I heard from afar a great din, and on moving to investigate found many noisy artists, all lined up, passing through a gate above which was cast, in now rusting iron, adapted words from a long forgotten imperial decree: No Restriction to Artistic Freedom Will Here be Found.
Standing now close by, I watched as this motley crew shuffled past, and spied within the camp, a man, a guard, whose name was oft spoken, and from the speaking of, I learned this man’s name – and the name was Jury. And while each of them, the artists that is, approached this Jury, he divided them; some he sent to his left, and others to his right.
Of those who to the left did go, they disappeared from view, and I never saw them again. At later time, having enquired in another place of their fate, I discovered that through a portal they had been despatched, to find themselves – having already being put to much inconvenience – deposited unceremoniously by the side of a road in some far away and remote place, from which they then had to, with much trouble, find their way home, at no cost to the devil known as DG CONNECT.
Of those who to the right did march, a much worse fate did unfold! First each, on passing by rubbish bins, had to deposit there in the first, something that is known as artistic integrity, and in a second one, their critical independence. Each then was told to strip, and to don a special uniform, upon which was written in stripes, many times over: artist to be exploited in any way that takes your whim.
Then into a hellish chamber, full of fire and smoke they did proceed to have their nostrils filled with a technocratic sulphurous reek along with the rotting smell of evil corruption – of the City of the Golden Stars kind. And to a table, behind which stood the all powerful VERTIGO – demigod of art-science beliefs – each one was then led, to sign, in their own blood, an irreversible pack with the devil known as DG CONNECT. And once thus tied, no escape was discovered to be possible, for they had to their new masters now been bound – including their lives for ever more, for the brand of the devil that is DG CONNECT was indelibly, on their foreheads, burned.
No sooner was the signature complete – while the blood was still wet – did, from it seems out of thin air, a ball and chain appear, which by some unseen force, locked itself upon the ankles of these poor unfortunate new handmaidens. Then the hand of VERTIGO did point towards strange holes in the walls, which looked very much like prison cells, above which strange and meaningless names there were carved: AMORE, CUPIDO, Magic Shoes, and other quite ridiculous words created by STEM, another demigod of the very peculiar, art-science secular religion, and the even stranger, new, extremist and fundamentalist sect that had styled itself – STARTS. Then VERTIGO did speak these words to each of his victims: “go inside and design.”
Each of the poor shackled prisoners then towards the holes did make their way, and when within a metre or so of the entrance, a chain did miraculously shoot forth and attach itself to the approaching artist’s neck, dragging the poor creature into the cell to face whatever tortures and torment were there waiting for them to endure. And from within came cries such as: “you will do this” and “you will do that” and “you’re here as a slave to serve the project so you do what we want”, and “you must disseminate and communicate”, and “you’re here to make us more creative” and “what rights are those, you signed the pact; your art belongs to you, but your ideas do not, and we will use your art how we think fit, and you have no control over this.”
From some cells the sounds of great arguments did it occasionally issue forth, as a few artists struggled to regain their independence and dignity, but then I noticed that the demigod VERTIGO had, to absolute power evolved, and when the heat of such arguments did grow, VERTIGO intervened and silenced the dissident artists, transporting them into exile to a place called Void, where they did then become entangled in complex and distressful legal matters requiring expertise that no normal artist could afford. And when they tried to speak out, to condemn, to warn, no sounds came forth from their mouths, for into these had been inserted a strange device called a Confidentiality Clause. Thus did DG CONNECT once again silence the voices of artists and punish those who dissented, in a manner in keeping with very European traditions and past European Unions. And in the doing of DG CONNECT’s dirty work, VERTIGO – DG CONNECT’s faithful handmaiden – did demonstrate that reassuring siren words such as sympathetic and sensitive treatment of the arts are but empty promises, especially when arrogant and elitist bureaucrats take charge. Reality is indeed a hard and cruel beast, as indeed is DG CONNECT!
Observing the nightmare that is STARTS unfolding before my eyes, feeling sickened and saddened by what I had seen, I could no more watch, so I turned away to depart, thankful that, from these Detrimental Research Practices (as the National Academy of Sciences in the US calls them), I did, long ago, DISCONNECT. It was then I noticed a European Commission Commissar from the devil that is DG CONNECT, observing smugly all that transpired, being somewhat pleased that to the service of this devil, artists and their art had been corrupted in the name of another demigod – neoliberalism. Farwell l’exception culturelle!
On this leaving I did also recall, a phrase that to Google was once applied, for they too did artistic freedoms restrict, in that which they called DevArt: the exploitation of artists is evil! It is indeed! But when Faustian Packs with DG CONNECT people do make, that they should have been tricked, should surely come as no surprise at all, for DG CONNECT are the most corrupted technocrats of all, and as STARTS reveals, and DG CONNECT’s very public domain comments prove, they are also technocrats of the most ignorant kind. On the other hand, as our extensive researches have revealed, some artists, ardent disciples of the art-science secular religion, engage in fabrications too – as a matter of course – so good bedfellows such will make, for DG CONNECT is the most highly skilled deceiver of them all. Thus do both parties in this sad tale get what they deserve – each other! Thus too does that term Research Integrity in the City of the Golden Stars, become as meaningless as the empty-headed whims upon which STARTS is based. We are back to the matter of art-science fakes once again!
This I could see and did predict, writing such, long before STARTS did START. Thus the world now begins to see the European Commission, and DG CONNECT, for what they are, and thus does the world learn how not to bring art into research and innovation processes. Interested observers in China take note, for here is the worst practice case study that is STARTS from which you can, at European Union Taxpayer’s expense, learn, and in doing so, also add to DG CONNECT’s humiliation. Here too learn about the factors which render technocracy, and Global Systems Science, yet more of those dangerous fantasies for which past European Unions are renowned! Time to stop them in their tracks, before embryonic monsters seeking human flesh, consume us all, for in the City of the Golden Stars the conditions for their nourishment and growth have now come into existence once again. And it STARTS with STARTS – first take control of art and restrict artistic freedoms!
When will Europeans learn, that their time is done, that the future will not be European? Now is the Age of the Tao. But Prometheus just sits on his rock, to which he is forever, it seems, bound, by chains of the invisible and silent kind. His artist in residence wears those very same chains too. Thus does the past become the future! Time is a singularity.
STARTS weaving the art-science tangled web …