Tara – Day 8

Tara – Day 8 150 150 Culturistan

Art is knowledge. If this is true, then the absence of this knowledge is something which is done poorly, something that does not have art. Today we discussed readings surrounding the use of artificial intelligence in art making, regardless of whether works of art emulate authenticity or originality is not as much a concern for me as much as the larger issue- how do we value people, artists, creators, and craftsmen versus the products and the commodified heritages which are ultimately generated? As a second-generation dance artist and dance researcher, I have learned to channel not only bliss but also my anger to fuel my writing, dance work, and speech.

Where do we place our values as a society? Who are the gate-keepers and who gets to decide what and who is of value and what and who is not?

Cross-culturally speaking societies can learn a great deal from each other by removing ethnocentric rubrics for assessment prescribed by their own cultural norms or socially acceptable behaviors. Governmental systems are very aware of the power of art and culture and its unifying effect on the societies they spring from. Some examples of government’s uses of targeted violence to eradicate people and societies through their cultural practices include: the United States government’s homogenization of Native American culture through cultural assimilation re-education camps, the English government’s outlawing of Irish harp playing, the catholic church’s burning of indigenous ‘Sami’ drums in Sweden, the Greek government’s outlawing of Rebetika music and the Cambodian government’s targeted genocide of classical Khmer dancers. How important are cultural traditions and intangible heritage to our collective humanity? Are these art practices worth preserving and developing or should we create new ones?