Drawing some points together…
Art that doesn’t compete.
So if we have a sociological context that is unjust and unhealthy, and if “one of Art’s jobs is to make us feel that more life is worth having”, then performance art, and particularly in my context performance poetry, must signpost an alternative; it can hopefully offer ‘new’ or ‘real sanity’. In the space between the performer and the contributing spectator, the creative process of interpretation can release renewal, hope and a sense of identity.
“Mainstream, big media does not pay sufficient attention to… indigenous channels of communication that often express continuity and cultural identity.” [Mohammadi]
This identity is important as mainstream homogenous art product creates consumers whose identity is often individualistic and based in the commodities of their consumption.
The question therefore is – how does ‘real’ / ‘sane’ art perform its important sociological function of empowering people without becoming a commodity? How can it resist the ‘for sale’ culture and the pressures to compete and blame?
Ali Mohammadi and Anabelle Sreberny Mohammadi investigate how forms of ‘small’ media can resist the homogenous and hegemonic influences of ‘Big’ media. They talk of “the immense political potential of new ‘small’ media in developing public spaces in contexts where none seems possible.” I am confident that some of their research into the cultural effects of ‘small’ media and how it “can mobilise popular movement” can be mapped onto the current context of how forms of ‘new’ and narrowcast media could offer a resistance against a broad-cast and broadly formulaic communications industry. Can these forms of new, grass roots, media mediate renewing and hopeful art substance from outside of the ‘Big’ consumerist media machines?
“Small media can be effective in undermining a regime with universal mass media reach.”