Beginning today, Progressive Alaska is going to attempt to focus on the fine arts in Alaska every Sunday, and some of the progressive aspects of that. There are many artists around the state who, by one method or another, seek to express their hopes in the beauty and wisdom of human progress. And artists show their concerns about the fate and foibles of humankind in many wondrous ways.
My own art is both progressive and traditional. My music uses formal devices and compositional techniques that date back to the Renaissance, and uses methods invented within the last 30 years. I sometimes write absolute music that expresses no social message, and sometimes write programmatic music that is a musical version of landscape painting.
I'm perhaps best known, though, for my programmatic and lyrical music of protest, dating back to the Sphinx Island Elegy movement of my Chugach Symphony of 1989, and expressed as recently as last month in the acoustical-electronic work of outrage, called Shards III. I also have written and spoken extensively over the years on the interplay of my art and that of others in the social context in which they are experienced. I teach cultural history at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
As much disdain as this journal has shown for Senator Ted Stevens, he actually has been a vital force in aspects of the fine arts, both in Alaska, and in the USA. He's long been a strong advocate of healthy funding for the National Endowment of the Arts. More than once, during the Reagan administrations, and during the heyday of the Gingrich crowd's attempt to deconstruct public institutions, he was almost a lone ranger in the GOP in defense of the arts.
Recently, he has inspired more art than any politician in Alaska history. His anti-net neutrality speech during a Senate Commerce Committee meeting on June 28, 2006, has inspired many, many works of art, in many genres. It also drew a national spotlight onto the aging senator's mental state.
Here is a series of YouTube Toobz music and art videos, inspired by the Patron Saint of Alaska. I'll call this series Toobz to Nowhere:
image for Progressive Alaska by Darkblack