Monday, July 16, 2007

The Rise of the 'Art-Mart'



I came across a lively discussion of the state of the collector driven art market on Edward Winkleman's blog. It is certainly worth a read.

I propose that what is occurring in the art market is merely symptomatic of the larger global economic trend. Independently owned niche galleries are being pushed out in the same manner that Wal-Mart and other corporate fuedalist states have crushed the small business owner. Now, all across America, you can find a small selection of generic items amidst a vast categorical one-stop shop. It seems that the art market is becoming a high end version of this, the successful galleries offering the high turnover selection of name brand artists in every style, all under one roof.

Can we solve the recurring problem with a genre-specific band-aid or should we not get to the root of the problem and re-establish the vital diversity needed in our society at large?

Genetic diversity is necessary for a species to be successful. When the species lacks diversity, the species lacks adaptability and vitality. Diversity is necessary culturally for the same reasons. So, why would it not be necessary for art, when art is so integral to civilization as well as to each individual (whether they know it or not)? Below is one of the responses from the discussion which I find concisely states what I mean.
What I think is needed is a capitalism of ideas. Philosophies and criticism and aesthetics need to be able to partake in free debate, violent disagreement if necessary. Museums, curators, critics and even academics should fight it out, there is NO NEED for agreement, NO NEED for consensus, history solves that over time in it’s own way, the culture ultimately decides on what it chooses to value.

However, I do not think one can stop the weed without getting at the roots. We need to restructure the corporation to a more democratic system. As it is, the corporation is essentially structured as a monarchy. And because of the growing power of these corporations (Wal-Mart alone made over $360 billion in 2005, more than the economies of all but the 21 richest nations!) we must take notice. These should be labeled as they are: rogue monarchies, and all it would take is for them to hire a "security force" and they could be as dangerous as Napoleon, if not more.

That which I call the 'Art-Mart' is only a fever. The real sickness lies deeper down. If we value our diversity and our freedom of choice, we need to re-evaluate how we do everything. Society has become truly global. The world is changing, and if we want to survive, we have to change with it.

www.memoreejoelle.org

14 comments:

residente said...

Hello from Almada Portugal
Have a nice day

Denise Williams said...

Very well stated. Something I have pondered at length, but never coming up with a solution. What kind of change would you suggest?

RichardTScott said...

I think there are four essential elements to address here.
All of which are intertwined.

1. Population
2. Resource Management
3. Clear and fair compensation for labor
4 The structure of the corporation

The capitalist economy is based on continued expansion. You cannot have growth without expansion and without growth, the capital stagnates. But this system is predicated upon the ideal of unlimited resources, which would be necessary for unlimited expansion. But any child could tell you that there are only so many resources and there are continually more and more people competing for them.

The pressure of limited resources truly hits a company when it reaches a critical mass. When more natural resources cannot be attained, they do two things. First they cut the cost of the renewable resource that they can control, i.e human labor, which means outsourcing especially to regions where they can get away with ignoring basic human rights. Secondly, they pillage the resources of said third world countries and then sell the products back to them. This is essentially economic colonialism . And no people like being colonized - whether physically, politically, culturally, or economically. But as there are fewer and fewer resources available, there will be more and more pressure on human labor.

Workers in our own country are not compensated fairly, let alone in these poorer countries. The average CEO makes 400 times the annual wage of the average worker in the same corporation. Now can anyone seriously say that he works 400 times harder, or that his labor is worth 400 times more?

Does a stock broker work harder than a teacher? Is his job or labor more valuable? Does he serve a more important function in society?

As you can see, the value of work is decided arbitrarily. There needs to be a clear system established that calculates the actual value of labor based on specific criteria such as social value like education which is fundamental to the existence of any civilization.
Hypothetically one could base such a system on the output of joules, or the measurement for work produced in physics. The system would first establish how many joules are produced by all kinds of labor, then establish how much efficiency in the production of joules is created by management. Once this difficult task is carried out, however, there will be a clear and easily calculable system of compensation. I know if I produce x joules in a day I am paid x amount.

The corporation should be structured like a cooperative where each worker owns an equal share in the company and they hire management. If each person owns an equal portion of the company then each person has an equal say in it's policies and actions. Providing health care would be obviously in everyone's best interest so it would be done within the company. When a new worker enters the company he/she buys their share. As they work the company grows and their share gains value. So, when they retire, they sell their share and have a good chunk towards retirement. There will be no need to rely on a defunct social security system or deal with the exorbitant price of health care.

I think resource management is pretty clear. Reduce, re-use, recycle.

Now we come to the most difficult point: population. I think there are two subsidiary factors here.
We need to address the population growth in the short and long term.
In the long term, industrialized nations have dramatically lower birth rates. Most of them don't even have enough children to replace those already alive. This is because when a substantial middle class (those with equal voice and power) arises, the population naturally drops as people are more educated and choose not to have children.
In the short term there are only a few things that we could do. Most of which are incredibly inhumane. How does one propose mandatory population control while protecting individual rights?

Well, here's a proposal. When each person is born he/she is allotted 3/4 of a child credit. When he/she marries they can have one child. Now if they wish, they can sell their remaining 1/2 credit and receive money which will help them support and educate the child they have. And the couple that can afford to buy the half credit will be able to afford to support and educate two children.

These ideas aren't finalized by any means. They certainly need to be considered fully, but beginning to discuss these topics is something that needs to happen. The system we have now will not work for the future, so we need to find one that will.

Denise Williams said...

The things you say about the economy due to corporate structure in light of supply and demand of labor are true, as well those very things you speak of inhibit the growth of the educated American family. Please consider the following.

I think the problem initiated within the Kennedy administration when the backing of gold behind the American dollar was exchanged for that of the ability of American Citizens to pay taxes. At the time, it did strengthen the dollar as the American family continued to grow. However as taxation increased to the point of oppression, it disenabled Americans to have children as they were not only able to support them, they were not able to provide decent education for them either, so they brought it upon themselves to limit the size of their families. However, we found at the same time, people receiving welfare benefits discovered the dole they received was not enough to support a family unless the family size was increased. This meant having more children.

Therefore we saw a decrease in children born to those paying taxes, while an increase of propagation in those living from government benefits with taxes increasing and deductions decreasing. Over a period of time, it became necessary for both parents in a family to work while taxes increased further still and tax deductions became nonexistent.

Prior to the Bush administration it was recognized the American family was so stressed economically that the families they produced were not equal in size to the baby boomers entering retirement. Since the upcoming supporting generation did not match or succeed the retiring population, it became apparent that not only was the economy further stressed in terms of government aid, but that the American dollar was threatened as well as tax payers had not been produced.

With this overshadowing the United States economic future, rather than remedy it in an effort to maintain our great nation by reducing taxes, the Bush administration was kind enough to open the international trade market and make it profitable for corporations to give our jobs away to foreign countries all the while making slave labor acceptable globally as it is becoming within our country – with demand no longer meeting supply as the job market is further populated with an increase of illegals and fewer jobs available. Change for the worse is accepted if it comes about slowly for then it is unnoticed.

Further, in an effort to create tax payers to prop up the American dollar, Bush now proposes citizenship to illegals who would not otherwise receive it. When met with disapproval of the American public who sees job opportunities vanishing before their very eyes, the administration allows illegals to be stepped in as citizens by simply having children here.

Not only do we see our jobs vanish further, but the medical system is threatened with collapse as the demand made upon it are insurmountable especially in light of non payment for those services. Furthermore, we see our very infrastructure collapsing. Not only the most overt things such as medical and education suffer, but our water processing plants, sewage systems, and highways are all over overstressed by an increasing population who benefits from the taxes the average citizen pays only to find those taxes increasing in ways insidious to the common worker.

Yes, I recall growing up and knowing that a single mother could support two children on minimum wage. I also recall minimum wage at 1.10 per hour, yet one could purchase ten loaves of bread for a dollar on Wednesdays. A gallon of milk was 40¢. Gas was 30¢ a gallon. Yes, it is true that the average vehicle made 10-12 miles a gallon, but it was only approximately $6 a week in gas if that as people generally thought a commute of 20 minutes was unbearable. One could rent a nice house or 3 bedroom apartment for 80/month. A nice 3 bedroom house was 12 to 15K. Make an economic comparison now and one will find that minimum wage should be $20 per hour.

Most people don’t remember when the maximum they paid in taxes collectively was 12% for federal, state, and SSN. While they were paying that not only did they not pay taxes on medical services and prescription drugs, but they were able to deduct every bottle of aspirin, or any over the counter medication they purchased throughout the year. Moreover, every visit to the doctor was deductible, even dental and eye examinations and corrective lenses were deducted. As well, all interest paid even to charge cards was tax deductible every cent on every loan or line of credit extended.

Things have changed. With the state and federal taxes, and gross receipt taxes, we now have city taxes for things like water, gas, electricity, phone, and television to support our collapsing and over burdened infrastructures as highways, water reservoirs, and treatment plants are not able to keep up with population growth of immigrants. This results in the accumulative taxes which are almost equal to the bill itself, at least in my city and I understand many others.

So, not only do we have the oppression of taxation, we have no available jobs left within our country while the diminishing labor force is prone to gluttony by CEOs and upper level management, whom like you say, who are paid 400% more than those who make the money under them.

I have noticed in my career that those who work the hardest are often time compensated the least. I recall working a job in which I was a new employee, working on commission only. Within 6 months, I was very happy that I was averaging 35 per hour based on my presumably 8 hour work day with my sales recorded exceeding all those in company history. As it turned out, it didn’t matter that I was working from 8 am to 10 am at home and then again from 6 pm until 10 pm at home again to make those sales. What happened was that the other employees were insulted that I had only been working there 6 months and had almost tripled in earnings the average male employee who had been there almost 20 years. Yes, I was the only female at this company. It was thus decided that all commissions would be placed in the company pot and divided amongst all including the owner. I couldn’t afford to loose my commissions and work for approximately 10/hr with a child. It was rather unfortunate as I lost an entire months worth of commissions when this decision was made.

I think your idea is worthy, and I thought in this instance, as with many others prior and those that followed, I would set a good example and be appreciated somewhere. I find as a woman, every time I suffered instead for having set new standards for a company. I don’t recall once ever being recognized for the work I had done. I have many other stories, but this one was the most blatant. We generally understand when our superiors claim our work and excuse themselves in not paying our year end bonus as if they paid it, then we would have been paid more than them, or the CEO of the company. Yes, it is not appreciated when they claim our triumphs as their own and are thus compensated for them. However, I found this particular incident to be the most abrasive as it happened as a result of my peers.

I realize our country needs reform, but reorganization requires unity. When corporations are divided not only between levels of superiority, but between the common workers themselves, then restructure is only a dream that commonly results in socialist societies. Unfortunately, I feel this is the future of America as everything points toward it.

To bring about the collapse of a country the infrastructure must first disintegrate, starting with education and medical services and basic job opportunity, as well oppression through taxation. Not only that, an essential tool of destruction is a diversity of language and a lack of appreciation for the culture within. With this recognized throughout history in other countries which suffered oppression, this is why historically, our founding fathers required that to gain citizenship in our country it was required that not only should one speak the language, they should know our Constitution.

We don’t do those things any longer as they infringe upon the human right to retain individuality. We’re there. On the verge of destruction. I wonder how long it will take.

Most countries fall every two thousand years. I think America will break that record as our people in power will not make concessions to their wages to aid those whom they gain so much through their exploitation.

If we are not able to keep our jobs within our country, and we have no unions to protect our labors, it is foreseeable that we will return to the 16 hour work day in inhuman conditions just as we now provide for others. If we do not have worldwide organization to prevent workers from being exploited in other countries, then we will suffer the same ourselves when our economy crashes as a result.

The only remedy we have now is consumer conscious purchasing, but the average American can’t afford to do that. I remember in the ‘60s when people used to organize for peaceful protests which resulted in change and allowed our country growth in ways unperceivable. Those very people rested shortly to enjoy the benefits of their endeavors and were soon crushed by the system. No one has stood up since to take their place as oppression has become too great and our freedom has vanished so slowly with it, no one notices it loss.

No, it is a wish to ask those in power and control to think of those who fuel their engine. It will never happen. If our laws allow those people of large corporations to exploit others in different countries when they are not allowed to do so here, then we are no better for we did not stand up for ourselves, nor those abused by allowing those laws to take place and permitting our jobs to be exported, and then supporting that exploitation by continuing to support their organizations through our purchases..

If we’re going to allow an influx of illegals into this country to support our dollar and keep it strong on the international market, then we need to keep our jobs here and provide a livable wage to those working. Merely allowing more citizenship to those who take advantage of the government support system and the tax payers who pay in does not in reality make a strong international dollar. If that’s what it’s all about, then our politicians should do something to support the people of our country rather than the corporations who get them elected to office.

The American people are not only subject to the all mighty dollar as tax payers supporting it’s value through the birth of their children, they are fast becoming subject to those whom it supports, both the individuals who exploit and to those coming into this country to receive the benefits we grant them on minority status simply for providing us with another citizen, aka, tax payer. Every social security number we dole out means strength for that dollar despite it’s inflated value already. We say there are no indentured servants in America. However, I beg to disagree. Everyone who pays taxes above 10% collectively has throughout history been considered to suffer from indentured servitude by all countries. Why are we any different? The average American is lucky if they pay 40% in taxes when all is done.

And we say, while we have no medical, and poor education, this is better than other countries. Since when was greatness achieved by excusing the inexcusable? Since when was prosperity achieved by the abuse of the general population? Only the fall of countries has been achieved through those things. When we fail to recognize that, we fail to give our children a future they deserve.

Yes, I agree with what you say, reform needs to happen, but who will do it? I am reminded of a childhood story about a Hen and her chicks. . ..

RichardTScott said...

Excellent analysis. I would also like to take your point a little further.

"Most people don’t remember when the maximum they paid in taxes collectively was 12% for federal, state, and SSN"

And I guarantee you that even fewer remember when there was no income tax. It was instituted by Hoover during the Great Depression and was only a 1% tax. He apologized at the time for the "unheralded burden" and said that as soon as our country had acquired stability again, it would be repealed. At that time it was essentially a tax on the rich to benefit the poor. But then WWII came and they needed the tax money so they raised it to 2%. But somewhere down the line it simply continued to grow.

I agree that we are headed towards a disintegration of our nation. And the politicians and CEO's of this country will never listen to our demands. But I do think that some of these issue can be affected in the grass-roots. According to my logic, a cooperative corporation would be more efficient than the feudalist model. Because when the workers are happy and they see the clear benefits of their labor, they work more efficiently towards the growth of the company.

I recall when I worked at Wal-Mart in high school. I remember sitting behind boxes in the warehouse to read a book while I was on the clock. Soon after, I was promoted to manager... which surprised me. But what I realized was, however little amount of work I did, I was still more productive than everyone else around me. I actually did something, not because I felt justly compensated or believed in Wal-Mart, but out of sheer boredom.

In a cooperative system people will actually want to work, and hopefully enjoy it because it's a collaborative effort and not slavish, mind-numbing, labor.

I think that the way to begin is to form a company based on these principles. Soon, everyone will see that it is a more effective, and efficient model and will be forced to change to compete. Perhaps it's a bit cliche in this day and age, but the truth is that we must change it from the inside.

Denise Williams said...

I compliment you, very few people do realize that about the 2% taxes. Even less realize they actually volunteer to pay the taxes and they can never un-volunteer. I actually read the back of the tax form when I was fifteen and didn’t want to volunteer; however my parents forced me to do so entering me into a contractual agreement as minor which I have been forced to uphold when no other entity would be allowed to force the issue as it would not be considered legal as I was not of age.

Less people realize that our government does not practice under Statutory Law, but rather under the United Commercial Code (UCC) which allows them to invent the law as they go along to behoove them however they desire.

As well, the Federal Reserve, which became law in 1913 to whom we pay our taxes is not a government entity. It is however an International Bank which is unconstitutional. Congressman McFadden declared:

When the Federal Reserve act was passed, the people of these United States did not perceive that a world banking system was being set up here. A super-state controlled by international bankers and international industrialists acting together to enslave the world for their own pleasure. Every effort has been made by the Fed to conceal its powers but the truth is – the Fed has usurped the government.

This act of enslavement of the American people didn’t happen over night, it’s taken decades to slowly make gains toward it’s purpose while it erodes and undermines the freedom this country was built upon and replaces it with subjective oppression. The people who benefit from it today, will be the ones who’s families fall and starve from it tomorrow. The think great wealth means protection for the future, but all other countries have shown us throughout history how precarious those thoughts are.

Yes, I agree about the co-ops. I believe all businesses should be set up so allowing people to benefit from their labor – it breeds success. But I can also give you examples of small companies set up as such which as they become large and threaten the mega-powers even small losses, are threatened into extinction by not only those companies, but the politicians greased by them as well. These small entities spend an enormous amount of what would otherwise be profits on legal fees often times to learn a conflict of interest in the attorneys they have hired exists. It’s not as easy as we think, one must extend themselves in ways never phatomed through ethical behavior. If we ever come to a point in which co-ops are the norm, then taxes will be restructured in an effort to obliterate them.

Denise Williams said...

I failed to mention the IRS is not a government entity, it is rather an extension of the Federal Reserve and also operates under the UCC. The best book I’ve ever read about the subject is The Shadows of Power by James Perloff, publisher: Western Islands. Amazon offers it: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b/103-9622790-3440624?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Shadows+of+Power&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go

RichardTScott said...

Thank you. Again you have brought up additional information that I was not aware of. I completely agree that the corporate/congressional complex will do everything within their power to shut down such a coop.

However, I have faith in the people - to the extent that I have faith in their potential. Like I was talking about before, the coop is only one essential element of the equation. All of the 4 points that I brought up hinge on one keystone: education. But they require each other to be ultimately successful.

If the people knew all of which we are discussing, they would not stand for it. But we can't just tell them, for even if we were successful, they would be simply be taking one side or another without understanding it. We need them to be educated in the tools of critical analysis, so that each person can deduce this from the evidence and create a sustainable democracy. Which can only be created with education. We need a thinking public, not consumer sheep.

Denise Williams said...

I agree with what you say. Unfortunately, as the quality of education declines in the United States, our future will be lead by consumer sheep ☹. The more oppressed those sheep become, the more easily they will be herded. The question is how to convince our public that they need to read a book ☺ rather than purchase a large truck with presumably fancy wheels meant to impress the lesser mind, and a blasting obnoxious stereo so everyone within two blocks knows that Coolio is coming home from the local tavern?

Where are our higher minds?

How is one to get a book into the hands of those affected when they are rising above their lot in their predicted life through the Saturday night escape as described?

Is it possible that many of what could be our higher minds actually don’t know how to read? If that’s the case, why aren’t they learning?

How does one create excitement for the future in the midst of oppression, or give the common man back control of his destiny when he will not look beyond what is placed before him? When all he aspires to is a big truck, with wheels and the ultimate stereo?

Yes, I have excitement as I see a trickle of knowledge once rebuked twenty years ago, has slowly become a river as people discover the truth. But that river will run dry if we do not elevate the level of education offered to the general public and create a desire to learn within our schools as the gaps between classes grow larger with each passing day, generating a vast and uneducated desert of impoverished minds. I ask when did a weakened economy ever mean a weakened and barren mind before? This is what actually frightens me. What I see today.

Denise Williams said...

I keep thinking about your co-op suggestion. I see one place in town where it has worked. However, I keep thinking of the company I worked for in which my commissions were disbursed among those who didn’t work. The company I worked for was at the time experimenting with the prospect of a co-op.

What happened there was I began as a part time bookkeeper as they had no need for anything more and could not afford anything beyond – as such, I gave much of my time for free. As I put their books together I noticed there had been a decline in profits though they had more active students than in the following years. This didn’t make sense to me as the instructors had the students cards in their hands on a daily basis checking their attendance and while doing so, every time they renewed an enrollment agreement, they received 50% of the deposit made on the enrollment for the first hundred dollars collected and 10% after on the entire program. So, the question came, how could there be less receivables with more students? As such I began to look to see how this had happened. What I discovered was that the enrollment agreements had not been renewed and that the company had students who had been attending class regularly without payment for as long as two years, or more, at that point.

I liked the people who worked there and did not want to get them in trouble for not doing their jobs, so I asked that my position be extended beyond bookkeeper to include renewals, as well new recruits for the academy. I was told there was no need as they had six instructors who did this, further, the school could not afford to pay someone who’s sole job function would be this only without instructing class as well. I offered to do it for commission only, with no base pay. I was accepted however with a cap on commissions of $65.00 per student regardless of the agreement I either renewed them under, or sold an initial enrollment plan to.

At that point, I pulled up about 40K in lost tuitions left unpaid to the academy and called the students in to ask if they knew of a way they could make it up to the school as most said they were unable to pay the past due balance. This resulted in them not only properly renewing their programs, but in donations to the school itself of art, and time spent cleaning it up and enhancing its appearance. After that was resolved, I recruited so many new students within three months that the school was left with no other option but to expand.

Prior to this point, the 6 men who were working there had decided that I was their secretary and refused to help clean up the school as they decided, since I was a woman, I was to not only clean the school for no pay, but do all the inventory and order all the supplies for the school for no pay, as well that I was to do all their work for new and renewed enrollments for no pay including filling out the proper forms for them to sign and collect the commissions after doing all the research and marketing to gain those sales for again no pay. I had the owner call a meeting to correct this ill based assertion. He did, but in the end it concluded in jealousy as the instructors had a base salary in addition to the commissions they earned which tripled the cap on my commissions, however, still I exceeded what they were making per hour on commissions solely. As such, this was considered intolerable and once the school was stable and prospering, my commissions were disbursed. I quit the school. Though the owner begged me to stay, he did not offer to correct, or ever properly compensate me for my work again, therefore I did not return. Within one year, his school has returned to its humble bearing barely making it from one month to the next with enrollment down to the point that he is but a beggar once again.

If a co-op is to work, I think it would be wise to let the people work within it without a base salary for if that had been the case within this company, I think no one would have been working there prior to my arrival as they would have been making between $2 to $5 per hour based on their performance as their minimum base pay of $7 per hour would have been omitted. Granted, I have to say that if my efforts, my commissions, were going to be broadly dispersed with the performance of all others involved being so poor, I would not have spent 6 hours a day outside the office making calls and scheduling those appointments to either enroll new students or do renewals with old, I would have spent my 8 hours in the office doing both in light of the fact that their free hours between classes, which they were paid for, were spent paying homage to the faculty groupies after class.

When an instructor is in class and he accepts his students’ cards, and glances down and notes that a student’s agreement has expired, or is about to, and all he has to do is request that the student meet him during his free hour after class and spend 10 minutes renewing the student’s program, is that any effort at all? Since I was not an instructor, I had to dig through all those cards, catch these people on the phone which generally took approximately 7 phone calls each, make an average of 3 appointments with each before 50% of them would show up for one. The other 50%, I had to learn who they were and which of the 9 classes they might attend 3 times a week at their convenience, stake them out, and catch them as they walked out of class. My job was not easy in comparison, yet I was paid 1/3 of the instructors for whom this information and opportunity was easily available.

Maybe not a co-op, but maybe everything should be base salary + commission, or perhaps commission only?

There are those in life who choose to improve what is around them, while others who only seek to benefit from what others create. The question is how to motivate and make things fair? The exploitations we accuse the powerful of are experienced at all levels of the working class. It is but one microcosm within another. However, when we abuse and take advantage of those who do perform, we loose them and are left only with those who don’t. I ask, what kind of company does the average American corporation build?

Granted it is my choice that I have chosen to live in what is commonly recognized as a patriarchal community. Yes, I choose to live here as the climate is arid and it allows paint to dry up to fives times as quickly, and the light is uncommonly clear. I have made my choice, my art above all else. Yet, still I recognize a need for change for what my experiences have been will have been those of the common public. The ills that affect one, affect all.

The question perhaps is: how large is the problem and what is the root of it? Could it be that workers have been so exploited that they have learned to exploit in return themselves? I wonder if we showed appreciation for our employees who performed, if they would respond with pride? I know I would have. I would have stayed with a company. My resume would look good rather than dotted. But perhaps I would not be an artist then either as I would have been busy creating something else, prosperity within an organization, and only painting one or two pieces per year in my spare time. Who knows, for some the desire to create extends beyond the canvas, but when not available ends up as art for their efforts of their heart is exercised in visual medias instead of corporate manifestations. I know I have a desire to give and create truth so deeply if it is not manifested in one world, will be created in another. I see that too, in you.

RichardTScott said...

Again, you have surprised me with such a wealth of information and experience. I hope that I will be able to utilize it in the refinement of these ideas. I have considered for a while whether, or how to integrate commission based work into the system - but I had mostly thought of it for management, or those who typically have unequal power. But your story gives me a new perspective on the dynamics of power and greed. It seems that the weakest link in that chain was the owner who could/would not explain or hold the instructors accountable.

That story is resume enough I would think. If it were that I had an academy I would certainly invite you to join (for it would be a true coop), except you would be compensated justly. For as was clear to you in this incidence, all would benefit. The problem is that stupid people think only of the short term. They are like children who want immediate gratification and so scream when their mother tells them they can't have a new toy.

Everyone must be treated with the respect they deserve. Someone has to lay this kind of ground work, and I for one refuse to work in a company that does not have such mutual respect.

Several people with whom I have discussed these ideas have suggested that I start a company and put it into action. It's something I have been thinking about for a while, but am not exactly in the position to do so at this moment.

What kind of company would be most effective in enacting this change? What kind would make a viable model? How do we work education into the scenario?

Denise Williams said...

You have a sharp mind and a good sense of judgment. I feel certain that whatever you endeavor will be successful.

You’re right, the weakest link was the owner as he allowed things to transpire that could have been easily put to rest with the proper words and thus might have created a team spirit for the success of all. I could elaborate upon this, detailing even further what happened initially as with many other things, but find that such a waste of time. I would rather say though that knowledge gained through such things never comes as loss when utilized to improve the future.

Education, when allowed, is easily disbursed to the employees from those in management, both through example, and through monthly meetings. When engaged properly, it creates a team spirit which can accomplish the impossible. I’ve seen it happen, been an exciting part of it, and hope that one day it will happen again and not be lost to those shortsighted.

Happily I say, I was also on the receiving end of something else that came as a great blow initially, was devastated at first, LOL, but I learned something BIG from it. Though I was only half, the artist, I learned almost completely the other half of which I don’t have the technical knowledge to do, but could do again if I found someone who knew how to do it, nor do I have the connections. I’ve identified almost all other parties, ethical parties I should say, over the years since who would be involved in this particular project, even some of the other artists, and those artists who would require a great deal of faith and are worthy of holding that faith. Of course, only one of the parties I’ve chosen knows of it, my plan. We’re still shopping together for the technical end which still remains a mystery. I have to find someone who knows how to do something, a technical aspect of marketing. . .. I would love to talk to you about this personally as we seem to have the same ideals; perhaps you know someone and then we could put it together? The funny part about it was how I learned of it was through trusting blindly. Sometimes I realize trust is taken advantage of; however, I strongly believe those who trust and give, never loose. Though it may seem I lost in this initially, perhaps I actually received a bigger and better gift to share with others out of it. I would trust you with the rest of my ideas that this centers upon.

I’ve always had a vision, a dream, of creating something that upheld equality for all. I too, like you, wonder what it would look like. I think I know what it does – just have to find one thing, one person, perhaps two. We should talk.

I will probably be slower responding over the next week as I enter into deep concentration over this piece I’m working on currently as it requires my attention now more in depth. As well, as I lapse into that side of the brain, I find I’m not as logical. . .. But we all experience that as artists. Let me know if you’re interested in talking about this.

nic*rad said...

hi richard.

I am not interested in the art market or conversations about it, although I think if you're on the case than we've got good people working the line and let's raise our metaphoric cups to that. I've got a new philosophy, or an approach let's say-- goes like this: I sit in a cold dark room, I close my blinds, I have no paint or notebooks or anything to record my actions, I start chanting one phrase over and over again until I've worked myself up into such a frenzy that my fists are shaking and my stomach is on fire and the barometeric pressure drops so low that I float up into the air and explode at the event horizon where I am screaming and from my skull and gut and unmentionables pours dubloons and rare elements, all the colors of the universe, sweet fatty pastries and enough drink to drown a man, ten men, and it works every time, everytime.

The best part is that I stole the phrase from an important american that I know you think highly of and the phrase is what I leave here:

you don't need a weather man to tell which way the wind blows.

Drink it sweet old friend. ah drink it sweet.

RichardTScott said...

Ah, Dillon. I think I most appreciate the lingering scent of Dostoyevsky I find on our good friend's breath. Like lucky strikes and vodka.

But you are right. Ultimately there is but the moment, and all attempts at immortal grace are polished smooth by the gravity of time. It is but how you define the moment for yourself, in human terms.