PAD - Published Art Distributed is an independent distribution channel specializing in the following categories:
Art, anthropology and social issues. This will be distributed through books, artist's books, catalogues and prints, all paper work.
PAD as an independent distribution channel, has its origin in debates concerning art as a social vehicle in communicating issues
of contemporary political and social significance.
Quote: Gavin Jantjes, Northern Imaginary 3rd Part , Art and Local Knowledge. Delta Press 2008.
The age of Enlightenment established an intellectual division of the world into natural and man-made environments, keeping culture and nature apart. It answered questions with cold logic and defined the human species with a separate and different identity to other life forms. Human identity was founded on the man-made environment. The natural world did not form any part of it. Yet the natural world is the source of everything that forms and sustains life. The Modern Age was one of interrogation and revision in which culture was not about preservation of artifacts that contain knowledge but the discovery of knowledge through asking questions. In it art did not deny the state of the world in which it existed. It refused to remain silent about existential matters. The potential of science and mechanics to destroy the man-made environment and annihilate humankind, did not pass without comment, criticism and preventive action. Creative responses to those realities did not lack compassion. What does the artist do today knowing that science and mechanics are tools exploited by capital, and the media has moved from working with local knowledge to become an instrument for entertainment?
Debates surrounding visual art in the middle of the twentieth century created divisions of art for art's sake on the one hand and views of a socially committed or politically engaged art on the other. Certain aspects of this contest linger in our current reading of art but both sides of this ideological divide seemed to have accepted the noble compromise that a successful work of art is a balance of form and content; a formal integration of aesthetic elements with the subject matter of a work. But there has also been a second set of balances not often spoken about in the discourse of the art of our time: It is the equilibrium of talent and responsibility. It is somehow taken as given that those who make art are talented and that they take responsibility for their actions. If the academy trained artists to produce images, it would have passed on notions of morals and ethics in its teaching. The re-coding of modernist art history shows that this was not always true. The academy did not produce model students but instead quite often the opposite. The students who resisted academic indoctrination emerged as relevant to their time. The artist in our time often insists on being an autonomous individual liberated from normative ethical evaluation. The struggle for artistic freedom has reached an almost frenzied denial of responsibility. Recent art, much of which is produced by the autodidact, already struggles to convince its public of its maker's sense of responsibility. This has little to do with self-acquired skill but more with the imbalance of form content talent and responsibility. Instrumental to the evaluation of both artwork and artists in culture are these balanced sets. But in post-modernity, the tendency is to speak of form and content separately from talent and responsibility. It deviates from the manner other forms of human action and perceptions are evaluated and it sets visual art apart. Designers of airplanes or wheelchairs, primary school teachers or orchestra conductors cannot avoid these validating sets of scales. The emphasis on form and content to the neglect of talent and responsibility in recent contemporary art is read as the abdication of individual artistic responsibility.
In the first decade of the twenty-first century when economy, politics, culture and ecology are prefaced with the adjective "global", what does artistic responsibility really mean? What does local knowledge provide when a Western Eurocentric worldview predominates? How does the artist counter the supposed political and cultural truisms that rational science resolves all conundrums and the autonomy of a post-modern art unbuckles it from social responsibility?