Art 2.0

In a surprise move, sources close to the art scene confirmed yesterday that the complete assets of the Canadian arts have been purchased for an undisclosed sum by a conglomerate based in the Republic of China. A spokesperson for the conglomerate said “The national art scene in Canada has been losing ground for some time now and the current federal, provincial and municipal funding formulas are unsustainable. We hope to restructure and re-brand Canada’s art for commercial viability in a global economy and accessibility to a wider audience. The Canadian government is excited to partner with us in this mutually beneficial initiative. We propose to undertake a comprehensive review of the current system of production of all the arts. We believe we can find efficiencies and outsource its creation. We are already in dialogue with some production companies and manufacturing facilities in China and Pakistan. They are eager to take on the task and willing to work within our parameters.”

To cut costs, all Canadian arts administrative offices will now be located exclusively in Dubai and implementation of the new arts strategies will be managed remotely. Graphic designers trained at the Department of Visual Communication of an unnamed multi-national fast food chain will oversee the re-branding operations. Colours will be selected to avoid confusing messages and to deliver on marketing targets. Whether the palette will be based on RGB or CMYK is still under negotiation.

The spokesperson confirmed that consumers in the near future will be able to design their own music via free apps which use sophisticated algorithms to collate centuries of mainstream musical data, delivering a consistent musical experience.  Music lovers will be able to select between several tempos, the number and types of instruments, and mood. These customized musical experiences will be available 24-7 and offer thousands of combinations. No music will repeat unless saved to the Cloud where premium storage fees may apply. “The music industry has gone through enormous changes in the last couple of decades. We are not convinced that live music or shared experiences have any relevance in today’s marketplace. The copyright issue has gotten completely out of hand. It’s all about personal choice. The public knows what it likes and would rather pay one low monthly rate and know what they are getting, rather than pay individual artists every time they listen to music.”

“I have to think of my family,” said a former musician who asked not to be identified. “It’s better this way. Humans are adaptable. I guess we’ll all just get used to it.”

In addition, all theatres and movie houses will close. Netflix and Google have agreed to develop an exclusive range of consumer-ready content deliverable on demand via the internet. “The public has outgrown the communal art experience. Love it or hate it, the internet has given us unlimited individual choices for our art consumption,” remarked a former film critic.

In conjunction with this acquisition, Parliamentary sources say a bill is expected to pass whereby the federal government will have the authority to approve the salaries of all administrators, contract personnel and performers.  “I don’t see this as a problem,”  said a former CBC producer. “Let’s face it, some people in the entertainment industry have been earning more than they deserve. This move will level the playing field. Government oversight means employment equity, production savings, fewer lawsuits, and no lineups.”

The conglomerate plans to close all but 3 libraries in major centres across the country. “It’s comparable to the Fisheries and Oceans libraries that faced closure in 2014. After research funding cuts, the libraries were an underutilized resource and the price of storage was at a premium. Something had to go,” said a library spokesperson. “Books will now be available for download for a monthly fee. The selections will be limited to popular titles determined by Facebook likes. A recent survey revealed some of the more obscure authors such as Orwell or Solzhenitsyn were not being checked out as often, so these items will likely no longer be available from our catalogue.”

To complement this move, journalism courses will be removed from all university curricula. “Since the demise of the newspaper industry, we believe the public prefers to curate its own news. We don’t really call it journalism anymore; we call it content synthesization.”

“I will continue to do what I have always done, which is write and not get paid for it,” commented author Geoffrey Noman. ” Now that the publishing industry is defunct, I will just have to produce shorter novels in smaller editions. I plan to create my own publishing company using a stamp set inherited from my uncle, and enlist my kids to help with the distribution. It will be a good experience for them.”

Due to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the already popular digital gadget Dekor is anticipated to out-perform the sale of irregularly sized household art in the next year. For a low monthly subscription, Dekor allows the consumer to choose from hundreds of digitally reproduced artworks and to change their selection monthly. A premium subscription will offer suggestions of visual art that will enhance any lifestyle. Imagine displaying a Monet or Koons in one’s own living room. Art lovers can even change the scale or tonal values of the work to complement their home. One subscriber commented on the Dekor website, “It’s like owning a masterpiece without the hefty price tag or the hassle of insurance.”

The Minister of Education announced that a condition of the purchase was that extracurricular art programs will no longer be available in the public school system. “We have had to make some tough choices and we concluded that sports has more to offer. Students learn fitness, discipline and co-operation on the playing field which will serve them better in today’s challenging job market. The independent thinking that the arts offer is harder to quantify and quite frankly, we never know where it will lead.”

A high profile entertainment corporation has stepped up, offering to develop post secondary arts education that will conform to the new standards. It will offer special degrees in princess culture and economics, advanced gif construction, the history of (Disney) animation and memes in feminist theory. Entry requirements will be rigorous and accepted art students will be expected to complete a 5 year unpaid internship in Orlando or aboard an approved cruise line.

A recent graduate of the soon to be reconfigured OCAD remarked, “Even with an MFA, my work is considered too esoteric for the current art market. I’m tired of beating my head against a brick wall. I’ve decided to go back to school to get a PhD in social marketing. I hope it will give me the skills I need to get back on track financially.”

Many were happy to hear that due to the savings from eliminating arts funding, the government will announce a tax rebate of $60 per year for all households. “I voted for lower taxes and I’m glad the government is listening,” remarked a local citizen. ” I don’t see why my tax dollars should go to support a bunch of weird experimental art. Now my kids will have more disposable income to spend on video games and that’s better for the economy.”

The announcement concluded that the National Gallery, the Canadian War Museum and the Hockey Hall of Fame will be combined into one mega facility in 2016.  The largest indoor paintball arena in the world will be added to the site. “This is a great way for the whole family to combine the fun of interacting with paint, historic re-enactment, and the classic Canadian sport experience. It’s a win-win. With attendance declining at the National Gallery, it was time to be pro-active and cost-effective. We think the new facility will have something for everyone.”

In other news, an unconfirmed report has uncovered evidence of a series of handmade tunnels under a large urban mall, covered extensively with graffiti painted with what appears to be discarded tubes of lipstick, melted synthetic fabrics and electronics, and earth. A group calling themselves the Revisionist Emancipation and Arts Liberation League (REALL) are claiming responsibility for the vandalism, but were not available for comment. Stay tuned for updates on this story as it develops.





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