Beyond the funding shortfall, it's mad how ill-equipped major Aus arts orgs are to deal with the present crisis. Few have a digital commissioning platform, or a devoted expert in digital arts programming, and they see digital as a branch of comms rather than a curatorial concern.
The dire thing is that precarity and underfunding limit debate & promote self-censorship, as people feel they have to show their allegiance and provide only positive commentary. But we have to critically engage with the arts and the models/structures we've been using.
In this context, the rush to encourage all artists and galleries to just 'put the work up online' makes no sense. What about sculptors? What about installation artists? They have a completely different skillset. Digital arts and digital programming is its own unique context.
Eg. the new HOMEFRONT fund by Arts ACT just allows for living expenses to support artists' survival through the next 6-9 months and isn't outcome-driven – it just nurtures artists to do creative development on stuff at home. But that's the exception with the new funding streams.
So get set for a deluge of very mediocre, un-thought-through art presented digitally!
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