David Thompson
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January 05, 2016

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sackcloth and ashes

What's the betting that she voted 'Yes' in September 2014?

sackcloth and ashes

Ah, 'The Daily Record' has already answered my question:

'Harrison - whose past work includes installing 12 giant confetti canons to be exploded in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote in the 2014 independence referendum ...'

Surprise, surprise. I'm sure that had nothing to do with the SNP - sorry - the Scottish Government bunging her 15K.

TheTooner

They got a bargain. For living in Glasgow for a year I'd have charged them at least three times as much.

Joan

At least it's not Aberdeen.

https://twitter.com/AutonomScotland/status/683988898456862720

David

Ms Harrison tells us that her “action research project” will enable her to reduce her carbon footprint and “challenge the demand-to-travel placed upon the successful artist/academic.”

Ah, the travails of the successful artist.

Still, it’s always fun to hear blather about “sustainable practice” coming from an artist whose work doesn’t provide her with a commercial livelihood – i.e., doesn’t sustain her - and whose career, such as it is, depends on the most laughable parasitism.

Dom

"It is understood that the project will see her maintain an internet blog and that her whole life here will be a “work of art.”

You do that for free, David.

Ten

David, have you considered applying for a grant to catalog the progressive arts online? Maybe in a blog?

It seems a natural: Introspectively exploring the intersectionality of contrasting normative narratives with the emerging awareness of avenues of alternative social resource reallocation in the postmodern cultural milieu as a means of counter-racialist juxtaposition when engaging transient electronic media.

Or you could just say all this rank bilking blows to eleven and test the limits of social tolerance in the psuedo-progressive, quasi-metro-

You get the idea. Harrison certainly did.

sH2

"Sustainable practice" is for the little people, David.

David

“Sustainable practice” is for the little people, David.

To indulge in such a transparently opportunist hustle at public expense suggests a pathological vanity. It also suggests an utter disdain for the taxpayers whose earnings have been confiscated and which are now being pissed up a wall.

Anna

Scottish Government quango Creative Scotland is giving £15,000 to Ellie Harrison after she vowed not to leave the city limits for all of 2016

Shouldn't she at least be electronically tagged?

David

Shouldn’t she at least be electronically tagged?

A sturdy tree and length of chain seems more than sufficient.

mojo

Meanwhile, a Glaswegian has paid two pounds to go live in the Outer Hebrides for a year.

ok, not very good. so sue me.

Sam Duncan

“Surprise, surprise. I'm sure that had nothing to do with the SNP - sorry - the Scottish Government bunging her 15K.”

Dis, in the words of Jimmy “Schnozzle” Durante, is the situation dat prevails up here in sunny Jockland. Of course, it's not as if the Labour mob weren't up to the same kind of tricks before them, but the Nats have forfeited any right to boast about ending the corrupt one-party oligarchy in Scottish politics. Frankly, it's worse now than ever.

dw

An artist has been given thousands of pounds of public money to simply live in Glasgow for a year.

Do these 'artists' have any shame at all?

David

Do these ‘artists’ have any shame at all?

Whether she grasps it or not, what Ms Harrison is saying, in effect, is “I deserve this money more than the suckers who had to earn it by doing something of value.” Because she calls herself an artist. And apparently that’s enough.

Not a good look, really.

dicentra

You do that for free, David.

I direct your attention to the little yellow button at the top-left corner of the blog.

Watcher In The Dark

How does this £15k stack up against the minimum wage?

Probably pretty good if the 'artist' just does a few hours a week. But I would hope she toils 18 hours a day, seven days a week to express her ideas so that means the hourly pay isn't great.

Oh yes, and to make the hourly pay even worse, 2016 is a leap year.

Chris S.

Only a year? Really, to be a true artist, she should not be allowed to leave. Ever.

Burnsie

Who's going to check up on her? And who cares?

Answers: nobody and nobody.

scf

Mel Gibson stars in Braveheart, a 13th-century story of a Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.

Ellie Harrison stars in BraveArt, a 21st-century story of an English poverty safarist leading the Scots to total Scottish Dependence on the government of Scotland.

stan

Oh please, she is just a child at this game.
Now THIS guy has it made!

'Nice work if you can get it, if I had a nickle for every time, etc etc etc....'

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=666960

"CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - So this is art -- for seven days Mexican performance artist Israel Mora ejaculated, in private, into seven glass vials.

After this and presumably after Mora, 33, had rested, the vials of semen were put in a white, refrigerated box, and strung up for exhibit between two trees at the Banff Centre, a cultural institution in the Rocky Mountain resort of Banff.

Titled "Level 7", the exhibit has been on display for the past six days. Thursday is the seventh, and last, day.

Banff Centre spokeswoman Connie MacDonald said the performance is part of Mora's seven-week residency. The cost, about C$4,000 (1,800 pounds), is being picked up by the centre and the Mexican government. The residency, called "SloMo", has time as its theme and a number of artists are involved."
---

It's official, the government will pay you to j#$% #@*.

aelfheld

Is ‘local opportunities’ a euphemism for 'pubs'?

R. Sherman

So, one of her ancestors kept his down at the Mons Canal in order for her to do that?

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Harrison was born in London but has already lived in Glasgow for a number of years.

I've lived in Glasgow for a number of years, too. Zero is a number, after all.

Where do I get my £15,000?

marc in calgary

The artist looks exactly how I'd thought Miss Glasgow would look like.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The artist looks exactly how I'd thought Miss Glasgow would look like.

Indeed, alas, a lass unlike the first Ellie Harrison what comes up on Mr. Google.

Hal

Oh come on. There’s at least one joke in there.

I am reminded of the Glasgow Olympics announcement that's been floating around . . . .

David

“This project is of huge importance to the development of my current thinking,” says Ms Harrison, “and will have lasting impact on my creative practice and my profile as an artist.” Regarding what it is exactly that the taxpayer is bankrolling, thanks to state coercion and a spot of cronyism, Ms Harrison says, “It is essential that the specific activities I undertake… are not overly prescribed, so the project can develop organically during the year.” However, the £15,000 of other people’s earnings “will allow me the time to reflect on, consolidate and push forward my thinking at a crucial stage in my career.”

Gosh. Bargain. Here, take my wallet.

Lancastrian Oik

Be thankful for small mercies- they could have got Rocio Bolivar, in which case the taxpayers would still have been 15 grand down, and the cost of street-cleaning would have risen immensely.*

*For the uninitiated, part of Ms. Bolivar's oeuvre involves public defecation. No, I'm not going to link to it

Splotchy

Ironically, there will be low-paid tax-paying Glaswegians - almost certainly doing work of more usefulness than this feckless narcissist - who will not be able to afford to leave their city for a jolly elsewhere.

Yet they are obliged to fund this repugnant person's "LOOK AT MEEEE!!!!!!!!" vanity project. Words almost fail me.

jones

“This project is of huge importance to the development of MY current thinking,” says Ms Harrison, “and will have lasting impact on MY creative practice and MY profile as an artist.”, “It is essential that the specific activities I undertake… are not overly prescribed, so the project can develop organically (WILL SHE RANGE FREELY ABOUT GLASGEE?) during the year.” “will allow ME the time to reflect on, consolidate and push forward MY thinking at a crucial stage in MY career.”

Aye, one detects an emergent pattern.

mojo

Not the first queen to launch a career from the upper Clyde?

banner

And of course today there's this in the Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/06/glasgow-effect-art-project-ellie-harrison?CMP=fb_cif

David

And of course today there’s this in the Guardian

I see that Mr Hainey, a former Green councillor, thinks the widespread mockery and scorn that’s greeted Ms Harrison’s hustle is “predictable.” But he doesn’t seem to grasp that much of the scorn occurs because hustles of this type are themselves so predictable - a display of arrogant presumption that’s routine among a socially and politically narrow subsidy-seeking caste. These exercises in entitlement and narcissism are, as we’ve seen many times, a staple of state arts funding. And the existence of state funding, in which the public has no say and in which any normal corrective feedback is sidelined, encourages mediocrity and cronyism.

All of which understandably chafes the chops of those left footing the bill, year after year, and who may feel that the recipients of their confiscated earnings are incompetent, parasitic or simply taking the piss. Year after year. But Mr Hainey ignores the many stated reasons for scorning hustlers like Ms Harrison and instead suggests that the hustlers be given more of the money that someone else had to go out and earn. Presumably, our Guardian columnist imagines himself as virtuous, on the side of the angels, above mere selfishness. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that the coercive system he endorses and wishes to see expanded is itself unjust and that people like Ms Harrison are exemplars of vanity and selfishness.

Nikw211

These exercises in entitlement and narcissism are, as we’ve seen many times, a staple of state arts funding. And the existence of state funding, in which the public has no say and in which any normal corrective feedback is sidelined, encourages mediocrity and cronyism.

Feeling somewhat dyspeptic after reading the original story, posted above, I took the unusual step (for me) of writing a letter of complaint.

As I thought others might possibly be interested in what Creative Scotland had to say for itself in the (surprisingly long and detailed response), I thought I’d share a couple of extracts here (any italics are mine).

In this part, they seem to be admitting that they lost control over what happened to the funding the moment it was awarded - see the last line (my emphasis) in which they register complete surprise that the artist seemed to have taken an unexpected turn away from the original proposal:

    It is perhaps worth noting that the artist in question published the full copy of her application form last night on her tumblr site (here - http://glasgoweffect.tumblr.com/) – so that does at least give you some further clarity as to the aims of the project from her perspective. It is perhaps worth noting that in the application the project is called ‘Think Global, Act Local’ – so her decision to re-title it ‘The Glasgow Effect’ must have come later (post our funding decision).

Also this justification for the piece, which draws on the same Hainey Guardian piece you, David, just eviscerated above:

    I’m sorry that you feel so strongly (and negatively) about this specific project […]. It is perhaps worth noting that this project is […] attempting to look at how an artist can develop her practice, and work more effectively within her local community. There is an interesting piece published on the Guardian website yesterday which offered an alternative perspective on what this project is trying to achieve

And finally this, in which somehow they try to suggest that £15,000 spread over a 12-month period has a completely different value to £15,000 awarded in a single day:

    The process of funding an individual artist so that they have the time to develop themselves, their work or their practice is central to a large part of what we fund […] This project is within that realm – an artist looking for £15k, spread across a year, to undertake a programme of research and development all focussed on what she does creatively.
DAn

I will use the funding to relieve me of teaching commitments at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) where I have been a lecturer since 2012. This will remove the most constant need to travel and free-up time, allowing me to reflect on and consolidate all I have produced and achieved over the last five years.

So a textbook illustration of crowding out..

Chester Draws

NikW221: If you remember, you should write to them in just over a year's time and ask what was produced for their £15,000.

Because much of the time not only is nothing of much value produced, but nothing at all is produced.

Nikw211

Chester Draws,

Well, thanks to Ms Harrison’s publishing of her proposal on her Tumblr blog, we can even see the estimated value of the work.

Under the section entitled Benefits to the Public, the very first point she makes is:

    As described in Q1, Think Global, Act Local! is, in its simplest terms, a substantive artistic development bursary, which will allow me the time to reflect on, consolidate and push forward my thinking at a crucial stage in my career.

Her evidently shaky grasp on the meaning of Benefits to the Public does not fill me with confidence, it must be said. Regardless, she presses on:

    It offers significant long-term benefits to national and international audiences who experience it second-hand, through lectures and writing in the future. Contributing to critical contemporary art discourse, it will develop our understanding of what ‘sustainable practice’ actually means and challenge preconceived notions what [sic] makes good ‘career progression’.

So remember, by 2017 I can fully expect to have been the beneficiary of "second-hand” experience and to have had my "preconceived notions [of] what makes good ‘career progression’” ‘challenged.

Why, my cup positively runneth over.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...free-up time, allowing me to reflect on and consolidate all I have produced and achieved over the last five years.

Well, after all that reflection and consolidation of her production and achievements of the last five years one has to wonder how she will fritter away the other 525599 minutes left in the year.

Tim Newman

And of course today there’s this in the Guardian

Oh, you've got to love this:

But underneath that there are more interesting threads of criticism. The first is that spending money on any art project at a time when people are relying on food banks is reprehensible. But this one’s a non-starter. The money has largely come from Creative Scotland and as such would have been designated for arts funding.

So the money isn't being wasted because it was earmarked for wastage anyway. Jesus, do these people live on the same planet as the rest of us? I see he's getting panned in the comments, so there is hope yet.

Tim Newman

And from the comments, this.

David

So the money isn’t being wasted because it was earmarked for wastage anyway.

Heh. Quite. But Mr Hainey, like Ms Harrison, has no incentive to think realistically about the stated objections and whether what they’re doing is justifiable. For the hustle to continue, they must become impervious. Hence the practised fudging and inanity. Why jeopardise the confiscation of other people’s money? They want us to believe they’re doing this for us. Because they’re so selfless, so terribly generous.

Dr Cromarty

Creative Scotland - the artistic wing of the SNP

Utterly corrupt

Anna

Guardian headline: "Outraged over a £15,000 Glasgow art project? Look at the bigger picture."
Actual article: "Do NOT look at the bigger picture. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES must you question the premise."

Adiabat

I don’t really blame the artist here: She had to apply for ‘significant grant’ to pass her probation and keep her job. So it seems to me that she made a half-arsed application not really expecting to get the money. Now she’s got it though she’ll take a year off, throw something together towards the end, call it art, and then go back to the cushy job she really just wanted to do all along.

She’s in a ridiculous situation created her employer and the arts grant system.

David

Actual article: “Do NOT look at the bigger picture. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES must you question the premise.”

Heh. Pretty much. But that’s the thing. There’s an entrenched culture of self-serving evasion, propagated by the Arts Council - at our expense - and eagerly mouthed by those who benefit, or hope to.

I know one group of artists that’s been subsidised by the Arts Council - which is to say, by the taxpayer - for more than two decades. We’re talking figures north of £200,000 a year. Once you strip away income extorted from the public, both here and via other publicly funded bodies in Europe, the company’s actual earned income – from ticket sales, etc - is a small fraction of the total. Despite this parasitic and unsustainable arrangement, one of the company’s press releases tells us that their chronic, self-inflicted dependency is “a good argument for the importance of arts funding in England and being a trigger to further revenue being brought to the country.”

It isn’t clear what revenue, if any, is being “brought to the country.” It certainly isn’t enough even to support the half dozen artists in question, whose entire adult lives have involved large annual handouts from the state. But confiscating millions of pounds of taxpayers’ earnings and throwing it at commercially unviable performance art allegedly benefits the British economy, albeit in ways that are never quite defined or quantified. Apparently we should be thanking them.

In the mid-Nineties their public subsidy was temporarily reduced. The artists staged an indignant “demonstration” at the ICA, where people were encouraged to believe that attempts to reduce the number of artistic freeloaders were in fact due to “hostility… towards challenging and innovative work.” That kind of self-flattery, practised for years, is an unshiftable default. The artists in question are of course middle-class Guardian-reading lefties and make all of the usual noises about capitalism, fairness, neoliberalism, etc. And yet despite this display of piety, they think that cleaners in Rotherham and carpet-fitters in Doncaster should be forced to subsidise the recreation and lifestyle choices of middle-class lefties, i.e., themselves and the tiny, unviable audience for “experimental theatre.”

jabrwok

Once you strip away income extorted from the public, both here and via other publicly funded bodies in Europe, the company’s actual earned income – from ticket sales, etc - is a small fraction of the total.

I'm not well versed in British history and politics, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this closely analogous to the situation with the British coal industry pre-Thatcher?

Pablito

In other art news, man sues gallery for 'offensive' white Jesus...

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2015/12/06/museum-lawsuit-masterpiece-paintings-showing-white-jesus-racist/

Apologies if its already been pointed out

PiperPaul

Offtopic and I forget where I found this (probably Ace):

http://righteousmind.com/where-microaggressions-really-come-from/

banner

It's not just that these types think they deserve to be supported by taxpayers but that they can turn around and produce so much work chastising those same taxpayers for being philistines, chauvinists, racists etc etc etc

David

Thus.

Via Franklin.

Tonestaple

Seattle is spending $10,000 to sponsor a writer or poet in residence for the Fremont bridge, a drawbridge over the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Yes, $10,000 of some poor bastard of a builder's* money is going to pay for someone to write a pome (I'd bet money - mine - that they will go with a poet because it's so sensitive) to produce an homage to the 100th anniversary of the bridge.

http://tinyurl.com/gtkzsvn

This has to be the most ridiculous town in the country, if for no other reason than it actually wants to be San Francisco.

*The money is coming from "Art in Public Places" which is a fund created from 1% of the budget of any construction project to fund public art. I told you it's ridiculous.

jones

This.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgDxvaCsZMI

Hal

Educational observations . . . .

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Let us hope that Ms. Harrison spends part of her grant on some sorely-needed dentistry; that alone will make the environs of Glasgow more attractive.

Watcher In The Dark

Hal, that is not funny, because, er.... it's true! When I did some teaching the 'students' all printed out stuff for their assignments from Wikipedia. They hadn't clue what it was about but they all wanted to achieve a 'pass' so it was fine by them.

Em

The artists in question are of course middle-class Guardian-reading lefties and make all of the usual noises about capitalism, fairness, neoliberalism, etc. And yet despite this display of piety, they think that cleaners in Rotherham and carpet-fitters in Doncaster should be forced to subsidise the recreation and lifestyle choices of middle-class lefties, i.e., themselves and the tiny, unviable audience for “experimental theatre.”

That. :-)

Chester Draws

When I did some teaching the 'students' all printed out stuff for their assignments from Wikipedia.

Mostly they paraphrase Wikipedia in my experience, only the odd one will quote it verbatim. You can spot it quickly enough -- for example, no NZ kid talks about canyons (we would use valleys) or knows what "albedo" is.

The best is when they leave in the phrase "click here for more information" in their printed report.

Mat

It simply doesn’t occur to him that the coercive system he endorses and wishes to see expanded is itself unjust, and that people like Ms Harrison are exemplars not of virtue, but of vanity and selfishness.

That. So much that.

David

That. So much that.

As I mentioned in an earlier thread, last year I saw some tweets by an artist acquaintance, a leftist, who was upset by the prospect of reductions in public subsidy for the unviable arts here in Britain, including his own projects. He denounced as “idiots” those who think that artists should earn their money – say, by producing things the public wishes to pay for directly, voluntarily, rather than just taking it via the state through coercion and cronyism. Passions were high and there were vague rumblings of militancy and retribution.

This struck me as a bit rich, given that the chap in question, along with his associates, has managed to screw from the taxpayer around £200,000 a year for several years. Such that the total funds extracted from the public – a public almost totally uninterested in what he and his associates do – is well in excess of a million pounds. A cosy gig by any measure. But despite years of being handed vast sums of money that other people had to earn by doing things of market value, there was no trace of gratitude, none whatsoever. Just an expectation of more, stretching indefinitely into the future.

This sense of limitless entitlement is in no way unusual. It’s a default mindset of our artistic Brahmins. And it’s precisely what people like Mr Hainey and Ms Harrison hope to God you won’t notice.

Spiny Norman

The best is when they leave in the phrase "click here for more information" in their printed report.

Nothing more exasperating than the lazy plagiarist. >_<

ac1

> But despite years of being handed vast sums of money that other people had to earn by doing things of market value, there was no trace of gratitude, none whatsoever. Just an expectation of more, stretching indefinitely into the future.

DESPITE?!?

Bunk Strutts

I am Ellie Harrison. You are Ellie Harrison. We all are Ellie Harrison.

It just doesn't have the same punch that the Dr. Pepper theme had.

Bite me, Ellie Harrison.

David

DESPITE?!?

Heh. Quite. This obnoxious sense of entitlement has, after all, been encouraged and reinforced by decades of indulgence and inept rationalisation, and maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising. But even though I’ve seen it many times, occasionally up close, I’m still taken aback by it.

[ Added: ]

I suppose it’s one of inadvertent virtues of Laurie Penny. As she’s not quite clever enough to successfully obscure the root assumptions, she just blurts this stuff out. And then it becomes clear it’s basically a caste thing.

[+]

she just blurts this stuff out. And then it becomes clear it’s basically a caste thing.

Nailed. We should thank Penny Dreadful. She's the gift that keeps on giving.

ac1

There is a strong element of wishing for the return of feudalism in the left.

Mose

Portland, Oregon bit me for a $35/resident arts tax on my way out the door - didn't matter that I moved out 3 weeks after the silly voters of that silly town willingly voted for the tax by a wide margin. Out of curiosity I checked what my money had gone to - many silly little song and dance outlets such as the "Portland Gay Men's Chorus". Can't really blame them for the gaiety, what with all the magical free money coming in.

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