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Week of  April 28 - May 4, 2001

1. Special Interest
2. Dance
3. Media
4. Music
5. People
6. Publishing
7. Theatre
8. Visual Arts
9. Arts Issues
10. For Fun




WHY PEOPLE DON'T LIKE NEW MUSIC: It's not because they don't like music. "For most people, the appeal of music rests not in originality but in precisely the opposite - in the number of memories it can access. Put another way, although music is capable of reflecting as wide a spectrum of human experience as any other art form, in practice it is more limited, in that its value rests in its ability to provide an illusion of constancy in a changing world." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/02/01

LURE OF THE NEW: Why is controversial contemporary art so popular today? "Politicians, fear-ridden arts bureaucrats and sensation-seeking media have got it wrong: the main reason that exhibitions of contemporary art keep on being popular is, I suggest, because they are answering public needs. That is, at least some of the art is engaging with the most important issues of our time, and doing so in full-blooded ways." Sydney Morning Herald 05/02/01

DOESN'T COMPUTE: Every school in the world seems to be on the technology hunt, trying to get as many students as possible in front of computers. But one expert wonders why. "They've been around for so long that we should be seeing the benefit but the results just don't seem to be there." Sydney Morning Herald 05/04/01

EASY TARGETS: Threats by US senators and the Federal Trade Commission to regulate distribution of music it deems unsuitable for young listeners has free speech advocates steaming. Why is this regulatory issue so popular when there's no hard evidence supporting a clampdown? Village Voice 05/02/01

  • A HISTORY OF MUSIC CONTROVERSY: From Peter Paul and Mary to Stairway to Heaven to Louie Louie, politicians and parents have found something to get uptight about. Today's "threat to society" is tomorrow's classic - a chronology. Village Voice 05/02/01



BACK IN THE BLACK: After posting a big deficit last year, the Australian Ballet made some profits this year, earning 72 percent of its income at the box office. Sydney Morning Herald 05/03/01

AILEY FINDS A HOME: "Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is going to have a colossal eight-floor new home in Hell's Kitchen. A $47.5 million building... will replace the 43-year-old company's cramped, rented quarters." New York Post 05/01/01

  • AILEY PLANS: The Alvin Ailey company wants to build a new home for itself in New York and Mayor Rudy Giuliani wants to contribute to the cause. "The building would be the largest space in the United States devoted exclusively to dance, Ailey officials said." International Herald Tribune 04/28/01

BIRTH OF A COMPANY: Michael Medcalf "had no experience as an artistic director, no money in the bank and no financial backers. Despite his lack of credentials and resources, he had plenty of other attributes: talent, enthusiasm, energy, a dynamic personality, a willingness to work hard and an eagerness to collaborate with other members of the dance community." And Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre was born. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 04/29/01


WRITERS SETTLE: Hollywood producers and writers settle on a new contract, averting a much anticipated strike. "The agreement was valued by the Writers Guild of America and the industry's Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers at about $41 million over three years, less than the nearly $100 million writers had hoped for." Los Angeles Times 05/05/01

REINVENTING PUBLIC TV: American public broadcaster PBS is trying to reinvent itself. It's essential - the network is facing increased combination from all sorts of specialty channels, and its core audience has shrunk. The changes, though, are controversial. Christian Science Monitor 05/04/01

TV's RACIAL GAP STILL A CANYON: A new study of the racial makeup of television's prime time programming reveals that integration is still beyond the grasp of the major networks. The lack of multiracial casts is particularly noticeable in the first hour of prime time, which is supposed to be the "family hour." Los Angeles Times 05/01/01

ANOTHER WEEK IN LA: "AOL Time Warner boss Gerald Levin last year earned stock options worth $153 million, $53 million more than the entire Writers' Guild membership is seeking over the next three years. The studio heads - none of whom earned less than $60 million last year - seem happy to endure strikes that the LA mayor's office estimates will cost the Los Angeles economy $6 billion. And while the majors are counselling fiscal austerity, Disney is spending $5 million (a tax- deductible expense) on its Pearl Harbor premiere - to be held on a specially-converted aircraft carrier - just as it announces 4,000 layoffs, the kind of fuck-you, scorched-earth management of which Walt would heartily approve." The Guardian (UK) 05/04/01

BUY AUSSIE? Australia ponders dropping its Australian-content laws for the Australian Broadcasting Company. The quotas currently stipulate a minimum amount of Australian-produced content must be shown. Sydney Morning Herald 05/03/01

GIANT RADIO: "Radio stations that once were proudly local are now being programmed from hundreds of miles away. Increasingly, the very DJs are in a different city as well." And the biggest of these in America specializes in "dirty tricks and crappy programming." Salon 04/30/01


CRUMBLING BASTILLE: Paris's Bastille Opera House, which isn't very old, is deteriorating and in need of expensive repair. "It's all falling apart, at great speed, so we put up the nets. The question now is, do we replace all 40,000 [slabs of exterior stone] - somewhere between 60 and 100 million francs - or do we only replace the ones that are defective, which means going up there and doing 'tap tap!' on each of the 40,000?" International Herald Tribune 05/03/01

THE NEXT BILBAO? Officials of Philadelphia's Regional Performing Arts Center planned a New York "coming out" for their project last night, inviting critics from around the country to see a presentation on the center. "The New York event, which was months in the making, had been designed to position the city as the new Bilbao and the concert hall as its Guggenheim Museum," and despite the resignation of the project's director a couple days before, the Philadelphians stayed on message. Philadelphia Inquirer 05/03/01

  • DIFFICULT LABOR: The new arts center is plagued with problems. Money, of course, is problematic. And none of the major arts groups - the Philadelphia Orchestra included - has signed leases to perform in the hall. "Fees, of course, have been a major issue - although most groups have now accepted the fact that the arts center has reneged on its promise that rents in the two new halls would be no higher than rents paid by the groups in their current facilities." Philadelphia Inquirer 05/03/01

NAPSTER, AIMSTER, WHAT'S IN A NAME? Aimster is "a Napster-like file sharing program that piggybacks on America Online's messaging service." Not surprisingly, the record industry wants it shut down. Meanwhile, a web-survey report says Napster use is down more than forty percent since it added song-blocking technology to comply with a court order similar to the one threatening Aimster. Still, it may all be in vain. Another young computer whiz appears to have figured out how to shut down the on-line sharing of music files. New Jersey Online (Reuters),, and Washington Post 05/03/01

BIG HURT FOR BIG MUSIC: "For all its global marketing clout and lock on the biggest stars, Big Music is actually in dire straits. Sales are plunging in the United States, the world's most important market, and no one has yet figured out how to stop the erosion or to make serious money from on-line distribution. The dream of reaping Internet riches from vast music libraries is turning into more of a nightmare for music's heavyweights. They have yet to provide the content or the means of delivering it effectively." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/02/01

END OF AN ERA? Washington's largest classical music radio station has dropped weekly Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. The Met performances are the longest-running program on radio and are carried nationally by hundreds of stations. "But despite the strong support of a small niche audience for the art form, large commercial stations like WGMS, which has the fourth-highest listenership in the Washington area, have been moving away from opera and vocal music in general." Washington Post 05/02/01

HARD TIMES FOR CHAMBER MUSIC: "It has never been harder since Haydn's time to make a living as a string quartet. But the challenge is yielding a gamut of fresh ideas as quartets struggle to reinvent their genre." The Telegraph (UK) 05/02/01

UNEASY RELATIONSHIPS: "Even orchestras which commission one new piece per season or less love to trumpet their supposed forward-thinking ways, in the vague hope that such brief bursts of enthusiasm will make up for nearly a century of deep ambivalence towards modern composition." But the relationships between composers, conductors and musicians is often uneasy or ambivalent. Sequenza/21 04/27/01

GETTING OUT THE AUDIENCE: There was a time when tickets to Hartford's visiting orchestra series were so prized they were handed down from generation to generation. Lately that hasn't been the case, and even when the acclaimed Concertgebouw Orchestra recently appeared, it filled only about a third of the house. Now a music lover has decided to do something very personal about the situation. Hartford Courant 04/29/01

CLASSICAL MUSIC'S PROBLEM? "Mainstream music lovers are said to be indifferent or openly hostile to contemporary music. As long as classical music is perceived to be in the preservation business, it should come as no surprise that potential new audiences, who are instinctively drawn to new works in other fields, dismiss classical music as dated and irrelevant." The New York Times 04/29/01 (one-time registration required for access)

PLUS: Taliban have banned all non-religious music in Afghanistan ~ Guarneri String Quartet makes its first change in personnel (after 37 years)



THE CONDUCTOR WITH TWO FACES: In Boston, Keith Lockhart is conductor of the Boston Pops and known for his relaxed, informal style. In Salt Lake City, Lockhart is music director of the Utah Symphony, and a much more serious pillar of the community. The skiing is better in Utah. Boston Herald 05/04/01

IT'S TAX TIME: Pavarotti thought he'd settled his tax difficulties with the Italian government last year. But no - this week he goes to trial. "The biggest-earning opera virtuoso in history is accused of dodging £13 million between 1989-95." He could face three years in jail. The Guardian (UK) 05/02/01

THE MARKETING OF CHARLOTTE CHURCH: The teen singing sensation is making a tour of America, and everything's been calculated for maximum hype. Who cares if the classical world is turned off by the marketing, say her managers. "One reason she's controversial is that she's not really classical. I call it `popera'." Chicago Tribune 05/03/01

SILENT GENERATION: The United Nations has appointed French mime Marcel Marceaux as an international ambassador "promoting the needs of older people in society" Euronews 04/28/01



DEUX TOO MUCH: The family of French writer Victor Hugo are trying to block publication of a book that has been dubbed "Les Miserables II." "The novel, which has been described as a blasphemous betrayal by its critics, contains many of the characters from Hugo's famous portrayal of social injustice in revolutionary France." BBC 05/04/01

ACCESSIBLY RARE: Only a few scholars and wealthy collectors have access to rare manuscripts and book. They're too fragile to be handled. "Providing access to rare books while trying to preserve them is 'the biggest problem libraries (with special collections) have." Digital technology may help. Wired 05/03/01

THINK OF IT AS PIZZA FOR YOUR BRAIN: "Last week, Cathy Kelly became the Romantic Novelist of the Year, winning £5,000 and very little respect from the critics. This is par for the course in the world of romantic fiction: you earn a lot and die unnoticed... All the genre novels have a hard time in literary circles... but special abuse is reserved for the romantic novel. It's the junk food of the literary appetite." The Guardian (London) 05/01/01

A CELEBRATION OF WHAT? National Poetry Month was a real bust. All it did was focus attention on how much disrepair the art of poetry is in. Why are things so bad? "The dullness of today's poetry has become so pervasive, such a given, that we have to force ourselves to remember that poetry is not at all dull by nature." GoodReports 05/01/01

AFTER A LONG THINK: Just as the new Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism was about to go to print, it was discovered that the tome was about 300 pages too long. "After two weeks of debate and intellectual horse-trading, a new table of contents emerged. Twenty-one thinkers, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Elaine Showalter, vanished from the collection entirely; selections from three others were trimmed." Chronicle of Higher Education 04/30/01

HOW TO BE GREAT: Why are the Great Books great? "It does not rest on William Bennett's assertion that the great is great because 'it is the best that has been thought and said.' The greatness of the great does not and cannot rest on a question-begging platitude." Context 04/01

CALLING ALL AUTHORS: " is a combination publishing house, bookstore, writing school, online writing community, talent search show and lecture hall all in one. And integrating all those elements into one site has taken the better part of a year." Wired 04/30/01

CUTTING BOOK REVIEWS: Some of the most prominent American newspapers are reducing or cutting their book sections. Why? The newspaper business is currently in a down cycle and newspapers are looking for ways to slim down. "Publishers generally cite finances — costs have gone up and readership down. Plus, book sections rarely bring in much advertising — in fact, less now than formerly." Mobylives 04/29/01

DROPPING THE HABIT? A major new Australian study measures the reading habits of students. "While 45 per cent of primary school students enjoy reading, read frequently and see reading in a positive light, only 24 per cent of secondary students are as enthusiastic. Older boys are more likely than girls to find reading boring and nerdy." Sydney Morning Herald 04/30/01

PLUS: Harry Potter books have sold 100 million worldwide and been translated into 42 languages.


WE ALREADY GAVE YOU A BUCK... The Florida State legislature cuts Miami's Coconut Grove Theatre allocation by $500,000 (the theatre's total budget is $5.4 million). "I have to repeat and repeat again, the theater is already receiving a substantial subsidy with its $1-per-year lease. . . . I'm sorry, but in good conscience I couldn't allow my colleagues to give additional money to the Playhouse. They have accountability issues that still need to be attended to." Miami Herald 05/04/01

TIMING IS EVERTHING: A flood of new shows is opening on Broadway. “The producers of Broadway shows are convinced that they have to open close to Tony time. They want that boost of publicity after the nominations, and the boost from the show itself.” MSNBC (Reuters) 05/04/01

IT'S NOT A MUSICAL, BUT... It's turned into a hot season for Broadway. First The Producers becomes the biggest thing to hit the street since The Lion King. Now it's time for drama. August Wilson's King Hedley II finally made it to Broadway and the reviews are ecstatic. "You will hear some of the finest monologues ever written for an American stage, speeches that build gritty, often brutal details into fiery patterns of insight." The New York Times 05/02/01 (one-time registration required for access)

PRODUCERS SCORES: The Producers isn't just popular - now it's scooping up nominations for awards, winning 14 Drama Desk nominations yesterday, including Outstanding Musical. New York Post 05/02/01

  • BUT IT'S FOR MY DYING MOTHER... Ticket demand for The Producers is intense. The show is sold out for months, but people are calling the box office with all sorts of stories, including several "dying request" tales. New York Post 05/02/01

KIDS, INCORPORATED: Children's theatre is a tricky business, and companies that put on truly great productions without resorting to cliched slapstick or pretentious preaching are few and far between. One of the nation's best children's theatre companies is in Silicon Valley, and this month, it will face one of its greatest challenges: replacing the man who has made the troupe what it is today. San Jose Mercury News 05/01/01

A NEW ERA FOR BROADWAY? Does the success of The Producers signal the beginning of a new era on Broadway? "The Producers isn't just a hit; it's a fully-fledged event in a city that thrives on such things, and its cultural repercussions look sure to be felt in English-speaking theatre the world over, although given its subject matter, the show seems an unlikely export to Germany." The Observer (UK) 04/29/01

REINVENTING THE NATIONAL: As Trevor Nunn leaves as director of Britain's National Theatre, a reevaluation is in order. "The National should do what it uniquely can do, what it was brought into existence to do - create a living, evolving organisation offering the whole range of world theatre, subject to perpetual reinvention and rediscovery." The Observer (UK) 04/29/01



LIVING LARGE IN LONDON: Surely London is the most fun place to see art these days - and to be an artist. Even New Yorkers are beginning to acknowledge as much. And it's not just about the Tate Modern... The New York Times 05/03/01 (one-time registration required for access)

SAVING RUSSIA'S ART TREASURES: The Hermitage in St. Petersburg houses one of the world's largest collections of art. It's also an uncatalogued and endangered collection. The Canadian curator who was asked for advice fell in love with the place, quit his job, and now regards saving the Hermitage collection as a crusade. Ottawa Citizen 05/02/01

PLEASE, CAN I BORROW THE KEYS TO THE CAR? Being curator of the Whitney is a dream job that many people believe they could do better than the incumbent - whoever that happens to be. Current curator is Lawrence Rinder. But maybe it isn't such a dream job after all - lousy pay, lots of criticism and unable to have final say on what shows you'll do. Then there's this tidbit from the man who's in charge of plotting the museum's aesthetic course: "We can't have art in our offices. Only the director can. It's too dangerous because the work could get damaged." Uh-huh. The New York Times 05/02/01 (one-time registration required for access)

BEHIND THE FACADE: When it opened just over a year ago, Los Angeles' Latino Museum seemed to have everything going for it. "But below the surface, everything was in turmoil. The museum was racking up debt. Operations and exhibitions were run on credit; employees were not being paid and morale was plunging. As a stopgap, the California Legislature reallocated $1.6 million in educational and capital grants for salaries and daily expenses. But Gov. Gray Davis vetoed the plan." Now the museum has closed. The New York Times 05/02/01 (one-time registration required for access)

JUST ADD A STARBUCKS®: The Detroit Institute of the Arts is the latest in a string of American museums to announce that massive renovations will be necessary for it to continue to draw the public to its exhibitions. "Once reflecting an academic atmosphere, today's museums are attempting to become modern-day meeting places for informal discussions about art, history and science." Detroit Free Press 04/30/01

KIDS RULE! Even as most museums scramble to attract enough visitors to pay their costs, children's museums are experiencing an unprecedented boom. The U.S. has nearly six times as many children's museums as it did a quarter century ago, and attendance has exploded in the last decade, with 33 million people visiting one of the nation's 215 such museums in 2000. Washington Post 05/01/01

PAINTING FOR NATIONAL PRIDE: The National Gallery of Australia has bought a Lucien Freud painting from the artist for $7.4 million. "The significance of Freud's gritty figure painting After Cezanne is being compared by some to the gallery's 1973 purchase of Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles." The Age (Melbourne) 04/30/01

  • PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A FREUD: Is the world indeed made up of museums that have a Lucien Freud and those which don't (and it matters that much)? Clearly the Aussies take their acquisition of a Freud as a matter of national pride. The Age (Melbourne) 04/30/01

RUSSIAN ART THEFT: "Relatively rare during Soviet times, thefts of art, manuscripts and antiquities now bedevil Russian authorities. They occur not only at museums, such as the theft last month of a $1 million painting from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, but also at churches, government buildings and private homes across the country. Organized criminal groups adept at extortion and prostitution have added art theft to their repertoire." Chicago Tribune 04/29/01

ALL ABOUT THE MARKETING? Almost 5.5 million people jammed into the new Tate Modern in its first year of operation (busting the 2-2.5 million pre-opening projections). "Ironically, being such a success has brought Tate Modern problems. Queues 200 deep for food; lavatories stripped of paper; grubby marks on the chic white walls; people saying you can't move, you can't get in." Just why are people so keen to get inside? The Telegraph (UK) 04/29/01

ADDING UP BILBAO'S GOOG EFFECT: Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum has transformed the city. The city's investment has been recouped already, and "the regeneration of Bilbao and its hinterland reads like a Who's Who of modern architecture. Sir Norman Foster has designed Bilbao's new metro. Cesar Pelli, who built New York's World Financial Centre, has been put in charge of a 35-storey office tower on the banks of the river Nervión. Santiago Calatrava, one of Spain's leading architects, designed Bilbao's new airport as well as a delicate footbridge that spans the Nervión." Financial Times 04/28/01



PLUS:Ex-chairmen of Christie's and Sotheby's auction houses have been indicted by a grand jury in New York ~ African American Museum is proposed in the US Congress ~ The first city in the Americas is explored in Peru ~ Beirut is being massively rebuilt at an astonishing pace - and by a single company ~ Digital art is in danger of decaying because of lack of conservation ~ Is the artworld ready for another lurch in style? ~ Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art has chosen an architect and a design for a new building, but critics are unenthusiastic ~ Tallest sculpture in the world is erected in Ireland ~ Scottish Museum attendance soars in Glasgow ~ Critics attack Ufizzi Museum's plan to restore Leonardo's Adoration of the Magi ~ Guggenheim announces major new website ~ Chicago Art Institute is tearing down the adjacent ex-home of the Goodman Theatre to make room for a $200 million addition to the museum ~ Matisse widow leaves estate to universities and museums.




MORE MONEY FOR CANADIAN ARTS: "Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, carrying out a campaign pledge, announced on Wednesday an infusion of more than half a billion Canadian dollars to boost the country's cash-strapped arts and cultural sectors.... Chretien said it was the biggest new investment in the arts in Canada in 40 years." Not everyone is happy with the idea, however. Some arts groups think the funding is badly distributed, and some tax experts complain that it's "welfare for cultural industries, and they question where the money is coming from in the absence of a federal budget." (Reuters) and National Post (Candada) 05/03/01

  • RESTORING PREVIOUS CUTS: The increase in support is welcome, of course, but it must be pointed out that the extra money is something of a giveback to the arts. "Between 1990-1991 and 1997-1998, budgetary cutbacks in government spending reduced culture-related spending at the federal and provincial levels by nearly 7.8 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/03/01
  • ALL IS FORGIVEN? The Canadian government's largesse of $560 million support for the arts doesn't hide the fact that in the past decade Canadian artists have become "a community of beggars. Even as arts leaders and politicians paid lip service to the importance of the arts, governments mercilessly slashed subsidies." Toronto Star 05/03/01

MET REJOINS LINCOLN CENTER: In January the Metropolitan Opera shocked its sister organizations at Lincoln Center when it declared it would pull out of a massive rebuilding effort for the multi-theatre complex. Now the Met has joined back up on the project. The New York Times 05/04/01 (one-time registration required for access)

THE NEW CENSORSHIP: Australian censors are having a difficult time rating new entertainment forms because the amount of embedded multimedia material has ballooned. A DVD movie release, for example, can have 900 minutes worth of linked materials. How do you rate it? The Age (Melbourne) 05/04/01

THOSE DELICATE NEW YORKERS: So in sensitive New York, the mayor needs to protect residents from the big bad influence of controversial art. In London, we'd look, smile, and walk on to the next shocking thing. The Times (London) 05/03/01

THE NEXT BILBAO? Officials of Philadelphia's Regional Performing Arts Center planned a New York "coming out" for their project last night, inviting critics from around the country to see a presentation on the center. "The New York event, which was months in the making, had been designed to position the city as the new Bilbao and the concert hall as its Guggenheim Museum," and despite the resignation of the project's director a couple days before, the Philadelphians stayed on message. Philadelphia Inquirer 05/03/01

  • DIFFICULT LABOR: The new arts center is plagued with problems. Money, of course, is problematic. And none of the major arts groups - the Philadelphia Orchestra included - has signed leases to perform in the hall. "Fees, of course, have been a major issue - although most groups have now accepted the fact that the arts center has reneged on its promise that rents in the two new halls would be no higher than rents paid by the groups in their current facilities." Philadelphia Inquirer 05/03/01
  • ARTS CZAR QUITS: The president of Philadelphia's $265 million Regional Performing Arts Center currently under construction, has abruptly resigned 7 1/2 months before Philly's answer to Lincoln Center is scheduled to open. Stephanie Naidoff is praised for bringing a lot of money into the project, but has been criticized by arts leaders for her inexperience in non-profit management. Philadelphia Inquirer 05/02/01

THE FUTURE OF COPYRIGHT: Does the US Digital Millennium Copyright Law violate the First Amendment by excessively curbing the 'fair uses' people can make of copyrighted works? Critics say yes, and federal judges in New York seem interested in hearing arguments. The outcome of the case will have enormous implications in the trade of intellectual property. 05/02/01

FUNDRAISING DOWNTURN? How will the current economic downturn affect arts institutions? "What happens to all the ambitious capital campaigns under way? The planned exhibitions? The expansions? Fortunately, museums say, they got while the getting was good, starting their major capital campaigns while plenty of money was floating around so that now they are nearing those goals rather than just beginning to set them." The New York Times 05/02/01 (one-time registration required for access)

THE IDEA OF PROTECTION: "The world is caught up in an explosion of ideas and inventions. As a testament to the extent to which they are revered, and their status in the global village, they now warrant their annual celebration. Last Thursday marked the first World Intellectual Property Day." Sydney Morning Herald 05/01/01

SELLING SOUTH AFRICA: Much of the tourism in South Africa these days is around Aprtheid-era landmarks. It's a little disconcerting - and misleading. Daily Mail & Guardian (South Africa) 04/29/01

PLUS: Readers Digest Fund turns over $1.7 billion in assets to 13 arts institutions so they can invest the money themselves ~ Smithsonian head defends his controversial proposals to reorganize the institution ~ British government does away with controversial regional arts boards ~ Polls says Scots are tired of bailing out arts institutions ~ Strikes in Paris forces museums to make admissions free ~ What will Bill Ivey's resignation as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts mean to the NEA?



DISCERNING PIGEONS: A Japanese professor of cognitive science "has managed to get pigeons to recognize whether a painting is a van Gogh or a Chagall — even if they had never seen it before. He trained three pigeons for a month by showing them on a computer screen eight masterpieces by van Gogh and Chagall. Pigeons were fed when they pecked at pictures by van Gogh. They received nothing when pecking at a Chagall." Discovery 04/29/01

A COPYRIGHT STATE OF MIND: When the New York Times Magazine put together a time capsule to show people in the year 3000 what life in 2000 was like, they naturally wanted to include music. But there isn't any music in the capsule. Why? The recording industry wouldn't give copyright permission. Wired 04/30/01

HAPPY IT UP: Director Franco Zefirelli is making a movie bio of Maria Callas. But he doesn't like the way she died. So he's rewriting her untimely end to make it happier. Nando Times (AP) 04/29/01

BE KIND TO ARTISTS: A homeless artist in Bath, England, had a couple of his pictures chosen for inclusion in a show at the Tate Britain. There an American couple saw them, tracked the artist down, and bought him a boat to live on. The Times (UK) 05/03/01