Power, Energy, and the New Russian Imperialism

Power, Energy, and the New Russian Imperialism

Power, Energy, and the New Russian Imperialism

Power, Energy, and the New Russian Imperialism

Synopsis

Using examples from a wide range of media, Michael Petry presents art by more than 115 contemporary artists who have one thing in common: they do not make their own work. Instead, they either employ others to produce it on their behalf or appropriate objects made by someone else. Master craftsmen, artisans, and fabricators are just some of the technical specialists who help realize the creative vision of these artists. But when an artist does not make his or her own work, what does it mean for the nature of art and for the status of the artist? What is the relationship between creativity and production?

The book explores these and other questions about authorship, artistic originality, skill, craftsmanship, and the creative act. Beginning with a historical overview and continuing through the history of modern art, it highlights the vital role that skills from craft and industrial production play in creating some of today's most innovative and highly sought-after works of art. Organized by the materials from which the works are made, five chapters examine the relationships between many of the world's most important artists and the artisans and fabricators they work with.

Excerpt

At the end of the 1970s, Moscow developed a plan to build six major pipelines connecting Urengoy, the world’s second-largest gas field, with Europe. The United States opposed the plan, with Antony J. Blinken writing about fears in the National Security Council about Western Europe “subjecting itself to potential energy dependence and to dangerous political leverage by relying on the USSR to supply so much of its gas.” President Ronald Reagan prohibited the sale of American equipment and technology for the pipelines’ construction and asked his counterparts in Western Europe to follow his lead. They did not. Europeans called the opportunity “the deal of the century” and the French foreign minister called the U.S. actions, “economic warfare on her allies in Western Europe.” For the Western Europeans, energy supply was an economic issue. For the Reagan administration, it was a matter of security, and it did not want to assist Moscow with an economic weapon it could use against the Western alliance. The debate ended when the Soviet Union fell.

After the end of the Cold War, leaders on both sides of the Atlantic sought a strategic partnership with Russia, making it seem unnecessary, as well as just improper for the moment, to raise fears of Moscow’s power over the EU’s energy supply. The result, of course, was that Russia did increase its hold over Europe’s energy supply in the 1990s and 2000s. The EU, according to its own records, “is the world’s largest importer of oil and gas. It buys 82 percent of its oil and 57 percent of its gas from third-party states. This is projected to rise to 93 percent of its oil and 84 percent of its gas over the next quarter-century.” Russian crude oil accounts for 25 percent, and Russian natural gas accounts for over 25 percent of the EU’s total consumption. Russian natural gas accounts for 24.5 percent of the EU’s total primary energy consumption. Russian natural gas exports to the EU are expected to grow by more than 50 percent by 2010. Germany gets 40 percent of its natural gas imports from Russia. Italy gets 33 percent. The EU’s newer members are even more dependent. Poland relies on Russia for 63 percent of its natural gas imports, Hungary relies on it for 77 percent, and Slovakia for 100 percent. Thirty-four percent of Germany’s and 28 percent of Austria’s crude oil imports come from Russia. Poland relies on Russia for 95 percent of its crude oil imports, Hungary relies on it for 99 percent, and Slovakia for 96 percent. Still, it was not until 2006 when the Reagan administration’s concerns resurfaced in the halls of Washington, Brussels, and Berlin.

On January 1, 2006, Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, which affected all EU countries that received gas through the pipeline laid on Ukrainian territory. President . . .

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