[-empyre-] art and ethics

Gerry Coulter gcoulter at ubishops.ca
Mon Jan 25 10:00:50 EST 2010

I'm not certain (and nothing has convinced me of late) that ethics and art have anything to do with one another.

You mention Saatchi -- he's a rare bird in a way -- comes from the "corporate" but is an honest collector who gets it wrong as often as right (as he admits) but he has done alot to breing attention to, now, two generations  of young British artists. Its rare for a major player in the official art world today to play such a useful role.

Is there an American player in recent years who has done comparable things with Saatchi's concern for art -- not just the money?

From: empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Christiane Robbins [cpr at mindspring.com]
Sent: January 24, 2010 2:12 PM
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] art and ethics

hardly ... the "art stuff" is rather easy ... a pleasure, actually,
comparatively speaking.  Somehow there was a rupture in this cocoon -
at least for some of us here in the States.

Well then,  a suggestion - perhaps you could re-frame the conceit of
complicity in relationship to an art  (and ethical)  practice during
the current moment  -  perhaps in relationship to the old news of the
corporate global landscape/fifedoms ( ala Saatchi and/or Deitch- the
privatized public domain )... or perhaps in relationship to a
corporation as a global avatar.... or perhaps in relationship to any
number of imaginings

Have to get on - thanks for the discussion -



On Jan 23, 2010, at 2:36 PM, Gerry Coulter wrote:

> I guess the art stuff was too hard? We got bored??
> What is all this today -- the art of talking about anything but art?
> This is becoming a huge bore -- it was better when we all just did
> other things (as per most of past week)
> Life in America stinks -- its not news.
> best
> gerry
> ________________________________________
> From: empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> ] On Behalf Of John Haber [jhaber at haberarts.com]
> Sent: January 23, 2010 5:24 PM
> To: empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 62, Issue 22
> I must say I'm a little appalled at the idea that the problem is the
> 14th amendment itself and, in particular, that it must be challenged
> because it's inherently unfair to single out former slaves, whereas a
> better legal framework would guarantee protection for all.  There's a
> lot wrong here.
> First, the 14th amendment already does say plain and simply that all
> persons deserve equal rights under the law.  Its only mention of
> slavery
> is in the last clause, to state that we didn't have to reimburse
> former
> slave owners.  It's the 13th amendment, freeing the slaves, and the
> 15th, giving them the vote, that mention "race, color, or previous
> condition of servitude," and I trust we don't wish to rescind those.
> Second, what if it had specifically addressed the rights of African
> Americans?  It's disgusting to think that there's anything wrong with
> that.  It sounds like the right wingers complaining that whites are
> suffering from civil rights.  In fact, it sounds like the position of
> the faction of the court that reached this awful decision.
> Third, one could, I suppose, argue that the amendment could have been
> phrased differently to make clear that persons were, well, people.
> The
> trouble is that the current interpretation is so ludicrous that no one
> would ever have thought of that before.
> Now, it's not easy to explain how the idea of corporations as persons
> under the 14th amendment came to be, along with the second plank, of
> money as speech.  It would not have occurred to a nation after the
> Civil
> War, when corporations were relatively rare, less powerful, and often
> nonprofit.  It would seem to be denied by the text of the amendment
> itself, which starts with the phrase "born or naturalized," thus, at
> least to me, implying that "persons" are going to be life forms.
> It's a long history, and I'm not really qualified to tell it, so I'll
> let you look it up.  It started with a mere aside or note in a
> decision
> largely unrelated to the point from a conservative court.  Even
> then, it
> only slowly attained much value as precedent.  It certainly didn't
> imply
> all this till this week.  I recommend Stevens's dissent, in fact,
> where
> he starts right in by pointing out that, whatever value we agree to
> give
> to corporate rights as persons, they're not the same as human rights
> since, for example, corporations can't vote or hold office (his
> examples).  Then he notes the 100 years of precedent that this
> decision
> broke.
> Anyhow, we could blame the American legal system, but I suggest we
> start
> blaming the Republicans.  I know it's hard for us liberals to organize
> rather than mourn (or backbite).  I sure felt that this week, with the
> reaction to the Massachusetts election and the readiness to blame
> those
> who actually supported a more liberal health-care bill rather than
> scum
> like Nelson, Landrieu, Snowe and the fiercer rest of her party, and
> the
> media network putting out their lies.  But consider it.  Had Bush not
> got a second term, with Alito and Roberts appointed to the court, this
> decision would not have happened, and indeed no one would ever have
> dreamed it would happen.
> To put it another way, perhaps more relevant to Empyre, this isn't
> about
> legal or critical theory.  It's about politics and power, and the bad
> guys won.
> John
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