LOUDER, PAINTIER? A former Canadian Olympic athlete has proposed
an Arts Olympics. "The plan is to create an Olympics that
will celebrate emerging artists from around the world in five
categories: film, dance, music, literature and visual arts. The
effort also proposes to bring an element of competitiveness back
to the arts, which has always played a large role in the Olympic
movement, dating back to the beginning of the modern Games in
Post (Canada) 08/31/00
(ART) PLANNING: Is it possible for a single artist to
turn an entire town into a regional arts center - to use his aesthetic
choices to faciliate socialism, creativity, and togetherness?
One town, in Israel's Upper Western Galilee, has hired an artist
to do just that. Ha'aretz 08/30/00
ART? Austria’s annual digital arts festival, Ars Electronica,
this year includes what might be the world’s most bizarre arts
festival activity - “sperm racing.” “The idea of Ars Electronica
is always to deal with areas where new technologies are starting
to have an impact on culture and society."
TO WOODSTOCK: New York billionaire Alan Gerry announces plans
for a performing arts center on the grounds of the original Woodstock
Festival in upstate New York. "The plan calls for a 4,000-seat
covered theater with 15,000 additional open-air seats. The Gerry
Foundation will own and operate the $40 million facility; the
state will pay $15 million of the construction costs."
New York Daily News 08/30/00
POLITICAL TURN HAS ARTISTS WONDERING: "No matter how
we voted, for many of us in the arts and letters the election
of the charismatic Mr. Fox is as bracing as a cold shower. No
one really expected the plain-spoken rancher from Guanajuato to
win, and we're flummoxed by a world turned suddenly inside out:
a political right that has promised to reject its traditional
religious, censorious, and invasively straight-laced stances,
and a left adrift without a compass. Artists and intellectuals
dependent on government largesse are at a loss as to how to court
Christian Science Monitor 08/30/00
FORGETFUL CENTURY? "While Susan Sontag has argued that
tuberculosis preoccupied the 19th century and cancer, then AIDS,
dominated the 20th, there are signs that Alzheimer's is becoming
an important cultural metaphor for our new century.Consider the
number of recent novels, stories and memoirs in which characters
with Alzheimer's figures prominently."
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 08/30/00
HAPPENED TO THE ART OF BEING BORED? New study suggests that
today's kids are so programmed that they are losing the time for
imagination. "Playtime has morphed into what Klauber calls
a "digital wonderland" - a fast-moving, goal-oriented
zone that affords little time for aimless fun. Many kids today
are focused on competition, efficiency and results. One consequence
of this development is that their imaginations are beginning to
atrophy: Play is all about the destination rather than the journey."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune 08/30/00
Tuesday August 29
TO TESTIFY: US vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman will
testify as early as Sept. 13 about a Federal Trade Commission
report that reportedly claims "that film, record and video
game producers are pushing their wares on children while pretending
not to." The Gore campaign is unfazed: "I think he's
brought to the ticket some real credibility on this issue. And
it's an issue that's real important to people, especially to families.
And where you find this level of concern is with working families
- families where both parents are working, and the kids have a
lot of time on their own where they're unsupervised."
WHAT YOU WANT
WITHOUT SAYING WHAT YOU MEAN: Tactics used by Britain’s culture
secretary Chris Smith to secure a record amount of funding for
the arts this year have been revealed in confidential minutes
from a meeting between Smith and his Irish counterpart. “The aim
appeared to be to get the cash without mentioning the dreaded
word ‘arts’ to Treasury mandarins.” Instead, Smith stressed the
economic returns of “educational funding” and “niche tourism”
(read: museums). The
Guardian (London) 08/29/00
Monday August 28
SENATOR AND ART: US VP-candidate Joe Lieberman's criticism
of popular culture has free-speech advocates worried. But he's
also a supporter of government funding for the arts. "To
have strict restrictions, having the government being judge and
jury of what's acceptable art, (Lieberman) doesn't believe that's
an appropriate role for government.''
Boston Herald 08/28/00
WAY TO THE CULTURE WAR? Attacking culture is usually good
for a few votes. But so far the candidates in this year's US elections
have been generally quiet. "Sen. Joseph Lieberman's selection
as Al Gore's running mate prompted a flurry of Hollywood hand-wringing,
but so far the vice presidential nominee has spent more time attacking
George W. Bush's tax-cut plan than the way women are tortured
in 'The Cell'."
Los Angeles Times 08/28/00
DECAYED: "Those who object to the violent, sexist or
otherwise ugly images in movies tend to seek censorship, either
by the industry itself or by legislation. I agree that movies,
music, television programs and all privately funded works of art
must be protected against censorship without regard to their content.
But I also agree with those who say that the content of a lot
of current art, including popular film, feeds an ongoing moral
decay in our culture."
Los Angeles Times 08/28/00
POLITICS OF MONUMENTS: "For reasons no one has satisfactorily
explained, a few well-placed, influential men - apparently chief
among them J. Carter Brown, chairman of the Commission of Fine
Arts, and Bob Dole, former senator and Republican presidential
nominee, now national campaign chairman of the World War II Memorial
- are hellbent not merely on building a memorial but on building
one of surpassing ugliness and placing it right in the heart of
the National Mall."
Washington Post 08/28/00
BEHIND: "Ten years after Congress ordered American Indian
remains returned to their tribes, only 10 percent of the up to
200,000 remains estimated to be in public collections are even
officially inventoried, federal records show."
Chicago Tribune 08/28/00
ART OF COMPETITION: When the modern Olympics were revived
in 1896, artists, musicians, and writers competed for medals right
alongside the athletes, just as they had done in ancient Greece.
The practice was dropped in 1948, but host cities are still required
to present an arts festival along with the sporting events. Although
a lack of sponsorship and poor ticket sales have dampened Sydney’s
plans for next month’s event at the Summer Games, the lineup is
still impressive - 70% of the artists involved are Australian.
Times (London) 08/27/00
IT TO THE STREETS:
Gallery and museum attendance in Korea is down in recent years
due to a popular view of fine arts as “pretentiously ritzy, untouchably
high culture, and shamelessly time-consuming.” So what are curators
and arts marketers doing to bolster attendance? “Holding exhibitions
in the unlikeliest places in town - cemeteries, trains, warehouses,
subway stations and local streets - for the very purpose of winning
converts to the fine arts.”
Sunday August 27
TO HIGH CULTURE: "High" culture is wildly popular
right now, and isn't that what artists have been fighting for?
"Public enthusiasm for art, music, theater, and dance is
raising some highbrow eyebrows, however. Academics, connoisseurs,
and critics maintain that as arts organizations market themselves
to draw new audiences, the quality of their offerings has been
'dumbed down'. 'Popularity is not necessarily a measure of success
in the arts." Too many institutions are compromising
their standards as they scramble to respond to 'bottom-line pressures
that reared their ugly heads in the 1990s'.''
TACKINESS: "In recent times, it has become an unwritten
rule of the Olympics that each opening ceremony should go faster,
higher and further than the one before. Lighting the cauldron
has become not so much a simple emblem as an increasingly emotional
focal point for the games. After the heart-stopping moment in
Barcelona when an archer lit the cauldron with a flaming arrow,
Atlanta pulled off another coup in 1996, when Muhammad Ali, willed
on by the world, lit it with visibly shaking hands. Now the pressure
is on Sydney to top them both."
The Sunday Times 08/27/00
BOOM: The arts are booming in Singapore, according to a new
report. "Performance arts activities jumped from 1,500 in
1989 to 3,800 in 1999. For visual arts, the number of exhibitions
went up from 212 to 406 in the same period."
Singapore News 08/27/00
Saturday August 26
OF THE NEW: What is it about being shocked that artists and
viewers find so...invigorating? "Notoriously, ever since
the dawn of Impressionism, modern art has delivered the shock
of the new. Whether you find it a bracing blast of novelty or
a dastardly attack on everything sacred is partly a matter of
temperament - and taste."
GETS THE MONEY: In August the Australian government agreed
to $70 million in additional funding to Australian arts groups.
But agreement about how the money will be spent has been held
up in a spat over $47,000 between the arts minister for Victoria
and the federal government.
The Age (Melbourne) 08/26/00
Friday August 25
OF SCOOPING: Last week the Boston Herald reported that longtime
American Repertory Theatre director Robert Brustein would be leaving
the theatre after this season. The next day the Boston Globe printed
a story wherein Brustein denied the Herald's scoop. So did the
Herald have it wrong? No, say its editors.
Boston Phoenix 08/24/00
Thursday August 24
The Dot-commies are making it so expensive to live in San Francisco
that artists can't afford it any more. Thousands have lost their
work/live spaces and arts organizations are being prices out of
the city. But protesting won't change things - time to act and
use some of the city's policies to alleviate the squeeze.
INFLUENCE: In the fluid performance world that is the Edinburgh
Festival, quotes from critics are hawked on the streets in
attempts to lure an audience inside. Problem is, many of the quotes
are distorted. "But journalists are fighting back. Some are
insisting that the offending passages are removed... but only
after bums have been successfully put on seats. Others have attempted
to construct pieces without a single positive, quotable word.
One irate hack was even said to have pounded the Edinburgh streets
at night, tearing down 'his' quotes." The
FOR SALE: Last week, someone put their vote up for bid on
E-bay. "You must specify whom I vote for in the presidential
and all other elections in my district, by name or party,' the
seller wrote in his description of the item. 'Why should the American
citizen be left out? Congressmen and senators regularly sell their
votes to the highest bidder. Democracy for sale!' E-bay finally
canceled the sale, cooperating with investigators from the Justice
Department, but not before the price had been bid up to $10,100."
SO SMART: The founder of Mensa, the society for geniuses,
recently died in London at the age of 85. A curious society this.
"The great idea of the Mensa organisation was that if only
it were possible to get together all the most intelligent people
in the community, they could have an overwhelming influence for
good and social welfare. It has discovered the hard way that high
intelligence correlates in no way with good character, emotional
stability, personal charisma or understanding of other people.
There are just as many nasty as nice intelligent people."
Sydney Morning Herald 08/24/00
BY SUCCESS? Edinburgh is the world's largest arts festival,
and boasts more than 1,600 shows over three weeks. It is "made
up of a number of fringes with dramatically different agendas,
audiences, resources and performers all taking place only loosely
beneath the tent that is the Fringe Festival." But is the
Fringe - "which encompasses theatre, dance, musicals, opera,
fine art and comedy and revue entertainment - grown so diverse
as to become impossible to define?"
and Mail 08/24/00
CENTER AWARDS are announced: dance Mikhail Baryshnikov, tenor
Plácido Domingo, actress Angela Lansbury, rock 'n' roller Chuck
Berry, and the actor/director Clint Eastwood. New
York Times 08/23/00
registration required for entry)
CHOICE: "Though the Kennedy Center has been questioned
for giving people a legendary status when their careers were
brief or obscure, or saluting artists with highbrow appeal
but little in the way of broad popular impact, this year's
honorees have had long, influential careers. In many cases,
even their clunkers have been hailed as bold experiments."
OVER ARTS FUNDING: "The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center,
founded in 1988 to support illegal aliens and homosexuals, established
an arts program in 1990. It is suing the city because it claims
the city council's decision in 1997 to eliminate taxpayer funding
for its arts program was political."
Tuesday August 22
CRITIC: Portland theatre critic not only wrote critical reviews
of a theatre company's shows but went to funders to ask why they
gave money to the theatre. "It appears to me through it all
he's trying to close us down. If he gets away with it, guess who's
next? I don't mind being blasted, that's part of it. But this
goes over the line."
Portland Business Journal 8/22/00
SELLARS FESTIVAL: Peter Sellars is hard at work putting together
the next Adelaide Festival. "Decrying many Australian and
American festivals for relying heavily on what he calls 'a yuppie
shopping spree' of European works, Sellars has confirmed he will
present a predominantly local program in Adelaide. It is a proposition
that alternately dazzles and horrifies people, as do his challenging
images of large-scale community collaborations likely to involve
The Age (Melbourne) 08/22/00
OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN: Do copyright laws help or hinder culture?
Playwright Charles Mee addresses the question repeatedly in his
work - all of his plays include text appropriated from another
source, and all of them are available for free over the web. “The
greatest plays in human history - those by the ancient Greeks
and Shakespeare - would never have been written had copyright
laws existed to keep the authors from borrowing from the culture
around them.” NPR
GERMAN: In the interest of efficiency, the European Union
has decided to use "new" simplified German in its business.
The simplified language, introduced two years ago, "cut the
number of spelling rules from 212 to 112 and those governing usage
of commas from 52 to nine. German's Lego-like way of constructing
words was also changed by preventing one very long one being created
from several." But the decision has Germans up in arms.
Telegraph (London) 08/22/00
Monday August 21
VS DEVELOPERS: A Boston artists' district has become a popular
target for developers, who want to significantly remake the area.
Now a coalition of artists is "aggressively attempting to
buy warehouse buildings from local developers in the hopes of
salvaging the artists' presence in the bustling arts district."
Boston Herald 08/21/00
EDIFYING EDINBURGH? As usual, a fair bit of controversy at
this year's Edinburgh Festival. "Founded in 1948 to foster
cultural links after the second world war, the international festival
has since been surrounded by a clutch of peripheral events, of
which the most prominent and controversial is the fringe festival.
So how does the international festival now distinguish itself?"
And is it doing a good job? The answer, according to some experts
is a resounding no.
The Guardian (London) 08/21/00
WORK: "Readers and writers of the past - not just the
geniuses, either; the intelligent, alert ones who kept current
as we all like to think we do - remind us how culture and taste
change. And why. What aesthetic, social and intellectual needs
do beliefs serve in their time? Which ones serve us now, and why?"
Times 08/21/00 (one-time
registration required for entry)
REVIEWS ALEXANDER: "Jane Alexander probably could have
been less of a diplomat with legislators, and more of an advocate
for the avant-garde and the high arts. With hindsight, she had
nothing to lose by a more forthright stand since, for all of her
charm, graciousness, and tact, she failed to save the agency from
become a limping animal, disabled by the Congressional axe. But
Command Performance is possibly more interesting as a personal
bildungsroman than as a history of a crippled government agency
- a tale of what befalls a liberal American idealist at the close
of the twentieth century."
The New Republic 08/21/00
Sunday August 20
A WAR... They don't have Communists, and the drug war has
gotten old. What's the next "great" issue? "With
three major combatants in the nation's culture wars closely tied
to the race, the assault on sex, violence, and sensationalism
in the entertainment industry is now very much a bipartisan venture.
'These censorship crusades are quite cyclical. There may be some
differences ideologically in terms of what Lynne Cheney would
want to censor and what Al and Tipper Gore want to censor. But
I'm not aware of any significant differences'.''
Boston Globe 08/20/00
MEANING: " 'The work we have been doing on media and
screen dependency has suggested that people have been desensitised.
In order to get a better reaction artists have had to go to further
extremes. It is about finding a new kick and a new thrill. Very
often, these shock tactics are a substitute for real creativity.'
So is there no other purpose behind this ceaseless search for
more raw and brutal forms of diversion?" The
Observer (London) 08/20/00
CULTURES: Do the values of a culture determine its economic
success? A new book offers 22 various scholars and authors debating
whether the cultural aspects of a people make a difference in
their level of economic development.
the effect a bad review has on you and those around you. Friends
and family tend to flap around saying: 'It's only one person's
opinion, what does it matter?' But that's rubbish. If you get
a really good review somewhere, people don't say: 'Hey, don't
bother getting excited, that's only one person's opinion.' People
tell you to be thick-skinned, to rise above it, but I don't think
you can. Bad reviews hurt like hell and that's all there is to
it. Now I know why so many actors say they never read them at
The Observer (London) 08/20/00
ART: "While rock has long had a tradition of sibling
acts, the film and art worlds, though previously featuring plenty
of brothers and sisters working in different areas of the same
art form, seem to have only recently hit upon the idea of consolidating
the family business. But does working with your brother or sister
have any effect on the artistic end product? Is sibling art or
music somehow different from other collaborative efforts and,
if so, is it rooted in a genetically shared talent or simply the
circumstances of upbringing?
Sunday Times 08/20/00
Friday August 18
WARS, ROUND II: "Around the country, think tanks, foundations,
academics and researchers are drawing up a wide range of empirical
evidence designed to defend and define the civic role of culture
in America. And by culture they don't just mean art in a museum
or music in an orchestra hall. Culture, they say, includes everything
from fine art to movies and pop music, parks, historic monuments
and architecture - the essential fabric of our lives. And, they
say, government needs to pay fresh attention. Witness the birth
of the cultural policy movement."
VS THE ARTS: "None of us wants to resort to regulation.
But if the entertainment industry continues to move in this direction,
and continues to market death and degradation to our children,
and continues to pay no heed to the real bloodshed staining our
communities, then the government will act." The government
will act: To many people, even those who agree that the contemporary
entertainment world is objectionably coarse and crude, those words
are almost as menacing as the tip of a bayonet in the small of
Chicago Tribune 08/18/00
ART: "Brooklyn-based historian, author and playwright
Charles Mee believes that the greatest plays in human history
- those by the ancient Greeks and Shakespeare - would never have
been written had copyright laws existed to keep the authors from
borrowing from the culture around them. Mee puts his money where
his mouth is. He makes the texts of his plays freely available
on the Web, and forgoes royalties."
Considered (NPR) 08/17/00
[Real Audio file]
ON ART: The arts are in desperate shape in South Africa. "To
continue to ignore the very real obstacles facing the cultural
and artistic life of the country is reckless. With the Lottery
pickings out there to better South Africa, why are the arts not
on the agenda?" Daily
Mail & Guardian (South Africa) 08/17/00
TO SENDER: "Britain may have lost its former colonial
territories, but its national museums still hold vast cultural
treasures; the surviving legacy of hundreds of years of empire.
These museums are now becoming increasingly out of step with museums
around the world which have been handing back material over which
there have been claims. Indeed the Australian Museum has been
a leader in the field for more than 20 years, having returned
significant items to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon
Sydney Morning Herald 08/18/00
"Twice a week, thousands (as many as 28,000) of in-line skate
aficionados take over central Paris, turning the traffic-clogged
streets of the French capital into a derby of flailing limbs and
technicolour Lycra. Held every Friday night and Sunday afternoon,
the inline skating "parades" are a magnet for locals
and tourists seeking exercise, fun and even a whiff of danger.
Each week, police approve a new 30-kilometre route and keep traffic
at bay during the allotted three hours.
National Post (Canada) 08/18/00
Thursday August 17
WHO'S TO BLAME GAME: Joe Lieberman gave his speech to the
Democratic Party convention Wednesday and didn't slam Hollywood.
But he sent pal William Bennett to speak on a panel in his place
across town. Bennett decried the "morass of sex and vulgarity
promoted by Hollywood" and "reiterated that the entertainment
industry is responsible for 'the degradation of our culture' and
that movies, TV and music have led to 'a debasement of the moral
CUTS: Ottawa, Canada's capital, is consolidating into a "megacity"
and the board overseeing the transition has decided to cut a promised
$500,000 for the arts from the new city's budget surplus. "We
are just one tenth of one percent of the regional budget and to
grab that money, they really are going to have some upset artists."
FESTIVAL FIGHT: "The day after the festival board voted
5-0 late Tuesday to move the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the
Masters to a bigger site in San Clemente, artists and other opponents
of the move vowed to step up their fight. 'We will not allow this
to happen. They may go, but the festival will not go with them.
The artists will not go. The pageant people indicated they will
not go and volunteers said they will not go'."
Orange County Register 08/17/00
INDENTURED SERVANTS: Last April, the National Labor Relations
Board ruled that graduate assistants at NYU had the right
to unionize. The university subsequently appealed the decision
and now, just as school is about to begin, the notoriously
overworked and underpaid GAs are awaiting the Board's decision.
The Village Voice 08/16/00
MATTER OF PRIORITIES: Arts education programs by more than
a dozen Boston area arts groups that work with more than 30 schools
may have to be curtailed after the Massachusetts governor vetoes
$5.2 million in spending slated for Boston schools. "This
is the single largest act of destruction for arts education in
Boston Herald 08/16/00
BOLDLY GO: "While the major media establishments struggle
to figure out how to use the Internet, many celebrities are taking
advantage of a medium that offers more creative freedom at a lower
cost. And they're being greeted by a number of smart online companies
such as Artistdirect, which creates Web sites for celebrities,
and Atomic Pop, which is headed by Al Teller, the former head
of MCA Music Entertainment Group and CBS Records."
Yahoo! (Inter@ctive Week) 08/15/00
DETENTE: "Clearly, if San Francisco is becoming too expensive
for some folks to live in, it's also becoming too expensive for
others to create in. While the booming dot-com economy may have
something to do with squeezing artists out, dot-communists themselves
are not necessarily the enemy. At least that's what the Institute
for Unpopular Culture will set out to prove tomorrow night."
San Francisco Chronicle 08/16/00
LAGUNA: Laguna Beach's colorful 70-year-old Pageant of the
Masters arts festival is leaving town. "The five-member Festival
of Arts board voted unanimously Tuesday night to move the prestigious
pageant and the festival art show to a $30 million complex in
San Clemente after next year. Festival officials expect to clear
$2 million annually - instead of the current $75,000 - to donate
to the arts community."
Orange County Register 08/16/00
Tuesday August 15
TOBACCO DOLLARS: Tobacco companies have been major funders
of Canadian arts. But new regulations curtail tobacco sponsorships.
A survey of 152 arts groups finds that "more than half of
the groups now receiving tobacco money will be forced to reduce
the size and scope of their productions. It also found that arts
groups will seek new sources of revenue rather than ask existing
sponsors for more money." CBC
MOST POWERFUL MARKETING FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE: Hollywood has
the capacity to excite the public about just about anything -
which is why NASA has been bending over backwards to help Hollywood
make its space movies more authentic. It goes something like this: if
people get space-crazy, NASA may get more support from Congress.
The Age (AP) 08/15/00
ART OF REUNION: A delegation of North Korean poets, painters,
and scholars will return to see their families in South Korea
for the first time in 50 years - many of their family members
have only been able to see their relatives' art at overseas exhibitions
in China and Japan. The Korea
Monday August 14
DISCOMFIT: Movie critic Stanley Kauffmann finds his opinion
has changed after 40 years. "The plain, discomfiting fact
is that every one of us who has watched plays and films or read
books or listened to music or looked at painting and architecture
is, in some measure, self-deceived. Filed away in the recesses
of our minds are thousands of opinions that we have accumulated
through our lives, and they make us think that we know what
we think on all those subjects. We do not. All we know is what
we once thought, and any earlier view of a work, if tested,
might be hugely different from what we would think now."
New Republic 08/10/00
SEARCH OF BOHEMIA: "It has become fashionable these
days to emphasize, even to celebrate, the assimilation of bohemian
ideals to capitalist realities. The 'bourgeois bohemian' is
becoming a stock figure in social criticism, or what passes
for it. Trendy boutiques and lame attempts at politically correct
purchasing have become the stuff of neo-conservative satire.
The implicit message of such gloating is always the same: bohemia
has disappeared into up-market fashion. And one would be hard
pressed to deny that this new pop-sociological cliche has a
basis in reality."
New Republic 08/14/00
TO THE RIGHT? A longtime critic of the entertainment industry,
U.S. Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman
on Sunday accused Hollywood of corrupting the nation's children
and the culture at large. He singled out Walt Disney Co. as
particularly lax morally and warned that Washington could impose
“legal restrictions” if the industry doesn’t impose some of
its own. “Look, I love the movies. I love music, but there is
still too much violence, too much sex, too much incivility in
News (Reuters) 08/13/00
- DOES SIZE MATTER? "We are repeatedly told that it is
the biggest in the world, the largest arts festival of any kind,
an artistically overstuffed August when, for three weeks, Edinburgh
becomes the mother of all festivals - Official, Fringe, Film,
Book, TV and now Club. But for too long, the Fringe has been inordinately
concerned with size. Like an adolescent boy - and, for that matter,
most males - it is obsessed with being the largest. But who's
counting? And does it matter?"
New Statesman 08/14/00
RUINS: One month after the Roman Coliseum hosted its first
theatrical event in 1,500 years, a pop concert planned for the
amphitheaters of ancient Pompeii and Paestum may be next. Despite
widespread concerns over possible damage to the ruins, Italy’s
culture minister promised that more of Italy's famous monuments
will present entertainment. Times
of India (AP) 08/14/00
A Boston pilot program "teams students with five local cultural
institutions. The students act as apprentices to artists in five
disciplines: dance, portraiture, storytelling, Vietnamese silk
painting and puppetry-theater arts. In addition to the cultural
experience, the students are also gaining job training and literacy
skills. The students are required to keep a daily journal, show
up on time, and act professionally and respectfully. For their
time - five hours a day, five days a week, for five weeks - the
program's participants receive $6 an hour."
Boston Herald 08/14/00
Sunday August 13
"The Delaware Arden should be mythical because it sounds
like a place that's too good to be true. It has an odd but equitable
tax scheme, community spirit out of a Jimmy Stewart movie, and
a lot of artists. This isn't surprising, because Arden was founded
100 years ago by a sculptor and an architect who were trying to
invent a more perfect form of society. They didn't quite succeed,
but their legacy is an enclave that even today is home to more
than an average complement of creative people - artists, artisans,
writers and aesthetes of every stripe."
Philadelphia Inquirer 08/13/00
AFOOT? "Conceptual art, performance art and hard abstraction
still often dominate the art magazines. But in New York, there
is a feast of representational art this summer. I decided to check
it out to see if there was anything in these exhibits that would
give me a clue as to what is afoot."
Friday August 11
MANUSCRIPTS, BOOKS, AND MUSIC COMPOSITIONS stolen by Russia’s
Red Army after World War II and since kept in Armenia’s Academy
of Sciences were returned to Germany this week. Armenia first
returned war booty to Germany in 1998 with a huge shipment of
antiques. Germany’s culture minister is confident the remaining
artifacts will be returned shortly.
Today (Reuters) 08/10/00
Thursday August 10
OF A CHANCE: In the 1960s, hippy artists from Britain were
invited to revive a ghost hill town in Italy. They restored its
houses and rebuilt the water and sewage system and made the town
a going concern. "But a promise that they could make their
homes was never put in writing." Now the Italian government
wants the town back... BBC
IN NEW YORK: "In the arts world, passions can run pretty
deep. But passions have carved a Grand Canyon-size divide among
warring factions of artists fighting for control of the Clemente
Soto Vélez Cultural Center on the Lower East Side. And the fight
could end up in a death grip, with all the artists being kicked
out of the castlelike building."
registration required for entry)
TARGETS: "There are three people truly disliked by Hollywood.
John McCain, conservative moralist William Bennett and Joe Lieberman.
That's because each has sought the spotlight to further his own
career by picking on an easy target — the pop culture spewed out
by television, movies, music and video games. Most of the culture-war
cackling from these three heats up during an election year. It's
a no-brainer for politicians: TV equals filth. We need guidelines
— like ratings, a V-chip and content concessions from Hollywood
producers. That Lieberman is now in the running to become vice
president is not good for those who oppose censorship."
San Francisco Examiner 09/10/00
CRUSADER: On Tuesday US VP-candidate Joe Lieberman, "a
culture warrior considered one of the moral voices of the Senate,
promised supporters that the Democratic Gore/Lieberman ticket
would help parents 'raise PG kids in an X-rated society.' He praised
Vice President Gore's wife, Tipper, for having had the courage
to speak out against certain music lyrics, a move for which she
was widely blasted in the 1980s."
Washington Post 08/09/00
TV CRITIC: "Lieberman, like a lot of us who actually
watch the TV we rip, wants content changes. But when the government
threatens to get involved in that sort of thing, it smacks
of demagoguery. No matter. TV critic Lieberman is always good
for an opinion." Chicago
LIEBERMAN FACTOR: US VP-candidate Joe Lieberman has been
tough on the entertainment industry. How tough? "He
told Daily Variety last year that shows like 'Friends'
should be relegated to late night because of their raciness.
SURVIVOR: Europe's big cultural
festivals are big business. "Salzburg, the most prestigious,
sold its soul a long while back. Nowhere on the tourist itinerary
of Europe are you more likely to find over-priced hotels and mediocre
restaurants. The old town has become little more than a shopping
mall for the exceedingly wealthy. How could Mozart's birthplace
have come to this?" All the more to sympathize with Gerard
Mortier's struggle for artistic integrity. Financial
POWER: "Think of Edinburgh today: boomtown, glittering
northern capital, as beautiful a city centre as any in Europe;
full of history, packed year round with visitors, draped with
pavement cafés, bright with flags. Then glance back at Edinburgh
as it was 53 years ago, when the Festival was founded: a lost
capital almost crushed by the pressure of two world wars - the
austerity, the rationing, the sheer exhaustion - into a kind
of dour British provincialism from which it seemed unlikely
ever to recover." The
OPENS FOR BUSINESS: "Everything from theatres
to circuses, orchestras to book-readings, stand-up comedy
to experimental dance is featured on the programme, making
the festival the largest celebration of the arts anywhere
in the world - it is listed as such in The Guinness Book
of Records." CNN
Tuesday August 8
OF THE NATION? Hollywood is pondering the possibility of Joe
Lieberman becoming vice-president of the US. "Lieberman is
widely regarded as 'the moral conscience' of the Senate and has
continually blasted TV, movies and the recording industry for
featuring too much sex and violence."
OF THOUGHT: European thinkers are curious about American intellectural
thought, and seem to seek it out to engage with it.The reverse
is not so often true. "In failing to read our European contemporaries
in their own languages (especially when they write about their
own philosophical classics), don't we deprive ourselves of important
cognitive sources?" Chronicle
of Higher Education 08/07/00
CULTURE: Do cultures have an inherent right to survive? "There
is no great moral distinction, such rhetoric seems to suggest,
between allowing a culture to assimilate into the wider surrounding
society and actually going out and killing its members en masse.
If we take these arguments at face value, cultural survival is
something very close to a moral absolute; to refuse to endorse
it is to sign up on the side of cultural atrocity and numbing
global conformity." Civilization
THEN, WILL LEAD US? "No longer do our poets, both musical
and otherwise, define society; instead, they reflect it. Some
of the most significant philosophers of our time have provided
nothing more than political fuel, and fashion designers have been
left with the sole responsibility of directing the masses. We
can hardly claim to perpetuate the age-old search for nobility.
Knowledge is no longer a reward in itself, and a good number of
us believe Socrates to simply be a character in Bill and Ted's
Excellent Adventure." *spark-online
Monday August 7
TAX FOR ART: A proposed "cultural tax" in Detroit
would pump $36 million annually to arts and culture. "It
is being pushed by Detroit Renaissance, a group of business executives
trying to enhance the area, and a coalition of cultural institutions.
They contend that the money is needed to keep Metro Detroit's
cultural landmarks vibrant by stabilizing funding and providing
support for the arts if the economy slows." A poll shows
58 percent of those surveyed said they would approve it.
Detroit News 08/07/00
THIS HERE: "Think about it - every time you see a web
page that's using a piece of clip art with a dog looking surprised,
there are anywhere from six to a thousand other web sites using
the exact same image, all stored in different places. This is
what my Information Mechanics professor used to call a 'waste
of space'." That's why I invented a program for the Library
of Congress to erase duplicate information.
Sunday August 6
CAN TAKE THE AUDIENCE OUT OF THE BAR, BUT... Pittsburgh's
undergoing a building boom of cultural facilities. "But despite
our new wealth, it sometimes seems as if we've invested in our
venues but not in ourselves. A blue-collar work ethic is a good
thing, but 25-cent manners meant for the neighborhood tavern don't
fly in a $25 million theater designed to radiate culture. Anyone
who's recently been to a film, play, dance performance or music
concert has seen a recital of the Pittsburgh Inconsiderate Symphony."
Friday August 4
ASSET? Dick Cheney is George Bush's running mate, but of interest
to cultural people is his wife Lynne, who was chairperson of the
National Endowment for the Humanities in George Sr's administration.
When she left NEH, though, she attacked it. Cheney appeared on
ABC's 'This Week' last Sunday, "and told interviewer Cokie
Roberts that she had tried to eliminate the agency because 'the
Endowment, under the Clinton administration, evolved into something
outrageous,' and that 'it was such a misuse of taxpayer money.'
COMPUTERS CHANGE US: Computers are useful tools, to be sure.
But using them is also changing the way we think. "The computer
is a new semiotic channel. When it processes information it changes
that information. Consider, for example, the hunt-and-browse method
of research one does when actually working in library stacks.
Compare this to the Boolean search procedures one uses when doing
computer assisted research. This change is bound make a difference
in the knowledge produced, but as yet we do not know in what way."
The Idler 08/04/00
IN CULTURE: Various levels of Australian governments spent
a combined $199 per person on cultural activities in 1998-99,
says a new report. That was up $9.40 from the previous year.
The Age (Melbourne) 08/04/00
ARE WE? There are plenty of prominent Aussie actors and directors
who have made it big worldwide - Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchette,
and Geoffrey Rush, just to name a few. But what version of Australia
are they presenting to the world (and to Australians)? "A
bloke could be forgiven for starting to wonder exactly who owns
COOPERATION: "Ever wonder what would happen if several
leading entertainment firms decided to work together? Korea is
about to find out as five business giants in various entertainment
fields signed a cooperative contract Wednesday to start just such
a joint venture."
Korea Herald 08/04/00
Thursday August 3
CORPORATE ARTS BUDDY PLAN: With only 1% of businesses
investing in the arts, Australian Prime Minister John Howard decided
it was about time to create an arts business foundation that would
encourage funding from the private sector. "What we
are trying to encourage is recognition that it's not just about
handing over a cheque. It's about two partners looking for the
longer term." The Age
Tuesday August 1
ARTS FEST SPUTTERS: What if they threw a party and nobody
came? Sydney's arts companies are reporting that the Sydney Olympic
Organizing Committee has botched the arts festival by not promoting
it properly and failing to deliver tickets. "Arts companies
have complained that some events have sold as little as 8 per
cent of tickets with just six weeks until the festival's opening."
The Australian 08/01/00
NEW LATIN: "Think of mathematics as the Latin of modern
times. Across the world, it plays, as several historians have
noted, the role that Latin played for Europeans in the Middle
Ages. It's the international language of vital work. It unites
those whose thoughts produce big changes, and it helps make those
changes occur. We who know nothing of mathematics (like Europeans
who knew nothing of Latin in, say, 1350) are fated to be, in a
crucial sense, more spectators than participants at the central
dramas of our lifetime." National
Post (Canada) 08/01/00
A LESSON FROM THE BASQUE: Once admired
as one of Europe’s most art-friendly cities, with collections
rivaling those of several European capitals, Glasgow has seen
its museums and galleries fall into disrepair and financial turmoil
in recent years. No surprise why - funding cuts, due in large
part to a remapping of municipal four years ago. “What is required
is a change in the way the museums - and perhaps other cultural
assets - are funded." The
Telegraph (London) 08/01/00
THE REAL STORY? While the Napster controversy
has enjoyed an avalanche of media attention, how much of it can
be considered “good journalism”? “Too often the complicated dispute
between the online start-up and the music industry has been painted
in the most simplistic terms - a reductive tale of forward-thinking
entrepreneurs outsmarting head-in-the-sand label executives. From
the get-go, disturbing signs suggested the press was more interested
in advancing Napster's story as a David-vs.-Goliath tale than
in seriously addressing the intricate issues at hand.”
VALLEY'S RESIDENT LUDDITE: Clifford Stoll is on a mission.
"In his most recent book, 'High Tech Heretic,' Stoll writes
that computers 'dull questioning minds with graphical games where
quick answers take the place of understanding.' In his book, Stoll
skewers calculators, laptops, desktops, and cell phones as gizmos
that do nothing to provoke critical thinking. Instead, they swallow
time and waste money that should be spent on books and teachers."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune 08/01/00