Sunday, August 31, 2008

Stifling the Critics

The cutting of funding programs for interactive and multimedia projects in Canada should come as no surprise. The nation's creative communities have long harboured antagonism towards the sullen essentialism of the Conservative party and its corporate neoliberal political enterprise.

"But why," bemoan arts administrators and artists alike, "would they target relevant media like film and internet development?"

Notwithstanding the shot to poets and painters inherent in such questions, the truth is: because multimedia arts and training programs might provide a platform for able critics of the conservative project (for a background on Neoliberalism generally and aspects of its Canadian manifestation, read David Harvey's _A Brief History of Neoliberalism_ and Jeff Derksen's _National Literatures in the Shadow of Neoliberalism_).

Simply put: the possible effectiveness of critical generation that new media artists engage combined with their dependence on public funding and unwillingness to assign their skills to remolding the neoliberal project leaves them both vulnerable and undesireable to government censorship.

Suggestion: use your media to get the bums out of office and be thankful that A) you aren't a poet and completely irrelevant in today's socio-political context and B) you don't live in Russia.

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