Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Create a Silicon Valley for Artists.

My last post talked about how hard work alone does not create jobs and that therefore you can not buy new jobs with tax breaks.  That only works with effort based work, not creative work.

Creating jobs is creative work, duh.
Here is one idea on how to encourage creativity, at least in the art world.  Note it costs money, but it is not focused on a reward based system.   Create an "Art Dormitory".   I thought of it while trying to use the military as a model for non-military organizations.  Don't try to pay for good art.  If you have too many applicants, pick the most innovative artist.  Build/buy a group house, then offer it to artists in exchange for a monthly work of art.  Give them a one year lease, renewable for up to 10 years.  Make it clear that the guy with the worst art will be voted out at the end of the year, think Reality TV show, but without the TV and only one guy gets cut a year.  Say you house 20 artists, in one year you end up with 20*12= 240 paintings/drawings. 

Now, the living space should be relatively small.  Studio apartments, with a large shared artistic space to create art.  The idea is to get only people that truly love art, but not to keep people that have made it.  You want some turnover.   It should basically be cheap military grade housing and food.

Five years after year each resident enters the Art dormitory,  have the house offer to sell the five second best pieces of art from each artist.  Keep all the rest, particularly the single best piece.   Save them as an investment.

The idea is that ten years after you started, if you are at all competent selecting artists, you will have at least one famous artist.  Sales of his work could fund the dormitory, but it may make sense to keep his stuff and sell the second most famous artist's work..  If it works well, we can even pay for food, etc.  It can end up as a kind of art commune.   If it works very well, it can expand into other cities.

Yes, this is a bit socialistic - after all I based it on the military model, and the military is (as per their own analysis) one of the most socialistic organizations in the US.  So are Labor Unions and Families.   The question is - will it create more and better art?

Could you do something similar for job creation?   We do, it's called 'pure research' when done at a university and 'Product Development' if it's done at a corporation.  We fund multiple scientists, keeping their work, and when it pans out, we get new jobs.

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