|||

freedom, privacy and value

I’m a dancer, choreographer and teacher and I tend to be surrounded by people who openly value this kind of work. That said, I don’t have to work too hard to find people who don’t. Here’s right-wing political commentator Tim Blair writing about how artists have responded to Federal Arts Minister George Brandis’s funding cuts in Australia:

So many ouchies, so little funding. As with other arts sectors,” the report continued, low remuneration levels for artists is a feature.” They got that right. Probably its best feature, too.

– dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/sing-and-dance-for-tax-dollars/story-fni0cwl5-1227476455398

One of the things I like about reading writing by people who openly disregard the arts is that it forces me to question my own assumptions about the value of what I do. How does dance matter and to whom? Why should I receive public funds in order to make work? Does dance function outside of its own bubble, aesthetics, fashions and questions, and if so, how?

The last few weeks I’ve been reading a lot about internet privacy and freedom (in part due to Susan Kozel’s keynote at C-DaRE’s Dance and Somatic Practices conference in July). It’s gripping to read and watch the work of people like Aaron Swartz and Ed Snowden. In various ways, through their actions they have made the point that without privacy human beings have no freedom: no freedom to act, to protest, to create, to criticise, or even to simply assume that when we communicate it is only to the people we wish to communicate with.

It’s easy enough to understand why we should value the work of those who are committed to internet privacy (and therefore freedom). But where might this leave me — and my peers — who value something as fringe or niche as choreography and dance? Sure I could make an issue-based work about freedom and privacy [cringe] but I understand part of dance’s value to be in how it calls into question the assumptions our culture makes about value and values.

Regardless, I want to make artistic work in a society that cares about freedom and privacy, and I want to make the conditions under which I might create this work as untainted as is possible by our culture’s obsession with (economic) value.

I strongly recommend the documentary about Aaron Swartz, The Internet’s Own Boy (full version) and Laura Poitras’ extraordinary documentary about whistleblower Edward Snowden, Citizenfour (trailer).

If you are curious about leaving fewer trails online, then check out Tor Browser, Ghostery, Pretty Good Privacy and VPN tunnels (an example of which is TunnelBear).

Up next reading rafa I recently read tennis player Rafael Nadal’s autobiography Rafa and for anyone curious about the psychological demands of sport it’s a very fine arfaot and dramaturgy in sassari I’m currently working with Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas – igor and moreno — on their latest project A Room For All Our Tomorrows (ARFAOT). We are
Latest posts Now: 17 April 2021 the eyes of the other loneliness, uncertainty and boredom better left unsaid 120fps le mani lil making postcards before they love sneaky aspects of group deliberation informational heartbeats what gordon parks saw rhoneisms ideology mean world syndrome dream baby dream and joy xkcd hug count the families if then else nobody the competency model the art of reading question your teaspoons midlifing how to receive updates chasing elvis how a conversation is going to go uncertainty and continuous updating how to disagree midlifing aroha atkinson hyperlegible font