Sunday, September 17, 2006

$746,686,700 is an awful lot of money


According to the Québec government that's how much money they spent on Culture last year. My first comment is that it gives an easy example of how things in Quebec are different. In the rest of North America there is this thing called the NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) vaguely like ISO stuff, it attempts to give numbers to things so that people can keep track of stuff.

Well, here in Quebec NAICS ain't good enough, we have instead the QCCACS (Quebec Culture and Communications Activity Classification System). Betcha dollars to doughnuts, the couple of hundred thousand bucks spent reinventing the classification system was itself classified as money spent on culture.

Then as far as actually classifying stuff, if you are an illustrator you are not a visual artist, nor if you are a photographer in the field of communication. Then the definition of a visual artist is,
"This group comprises professional artists primarily engaged in creating, on an independent basis, original art works that fall within the visual arts: painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, textile art, installation art, performance art, art video, or any other form of expression of the same nature...."
However, if you are a media artist the definition is,
"...artists primarily engaged in creating original art works related to media arts, i.e. expressive art works, of experimental nature or research-based, that involve the use of filming, video, audio recording, or multimedia..."
So, if I understand this correctly, visual arts includes "installation art, performance art, art video or any other form of expression of the same nature." While a media arts would also use "filming, video, audio recording, or multimedia" except that a media artist is "experimental nature or research-based." Maybe that's why so many freakin' media artist only produce crap! If they are only researching or experimenting with stuff, that's sorta like playing in a sandbox isn't it? But you gotta love Quebec being different, only here can you be a professional sandbox player.

And my last comment, because I do have to get back to work. There is this 140 page pdf file where they lay out in precise detail all the definitions (hence my snarky comments) but in the very first table that they present, where I got the three-quarters of a billion dollars figure, they separate stuff into Dépenses internes and Dépenses externes. Does this mean inside of Quebec and outside of Quebec? Or internally within the government (ie advertising some government program, or making a sculpture for the National Assembly), and externally by the government (ie advertising coke, or making a sculpture that is not for a government office)? Or is it something else?

And I can't imagine that there are too many people who are going to look all that closely at it, pity. 'Cuz I'm certain that the money they spent on a brand spanking new classification system would have been better used by some of the media artists so that they wouldn't have to experiment and that they could make good art.

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