It is hardly news to anyone in Seattle that humanity over the entire planet is experiencing an unprecedented rate of technological change. In Seattle this is visible in entire neighborhoods replaced in the last ten years. According to Governing Magazine, Seattle has experienced a 50% gentrification rate since 2000, compared to a 40% rate in the 1990s. Cleveland, in contrast, has experienced a 6.7% rate since 2000. In Seattle, to travel to a new city, you only have to spend an afternoon watching a movie. You will find a new skyline when you go outside. Major shifts such as the movement from stone to metal tools, from hunting and gathering to agriculture, or from human labor to mechanical labor, once took place over millennia or centuries. Since the end of the 19th century, however, we have experienced a continual and increasingly rapid succession of equally large technological shifts: the internal combustion engine, the rise of machines capable of computation, nuclear power, global communication networks, the spread of pervasive data collection, and automation of complex information and physical systems.
During the last four thousand years, where art existed at all, for most artists making a living meant begging from those in power. Historians call it patronage, though most of it went without saying, part of the facts of life absorbed by osmosis. Some rich person, king or noble, bishop or abbot, cardinal or pope would be approached by an artist, a painter or sculptor or poet, and if the rich person liked what he saw, the two might arrive at an understanding whereby the artist would be clothed and fed, perhaps given supplies and a stipend along with a series of commissions which were really command performances. He might also sometimes be given a tedious, responsible job as personal secretary or teacher of the rich man’s kids, in return for his work being sponsored, tacitly approved, owned and enjoyed by the wealthy man and his family. If the artist remained properly subservient, the arrangement might be lifelong. To some extent patronage still goes on today, politely veiled through a couple of mechanisms I will come to in a minute.
APRIL BOOK EXPO: March 20th, Hugo House, 11am-5pm. 1634-11th Ave, Capitol Hill, Seattle. Please visit Raven’s table at the book fair!
APRIL is an annual festival of small and independent publishing. Since 2011, they’ve created programming designed to connect readers with small press writers and publishers. They believe that small press publishing demonstrates the best of what is vital, daring, and energizing in writing today.
Museum of Northwest Art, LaConner, Wa
March 25-26, 2016
Xicano (Chicano) Literature Foundation Poets
Friday, March 25 from 6-8+pm
Poets: alurista, Lorna Dee Cervantes, John Martinez
6-6:30pm light refreshments; 6:30-7pm, USA Chicano History
7pm–8+pm, poetry reading and questions from the audience
Tello Hernandez, guitarist
Pacific Northwest Xicano (Chicano) Poets
Saturday, March 26 from 6-8+pm
Poets: Ramon Ledesma, Raul Sanchez, and Angelica Guillen
6-6:30pm light refreshments; 6:30-7pm, Northwest Chicano History
7-8pm, poetry reading and questions from the audience
Dr. Devon Peña, guitarist