented than anyone else. I have a preference for making art so I learned and practiced and tolerated the huge frustration of doing that, and now I make satisfaction for me, the purpose of life.
Rooty toot toot.
The City of Calgary wants me to meet with them about the uselessness of being on a jury to decide what art to buy and show with public funds, a practice fraught with abuse from the public here. Indigenous art of the conquered folks is preferred these days, but so is gay/lesbian and gender issues. Handicapped art like the freak in the circus is also cool.
Since I’m white, male, straight, and middle age I’m usually the anti-Christ of art selection committees so this is rather peculiar to me, I hope they pay for my bus ticket to the meeting, but I doubt they will. Perhaps I am considered handicapped after a stroke so that is the appeal.
So basically they traditionally make selections based on some physical attribute.
The non eugenics viewpoint says we are all intelligent we are all talented and we have different passions that we tolerate frustration in order to succeed at.
So making art selections based on physical characteristics of the artist, who their grandparents were, who conquered them, who they like to socialize their mastubation with (all sex is masturbation, we just invite friends along sometimes) whether they walk or roll, is really a kind of Barnum and Bailey freak show for the entertainment of the uneducated who are paying us to pick this stuff so they don’t have to bother with frustration of an education in the 800 years of history and tradition of the conquering culture, or the thousands of years of the conquered one either.
So a eugenics scorecard was developed to help spread the blame for this really authoritarian even fascist Hitlerian selection process. Each proposal that took months even years to develop and asking for thousands of public dollars is given half an hour, the juror paid $7.50, and based on a score of 10, a rating of artistic merit and social impact. Both of which are meaningless terms based on a prejudiced belief rather than evidence, so it fits right in with the eugenics model that one human is better than another based on conditions.
So what’s the solution?
Fire the notion of a jury.
Hire an art historian, as curator, to develop a curatorial them in conjunction with your art committee/board of directors, whatever.
Put out a call for artists based on the curatorial theme.
Send the curator off to do studio visits and make selections, leave her alone to do her job.
Support her in her decisions.
Educate the public with publications on this is the curatorial theme, this is the expert hired to curate it, these are the accomplished artists chosen to execute it.
Live with the inevitable flak from a city of Trump loving expert hating nazis.
Learn to dodge bullets.
This is business as usual as an artist.
Your likes and dislikes only describe you, not the art.
Grow a set and don’t stand to be pushed around.
Celebrate ‘it’s art because I say its art because I am an artist based on qualifications’.
Learn to dodge more bullets.
That’s our job, that’s what we do.
Stand up and do it.