Table of Contents


Supporting Art & Culture
by Alfred de Grazia


What Techniques Do (and Should) Creators use ?

Is it useful to distinguish among cultural organizations, cultural tools and techniques, and the forms of cultural expression ? (272) For purposes of planning, would it be well to catalog all of the new tools and instruments introduced into creative work since 1930 (should tracks for film, video, plastics, lasers, television, electronic music, etc. )? (273)

Have new techniques generally been well employed and accommodated within their human systems ? (274) What are the human effects of all the auxiliary techniques needed by a motion picture production as compared with a stage play ? (275) How does a sculptor fulfill his needs for working in bronze and metals today as against 100 years ago ? 276) What demands made by a mass audience create formidable technical problems for artists who need small (but paying) audiences ? (277) What pressures work upon a scholar today when he must know and cite all existing sources of his information and, in addition, carry out field investigations and live among the groups that he writes about ? (278)

Are culture creators developing too many demands for new, expensive, and large-system-dependent techniques (e.g., computers for music) ? (279)

If the budgets of some National Science Foundation programs are justified on grounds of the high costs of scientific equipment and its early obsolescence (not to mention simple abandonment or failure), should not the culture producers they must have (such as grand pianos; special microform libraries and information retrieval systems; or sample surveys whenever a new statement is to be made about human behavior; etc. ?) (280)

Should there be an arts and culture task force formed to examine, redesign and bring about a necessary large-scale shift in interior and exterior living design to provide for the approaching exigencies of the domestic and international economy ? (281) To put it bluntly, how do we design the living environment for the Coming Age of Universal Neo-Poverty ? (282)

What would be the effects of general policy directive that all things being equal, culture support is to be extended to activities that develop local action most, consume least manufactured material, cause people to move least, and develop their useful skills most ? (283) How could such a policy be applied in thousands of particulars cases ? (284)

Are creators becoming dependent upon modish materials and ambiances for their work ? (285)

Are creators becoming more isolated in their work and at the same time dependent upon (not independent of ) anonymous and far-flung suppliers of their technical necessities ? (286)

Has there been a decline in the writer's commune, the artist's quarters, the ease of knowing and discussing a special culture with one's peers ? (287)

Do universities, colleges, and lower schools supply a full human setting for the technical side of a creator's work ? (288)

Should creative workers be asked to participate in a community of their own kind, or of students, as a condition of lending them support ? (289)

Is the technology of the cultural fields forcing creative workers great centers of population ? (290)

How can a suburb or a center of under 400,000 people develop a full complement of the arts and culture fields ? (291)

Are the crafts to be conceived of as historical living museums or as seeds of the future in arts ? (292)

Should it be affirmed that no form and style of cultural expression shall receive any special legislated privilege, whether it is old or new, conventional or experimental, prestigious or poorly regarded ? (293)

Are cheap and rapid reproduction techniques in computer-processing, printing, recording, playback, video, etc., causing a deluge of cultural output, a burying of quality, and a collapse of choice ? (294) If so, what might a culture policy do about the problems ? (295)

Are there enough cinema facilities to play the films that are worth replaying or paying "first run" ? (296)

If film production is poor in quantity or quality, how can the government support film-makers, bearing in mind their generally high costs of production ? (297)

Considering that a person can fool himself as a film-maker, but can hardly fool a number of people with their time, skills, and energy at stake, should film production money go only to a group, not individuals ? (298)

Should every construction permit carry not only a certificate of structural soundness and of zoning compliance but also an aesthetic clause attesting that the construction will add to the aesthetic value of the area ? (299) Who could sign the aesthetic certificate : "a jury of peers," "the nearest public architect," "the alderman or elective councillor," "the nearest public engineer," or, in the case of cities "the city planning office" ? (300)

The Subway cars and stations of New York City carry hundreds of advertisements; they also now carry hundreds of bold graffiti (not obscene or even pornographic), whose youthful artists are regarded as a menace by the authorities; which is to be preferred as matter of culture policy, the ads or the graffiti ? (301)


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