marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

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Does political art work?

April 22nd, 2010 4 Comments

WHAT is the value of politics in art? Does political art work and should art be political? Debates about the role of politics in art come around regularly. There is nothing like a contentious political debate to get the arts out of their ghetto and into the news section. It certainly gets professionally outraged commentators […]

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Is the flagship arts company destined to be a relic of the 20th century?

July 28th, 2009 No Comments

Culture circa 1960 IS THE flagship arts company destined to be a relic of the 20th century? The 20th century was an era of “big local” culture. We used to have big local media, big local brands and even big local football competitions in each state and territory. Each major Australian city also built a […]

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The Digital Craft Explosion

July 24th, 2009 3 Comments

Emerald Arts’ Renew Newcastle store CRAFT is as unlikely an area as you could possibly think of to be radically transformed by telecommunications.It’s very old-fashioned and it definitely doesn’t digitise. Stereotypes would have you believe that knitting, needlecraft, quilts and crochet are the domain of the infirm and the elderly, while the internet is the […]

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Crowdsourcing: ways government help artists without spending a cent?

July 7th, 2009 13 Comments

I’m crowdsourcing ideas for my column in The Age next week. I’m after all the non cash/funding related things that governments could do to help artists. Or even just areas where they should get out of the way? I’ve got a few in mind from my own experiences. Obviously the experience of the Renew Newcastle […]

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Everyone’s a critic

July 1st, 2009 No Comments

EVERYONE is fast becoming a critic. On the internet, curating, selecting, recommending and critiquing have evolved from the most rare of skills to something we do every day. Everyone is commenting and critiquing. Meanwhile, traditional cultural criticism is in danger of being swamped by the proliferation of hybrid art forms and the whole notion of […]

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Culture and Recessions

June 22nd, 2009 3 Comments

A FRIEND of mine visited Melbourne for the first time in more than a decade last week. The last time he was here was in the early ’90s, in the middle of the last great recession to hit this city. The Melbourne he remembered was the one that was broke and broken. He’d heard about […]

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Art v. Sport (or not)

June 19th, 2009 5 Comments

ARTISTS and sportspeople have a lot in common… really. I’ve never understood the idea that art and sport are somehow opposed to each other. I’ve spent a lot of time with artists, and a little time with sportspeople, and I’ve come to the conclusion that they’ve got more in common with each other than just […]

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Creativity needs Creative Destruction

June 16th, 2009 2 Comments

It can be incredibly difficult to kill an arts company in this country and damn near impossible to simply let it die a natural death. Come the apocalypse, the only things likely to survive are cockroaches, email spammers and arts companies. Yet finding a way to let things die is vitally important in the realm […]

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Column Catchups

June 16th, 2009 No Comments

Given that The Age web site folks haven’t exactly been enthusiastic about posting my columns online, i am going to start posting them here as well after a a bit of a delay. I’ll post a new (old) column here each week starting from today. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while but […]

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Age Column This Week: Creativity and Copyright

June 2nd, 2009 No Comments

For what i think is the first time, my weekly column in The Age is up and on the web site. DIGITAL technology has created two opposing cultures. One where copyright rules are enforced by a phalanx of lawyers with no regard for artistic intent or respect for legitimate creativity, and another — in our […]

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