Craft. Repetition. Relentless.
These words come to mind as you watch Jiro and his sons make sushi. They have become part of a network of experts, from fish dealers, through a rice specialist to a food writer who explains the artistry and the 1000 decisions you don't see.
It's a study in fish. A study in pursuit of perfection, a perfection Jiro admits he's not reached in over 70 years of work. Education is on offer, as a team of master and apprentices assembles a singular tasting menu.
Some customers admit that even eating at one of a bare handful of seats along Jiro's bar is an intimidating prospect being under the master's eye. The pursuit of perfection is equally intimidating, for who can choose their trade and then dedicate their three score and ten to developing it? It's simultaneously beautiful and daunting.
Someone once told me that art is intrinsically linked to power.
Through history artists have been under the patronage of the rich and mighty, often for plans to demonstrate their status or awe others. We do have arts grants and their like nowadays, and there are no doubt still plutocratic patrons out there but I have problems with this.
Concerning state funding, I strongly believe that spending other people's money on non-essential programs is an inane idea and a total abuse of government power. Even if it were logical, how could a state create a program promoting new, quality art when creativity doesn't follow duplicate forms and equal opportunities legislation? What's even worse is that state sponsored art is there to promote an ideology, be it the glorified workers of socialist-realist art or the homespun craft stylings of the minority group du jour.
On the other side we can't rely on the super wealthy either. Is their investment based on future value and is the influence of such a minority, on such an important endeavour, really good? One only has to look at the effect of Charles Saatchi on modern British art to see the effects this can have.
There are two answers that I can see. The commercial and the democratic.
To be commercial we need to educate people about commerce - and surely teaching young people the basics of supply and demand, how to run a business and the different platforms art can be sold on. With things like gumtree, on demand printers and even on demand t-shirt sales there is a low cost way of getting a usable art product out there if young artists can be taught the ins and outs of business. There are already a number of artistic objects on sites like shapeways, giving the digital sculptor a global reach.
The second is to find democratic patronage - starving artists getting a reach of millions the the web. Kickstarter is a great tool for that and Beeswing is a fascinating example. It might be a computer game but think of that as the medium, it's animation and art, music and storytelling all wrapped up in a one-man-show of a game. It's well worthy of your time and hopefully the sign of things to come, creative democracy where you can vote with your mouse or wallet.
I can't recall exactly how I came upon Enjoy The Decline
but it's one of the best I've read in recent years - I think I've probably re-read it 3 times since I bought it.
The book looks at the way America is going under the Obama administration, and how this process is likely to continue and sees this process, quite logically, as a decline. With the government becoming an organ of wealth distribution rather than governance and ever increasing liberal, left wing and feminist policies being enacted working men are losing out. Aaron Clarey's take is that rather than fight the process it's more conductive to your happiness to get the most out of it you can - effectively to enjoy rather than endure the decline.
Free speech frees,
Censorship be censured
Let the free speak
There's no sense in censors
Currently in summer school with a very over zealous filter wall. Not experienced this before. Either freedom has become extreme or I have.