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Re: Dealing with Artistes

From: Chris Maden <crism@oreilly.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 18:06:25 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199812032306.SAA04944@ruby.ora.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> My Lord! How can one who calls themselves an "Artistie'" be so
> "blind", so flippant? These people are dinosaurs. This is the dawn
> of the millenium!  This is the age of the Internet! Art is for the
> masses! Not the elite!

Mr. Mouch... can I call you Wesley?  Art is for anyone who wants to
create it.  Art is no less art for being created entirely within one's
own head and accessible only to oneself.  No artist owes you, or me,
or anyone else, anything.  (Well, unless we commissioned something
from them...)

> People with low or no vision have keener sensitivity in their other
> senses - touch, taste, smell, sound, - if ones so called "art" does
> not stimulate *all* of the senses IMO it is NOT art!

So that rules out the Mona Lisa, then, encased in its protective
frame.  You can't touch it, you certainly can't smell or taste it, and
I don't think she's said much lately.

But of course, that was IYO, and you are completely entitled to hold
your own opinion about anything, even that the sky is green.

> I volunteer time to our local Art League Museum to build/maintain
> their website. Every Work and Artist has a written statement and has
> reams of critiques, descriptions and observations - without such you
> would miss the more subtle dramas of the artists and their works.

Now you're talking sense.  A Web site, even an art museum Web site, is
information first and foremost, and information is easy to make
accessible.  A site can certainly be artistic; good ones are.  Keep up
the good work, as I know you will.

But your opening paragraphs are symptoms of a large problem with the
accessibility movement.  If it makes you feel good, you can climb
Mount Rushmore and yell in George Washington's ear that you demand
access, and that ACCESSIBILITY IS RIGHT - NOT PRIVILEGE until you are
hoarse.  But the only entities that have any compulsion to make their
Web sites accessible are government ones, whom the disabled have
funded in equal measure to the temporarily abled.  The ADA may apply
to commercial and recreational Web sites, though I do not believe that
it should.  But even if it does, relying on what is owed you means
tracking down every violator and forcing them to change or punishing
them.  That's going to take a Very Long Time.  A broad education
campaign, like the one the W3C is waging, will reach people you don't
know about, and show them the benefits they can have even if they
don't care about "cripples and deafmutes", with benefit to everyone.

So maybe you believe you're owed something.  You may even be right.
But you're not going to get it by saying so over and over.  People are
selfish: show them what they'll gain but giving you what you want.
Then you'll win.  Otherwise, you'll just get a sore throat and RSI.

<!ENTITY crism PUBLIC "-//O'Reilly//NONSGML Christopher R. Maden//EN"
"<URL>http://www.oreilly.com/people/staff/crism/ <TEL>+1.617.499.7487
<USMAIL>90 Sherman Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA" NDATA SGML.Geek>
Received on Thursday, 3 December 1998 18:07:15 UTC

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