And so a petition is underway to prevent cashless scrap metal trading. Not quite so moralistic as the campaign to get us all reading but from the same genus none the less. Its past of Zizek's chocolate laxative culture. The hole in my bucket. The wireless keyboard for my ipod touch second generation. I mean a few hours ago I wanted to begin writing this but began to ponder the delights of being able to type it into my ipod touch that has scene a new burst of life this Christmas. After much searching and ebay trawling I have come to the conclusion that there is no wireless keyboard compatibility with the ipod 2g. So now I am writing this on my wife’s laptop, which I really ought to have done in the first place. So scrap metal amendment act is akin to the finger in the dyke except the finger in the dyke is committed as a last resort and there is an awareness of this in the inserter’s brain. No the petitioners for the scrap metal bill amendment are taking the moral high ground. I mean how else can we prevent the sacking of culture by barbarian hoards with no appreciation of the intrinsic value of culture? I must state now that I loved the Barbara Hepworth two forms sculpture recently stolen from my local park but I was never able to view it in a culture vacuum. For one my sons were very fond of climbing inside its two circular openings and I would delight in taking their pictures thus posed. Secondly it had a very big sign in front of it on the grass (Divided forms by Dame Barbara Hepworth I’m hazarding a well educated guess), which gave it the appearance of a picture rather than a sculpture. Thirdly it always reminded me of how rarefied the air of Dulwich park (within a stone’s throw of shopping in Peckham and Brixton) really is. And I was genuinely shocked by its theft. Earlier in the day my young son had been asking me why people steal metal. In my explanation I focused on the morbid description of doomed attempts to steal copper coils from sub stations in the hope that this would banish any inspirational ideas it might give him in later life. So As I drove to a concert engagement that evening I was amazed to hear of the sculpture in Dulwich Park being ripped from its plinth. At first I harboured the hope that they had simply ripped it from the plinth hand then placed it on the ground beside it in a dadaesque comment on culture and plinths in general but no the language used was to imbue the news of the theft with its heathen quality.
So if we want to prevent theft of art we have to appreciate it at the same level as life instead of separating it in cathedrals of commerce. I’m all for artists making a living but the students I teach always ask how much something is worth when we visit the Courtauld to see the Manet’s and Van Gogh’s. Amending the scrap metal law will perhaps prevent one or two thefts but will ultimately speed up the decline of the creative unconscious in the community’s scheme of things. How very apt (apophonia alert) that the sculpture in question is called divided form. The mind being the divided form that springs to mind. Now before you reach for your toffee hammer of dismissal due to having read a few of those on line what sided brain are you tests pleas read the introduction to Iain McGilchrist's The Master and his Emissary. The thesis here is that the left brain always always knows it is write to schematise life into a series of ever decreasing pigeon holes – the Romans did it and we are doing it again. It is now at the point that we have very nearly forgotten how to use the holistic brain of the grammarian to solve problems. The left brain says make it impossible to trade stolen sculptures and the right brain says value the artists and makers the shamans and shakers at least on a level with the abstract systemisers and number crunchers not to mention the fucking marketing experts. Remember we put the systems in place to help us keep up with our rapidly expanding insights and discoveries but they have now started to shape us.