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Supporting Art & Culture
by Alfred de Grazia


To What Groups Do (and Should) Culture Producers Address Themselves ?

If an audience is anyone who receives a cultural communication,

then would a voluntary audience consist of persons who voluntarily position themselves so as to receive such communications, whereas an involuntary audience is positioned so as to be unable to avoid such stimuli? (464) (Would it be, for instance, the difference between a person who visits a bar for a drink and plays a juke box?) (465)

What are the audiences for the creators of culture? (466) Are they known or knowable for all the cultural forms listed in the Appendix? (467)

Are all involuntary audience victims of violation of privacy? (468) Should (could) all involuntary audiences be avoided by any policy? (469) Do schoolchildren have any rights in this connection? (470)

Are all voluntary audiences " culture lovers"? (471)

If 20% of a voluntary audiences turns out to be made up of "culture lovers" and an involuntary audience turns out to consist of 21% who enjoy the cultural stimuli, is there any moral (policy) difference in encouraging the one or the other audience to exist? (472)

Does not all art in public places capture its audiences? (473) But, if walls were left blank and squares without fountains, would people not be captivated by art-vacuums? (474)

Should the audience interest be favored over the donor, depot, or manager interest? (475) Or is it a nonsensical question? (476)

Should potential audiences be encouraged to realize and form themselves for the purpose of encountering their favored creative artists and cultural forms? (477) Isn't this what the free market in culture does? (478)

Since most advertising hovers on the brink of an "invasion of privacy" under common and constitutional law, and is better termed "captivizing," are there not means of assuring that advertising conform to public policy in culture-as for example by requiring that the space taken in a printed format or the time taken in s spoken or filmed format be 95% culturally significant and irrelevant to the message, which will contain the sole selling plea? (479)

How might people spend their time if deprived of radio and television? (480)

Would be changed pattern of activity be on the whole culturally superior? (481) Sociality and psychologically superior? (482) Superior in terms of citizenship? (483) Economically superior? (484)

Granted the vast powers that Congress has over the form and content of television, the question arises: why does this powerful weapon in the arsenal of cultural development of the American people stand condemned, by an almost universal judgment of the "informed," as a huge cultural drag? (485)

Is there any special drive that Federal Communications Commission can undertake to cause thee radio-television media to support by publicity and promotion the decentralized participation of the people in local cultural activities? (486)

How can you make a nation of artists, scholars, writers, and thinkers out of people who seem amiably resigned to spending hundreds of millions of hours and hundreds of millions of dollars per day commuting long distances to work to the accompaniment of junk radio messages? (487)

Why spend a great deal of money to perfect performances in all art and literary forms that were never expected to be perfectly performed by their creators in the first place? (488) Especially, why do so when only the most exacting and trained audience (therefore, by definitions, small) can detect, or is concerned with, minute imperfections? (489)

Are not many types of cultural expressions, products, artifacts, and practices regarded with acute disdain and distaste by some or all of the people who experience them, and who will not concede" Don't shoot the piano player; he's doing his best!"? (490) Should not this dissatisfaction with cultural expressions also be recorded as a "loss" or "cost" if satisfaction is recorded as a " gain" and "benefit"? (491) In such a case, would not the loss almost always exceed the gain, save for notable exceptions such as Edgar Guest, Rockwell Kent, and the Bible according to Cecil B. De Mille? (492) Hence, form a public point of view, would culture support not cause a double pain: the pain of paying for it and the pain of viewing the product? (493)

But is this not what people have come to expect form their education experiences, and from the defense establishment? (494) Yet would a million art and culture expressions, each with its own claque, not develop within the society as a whole a mutual-toleration, and hence mutual-support, public, just as the farmers, while quite competitive, have been able to gather considerable support and to convince most people that farming is a great way of life (for others)? (495)

With prejudice and hostilities at their present level among racial, ethnic, and religious groupings in America, is it possible to engage people in anything but passive spectator-participation in arts and cultural integration? (496) Though difficult and costly to achieve, should "mixed" audiences be given high priority? (497)

Is there a place for branch museums so that, for example, large warehoused collections of museums can be continually in use throughout the land? (498) What kind of housing can be arranged (defunct schools, etc.)? (499) Should museum aid bee proportioned inversely to the percentage of their collection that is not in use but stored? (500) (After all, don't businesses pay heavy penalties for excessive inventories? (501)

Should culture policy seek to circumscribe the size of assembled audiences or, like football promotion, seek to enlarge it? (502) What are the effects of audience size on the individuals of the audience? (503) Are these effects worth considering in a national policy? (504)

Should Americans be encouraged to lose themselves in mobs? (505)

If 200 million people see and use the architecture of the country and only 20 million visit its museums in as year then should architecture not receive ten times the support that museums get? (506) Or does it do so already? (507) If more people see beautiful window displays in commercial emporia than visit museums, should they not be the object of some culture-support consideration? (508)

Does a creator have any rights in choosing his audience, or, like a physician, must he address himself to all who come? (509) What should such rights consist of? (510)

If a creator has the right to choose his audience, but tax monies are used to send him or his work into "unappreciative" areas of "artistic deprivation," on what grounds can this practice be justified? (511)

Does the use of resources to send creators and their products among "uninstructed" or involuntary audiences violate the right of the audience to hear what they want or nothing? (512)

Could some "best fit" ethical principles be developed to bring together a creative person and an audience? (513)

What means or media (see Chapter V) of connecting creator and audience might most effectively implement the "best fit" principles above, as for example, giving audiences money or resources to enjoy any art form they wish, and at the same time giving artists money or resources to avoid the audience they dislike? (514) Isn't this what actually happens with rich " art lovers" and artists? (515) Or rich patients and rich doctors? (516) That is, isn't being a voluntary audience one of the things that money can buy? (517)

Are there ways of determining whether a certain culture-loving proportion of a voluntary audience can bee augmented by enough potential enjoyers of an involuntary audience to constitute grounds for culture support? (518)

When 73% of the public are in support of pushing(exposing) people to"culture appreciation," should this large majority be regarded as culture directive for governments? (519) Does it mater what the culture form or culture level is? (520)

Does governmental sovereignty carry the constitutional right to form involuntary audience? (521) Does government have the moral right to form involuntary audiences? (522)

If it is wrong to force people to become an audience, is it right to tempt, trick, or pay them to become an audience? (523) How much culture support actually is designed to develop or convoke audiences? (524) Does not the myth of the "eager and expectant audience out there" cover up the egoistic need of the creator and coproducer to justify their existence as communicators? (525) And does not the myth of the "potential audience" (the same myth actually)cover up the intention if forcing people to be an audience "for their own good" in a society that enjoys the myth of voluntariness and personal freedom? (526)

What is "audience-creativity" as contrasted with "creator-creativity":

a. The sensing of unusual and stimulating feelings? (527)

b. The acquisition of new desires to think new ideas, make new things, and behave new ways? (528)

c. The sensing of the old, beloved, and familiar? (529)

d. The acquisition of new skills of sensing, thinking, and making? (530)

When supporting the assembly of audiences by any means whatever, are you:

a. making them creative? (531)

b. giving them pleasure? (532)

c. providing technical instruction to them? (533)

d. enhancing their self-esteem and social prestige? (534)

e. promoting their feelings of group participation? (535)

f. helping them express themselves? (536)

g. giving employment to those whose works are directed to thee audience and to their coproducers? (537)

Can a noncreative expression (e.g., howling of wind, poor copy of a statue) or an old creative expression (e.g., Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," Rodin's "The Thinker") stimulate a creative response? (538) Has there ever been a great inventory of forms of cultural stimulation, ranked according to their tested value as developers of audience creativity? (539) Isn't this in fact what good teachers of audience-creativeness in all forms of expression are doing continually: ranking noncreative and old creative expressions primarily according to their creating-power, and only secondarily according to their inherent creativity? (540) Isn't this a compelling reason for putting teachers in charge of organizing audiences, rather than creators or commercial producers or a social elite? (541)

How then does one justify government support of organizations that perform noncreative and old-creative works, for are not such organizations engaged primarily in paying themselves by giving enjoyment to noncreative audiences? (542) Further, will there not be an inevitable and unbridgeable chasm between supporting creator-activity and developing audience-creativity? (543)

Suppose that an ingenious Pink Box were devised, emitting vibrations, inspiring creative activity in its owner and eliminating the necessity of being an audience for anything, and that everyone could be provided with a Pink Box at low cost; should culture support then cease? (544) Referring back to the last question above, would functions b to g an adequate justification for government spending? (545)

The U.S. has considerable cultural intercourse with other countries; is this reciprocated by political effects? (546)

Is the existing state of cultural interchange, putting aside all governmental activity, quite acceptable to you, to most people, to whom? (547)

If so, why consider any programs of international culture-support? (548) Should it be looked at strictly as bargaining in international trade: "I'll buy something of yours, if you'll let me sell you something of mine"? (549)

However, would it not be surprising if a nongovernmental exchange system based entirely on bargaining were to be acceptable, considering that the domestic culture-scene is deemed to be in need of a lot of culture-support policies? (550)

Since many millions of American tourists travel each year and make a considerable impression culturally, as do over a million service people, would it not be a superior culture-support policy to put all international culture funds into enhancing the cultural representative role of these millions? (551) Furthermore, would they not thereby become more cultured, thus giving culture support "two for the price of one"? (552) What could be the methods of"enhancing" such role? Is the idea unprecedented? (553) Or is this idea like all ideas in culture support-to quote King Solomon (Ecclesiastes): "Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us"? (554)

Is it perfectly legitimate for the U.S. government to propagandize foreign peoples by means of culture programs, if the same U.S. government deems it illegitimate to propagandize its own people? (555)

How many government propaganda offices and programs are already operating domestically? (556) With this record, is it reasonable or "precious" to maintain that domestic culture-support must have no propaganda motives? (557)

Why should the American people, who can scarcely pay for their own cultural education, pay for the cultural education of foreign visitors in America? (558) And then also pay much money to arrange audiences abroad for American culture? (559)


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