[-empyre-] Bookshelf: READ ME

John Conomos john.conomos at sydney.edu.au
Fri Jun 10 06:55:34 AEST 2016

Dear All,

Just a brief note to talk about the surreal contradictions of our current
8 week Federal Election campaign. Our current conservative Coalition
Government keeps on informing us how Australia is undergoing a huge
structural transition from a mining and energy economy to one of an
economy that will be relying more on innovation and technology. It is a
vague, confused 'nation-building' narrative that our Conservative
politicians are spruiking to our national polity. Where from the very
start for a caretaker government our incumbent Federal conservatives last
year retrenched many climate scientists from our national scientific and
research agency, the CSIRO, and are still downsizing it, whilst they are
promulgating this appalling rhetorical discourse that we are a nation that
must INNOVATE more in order to generate jobs and growth. And because of
rampant mining interests in Queensland, our Great Barrier Reef, one of the
world¹s natural wonders, is also being vastly ecologically threatened.

Sadly, the CSIRO is being predictably impacted by a crushing neoliberal
insistence that innovation and research can only be valued according to
mercantile , rational outcomes. Which, surprise, surprise, the recently
appointed CEO to the CSIRO , Larry Marshall, is articulating a new
technology strategy that underlines the very absurd rational
utilitarianism of neoliberal thought and politics. This dubious insistence
that research is only valid,  if there are outcomes strictly applicable
and useful for our late capitalist economy , flies against the telling
wisdom of Wernher von Braun¹s view that research worthy of its name is
completely unpredictable : it takes place basically for its own sake and
is emphatically not measured by predicted econometric outcomes. In other
words, as Oscar Wilde once put it, art is invaluable because it is Œ

It is, in a word, clearly problematic double-bind rhetoric because whilst
our national scientists and technologists are being dismissed willy- nilly
all over the country, our very Australian Council for the Arts is also
being savagely downsized , that is responsible for the funding of the arts
in this country. Believe it or not, we lack a coherent life-affirming arts
and cultural policy to speak of. Zilch.

The media arts, as a rule, these days is at the very bottom of the
discernible pecking order of funding the performing and visual arts in
Australia. It is a lamentable shift from the more positive days of the
early 2000s where the media arts had a much more prominent visibility in
our everyday life.

More than ever before, this country is in urgent need of a national summit
where art, culture, innovation and technology are discussed for our nation
 ¹s future sake. And, it would be most essential, if artists and
technologists were actually involved in such a summit.

John Conomos,
Assoc Prof and Principal Fellow,
Faculty of Victoria College of the Arts and
The Conservatorium of Music,
University of Melbourne,
New Media Fellow (2000),
Australia Council for the Arts.

John Conomos
Associate Professor Film and Digital Arts
Sydney College of the Arts
Rm F22A, Building 4 | Rozelle | NSW | 2039
T +61 2 9351 1102
E j <john.conomos at sydney.edu.au>ohn.conomos at sydney.edu.au
<john.conomos at sydney.edu.au>
New Media Fellow, Australia Council for the Arts
Global Greek Award, Hellenic Ministry for Culture and the Arts

W http://www.johnconomos.com/
W http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Conomos
W http://sydney.edu.au/sca/profiles/John_Conomos.shtml
W http://vimeo.com/johnconomos
W http://scanlines.net/node/1971


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On 10/06/2016 1:04 am, "Renate Terese Ferro" <rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:

>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>Dear Susan and Ana,
>Susan thanks for reminding me about Lucy Lippard¹s book Wildride.  I want
>to grab a copy soon and read it again.  And Ana 7000 titles and a cat is
>quite something.  Tim and I have never counted our joint collection of
>books but I can say that OWNERSHIP as to who owns what is sometimes an
>issue. Thanks for pointing us to Guy DeBord¹s biography.  Looks
>interesting for sure.
>You have the entire month of June to share titles of what you want to
>read but also what you have read that is worth sharing.  Hope you will
>also share who you are at the bottom of your post.
>Looking forward to more.
>Renate Ferro
>Visiting Associate Professor
>College of Architecture, Art and Planning
>Department of Art
>Tjaden Hall 306
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au

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