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Week of  October 1-7, 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


CLASSIC COLLABORATION: "For most of the 20th century, British productions of Molière, Ibsen, Chekhov and others generally used translations by scholars with a great knowledge of French, Norwegian or Russian, but no experience of writing for the stage." More recently, "name" writers (who often have no knowledge of the plays' original languages) have been hired to adapt classic translations. But do such rewrites serve plays' integrity? The Times (UK) 10/02/01


DANCE UPDRAFT: Dance might be languishing elsewhere. But in the UK it's ascendant. "An Arts Council survey last year discovered that, while audiences for all the other performing arts had dwindled during the 1990s, the audiences for dance increased by more than 13%, and those for contemporary dance by nearly 30%. This audience is getting younger and trendier, too. And supply is more than keeping up with demand." Sunday Times (UK) 09/30/01

LONGTERM DANCE: Professional dancers may be forced to retire in their 30s or 40s but some make dance a lifelong practice well into their later years. Dallas Morning News 10/01/01

SCOTTISH BALLET'S NEW SCHOOL: "Christopher Barron, the man behind controversial moves to change the Ballet’s direction from classical to contemporary, is in discussions with Glasgow City Council about a training school - which should also ensure the long-term future of the dance company." Scotland on Sunday 09/30/01

ROYAL TURMOIL: Ross Stretton has only been director of London's Royal Ballet for about a month, but already the complaints are starting. Stretton says "I need to change the concept of what ballet is". But that concept won't include star dancer Sarah Wildor. Wildor suddenly announced her resignation last week after it was obvious she didn't figure high in Stretton's plans. The Royal's subscribers are also less than pleased by some of Stretton's other moves. Sydney Morning Herald 10/03/01

  • DEATH OF THE ENGLISH BALLET BLOODLINE? Does London's Royal Ballet star ballerina Sarah Wildor's departure bode ill for the future of the company? "Dark omens are being read in this parting. The death of the 'English' ballet bloodline appears imminent, and to many concerned watchers the triumph of foreign all-comers and guest stars in the new regime may end the last vestiges of individuality that the Royal Ballet had as a company. Well, I'm not sure I see it quite like that, though I do confess to anxiety. These are tricky times." The Telegraph (UK) 10/06/01

THE PULL OF THE OLD, THE ALLURE OF THE NEW: "The classics are infinitely renewable and in the public domain. They can also be the aesthetic equivalent of comfort food. Yet when invested with a life of their own, with the kind of faith and commitment that colored Soviet ballet performing in the mid-20th century, the classics do approach the pure vitality of dance. That ideal is probably too much to ask, however, of choreographers and performers living in so different a time." The New York Times 10/07/01 (one-time registration required for access)

CANADIAN DANCER DEFECTS: Last spring Royal Winnipeg Ballet star Tara Birtwhistle quit the Winnipeg and joined Alberta Ballet. The Winnipeg is one of Canada's top companies, and the move was seen as a coup for Alberta. But only a few weeks into the new season, Birtwhistle has quietly left Alberta and rejoined the Winnipeg... National Post (Canada) 10/05/01


PUBLIC RADIO'S DOWNSTREAM: Public radio stations are beginning to wonder if streaming their content over the web is such a good idea. "At issue are the fees that copyright holders demand from streamers for use of their works online. The debates between rights-holders and broadcasters have sparked court challenges and tense negotiations. For public radio, with its limited resources, the squeeze is always felt more acutely." Current 09/01

SHOCK TO THE BETTER: What if movies got better because of September 11? "Maybe a time of crisis is what it takes to make us question the shape, texture and direction of movie culture. In the aftermath of the attack, executives in Hollywood, seemingly as shaken up as the rest of the nation, were acknowledging that quite a few things would have to change. Isn't right now the best possible time to throw down a challenge to Hollywood?" Salon 10/04/01

  • WILL MOVIES CHANGE? YES AND NO: "We'll be reminded of just why Busby Berkeley was so successful in the Depression era, designing ostentatious musicals to take people's minds off their troubles. Expect escapism for shot nerves. [But] Hollywood will know how to fit the new stories into its existing formulas without blinking an eye. Film history offers a host of examples of what gifted filmmakers living in times of national catastrophe can produce." The Nation 10/15/01
  • WILL MOVIES CHANGE? PROBABLY: Movie producers know they're in a different world now, but aren't sure what to do about it. "At some point Hollywood will stop dithering and decide. And there is an emerging consensus, however vague, on the kinds of films that will be made. Graphic violence will be out for a while, say the voices of experience in Hollywood. Light comedy and heroic tales will be the order of the day." Washington Post 10/03/01
  • WILL MOVIES CHANGE? PROBABLY NOT: Popular culture, as measured by audience response rather than producers' plans, seems not to have changed a great deal in a month. "[W]hat's most striking is how unchanged the appetite for popular culture seems to be. People are returning to the kinds of television programs they usually watch, the movies they normally go out to see, the music that they buy, and... the kinds of books they read." The New York Times 10/04/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • WHAT MOVIES? Hollywood movie studios are paralysed into inaction. "What will the American public want to see? Action? Romance? Light humor? In a city where a year ago there was a frantic drive to shoot movies in anticipation of an entertainment industry strike, there is a sudden calm. Some might call it a near-paralysis. Sony has no movies in production until the end of this year; last year in the fourth quarter it had nine. Warner Bros. has three movies in production; last year at this time it had 15. The other major studios have similarly sparse schedules. Producers say they are not sure what to offer." Washington Post 10/03/01
  • ART IN DISASTER: Can Hollywood make something meaningful out of the World Trade Center disaster? Director Henry Bean: "The real difference is that in the movies the crashes don't happen amidst all my thoughts, in the midst of my life. One of the things art could do is to bring these events into the midst of our lives. Tolstoy could do both, juxtapose the petty and the daily with the grandiose. A plane hits the tower and blows my personal life out of the water. My personal life returns altered by these events. That takes an artist." Los Angeles Times 10/03/01

"REALITY" NO MATCH FOR REALITY: Television's numbing parade of "reality programming" seems to be slowing. Ratings for most such shows are down. "In the face of such immense real-life loss and destruction, viewers may no longer be as interested in the petty bickering that’s become the hallmark of the genre." MSNBC 10/01/01

COUNTING ON ENTERTAINMENT: During the Great Depression, entertainment flourished as people looked for ways to distract themselves. After a couple of weeks of lacklustre admissions to movies, business surged over the weekend. "Ticket sales for the top 12 films were up a sharp 25% from the same weekend last year." Los Angeles Times 10/01/01



THE CLASSICAL MUSIC PROBLEM: Who killed classical music? Well, it's a little more complicated than that. Yes the death rattle seems to be louder these days, and yes, almost every part of the "industry" you look at is in difficulty. From bad management, changing economics, overbuilding, and general malaise, classical music is suffering. On the other hand, people aren't just going to stop listening to music... LA Weekly [cover story] 10/04/01

  • CHICAGO SYMPHONY TO CUT BACK: It's been 15 years of good financial news for the Chicago Symphony. But it's come to an end. "At its annual meeting Wednesday night in Symphony Center, CSO board officers announced a $1.3 million deficit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, and projected a $2 million deficit for the coming year. The deficit for fiscal 2001 is the orchestra's first since 1992 and only its second since 1986. Moving to cut costs, the CSO will shutter ECHO, its $3.7 million, state-of-the-art education center, which it opened in 1998." Chicago Sun-Times 10/04/01
  • WHY THE ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY SUFFERS: The St. Louis Symphony is in crisis. "If $29 million is not pledged to the symphony by the end of this year (with the money in hand by next summer), the SLSO will be facing bankruptcy." The orchestra has a small endowment compared to other orchestras of its accomplishment. "The sting of "elitism" sent the SLSO into a number of 'good works' projects, becoming more involved with school, church and other community organizations, as well as creating its own (costly) music school, in response to the loss of music education throughout the city school system. The SLSO made nice, became an exemplary orchestra, and ran up debts." Andante 10/04/01
  • VANCOUVER SYMPHONY DEFICIT: "After seven debt-free years, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is now struggling with a deficit of more than $900,000. A four-month transit strike kept some of the audience away." CBC 10/05/01
  • SAN JOSE LIMPS FORWARD: The San Jose Symphony may yet succumb to the financial woes that have been plaguing so many American orchestras. But it will not go quietly: even with massive deficits and dwindling audience numbers, the SJS is refusing to quit, continuing its scheduled season and even contemplating additional concerts. The orchestra's troubles read like a template for the problems of ensembles around the country. San Jose Mercury News 10/07/01
  • ORCHESTRA REDUCTION: When is an orchestra not an orchestra? When it can't afford to mount a concert. Orchestra New Brunswick says it is about $60,000 short, and that "it doesn't have the money to put on a full concert" to open the season. "Instead, it may present a piano recital." CBC 10/03/01

BIG MUSIC GOES ONLINE: "The major record labels have invested millions of dollars so that they can play in the online music space, added to the law fees they paid to crush Napster." But Napster's been neutered, and the dotcom downturn has made online riskier than ever. So why play? "The record industry is in decline and digitally delivered music presents the possibility of a boom town once more. New formats boost revenues. Much of the 1990s' increase in demand for music is attributed to consumers buying CDs to replace their vinyl collection." The Telegraph (UK) 10/06/01

RECORDING RATHER THAN BUYING: Recorded CD sales are down 5 percent worldwide for the first half of this year. "Overall, the music business was worth $37 billion in 2000; first-half sales this year were about $14 billion. Now, companies are pinning their hopes on a good second half, when traditionally 60 per cent or more of sales occur." The Independent (UK) 10/02/01

THE SOUND OF PLACES TO PLAY: What's ideal in Cleveland might not be in Dallas. Acoustics, that is. Cleveland's Severance Hall is dry and suited to a detail-oriented classical band. In Dallas, on the other hand, Meyerson Hall has a significantly longer reverberation time. So how have the nation's different concert halls influenced the sounds of its orchestras. Dallas Morning News 10/06/01

ATLANTA'S HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Robert Spano makes his debut as music director of the Atlanta Symphony and expectations are high. Spano has work to do, reports one New York critic. "These are evidently good musicians, and they play the right notes at just about the right time. But there is little unanimity of thought. String players seem each to have private and minutely different opinions on the shape of a dotted rhythm or the point of an attack. Wind players are not in themselves out of tune but sound unaware of pitch placements around them." The New York Times 10/04/01 (one-time registration required)

TORONTO LIVING BEYOND MEANS: "Over the past decade, this city has been clinging to cultural aspirations well beyond its willingness to pay. That is the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the meltdown currently taking place within the long-troubled Toronto Symphony Orchestra. After years of being quietly in denial, the TSO, in the face of its potentially imminent demise, now has had no choice but to go public with details of its dismaying situation." Toronto Star 10/03/01

TALIBAN AGAINST MUSIC: "The Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue is on patrol. Its job is to eradicate sin, which, as defined by the totalitarian government of Afghanistan, includes simply listening to music. It insists that there is a hadith (a record of the Prophet's sayings) warning people not to listen to music lest molten lead be poured into their ears on Judgment Day. Until then, the Taliban police are wreaking their own violence—against musical instruments and anyone who dares enjoy their use." Time 10/01/01

FAMILIAR DIET: Why do the UK's opera companies play the same small number of operas over and over again? "Companies have been given the subliminal message that if they don’t play to full houses then they are failing in their task. Whether or not the task of publicly funded bodies should be endlessly to serve up box-office attractions rather than broaden the public’s operatic experience is another matter — but then art, or education in the broadest sense, has long ceased to be the primary concern of our Arts Councils." The Times (UK) 10/01/02

RATTLE BLASTS ARTS COUNCILS: Conductor Simon Rattle says much of British orchestras' difficulties are to be blamed on the country's Arts Council: "Shame on the Arts Council for knowing so little, for being such amateurs, for simply turning up a different group of people every few years with no expertise, no knowledge of history, to whom you have to explain everything, where it came from and why it is there, who don't listen and who don't care. Shame on them." The Observer (UK) 09/30/01

SINGING PROTEST: The protest song has a long honorable history. But "it is hard to imagine anyone in the grief-torn United States writing a direct riposte at this stage to Celine Dion's rendition of God Bless America a week ago or by extension to the war cry of the government. With more than 6500 dead, the grief is too raw. Does this mean the protest song is dead? Will it be cast forever in the shadows of the initial tragic event? There are murmurings of student protest if a war goes beyond what is deemed legitimate retribution. But will songs grow from these seeds?" The Age (Melbourne) 10/01/01


THE MAN NEXT DOOR: For 35 years we lived across the hall from Isaac Stern. "One grew used to the steady stream of great musicians—Eugene Istomin, Yefim Bronfman, Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma—who would daily emerge from the elevator, seemingly ordinary citizens until they walked into 19F and started to play. I have a recurring image of running into Isaac in the hallway surrounded by piles of luggage: I’d be on my way to the grocery store to buy a carton of orange juice and some cream cheese; he’d be on his way to Vienna or Paris or Moscow to perform Haydn or Saint-Saëns or Tchaikovsky." New York Observer 10/03/01

NOBEL VERSE: Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and the Nobel Prizes had a "wretched" personal life. "But there was one romantic matter which he kept largely confidential: he was a writer himself. To call him a poet is an exaggeration, but Nobel produced enough, in several genres, to suggest that he had serious literary intentions. He wrote fiction in middle life and drama in his last years, but his youthful efforts were in verse - a heavily shod Miltonic blank verse, written in English, none of it published in his lifetime, and most destroyed at the time of his death by the circumspect executors." The Guardian (UK) 10/06/01

GIRL WONDER: How to explain the wide appeal of Charlotte Church? She's still only 15 years old, but "although we've already had three years of Church's recording career, her appeal remains rooted in her position as a child wonder. It helps that, so far, she is not a pop singer. There are no Britney v Charlotte wars. Her contemporaries are not interested in her records - after all, teenagers don't want to listen to either Rossini arias or Men of Harlech. New Statesman 10/01/01


CANADIAN BOOK PRIZE FINALISTS: Canadian literature is hot these days. So paying attention to the Giller Prize, Canada's top literary award, is a good idea. The list of previous winners includes a Who's Who of Canadian writers. But this year, the six finalists are relative unknowns, including a first-time novelist. National Post (Canada) 10/05/01

  • THE SCIENCE OF LIT PRIZES: Okay, so this year's crop of Canadian novels isn't so captivating as last year's. But there's still a Giller Prize to be handed out, and there's no reason we can't come up with a fairly scientific formula for how to choose the short list... isn't there? National Post 10/03/01

TAKING BACK THE PRIZE: Frank Moorhouse was told he had won the Victorian Premiere's Literary Prize for his first novel. He'd even started spending the $20,000 prize in his head. Then came a call from his agent. "Although the State Library, which administers the awards, earlier that day had confirmed his win in calls to the media, it had subsequently retracted his name, saying a 'typo' had been made." The Age (Melbourne) 10/04/01

READERS DEMAND BOOK COVERAGE: Last spring, the San Francisco Chronicle cut back its books section to save money, incorporating it into another section of the paper. But so many readers complained that "on Sunday, the Chronicle's readers will get what they want - and more - when the newspaper debuts its new Book Review, a broadsheet-size, stand-alone section that will wrap around Datebook." Los Angeles Times 10/04/01

UNFILTERED ACCESS: New federal regulations say that public libraries will lose federal funding if they don't filter out objectionable material from computers in the libraries. "There are over 160,000 school and public libraries in the United States; Many stand to lose much-needed federal funding if they don't follow requirements." Now the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to keep filters off library computers. Wired 10/04/01

AN OLD ORDER PASSES: With thirty miles of shelving, Foyles in London is generally regarded as the world's biggest bookshop. And until recently, it was one of the most old-fashioned. Traditions have been changing, however, and it may no longer be the gathering spot for "women wearing big hats who live in Knightsbridge and Kensington." The Guardian (UK) 10/01/01

LITERARY LIST: Robert Belknap has written a dissertation that looks at "the list" as a literary construct. "Lists are deliberate structures, built with care and craft, and perfectly suited to rigorous analysis. They compile a history, gather evidence, order and organize phenomena, present an agenda of apparent formlessness, and express a multiplicity of voices and experiences." It's an original idea - so why can't he get a teaching job or get his dissertation published? Chronicle of Higher Education 10/01/01

THE END OF WRITING (IN SF)? A San Francisco writer leaves town feeling unappreciated. "Outside of academia, nobody seems interested in reading anymore. I'm saying this not to generate pity but to present a tough fact: technology and entertainment are leading the way to a sort of glossy, cushy dark age. When people say they want 'the arts' in San Francisco, what they really mean is they want Entertainment – yummy restaurants, Frappuccinos, road companies of Broadway shows, virtual bowling, clubs." San Francisco Bay Guardian 10/01/01

TEACHING WRITING: Can you teach good writing? "What you can't teach, it seems to me, is the right kind of observation or the right kind of interpretation of what has been observed. It worries me to think of all those earnest pupils who have diligently mastered the mechanics, wondering with varying degrees of misery and rage why the finished recipe just hasn't somehow worked. Washington Post 09/30/01


WORKED TO DEATH: Has workshopping plays before they get to Broadway ruined the creative process? Stephen Sondheim thinks so. "Over the years these things got bigger and more formalized, and now they're just glorified backers' auditions. No thanks. Send me back to New Haven, where you had audiences full of real people, not show buffs and vultures who were hoping for the show to fall on its face." Toronto Star 10/04/01

WELL - IT WORKS FOR LONDON: The Melbourne Theatre Company has found a way to get people through the doors - hire movie stars. By casting big names, the theatre "experienced an 'unprecedented leap' in subscribers - a 20 per cent increase." The Age (Melbourne) 10/05/01

BACK ON BROADWAY: After a down week on Broadway, theatre attendance has soared. "Unprecedented agreements on pay cuts and other economic concessions have allowed several endangered shows to stay open. Long lines have returned to the discount ticket booth in Times Square. And, perhaps most important, cast members say that audiences have begun to laugh easily and naturally again." Boston Globe 10/03/01

THE INVISIBLE ACTOR: An out-of-work actor wonders about taking a movie extra role to pay the rent. But should he? "The job of an extra is to meld with the background, be forgettable, make no mark whatsoever. For an actor to stray across the invisible line from performer to supporting artiste is too high a price to pay, even for a day. Even for a free lunch." The Guardian (UK) 10/03/01

THE OFF-BROADWAY ADVANTAGE: In some ways, a lot of off-Broadway shows are now doing better than their glamorous Great White Way brethren. "Off Broadway audiences are mostly made up of New Yorkers — not tourists whose visits to the city have dropped off precipitously — and are typically stalwart and devoted theatergoers. And its theaters are smaller than those on Broadway, making them easier to fill. And they do not have Broadway's sometimes daunting ticket prices." The New York Times 10/04/01 (one-time registration required for access)

THE COMPLEAT SHAKESPEARE: The only surviving folio of Shakespeare's complete plays is about to be sold. "The First Folio of Shakespeare, published in November 1623, is the cornerstone of English literature, effectively the first edition of the complete plays. Eighteen of them have survived only because they are in this posthumous volume, including Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, As You Like It and Antony and Cleopatra." How they were printed says a lot about them. The Times (UK) 10/03/01

BUNDY GOES TO YALE: After a long high-profile search, Yale University has named James Bundy, who runs the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, to be the new dean of the School of Drama and artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theatre. "Bundy, 42, who officially takes over in July, succeeds Stan Wojewodski, who has headed the graduate school and its professional theater for 11 years." Hartford Courant 10/03/01

  • NOT SO HOT JOB? Bundy is "credited with helping to save the Great Lakes Theater Festival from financial disaster while polishing its artistic merits." But is the Yale job such a great one these days? Applications to the school are down, attendance at the theatre has "nose-dived." "The job's multiple personality - part academic, part artistic, part managerial - is considered so difficult that the search for a new dean took more than a year. Several high-profile artistic directors at regional theaters across the country turned down the job." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 10/03/01

THEY ALREADY BAILED OUT THE AIRLINES... A bill has been proposed in the US Congress to help promote New York. The new law "would allow individuals to deduct $500, and joint filers $1000, from their federal income taxes for the cost of meals, lodging or entertainment in New York City through Dec. 31, 2002. Taxpayers would be eligible for the deduction whether or not they itemized their taxes." 10/01/01


KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES: The world has been on a museum-building binge, with billions of dollars spent on erecting new museums. What has sparked all the building? "The economic prosperity of the 1990s and the desire to be at the forefront of architectural innovation" are two of the biggest reasons. ARTNews 10/01

  • MUSEUM DISTRICT: Washington DC is building. "A museum boom is under way in our nation's capital. At least seven major institutions will be opening in the next few years, adding to the 91 loosely defined museums already in the district (that figure includes the Squished Penny Museum, for example, whose holdings are worth about $30)." Christian Science Monitor 10/05/01

AN OLDER ART (BY FAR): Testing of prehistoric paintings made 30,000 years ago in French caves may force a rethinking of the history of the development of art. "Because the paintings are just as artistic and complex as the later Lascaux paintings [dating to 17,000 years ago], it may indicate that art developed much earlier than had been realised." BBC 10/04/01

BRITISH MUSEUM CUTS: The British Museum says it is considering "cutting opening hours, closing galleries and reducing exhibitions to save £3m a year to balance its books." The museum blames cutbacks in government funding. The Independent (UK) 10/02/01

ART IN THE POP JUNGLE: The new Guggenheim/Hermitage museums open in Las Vegas. "They offer a compelling view of contrasting styles. Both buildings challenge preconceived notions about the role of art in a landscape of pop culture. Both projects re-ignite old questions about the relationship between architecture and art. In addition, each architect represents wildly different sensibilities. While Frank Gehry's work is intuitive, Rem Koolhaas' is more cerebral. The fact that this creative friction has not produced architecture of lasting importance may be beyond the point in a city that is continuously picking up and disposing of the latest trends." Los Angeles Times 10/06/01

  • MEET GUGGENVEGAS: "These are art museums designed for the tourist trade, pure and simple. They're another roadside attraction. I say this without derision and only with an eye toward honest identification of what has arisen on the Strip. In fact, I'm here to help. In a place where one talks of going to Siegfried & Roy or Mandalay Bay, no tourist destination will survive for long with a long marbles-in-the-mouth name like the Guggenheim Las Vegas and Guggenheim Hermitage Museum. The places need a sobriquet or handle. I nominate GuggenVegas." Los Angeles Times 10/06/01

OUT OF TEXAS: The architects chosen as finalists to design Dallas' new opera house are all stars from Europe. Why no Texans? "The tricky part is that Dallas' best designers typically work in small firms that focus on residential and modest commercial projects. An opera house represents an incredible esthetic and technical leap for most architects, let alone those who spend their time on townhouses and shopping centers. A major theater seems more manageable, though it too requires a level of experience and sophistication that is still in short supply around here." Dallas Morning News 10/06/01

TATE DOWN: Since the Tate Modern opened last year, the original Tate building (reopened as Tate Britain) has suffered for visitors. Attendance in the first year was down by 500,000, a loss of a third of its visitors. "The glamorous new Tate Modern seemed to be getting all the attention, a pneumatic trophy wife banishing her dependable, all-too familiar predecessor to shrivelling neglect." The Observer (UK) 09/30/01

LIFE WITHOUT BIG BROTHER: At least 300 of Russia's museums are planning to form a non-governmental, non-commercial union to help each other, "especially regarding questions such as fund raising and merchandising, to which many are still new." The Russian Ministry of Culture no longer is able to support many of the activities which were funded during the Soviet era. St. Petersburg Times 10/02/01

RATING RODIN: Controversy over whether the 70 sculptures in a Toronto museum show are "authentic" Rodins or not has been swirling for months. "Invective has been flying across the Atlantic for weeks, but the issue isn't fakes versus originals. Given that 'original' Rodins are cast, what exactly is an authentic Rodin? Who gets to decide? Rodin himself, as much entrepreneur as sculptor, does not make the task any easier." The Guardian (UK) 10/02/01

BRITAIN'S CULTURAL REVOLUTION: "The most significant event in the history of art in Britain was the Reformation, and the waves of staggeringly violent native iconoclasm set off by it. The destruction wrought on the artistic heritage of this country when it turned on its own Catholicism was nuclear in scale and ferocity. Every cathedral, church, chapel, cemetery, wayside shrine and village cross in England and Wales was affected. A thousand years of artistic evolution, the sum total of Britain's cultural history so far, was attacked by rioting mobs of religious maniacs, while the rest of the country cheered them on." Sunday Times 09/30/01

MUSEUM ATTENDANCE DOWN: Across the US, attendance at museums is substantially down in the weeks since September 11. "The American Association of Museums acknowledged that times will be tough because of the industry's direct link to travel and tourism." Los Angeles Times (AP) 10/02/01

  • CHICAGO LAYOFFS: Chicago's Shedd Aquarium says it will lay off 44 full-time employees - 16 percent of its staff of 267 - because of "declining attendance, a months-long trend that worsened after the terrorist attacks on the East Coast." Chicago Tribune 10/02/01


BOOK WARNS OF COPYRIGHT CHILL: The US Congress moved quickly to protect copyright in the digital age. But too quickly? "As more and more 'speech' goes digital and as those digits get locked down with increasingly stronger clickwrap - copyright and copy protection measures - speech faces the very impediments the Constitution's framers took pains to avoid. 'It's very clear that reckless copyright enforcement can chill speech. We've gone too far. There are ways in which the copyright system becomes an engine for democratic culture. But once you increase the protection to an absurd level, you end up having a negative effect on this process." Wired 10/03/01

HELP FOR THE ADELAIDE FESTIVAL: All the signs indicate that next year's Adelaide Festival is in for trouble. The economy is down, corporate sponsors are pulling out, and the budget has grown. So the South Australian government has added $2 million of support, raising the budget for the Peter Sellars-led festival to $5.5 million. The Age (Melbourne) 10/04/01

WHY DID LINCOLN CENTER PREZ QUIT? When Gordon Davis was named president of Lincoln Center last year, he described the post as his "dream job." But "what actually happened was a study in the treacherous—some would say dysfunctional—politics of the city’s largest and most fractious arts organization. Hamstrung by rivalries among the center’s warring constituent members; undercut by [Lincoln Center chairwoman] Beverly Sills, who seemed unwilling to cede power to her new president; and derided by staff members, who claimed he was unwilling—or unable—to make swift decisions, a disillusioned Mr. Davis finally called it quits on Sept. 27." New York Observer 10/03/01


WRONG NUMBER: Two "sound artists" have copyrighted 100 million combinations of your telephone tones. So "next time you make a phone call, chances are you'll be in breach of international copyright law. If business can claim ownership over the elemental building blocks of human life, the composers say it's only fitting that artists lay claim to the 'DNA' of business and are paid for it." The Age (Melbourne) 10/04/01

A FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH STOCKHAUSEN: A music novice goes in hunt of Stockhausen, wondering what the difficult composer's music sounds like. Finally locating a disc in a store, he takes a listen with a clerk. "This is what I've been waiting for - a new beginning. He's as excited as I am. I give him the thumbs up. He gives me a Masonic nod. It's ghastly. Truly bloody awful. Rats scurrying across a blackboard, a washing machine turning somersaults, a car horn hooting in temper. And when it's not quite so ghastly, it turns into a Monty Python sketch - a choir of cheeks being pulled at speed. The blow-job sonata perhaps?" The Guardian (UK) 10/06/01