26 October 2007

Artistic Downshifting

Just read Surviving New Labour as an artist: Artistic independence and the pitfalls of state funding by British artist Jan Bowman.

The debate about ‘doing it yourself’ or ‘artistic downshifting’ in the words of writer and film-maker Kathryn Millard, goes on. As technological developments create new platforms and possibilities, and government funding becomes scarcer and more prescriptive, there’s a lot to be said for writing outside the system. A couple of years ago I spent several weeks writing applications, several weeks hard-chiselling round pegs to fit into funding bodies’ boxes. Only afterwards did I wonder about all the time spent filling out forms, composing punchy synopses, and justifying processes; time I would otherwise have spent writing a script or an essay, a story or poem—something real, and useful.