The day of the Artists, Artisans and creative Workers is coming!
Have you heard of the STEM? It is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In 2001 the US board of education decided that it would be a good idea to focus, encourage and promote these subjects and courses in anticipation of the rise in demand for technologically advanced workers. (read)
They may have been right then - but they did not foresee the rise in robotics and artificial intelligence. And as we see it happening - robotics is taking over manual jobs in manufacturing and even in service. Driving, cleaning, even nursing care. And artificial intelligence may well be it's way to taking over thinking jobs. In the Philippines, I am guessing that before long Alexa or Siri or the likes of them will wipe out most of our call center careers.
My guess is that it takes only a very small percentage of the population the likes of Amazon and Tesla founders with the aid of robots and AI's to keep the world going. That is if the world can figure out how to use these resources with wisdom before they and (us too) blow each other up. Ok maybe that isn't going to happen, but the potential for mankind enjoying infinite holiday (ie no more work) is here already. But given how crazy mankind has gotten - at the very top of the ladders, Trump?, heaven on earth isn't going to happen anytime soon. So what is next for the workers who won't be needed anymore?
Ah but there is something - the fields of Arts and Crafts including the performing Arts like Song, dance and drama. And we humbly propose that the Iris Mosaic craft and maybe and hopefully other copycats could together lead the way.
One - we are designing our movement so that is inclusive. Everyone is welcome to join in one way or another. And much as we should like to envision pure equality, there will necessarily be a dominance of those endowed with talents for the art. But the enjoyment of the arts is not left to those who are talented - everyone can fall in love with certain items and be excited over new developments. I remember from FCQ days that our suppliers didn't get together to discuss idle gossip, they came together to discuss new 'technologies' and admired those who came up with them. They did not get to the point where they revealed their secrets - but we were getting there and might have done so if FCQ had not faltered.
Two: We are designing the movement so that there is at least roadmap even if somewhat hazy to growth and ultimately the goals. We start by using resources that are readily available. And we use those to build one level after the next. As we go deeper into the project more options and possibilities open up or become obvious. I must say we have gone a long way from the day I arrived at our new place (just last Sept,2016) and saw the humongous overstock of FCQ inventory a big part of which were Iris components in different sstages of production. I had no idea at the time what I would do with them. Now I'm following more solid leads and everyday the goals seem more acchievable.
Three: There is a huge pool of unemployed man power which could be easily trained, in fact in a lot of cases, training is not even necessary - just the desire to work. Compare that with having to tackle the problem of having to educate students on STEM. From previous experience with FCQ would fall in love with this kind of work. I personally love doing it too. Our hubs were such areas as the slums of Pasil, Mambaling and Pardo. And from what I can see they're still there and in the same or even worse condition more than 30 years later.
Four: A lot of Filipinos have a knack for designing. A lot have a talent for drawing and crafting. I may be wrong here but I think a lot of these gifted folks who can not find the kind of work they like end up in the comfort of drugs. Those who do not end up as addicts and doing work regular borring but regular 9 to 5 job must be feel miserable. So how about our community strive to create and market products thay'd be proud of make and those who can afford would buy and be proud to own? Starting with Iris Mosaic but not ending there.
Five : Filipinos do not have their own contemporary and indigenous art. But as a people we do love to design, dress up, look good. Pretty sure given the chance, we would readily adopt our own kind of astwork in which our own taste factored in the development of such. Made in Cebu and ennjoyed by Cebuanos. We could start with Iris Mosaic.
Six: Iris Mosaic is designed for quick development. Unlike the traditional painting (which is an ovecrowded field) the mosaic artist need not think hard and look deep into their souls for inspiration. There is after all the internet. And whether they are copyrighted - we'll pay or for free - just give the artist a good selection of raw materials to work with,, then it's only a matter of copying or printing, then fill in theblanks, er colors for the sculpture, then paint the background. But as simple as this might sound, there is a lot of room for the artist to be original and creative. And the artist need not bother with duplicating. Most artists would prefer making something new. Compliments from others plus his own personal satisfaction for creating something original and beautiful makes his job rewarding. So long as we get to sell them.
We seek to make the middle class Cebuanos as our target along with the rich of course. Our method of work rewards the artists when he makes more as opposed to known painting artists for whom limiting his output makes sense. Our artists are also encouraged to keep developing their methods & style and even incorporating materials nver used before. Furthermore it also makes sense to jump from theme to theme. This allows us to sell to buyers at relatively modest prices for great artwork while our artists get rewarded comfortably.