Not Quite Art - Series One
This three part Arts TV series explores life outside the galleries. Marcus Westbury takes us on a journey through the unfunded DIY cultural environment of media artists, niche publishers, video art bar owners, cultural criminals, and street artists. He asks the provocative question: where does culture really come from and what cultures do we value and why?
Ep 1 - Icons and Opportunities
Presenter Marcus Westbury travels to Newcastle, Australia and looks at the vibrant art culture emerging from outside the art palaces. Marcus contrasts this with the Scottish city of Glasgow and its transformation from industrial age casualty to the hub of youth art in Europe. Marcus asks whether you can buy culture by building an iconic building or even franchising a McLouvre or McGuggenheim? Or is culture a messy, dirty thing that comes from the bottom up, refuses to behave, is borderline illegal and breaks a lot of occupational health and safety rules?
Ep 2 - The New Folk Art
Is culture a set of elaborate and elaborately-funded life support systems, or an infection that's trying to attack us? What's the difference between a symphony orchestra and a covers band (apart from about $40 million dollars a year) and why does the Australia Council spend more money on a single opera company than all the visual artists and musicians (not including symphony orchestras) in the country combined? This week presenter Marcus Westbury meets the artists who have turned Hosier Lane in Melbourne into one of Australia's prime tourist attractions; hangs out with multimedia musicians The Herd; and wonders why the games industry has so much money but so little content. Creator of the Australian game Escape from Woomera, Katharine Neil, has some ideas why, which she shares with Marcus. We also find out what uncollectable art is.
Ep 3 - The Business of Culture
Where does art stop and business begin? Is the difference between art and commerce whether you make money out of it or whether you are making it to make money? And are artists just the underpaid R&D guys for big fashion, design, music and business?
Marcus Westbury ventures into a video art bar, meets an artist who sells ideas, reveals the angst of being a sneaker designer and comes across a magazine that you can only read on a wall. With sneakers on show at the National Gallery of Victoria and every new art movement the basis of an advertising campaign, as a society, are we just the best consumers ever known.
Year of Production: 2007
Production note: © Frank Haines Films
Duration: 3 x 27 mins