The The Art Life Life

Art Life , Site News Nov 26, 2007 No Comments

We’re on the other side of the old order of things and the world suddenly seems like a better place. As the blood letting continues we are once again reminded not so much of an election but of the end of the movie Downfall. Who would have thought we’d live to see the back of John Howard? Roll on the new era…


There’s one thing we can look forward to right now – a Federal Government with an arts policy – something this country hasn’t had since the early 1990s. Instead of piecemeal spending promises, we’ll get a commitment to a program and that program will be accountable to government oversight and the electorate. Younger readers of The Art Life will have no real idea what that fact means, but it’s far preferable to the free market philosophy of the old guard. Certainly the events of the weekend have made the National Association of Visual Arts happy. They fired off a press release first thing this morning which read in part:

“After years of disappointment, finally Australian visual artists will see one of their long held ambitions realised, with the introduction of the Artists Resale Royalty Scheme. This will bring them into parity with artists in England, across the whole European Union and a number of other parts of the world […] NAVA believes that the current version of sedition law poses a considerable threat to artists’ freedom of expression. It asks that the new Attorney General not only removes the word ‘sedition’, but also makes all the changes recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission. As an important support mechanism for artists trying to build their careers, NAVA strongly endorses the proposed ArtStart social security scheme to change the way Centrelink deals with artists.”

We’ll have to wait and see how these issues develop over the coming months and years, but of this we can also be sure: the art world is a much happier and shinier this sunny Monday.

Site News: In other and more important news, Ben recently wrote to us to wittily complain:

None of your haikus
follow the haiku structure
5 – 7 – 5, geez.

It depends on whether you follow the classic structure of the haiku or not, but we tend towards the free form approach of Basho and more recent haiku writers who believe it is only the essence of truth, brevity and three line form that really matters when writing a haiku.

Forget the syllable count
and the season words,
we’re modern man, geez.

Art Life Xmas Special: Starting Thursday this week we launch our Holiday Season extravaganza in which we will attempt to review every exhibition on in Sydney. In the past we did this by restricting our reviews to certain maps in Art Almanac but this year we have decided on a different approach – we’re going to do it by streets of art – Glenmore Road, Queen Street, George Street, Abercrombie Street. It’s true that not a lot of galleries are on all these streets but it’s a systematic methodology that’ll catch a good 70 percent of everything on. No exceptions!* [*Some exceptions may apply].

Art Life on Your TV: Thanks to our readers who left messages of encouragement following the screening of our archive-footage TV year-in-review-roundup A Year In The Art Life that screened on November 13.. A number of readers asked why we chose to present our “PTCs” [that’s TV talk for “pieces to camera”] on a miniature golf course. We were looking for a visual metaphor for the entire art world, and since the Art Gallery of NSW and Museum of Contemporary Art were obvious and over-used choices, we realised that the skill-challenged, frustrating but picturesque world of putt putt was an obscure but completely apposite choice.

We also had a number of enquiries about whether the show would be available for either vodcast or download. Sadly, since the whole show was ninety percent archive, and the music was lifted from a gold mine of cocktail classics, the cost would be prohibitive for a show with a very short shelf life. We keep hearing rumours that the show might end up on YouTube in the very near future. If such a thing were to happen, we’d be against it, naturally, because not only would it “rob artists of their rightful incomes”, we’d also be contributing to “video piracy, which is a major problem in Aus-tral-li-yah…” We’ll keep you posted.

Art Life on Your DVD Player: We’re thrilled to announce that after months of intense negotiations, The Art Life TV series will be available on DVD very, very soon. How soon? Very soon. In time for Xmas soon? Yes, most probably. The single-disc edition will be out first, available through select art world outlets and probably online. We’re currently finalizing art work and other printing and publishing details, such as clearing the quotes we’ll be using on the cover such as Jarrod Rawlins’s “comic genius” superlative from Broadsheet. In 2008 we’ll be releasing a three-disc Art Life: Ultimate Edition on HD-DVD, BluRay, regular DVD, with all the original episodes, a making-of documentary on the documentary, interviews with cast and crew and a director’s commentary, alternate endings and outtakes.

Art Life On Your TV II: A number of people have asked if there will be a second series of the Art Life in 2008. The answer is a “yes” with a caveat. Yes, there will be a second series in 2008, but we just don’t know when it will be. We are currently working on a treatment for Series 2, so we can’t say too much at this time, but we can tell you this: it will be a trilogy of prequels to series one explaining how we were seduced by the dark side…

Art Life On The Web: Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement about the future of The Art Life blog…

The Art Life

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