Corporate Mind

A recent article about the “corporatization” of the arts strikes me as well-intentioned but naïve in a very precisely Canadian way. What has distinguished Canadian art for the last fifty years at least is a very pronounced bureaucratic mindset, that comes naturally with grants and the structures of peer review. Canadian artists are so used to thinking like bureaucrats that they see nothing wrong with that. I find it sickening. But you have to move around the world a bit, and get experience in different worlds, to see that bureaucracy is not an invention of governments but of business. The fact that one is paid by the taxpayers rather than directly by the market doesn’t give any freedom from the corporate mentality. At my last teaching job I saw that very clearly. My colleagues may have been outside the corporation but the corporation was definitely inside them. The only difference between the public and private sectors, at least as far as working conditions are reflected in the mentality of the worker, is that the connection between work done and reward given is not as clear—and that is very debilitating to the individual. Might as well be in business, it’s more honest.

Peer review

Peer review

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