Welcome to Dancehouse,
Dancehouse is Australia's premier centre for independent dance. We are a site for developing challenging, invigorating and socially engaged moving art. Our role is threefold: to advance independent dance artists, to build dance audiences, and to develop the art form itself. Our programs generate a kaleidoscope of opportunities and sit at a confluence of circulations: of makers, ideas, spaces, contexts, publics, disciplines and territories.
THE ISSUE WITH THE MONEY ISSUE
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.
Brandis' NPEA was an unheralded attack on the democratic principle of arms-length funding, and the only one that can protect arts funding from the momentary influence, interference and censorship of passing political parties. In general, it reflects quite clearly the vision and direction of a national cultural policy and/or the place a nation has envisioned for the arts in its society.
With very few exceptions, the truth is that public funding is failing everywhere in the world in protecting art for art's sake, ie. affirming its intrinsic value, either by insufficiently believing in the State’s role to do so or by simply favouring a neoliberal laisser-faire vision of the arts in society. The Brandis crisis was essentially fuelled by the same vision, and by no means did this come as a shock. Art, particularly object-based art forms, has always been exposed, influenced and to varying degrees, ruled by market forces. Australia is no exception.
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, it is imperative to understand how money – public, corporate or philanthropic - affect, prescribe or determine artistic matter, 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?
So, what does it take to invent new modes of production, new forces of agency, new forms of practice as "dramaturgical tools for civil society", as David Pledger beautifully suggests in his article. On the sliding scale of compliance and resistance, how can we remain the real protagonists with the agency to make or produce art whose value is not defined by its monetary value?
This issue suggests some potential avenues. But in these times of savage global economic systems, we will have to be fierce, uncompromising and relentless active protagonists.
The future is not what comes, it is what we make of what comes.
~ Angela Conquet