Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Berkeley Unfair to Poets

And that used to be a good thing, say the arts and crafts guys:

Potters still throw pots, glassblowers still blow glass, woodworkers still plane wood, and sculptors still chisel away, not in virtual space, but in real time immemorial, just as they have always done, in industrial-type studios. The very concept of an art/craft studio is to make space available for uses that cannot be done in an office setting. The definition determines what uses are eligible to be in an arts/crafts studio, and the current definition includes only those arts/crafts that actually need an industrial-type space. There have always been types of artists, such as poets for example, who do not need industrial-type studios, and these were purposefully not included in the West Berkeley definition. But to open the definition to all creative work, inclusive of that ordinarily done in an office, means doom to numerous working artisans and artists.

The new computer media are practiced in an office environment, and can afford it.

Computer art functions on a higher financial level than traditional arts/crafts, which generate only industrial-level rent. Office rent is double that of industrial. To include computer art in the definition means doubling the rent on arts/crafts studios, pushing working artisans and artists out of town, and converting all the arts/crafts studios into offices.

It is actually no joke, poets being made eligible for arts/crafts studios. That’s what the city actually put in the shameful use permit of Strawberry Creek Center, a formerly industrial building located at Addison and Bonar, that was supposed to become arts/crafts studios, but which instead was converted into offices.

The pity of it!

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