Issue #09: The Money Issue

Issue #09: The Money Issue

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April 2016

The idea of a special money issue for the Diary arose last year when, in the midst of the Brandis debacle, it turned out there were so many issues around the money in the arts that it appeared obvious, after much heated debate and turmoil, that money, after all, was hardly the sole issue.

With this issue in mind, we wanted to take a closer look at the realities of those working with ephemeral time-based processes and products. In a money-driven world, the performing arts are equally subjected to market rules – specifically those of commodification and consumerism – like any other field of practice. And yet, with no tangible object to trade except the experiential moment of the now, should the embodied performative event be a commodity traded like any other? And should it be so, what and who funds performing arts today? What forces enter into its commodity form? What monetary value is placed on the labour of those who produce performance? How does money – public, corporate or philanthropic – affect, prescribe or determine the content of the performative arts, the forms of thinking they embody, their modes of production, the artist’s status in a society, the economies of values and the value of value itself? And where does performance sit on the sliding scale of compliance and resistance?

This issue investigates these questions and more. But what has become clear, is that in these these times of global economic systems and the affect of the material on contemporary culture, we will have to be fierce, uncompromising and relentless active spectators.