Recently I got a rejection letter back from a Sydney based organisation in response to an application I had submitted for a fantastic looking arts residency. As previously I have had a very high success rate with applications for residencies, I started thinking that maybe I should have undertaken a bit more research on who they had selected in the past and did I fit the profile even roughly. Did I set myself up for rejection?
While past behaviour is not always a good predictor of the future it is as least something to go on, some indicator of the way the organisations’ belief structures are played out. It may not have been prudent to rely just on what they said.
So the gender breakdown was of the previously successful applications was;
∗Gender was taken from the personal pronouns used in the biographies of the artists. This of course may not be how the artists identify themselves.
And the age breakdown was;
Based on this, the expected likelihood of my application being successful as a woman over 50 years of age was 0%. That probability was confirmed by the result.
Of course other factors may be at play – older and younger artists may not apply at the same rate as the 30-35 year old artists. The devil’s advocate would reply that older artists have been trained out of it while younger artists may still be finding their feet.
Secondly male artists may apply at a much high rate than other genders but given that male students account for much less than 50% of art school students at all levels I would tend not to think this is a factor could be at play.
It is hard to ignore the conclusion that male artists between 30 -35 years of age are somehow the preferred recipients of this opportunity. Not a digestible pill to swallow. An easier pill to swallow is the realisation that twenty minutes of investigation would have uncovered this prior to my preparing an application.
Published online by Stanford Medicine News Centre, this article reports on a small early stage clinical trial at Stanford University. The trial was conducted to evaluate the safety of giving patients with mild to moderate Alzheimers, infusions of blood plasma from young producers. Unexpectedly in the trial benefits in tests of functional performance by those patients were reported, primarily by their carers. The trial wasn’t designed to test these parameters and obviously further testing needs to be undertaken. Still very, very interesting. Also interesting is that the article reports that the intellectual property for the regime of infusing patients with plasma from 18-30 year old producers is owned by a private biotechnology company called Alkahest.
Detail of a work in current progress in the series on the story ‘twenty three units of blood’. All of those units of blood were donated in the sense that they were given without monetary reward. In Australia when you donate blood you receive thanks, a cup of tea, a biscuit and if you are really good, a lolly.
I posted in August 2017 about the blood and blood products production business including a link to a documentary shown on the Australian, ABC, Four Corners programme. http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/four-corners/NC1704H029S00. Not sure if it is still online but here is the link for you to copy and paste if you’re interested. It raises ethical questions about what could be described as the farming of humans for profit or as additional ways for individuals to earn money by selling their plasma on a regular basis.
Saw this documentary last night on the ABC 4Corners program in Australia. Its one thing to read about it but another thing to see it. Just watch it.
Report on one of the roundtables at the 2016 TransCultural Exchange on Artists working with Medicine.