This week, I underwent an Artistic Director Lie Detector Test in front of a room of international delegates at the Australian Performing Arts Market. Antidisciplinary artist duo Pony Express (NWF16) hooked me up to a medieval-looking contraption and put my moral compass to the test:
“Are you more powerful now as the CEO of Next Wave than when you were just an artist?” (Yes.)
“Are you comfortable with the current distribution of power?” (No.)
“Do you believe artists can create change?” (Yes.)
“Are you a good decision maker?” (Ironically lengthy hesitation… yes.)
“Have you ever stolen anything from work?” (No… yes*.)
“Do you believe it’s important to label the current epoch in which we live?” (No.)
Whilst awkward and funny, what Pony Express performed was a profound public moment of holding power to accountability, of interrogating my values and beliefs on record, and of building transparency and trust. They demonstrated how a simple artistic gesture can agitate change.
On Thursday 12 March, Australia will usher in a new Government. You can witness it unfold online in real-time, streamed via nextwave.org.au as artists take centre stage to show us what a politics of hospitality, generosity and complexity looks like. It’s time.
*It was only two Tupperware containers!
Next Wave is going live
Make sure you’ve paid your internet bill, the Next Wave Festival 2020 program drops in two weeks, and we’re taking over the WWW so you can watch it unfold in real-time.
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