[p2p-research] Building Alliances

Kevin Flanagan kev.flanagan at gmail.com
Thu Nov 5 16:37:29 CET 2009


It was great to finally get to meet some of you in person at media ecologies.
I have some suggestions and questions regarding building alliances
that Id be interested in thrashing out here on the list.
My question here is how can we incentivize government to support the
building and protection of the commons?
My suggestion is this -
As an artist Ive been involved in and worked with several artist led
organisations. Most of these organisations could not survive without
government subsidy through bodies such as arts councils. Naturally
there is pressure from government on arts councils and hence on
artists and arts organisations to be accountable for this investment.
In order to receive financial support artists and arts organisations
are required to fulfill certain criteria to prove the social value of
their work. So the better an organisation is at proving the social
value of their work the more likely it is that they will receive
support. This means that lots of artists end up working to governments
agenda through Public Art and Community Arts projects. Maybe this
sounds a bit harsh but sometimes I think of community arts as a kind
of goverment funded social band aid for disadvantaged communities. The
criteria for funding are usually that such projects support , social
inclusion, multiculturalism, intercultural relations. Often what is
produced in the creative process if immaterial affect so its not
always easy to show how these arts projects fulfill these criteria.
What Im wondering is can free culture centers, hack\fab labs, maker
clubs, do this better. I think so. The added advantage of such centres
is eductaion in transferable skills. Goverment likes transferable
skills that help peoples job prospects. Whether in electronics,
programming, media. Some research into how the EU and UNESCO promote
social inclusion through culture would be useful. Are these policies
IP biased? Can we as advocates of free culture and the commons propose
ammendments or new policies that incentivize governments to provide
financial support for free culture spaces, hack labs and to recognize
the intercultural importance of the shared commons oriented production
of these spaces? Any ideas who might already be working on this?
Existing models perhaps that can be used as examples?
How might dialogue about the commons interface with current thinking
on multiculturalism? Does breaking down financial barriers to entry
promote social inclusion locally, nationally, internationally? Of
course but how do we measure this?
I dont know how this sounds or even if its interesting but I thought
Id just put it out there.
Maybe the the current system of support for the arts is one to look at
expanding for supporting the commons based production? Maybe alliances
can be built with existing cultural organisations?


Kevin F

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