Here's McLuhan on the arts and artists:
- "Art is anything you can get away with." (MITM)
- "Art … like media of communication, has the power to impose its own assumptions by setting the human community into new relationships and postures." (UM)
- "The artist is always engaged in writing a detailed history of the future because he is the only person aware of the nature of the present." (UM)
- "The artist is indispensable in the shaping and analysis and understanding of the life of forms, and structures created by electric technology." (UM)
- "The artist is the man in any field, scientific or humanistic, who grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time. He is the man of integral awareness." (UM)
- "The artist makes new perception that changes all the social ground rules. The inventor creates products and processes that transform environments." (TT)
- "Each new technology — new environment — is a reprogramming of sensory life. … The new one is always unperceived. We see the Emperor’s old clothes. Only children and artists are antisocial enough to see the new ones." (CB)
- "Most discoveries are unexpected by-products of activities quite unconnected to them. Every artist makes breakthroughs as soon as he meets a difficulty." (TT)
- "Poets and artists live on frontiers. They have no feedback, only feedforward. They have no identities. They are probes." (CIOB)
- "The reason that “mission-oriented” research and development drowns in the superabundance of available data is very simply bypassed by the artist. He asks: What precise effect do I want to have on my public? What precise emotion do I wish to evoke and define? The artist starts with the effect, since the means to such an effect are everywhere." (TT)
- "It is the distinction of the “artist” in any field that he commands this power to convey the effects of things when the ordinary person is merely numbed or robotized by things." (TT)
And now, here's what Stephen Harper has to say: "I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people at, you know, a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough, when they know those subsidies have actually gone up – I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people."
The choice seems simple: a visionary on the arts, or an anti-intellectual, divisive politician on the arts.
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