For those of you that didn't know, the European Commission is now in the art business, using taxpayers money to fund various culture projects to promote "greater intercultural dialogue" and various other abstract goals.
Of the projects chosen for funding in 2010, surely the most bizarre is the European Joysticks Orchestra (pictured), which received £50,872 to compose new works, host concerts and train teachers in the “art” of creating music using the computer device.
Click here for a youtube video of the Orchestra's work.
Other projects include "Exchange Radical Moments", which aims to organise an event in 2011 featuring “simultaneously scattered actions, images and interventions [which] will sparkle and ignite like flares across the European landscape, leaving ephemeral but direct and uncensored residue”.
Likewise, the European Laboratory for Hip Hop Dance will net £44,931 of taxpayers’ cash to “improve the recognition and visibility of hip hop dance in Europe” and “encourage connectivity between hip hop artists”.
Now we don't want to be accused of being party-poopers - if people feel that government should be funding cultural projects that is fine. But the problem with the European Commission is that there is no acountability. No one to punish at the ballot box if you feel your money has been spent unwisely.
And quite frankly, judging by the sort of projects the Commission has decided to back, DG Culture is hardly full of budding Charles Saatchis.