For the last few months I have been working on a project with the UCIRA to help to conceptualize, plan and edit a new publication which will basically aspire to network the arts across the University of California system. We are thinking it will be a tool for practical information sharing and also for instigating conversations with people from across the system. Its a really interesting time to be doing this since the UC system is having a really huge budget crisis, partially precipitated by the general deficit of the state of California and partially by an ideological shift which has gradually taken hold within the administration which focuses more and more resources towards real estate, construction, and private and/or military sector collaborations. The arts are generally less capable or interested in building weapons or helping businesses turn a profit, so they are naturally marginalized within the heiharchy of priorities within the university. So it makes for interesting times to be interacting with a bunch of art professors. People are genuinely afraid, but they are also genuinely interested in working together, cooperating, and rethinking the role of the public university in ways that are new and refreshing. Below is a little project description of what I am up to, but the whole project will be more fleshed out when I complete all my preliminary research and meetings.
State of the Arts: A UCIRA Publication
3/15/10 Project Description by Daniel Tucker for UCIRA
University of California Institute for Research in the Arts/UCIRA (http://www.ucira.ucsb.edu) is collaborating with researcher and consultant Daniel Tucker (http://miscprojects.com) to conceptualize and develop a communications platform (website and printed magazine) that will serve to network and create conversations across all of the arts-related departments and programs in the University of California System.
This platform will pull together practical information sharing from the various campuses ranging from public lecture announcements and press releases to funding opportunities. Additionally, it will serve to instigate and curate conversations between faculty, staff and students about issues ranging from the budget and its impact on the arts to trends in pedagogy.
This project will be released gradually, starting first with a series of online posts bringing together different voices from across the UC system writing about their respective campuses responses to what has been dubbed the “budget crisis.” That thematic inquiry will continue to unfold over the summer months and will be released in an edited print publication on the occasion of the “State of the Arts” conference held at UC San Diego in November of 2010.
This publication is envisioned as something which will be adaptable to subjects as the emerge and become relevant. It will extend conversations begun at the annual State of the Arts conference organized by UCIRA and will spark debates addressed at the following year’s conference. This combination of formats: an online platform, print publication and annual event will benefit from the best parts of each format for dialogue and will help to resolve their limitations as well.
In the spring of 2010, Daniel Tucker will be interviewing 50 faculty, staff and students across the system in an attempt to collect feedback on this initial proposal and deepen its relevance with input and ideas from the people who will eventually become users and contributors to this project.