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Friday June 30

  • MUSIC BLOCKADE: A young Cuban band was supposed to play in the Montreal and Toronto Jazz Festivals this week. But when the Halifax musician who organized the tour tried to wire money for plane tickets to Havana, the bank accidentally sent the funds through its New York office, where the money was seized. "American law demands any funds going to Cuba must be held by the Office of Foreign Assets. The bank tried to correct the error, but it was too late to pay for the airline tickets." CBC 06/30/00

Thursday June 29

  • LOOK AT ME: Maybe we're too sophisticated or jaded or cynical to appreciate them in this world of hyper-media. But the good old-fashioned publicity stunt, designed to bring out an audience and tilt credibility, is an honest-to-God artform. London Evening Standard 06/29/00 
  • POINTEDLY CRITICAL: The chairman of the Arts Council of England  says there's a crisis in British theatre. "British theatre is living in the past and is failing to attract young people," he says, and called on the government to pour an extra £100 million into the arts to help solve some of the problems.  The Independent 06/28/00
  • THE 30-HOUR DAY: A new study says that through multi-tasking, Americans have essentially created the 30-hour day. "According to the study, this group of multi-taskers spends most of its leisure time with media and entertainment, or about 4.7 hours a day. But factor in simultaneous activity and it's jacked up to 7.6 hours - that is, for instance, for 2.9 of those 4.7 actual hours, the average American simultaneously reads magazines and watches TV, or listens to CDs and sends e-mail." 06/29/00
  • BETTING YOUR LIFE ON DESIGN: Almost 500 years after Leonardo da Vinci first put the concept down on paper, a British daredevil tests Leonardo's parachute - and to the surprise of skeptics, floats "almost one and a half miles down from a hot air balloon. Ignoring warnings that it would never work, he built the 187lb contraption of wooden poles, canvas and ropes from a simple sketch that Da Vinci had scribbled in a notebook in 1485." The Guardian 06/28/00
  • FEARS OF CULTURAL INVASION: A recent decision by the Korean government to open its door to Japanese culture have put the "local industries concerned on alert." The biggest causes for alarm appear to be pop music, software games, television...and "Japanimations" - several of which already have "cult" followings in Korea. Korea Times 06/29/00
  • PHANTOM LEARNING: "Virtual" education seems like such a good idea. But what about the quality of the learning.  "Many 'virtual universities' are little more than degree mills making millions of dollars selling dubious qualifications to the gullible." Sydney Morning Herald 06/29/00
  • KOREA GOES CORPORATE: Korean businessmen are learning a new word in French: "mecenat" -  meaning "the patronage of culture and the arts." In an attempt to improve their corporate image and give support to the arts, private corporations have increased their donations by 50% since 1998. Korea Herald 06/29/00

Wednesday June 28

  • CRITIC IN THE HOT SEAT: As actors increasingly lash our at critics after receiving negative reviews (Donald Sutherland and Kelsey Grammer, most recently), the role of the critic - and arts journalism in general - is being widely debated. Should a critic be a neutral mediator of experience? Or a subjective arbiter of taste? “The critic is not a straw-poll merchant, a tipster or a second-guesser of audience taste, simply an individual paid to record his or her reaction. Throughout history this has been a source of creative tension between artists and critics.” The Guardian 06/28/00
  • THEY ARE IN THE NAME AFTER ALL: The Library of Congress has been expanding its services to the public. That has some in the US Congress wondering if the Congress is being slighted. Congressional testimony Tuesday takes an unexpected turn to focus on where the library's allegiances are - to the legislators or the public? For every $1 of federal funds allotted for digital expansion and new programs, the library raises $3 of private funds. But, "if push ever comes to shove, the library will honor its commitment to Congress." Washington Post 06/28/00
  • PRINTING TICKETS AT HOME: A Carolina startup is offering customers the ability to buy their concert tickets online and print them at home. "The company provides its software for free to venues, allowing businesses to sell tickets online. Consumers are then able to immediately print their tickets after the purchase using any standard printer. Each ticket comes with its own 2D barcode." Wired 06/28/00
  • VOID AT THE TOP: Boston's mayor Thomas Menino has announced big arts initiatives. But after 18 months, he still hasn't appointed someone to head up his cultural department.  "It's an absolute disgrace that that position has not been filled. The fact that there isn't a strong (arts) leader you can go to and work with (in City Hall) is an outrage. The city is floundering around without the kind of arts leadership other cities have." Boston Herald 06/28/00

Tuesday June 27

  • ENDANGERED SPECIES: The National Trust for Historic Preservation releases a list of 11 places it calls "most endangered, including the summer home in Washington where Abraham Lincoln drafted the Emancipation Proclamation. 'We either save them now or we lose them forever.' " CNN 06/26/00
  • MEXICAN ART TAKES HIT: Last month the Museo de Monterrey - one of Mexico's leading art museums - closed when the industrial group FEMSA announced that it was pulling its support. The consensus in Mexico is that a new generation of corporate leaders is abandoning its predecessors' commitment to arts and cultural institutions." San Antonio Express-News 06/26/00
  • NOW THAT IT'S COSTING US MONEY...  Piracy of intellectual property has been big business in the former republics of the Soviet Union, and frankly, government hasn't done much to curb it. But local governments are beginning to take the issue more seriously, and the reasons are simple: lost sales and jobs, police raids and expensive legal disputes over famous patents and trademarks, as well as uncollected taxes, excises and customs duties. Conservative estimates place losses to businesses and governments in the Baltic states, Russia and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States at billions of dollars this year. Moscow Times 06/27/00
  • YOU DESERVE A BREAK TODAY: Australian artists have been fighting to make sure their ability to make vital tax deductions isn't taken away by the government. Now, thanks to the Australian Senate, painters/actors/waiters/taxi drivers/ earning less than $40,000 (Australian) will be able to claim deductions for off-course income. The Age 06/27/00

Monday June 26

  • A MATTER OF LIVELIHOOD: The Australian senate debates new business taxes that will have far-reaching implications for artists. "It will be the difference between having a lively and energetic arts sector and having one that is struggling on its knees." The Age (Melbourne) 06/26/00
  • THE YEAR MICHAEL JACKSON HAD SEX: And other top arts stories - new Columbia University study reveals how television reports the arts. Boston Herald 06/26/00
  • ARTISTS IN A GLOBAL AGE: Peter Sellars takes on the directorship of Australia's Adelaide Festival and rails against globalism. "Sellars said it was an obscenity to call the arts community an industry. He questioned whether some artists did things only for show, suggesting unheralded actions were more important." The Age (Melbourne) 06/26/00
  • AFTER ALL THAT FUSS about rating TV shows for violence and content, new studies show that parents aren't using the ratings. "Two in five parents have a V-chip or other form of technology to block out objectionable programming, one study found, and half of those with the devices use them. But the researchers found that awareness of the age and content ratings put on shows, such as TV-G (suitable for all ages), to be used in conjunction with the V-chips, has dropped from 70% in 1997 to just 50% this year. Furthermore, nine out of 10 parents couldn't accurately identify the age ratings for a sample of shows their children watched." Los Angeles Times 06/26/00

Sunday June 25

  • THE "IT" CITY: London is the place to be these days. Great food (imagine!) smart theatre, interesting music, and hip artists and art. There's something new in the air and the the whole idea of what London is has changed in less than a generation. New York Times 06/25/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

Friday June 23

  • THE ARTS ON TV: A new report released last week by the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University measured arts coverage on American television networks - on ABC, CBS and NBC - during the decade of the 1990s. Not surprisingly, there wasn't much. "According to the findings, on an average day, viewers receive 30 seconds of information on the arts. That's 3 percent of the weekday news agenda. Annual arts coverage on all three networks dropped from about 500 minutes in 1990 to 300 minutes in 1999." Houston Chronicle 06/21/00
  • CLAP WITH ME: Why is it that audiences at the end of a performance they like often end up synchronizing their clapping? "According to Steven Strogatz, a mathematician at Cornell University who has studied synchronization for 20 years, the same set of mathematical principles governs the phenomenon wherever it occurs - be it among applauding people, flashing fireflies, or roomfuls of grandfather clocks." Discover Magazine 06/00
  • SECOND CHANCES: Last week at the last minute, the US House of Representatives voted down a $15 million increase to the National Endowment for the Arts budget. This week the US Senate Appropriations Committee votes a $7 million increase. Will it pass? "While I anticipate a spirited dialogue, I have every confidence that the Senate will prevail in its strong support for the agency," NEA Chairman Bill Ivey said. Washington Post 06/23/00
  • DRUIDS, REVELERS AND DRUM-BEATERS: Why it must be summer solstice and a party at Stonehenge. Actually, since 1984, the partiers have been kept away from the site. But this year the gates were thrown open and about 6000 showed up to celebrate. "It was most definitely a success. We were delighted at the large turnout and we will consider more managed open access in the future". The Times of India (Reuters) 06/23/00
  • ART: HOMEGROWN IN AUSTRALIA: Australians wants to encourage cross-cultural exchange, just like the rest of us, but can't help but wondering if they're winning our losing by bringing widely popular international acts into the country - and exporting some of their prize performers to the outside world. Showing excitement over Cirque du Soleil is just long you are equally thrilled about Australia's Circus Oz. The Age 06/23/00
  • POOH ON YOU: Disney has lost a round in its fight to hold on to royalties for the Winnie the Pooh characters. A Los Angeles superior court judge has ruled that Disney willfully destroyed documents to prevent them from being admitted as evidence in court. CBC 06/23/00

Thursday June 22

  • WHAT BECOMES A GREAT CITY? "The world's vibrant cultural cities have an intangible something else: the capacity to surprise, an impatience with habit and reverence." They are places where the culture is in dialogue with itself, where creativity is encouraged ahead of pro forma rules. Toronto Globe and Mail 06/22/00 
    • "MYTHS DIE HARD": When Toronto, the commercial city, wants to affirm its cultural identity, it turns to Montreal, asking: "So, artist, what's your secret?" From where I stand, the situation seems a little ironic. A Toronto adrift is bad for Toronto, period. Great cities, like artists, are laws unto themselves. It is not their role to behave like a nation's shop window. Toronto Globe and Mail 06/22/00
  • GIVING BEAUTY A BAD NAME: So what is beauty? "We have so many reasons for being suspicious of beauty. Beauty is elitist, divisive, it implies other things are ugly. Beauty in modern thought is tied to a notion of 'correct' aesthetic judgment whose founding text, Kant's 'Critique of Judgment,' argued that the only true taste is one that is unaffected by the pressures of real life and hence free to recognise the beautiful. This may have been a good career guide for the ambitious cultural functionary in 18th-century Germany, but doesn't seem to have much relevance for us now." The Guardian 06/22/00
  • DEFINING AUDIENCES: What is it that gets people interested in the arts? What makes them want to participate or attend arts events? A new Australian study goes in search of the answers. Hey - just how do you define what the arts are, anyway? Australians, it seems, are ready to provide the answers. Sydney Morning Herald 06/22/00
  • NEW $30 MILLION ARTS COMPLEX OPENS: The glittering new 42nd Street Studios opens in New York. The complex includes 14 rehearsal studios, administrative and offices spaces, and a fully-equipped black box space called "The Duke on 42nd Street." 06/21/00

Wednesday June 21

  • MORE THAN 500 ANGRY ARTISTS, protesting Australia’s proposed new tax structure (currently before parliament) rallied outside Sydney’s Parliament House Tuesday. The proposed legislation would limit artists' tax deductions, thereby making it much harder for most to earn a living wage. "The tragedy is that artists, who make a vital contribution to Australia's quality of life, are struggling on meagre incomes. We know that their practices will be hit disproportionately hard by the GST."  Sydney Morning Herald 06/21/00
  • BACK FROM THE DEAD: Twenty years ago, when Pittsburgh's steel industry shut down, the city looked bleak. But 16 years ago the city turned over part of its decayed downtown to the newly created Pittsburgh Cultural Trust with the charge of using culture as a magnet to bring the downtown back to life. The trust has spent $65-million of public money and attracted $112-million in private funds, as well as inspiring $650-million of commercial investment. Oh yes, the city's center is thriving. Toronto Globe and Mail 06/21/00
  • TRANSPLANTING ARTISTS: A typical scenario: Artists move into a derelict section of town because it's cheap. They fix it up, the area becomes cool and rents skyrocket as those with money move in to soak up the atmosphere. "In a number of U.S. cities, they are actually now implanting artists (much the way greenery is replanted on polluted soil), knowing that a funky demimonde will attract business even to disaster areas. To keep the artists there, they have evolved non-profit holding companies on 15- to 30-year horizons." Toronto Globe and Mail 06/21/00
  • TURNAROUND ARTIST: Michael Kaiser, the American who has been called "the turnaround specialist of the classical world" may be leaving his job running the Royal Opera House in London. He's being prominently mentioned as a candidate to take over Washington DC's Kennedy Center. He is largely credited with saving American Ballet Theatre, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the State Ballet of Missouri from financial collapse. Washington Post 06/21/00
  • CAN YOU PATENT A LINK? British Telecom has asserted a claim that it holds a patent on hyperlinks, the very backbone of the Web, and is now soliciting U.S. ISPs for licensing fees. "Anyone successfully claiming a patent on such fundamental technology, both the primitive hypertext facilities available today on the Web, and the much more sophisticated and useful ones being designed into xpointer and xlink by W3C, could hold the world to ransom," says computer science professor (and coiner of the term “hyperlink”) Andries van Dam. Salon 06/21/00
  • LAWYERS - TOO DULL TO LAUGH: David Letterman's "The Late Show" apparently has an informal ban on lawyers in the audience. "Apparently, the lawyers didn’t yuk it up enough. Sources at a handful of New York law firms told NYTV that the "Late Show" has unofficially ceased its practice of handing out blocks of tickets to law firms. Their suspicion? Them lawyers are just too damn dull." New York Observer 06/21/00

Tuesday June 20

  • THE CORPORATE GRAIL: Time was when American artists looked longingly at government funding for the arts in Canada, which was traditionally higher than in the US. Now government support for the arts has slipped in both countries and Canada, which never established as extensive a tradition of corporate and individual support for the arts, is wondering how to do that. Toronto Globe and Mail 06/20/00 
  • A NEW ARTS PRIZE: Amid the current buzz over the Turner Prize shortlist’s inclusion of three artists who aren’t British, a new European arts prize - the Vincent - is being launched by Holland’s Bonnefanten Museum to honor a European artist, regardless of country of origin. "In a world of global culture, individual countries no longer set the standards," writes the Bonnefanten's director, "and although there is no other continent that demonstrates so many views and self-inflicted differences, the Vincent is not designed to celebrate Europe's pre-eminent status, but rather to celebrate diversity." The winner will be announced in September. The Guardian 06/20/00

Monday June 19

  • THEY USED TO CALL IT NEW YORK OF THE NORTH: Toronto is Canada's flagship city. But the flagship is sinking. The symphony orchestra is deeply in debt, the museums are floundering, the opera company is too conservative for its own good, and the theatre scene is ill. There's even a move to tear down the city's largest performing arts center. People don't go downtown any more, and the reasons are easy to see. Toronto Globe and Mail 06/19/00 
  • WHAT'S THE 411? Everyone talks about the overload of information, the swamp of media overload we find ourselves in the middle of as we enter the 21st Century. "I would like to dispute this view, to argue that every age was an age of information, each in its own way, and that communication systems have always shaped events." New York Review of Books 06/29/00

Sunday June 18

  • BEHIND THE TIMES: In Dallas, an arts fundraising organization that once raised $750,000 a year for the arts, and has given out $12 million in 35 years, comes up dry. Why? The biggest clue comes in the third paragraph of this story: "We went into this year with the same fund-raising plan that we had in 1986," says board president Bill Semper. "This year the events stopped working." Dallas Morning News 06/18/00

Saturday June 17

  • HOW THE NEA LOST AN INCREASE: National Endowment for the Arts chief Bill Ivey is still scratching his head trying to figure out how the NEA lost out on a $15 million funding increase that looked like it would pass last week. Washington Post 06/17/00

Friday June 16

  • BETTER LIVING THROUGH BOWLING: "Bob Putnam, a government professor at Harvard University, writes about bowling in the way Rachel Carson wrote about spring in "Silent Spring" or Ralph Nader wrote about cars in "Unsafe at Any Speed." For Putnam, the dwindling percentage of Americans who bowl in a league is the perfect metaphor for the sharp decline of civic involvement. Washington Post 06/16/00
  • FOLLOW THE LEADER: As North and South Korean relations continue to thaw, will artists in the two countries actually begin to enjoy artistic freedom for cross-cultural collaborations? The outlook is good, given that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is surprisingly committed to the performing arts and film. “The 58-year-old leader possesses particular interest and expertise in movies and stresses their importance in public more often than other fields. Film is recognized as one of the highest forms of art in North Korea as it is believed to encompass all other areas of arts following the leader's conviction.” The Korea Herald 06/16/00 (Part III of IV)
  • CLOSE, BUT NO… After a preliminary victory for arts supporters, Republicans in Congress used an 11th-hour maneuver Thursday to block a spending bill that would have added $15 million to the National Endowment for the Arts budget - the first NEA increase approved by the House since 1992. GOP leaders defeated the bill by crafting an amendment that diverted the additional money to Indian health services. New Jersey Online 06/16/00 

Thursday June 15

  • THE POLITICS OF PLUNDER: A new book wades into the politics of collecting indigenous artifacts. "Using the recent controversy over "Kennewick Man"–the 9,500-year-old skeleton from the Columbia River that some anthropologists have incautiously described as "Caucasoid"–as allegory for 200 years of scientific aggression against indigenous identity, he argues that contemporary Indian intransigence about history has been largely shaped by the hubris and ghoulish exploits of the great men of science whose statues adorn our museums." New York Observer 06/14/00
  • OPENING THE CULTURAL FLOODGATE: Now that the leaders of North Korea and South Korean are talking to each other, there is a whole spectrum of possibility for cross-border cultural exchange. The Korea Herald 06/14/00 (Part I of IV)
    • ART AS COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA: Even though the cultural climate in North Korea has become less politicized in the last few years, "arts and culture are subordinated to political and economic aims and considered to be a tool for facilitating a Communist revolution." Now, state-run broadcasters become a bit more lax: they have allowed television programs with once-prohibited scenes of men and women holding hands in a public park.  The Korea Herald 06/15/00 (Part II of IV)

Wednesday June 14

  • A PLACE OF THEIR OWN: Like anywhere, New York has a shortage of rehearsal space. So the raves are pouring in for a new $29.6 million rehearsal center on 42nd Street that hasn't even opened yet. "It's the first building built specifically for a range of art forms, and for both nonprofit and commercial uses." New York Times 06/14/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

Tuesday June 13

  • THE REAL POST-MODERNISM? Is post-modern fiction a fiction itself? After all, it is a "form of writing that defeats readers' expectations of coherence, as experimental narrative that plays with generic conventions, as fiction that dwells on ambiguity and uncertainty." Who's to know what the right answer is? National Post (Canada) 06/13/00
  • RADIO RIGHTS: New Zealand's Maori tribes are trying to stop an upcoming government auction of the radio spectrum. "The Maori argued that ownership of the spectrum was their right as granted under the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document. The Treaty, signed in 1840 by Maori and the British government, promises to protect taonga, the Maori term for resources considered valuable by New Zealand's indigenous people. At the time of the Treaty signing, such resources included land, forests and fisheries. Maori believe the concept of taonga also extends to radio spectrum." Wired 06/13/00

Monday June 12

  • WHEN MICKEY SNUBBED WINNIE: Newly discovered documents show that during World War II, Winston Churchill secretly asked Walt Disney to make an anti-Nazi cartoon based on St. George and the dragon. "Noël Coward and officials from the Ministry of Information went to America to try to persuade Disney to help with Britain's propaganda campaign. Their requests, however, were ignored by Disney who was determined to keep America out of the war and was anxious to protect the international market for his films." The Telegraph (London) 06/11/00
  • TO PAINT OR NOT TO PAINT... "Why dwell on artists anyway? What makes them so special compared to 'ordinary' humans? My considered view is that there is no essential difference, as the human condition is innately artistic. Everyone is potentially an artist: all it takes to become one is the self-realisation that that's what you already are. It is not what you do that makes you an artist, but your awareness of something within that constitutes an artistic or aesthetic dimension." *spark-online 06/00
  • LEARNING FROM POPULAR CULTURE: Literature demands careful study while entertainment exists solely for our pleasure. "But that distinction has more to do with context than with any inherent quality of the stories." In dismissing entertainment as beneath the versions we find in literary anthologies, "we lose sight of popular culture as a potentially powerful teaching tool." Chronicle of Higher Education 06/16/00

Sunday June 11

  • DRIVING FOR THE ARTS: California's arts license plates have become the most popular special plates in the state. Revenue from the plates goes to support arts organizations. Orange County Register 06/11/00
  • LOSING FAITH: Jane Alexander began her term as head of the National Endowment for the Arts with optimism. Her new book shows that by the time she left the NEA, her "health, idealism and forbearance all suffered. She gripes about flying coach. She complains that the government won’t pay to move her back to New York. 'The system is so corrupt that it may never be fixed,' she concludes, sweepingly." Cleveland Plain Dealer 06/11/00

Friday June 9

  • SAVING FACE: The Chinese government has protested the showing of "Inside Out: New Chinese Art" in Australia, saying the exhibition could damage their "international standing." A disclaimer note above the entrance to the exhibit reads: "The National Gallery of Australia wishes to advise that this performance contains nudity, live animals and Chinese firecrackers." What on earth are they worried about? South China Morning Post 06/08/00 
  • BLACK AND WHITE MEMORY: Due to the political climate of North Korea in the 1950's, there is very little art or recorded literature to help Koreans remember that period of history. A newly discovered photographic collection is helping people fill in the blanks. The Korean Times 06/08/00
  • QUAKE-PROOF: San Francisco's de Young Museum was damaged in the 1989 earthquake. Plans are well along to rebuild. But "if local community activists have their way, the design for the ambitious $135 million project will soon be subjected to a process that many observers believe could doom it. And although the proposed building, by acclaimed Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron Architekten AG, has been hailed by those culturally-in-the-know as a masterpiece of contemporary Modernism, it has come in for some blistering criticism from an unexpected quarter: other architects." Metropolis 06/00

Thursday June 8

  • BEWARE THE PIRATES: Disney's Michael Eisner tells the US Congress that copyright piracy damages more than the entertainment industry's bottom line. It also "puts the U.S. Constitution and the nation's balance of trade at risk as well." Variety 06/08/00

Wednesday June 7

  • DEEP POCKETS: James V. Kimsey, the billionaire cofounder of America Online and a D.C. native, gives $10 million to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to establish an endowment. New York Times 06/07/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • SPOLETO OVERCOMES ADVERSITY: A year of organizational woes for Spoleto, what with the tourism boycott and a key injury to one of the artists. But this year's edition is "artistically potent" in one critic's estimation. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 06/07/00

Tuesday June 6

  • MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR ARTS FUNDING: As do most ex-chairpeople of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Alexander has written a book about her experience running the American public arts funder. "From her coy pose on the cover, to the last desperate Shakespeare quotation, Jane Alexander has...produced a stunning argument for saving trees. This account of her tenure as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1993 to 1997, unfortunately reads like a high school student's account of a summer abroad. The Idler 06/06/00
  • THE "F" WORD: Artists at the Spoleto Festival address the issue of flying the Confederate flag on state buildings in South Carolina. The festival has felt a tourism boycott over the issue. Cleveland Plain Dealer 06/06/00
  • GST JITTERS: Sydney’s cultural institutions are bracing themselves for a projected drop in attendance when Australia’s GST (Goods and Services Tax) goes into effect July 1st. The Sydney Theatre Company and Symphony Orchestra plan to raise ticket prices 10 percent and fear the new tax will have the same adverse impact on sales that Britain’s VAT did when introduced in the 1970s. Sydney Morning Herald 06/06/00
  • EAST AFRICAN ART FOR 200: What Ugandan city is the birthplace East Africa's modern art movement? To what neighboring city did Ugandan artists flee during the political unrest of the 1970's? What year was the first academy established for the study of modern art? Check your answers here.  Legacy (Africa) 06/00

Monday June 5

  • PHOTOGRAPHER WINS: A day after the Supreme Court declined to stop them, 150 people posed nude under New York's Williamsburg Bridge for a photographer. 06/04/00

Sunday June 4

  • MUSEUMS GRAPPLE WITH FUNDING ETHICS: Ever since last year's revelations about funding for the Brooklyn Museum's "Sensation" show, museums have been thinking hard about how they fund exhibitions. Last week, New York's Metropolitan Museum canceled a show of Coco Chanel's work. "I need to be able to assure people that what they see on the walls is not inflected by the money we receive to do an exhibition," Met director Philippe de Montebello told The New York Times. "And if I can't make that assurance, I'm not doing it." New Jersey Online 06/03/00

Friday June 2

  • AN ANTI-ART TAX: A proposed new tax law in Australia would penalize artists by not allowing them to claim their art expenses against income. But a campaign is mounting to make sure the measure doesn't become law. The Age (Melbourne) 06/02/00
  • "I'M AN ARTIST AND THE MEDIA IS MY CANVAS": Joey Skaggs has "spent his whole career hoodwinking journalists and proving that they shouldn't believe a word anyone says without doing a thorough background check. 'I have never been busted,' he says, sighing. 'That is the sad truth.' '' Boston Globe 06/02/00
  • "CLASSIC MUMBO-JUMBO": Presidential candidate announces an investigation into why so many Hollywood movies are fleeing Canada. "One recent report by the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild of America said so-called runaway production has cost the Los Angeles film community 20,000 jobs and cost the U.S. economy $10 billion. But Canadians question the claims. B.C.'s production industry, the biggest in Canada, is worth about $1 billion, so where's the rest? Vancouver Sun 06/02/00

Thursday June 1

  • AN ARTFUL DEATH (TO CREDIBILITY): The latest in everlasting bliss: the Final Curtain cemetery theme park, where you can have a dance floor installed over your gravesite, or a video camera in your coffin to show time-lapse display of your corporeal decay. Too strange to be true?  Not to 39 newspapers, 19 radio stations, six TV stations, 10 magazines and 20 Web sites who fell for the story. Performance artist and media scammer Joey Skaggs strikes again. Salon 05/31/00
  • DEFINING CULTURE: "Culture" is an overused misunderstood word. A new book examines what "culture" means in the US.  " 'Faded Mosaic' is no mere exercise in semantic hairsplitting but an argument - to me a most persuasive one - that in these United States at this point in their history, 'culture,' in the hard anthropological sense, no longer exists except inside a few fringe groups such as the Amish. Washington Post 06/01/00