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Wednesday, September 14


Is The Wonderfully Workable Web Under Attack? Legal doctrines "being aggressively pushed by corporations and law enforcement officials" are attempting to lock up content and programs on the internet. "The better world is one in which we don't need to seek permission or risk punishment to do cool stuff that makes the world a better place. In the early days of the internet, a lot of people felt that we'd found that better world. Thanks to the internet's open protocols, many of the most useful innovations, from the web to instant messaging to internet telephony, emerged without developers needing anyone's permission to run their cool new code." Wired 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 7:12 am

Profs: Student Quality Lacking A new survey of American college professors reports that the profs are generally unhappy with the quality of students coming in to theikr classes. "Just under half of all instructors — 49.6 percent — said they were. In addition, only 35.5 percent of all professors said they believed that faculty members at their own institution felt that students were well-prepared academically, although that number has actually increased from 28 percent in 1998." InsideHigherEd 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 5:30 pm

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Visual Arts

Getty Villa Almost Ready For Reopening After five years of extensive renovations, the Getty villa in Malibu is almost ready to reopen. "The expected 2001 completion date was pushed back repeatedly by legal wrangling with neighbors and construction delays. But the $275-million project — transforming the J. Paul Getty Trust's former general art museum into an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Etruria — is nearly complete. A series of invitational previews this fall will lead to the public opening in early 2006." Los Angeles Times 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 8:27 am

RIBA Head: Architecture Shows Are Crap London needs a place to stage architecture exhibitions. The head of the Royal Institute of British Architects Trust says that "most architecture exhibitions are crap. In my opinion, yes they are. The content isn't crap but the way it engages is appalling because it's the wrong medium. I've seen many architecture exhibitions where the subject matter should be in a book or on a website or in a journal or on television, but it's not an exhibition." The Guardian (UK) 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 4:42 pm

Kidnapping As Art (Really?) Journalist Morgan Fowler has homself "kidnapped" by a performance artist, who beats on him. "Lying on the floor I had felt genuinely degraded, afraid of the next punch, ashamed that I’d submitted to it at all. Yet something like determination kept me submitting to this for a full 40 minutes. Even after a cab home and a shower I found myself oddly reluctant to talk about what had happened. The game had been a little more involving than I had envisaged. I had quite a few bruises." Is this really art? The Times (UK) 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 4:42 pm

The Disappointment That Is Baltic GAteshead's Baltic gallery opened in 2002 with great fanfare and high hopes. But "the Baltic has become the safely provincial test bed of the wannabe cutting-edgers. You know the kind of thing: formulaic novelty and predictable, in-your-face transgression, not to mention those darkened rooms containing videos that render visitors comatose. Fair enough, Bill Viola is a master, but how about the others? If the Baltic's programme of institutional avant-gardism has been underwhelming, its managerial record has been abysmal." New Statesman 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 4:25 pm

Philly Calder Museum Dies A planned Alexander Calder museum in Philadelphia has died. "Both the state and the proposed museum's major financial backer have withdrawn their support for the project. The proposed museum was to have been a permanent home for about 100 artworks, mostly those of Alexander (Sandy) Calder, a Philadelphia-area born sculptor famous for whimsical mobiles and steel sculptures." Philadelphia Daily News 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 4:12 pm

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Why Orchestras Pay So Little "A survey of British orchestral players by the Musicians Union finds that many have been reduced to taking part-time jobs in order to make ends meet. Aromatherapy, taxi driving, letting out rooms and web design are listed as supplementary occupations. One respondent complains that a young policeman earns more than a parental cellist, a plumber makes three times as much. Players may look smart in tie and tails on stage but their socks are full of holes and their satisfaction level is grumblingly low. The worst thing about being an orchestral musician, most agree, is the wretched pay." Norman Lebrecht wonders: Is anything to be done? La Scena Musicale 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 8:14 am

Seattle Symphony Wins New Players Contract "The three-year extension and modification of the present contract, worked out during the past nine months of negotiations between the orchestra management and the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players Organization, has three key elements. The first postpones raises that were supposed to come in 2005-06, the last year of the current five-year contract. The second affects health insurance, with musicians taking on some added costs, including covering 25 percent of the premium cost for their dependents. Finally, some future raises are being deferred" Seattle Times 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 8:11 am

  • Behind The Seattel Symphony's Musicians' Contract The Seattle Symphony has had a recent run of deficits, putting it in a strong position in its just-concluded contract negotiations with musicians. "The symphony did not back away from its commitment in the 2001 contract to increase musicians' weekly salaries 36 percent by 2006, which includes a 7 percent pay hike this year. To do so, the length of the season will drop back from 46 weeks to 45 weeks this year." Seattle Post-Intelligencer 09/14/05
    Posted: 09/14/2005 8:09 am

Portrait Of The Orchestra Musician In The UK "According to the survey, orchestral musicians earn an average of £28,579 per year - of which £25,126 comes from their orchestral contract. (According to the Office of National Statistics, the UK average salary last year was £22,060.) The pay scale is fairly flat across the sector, with 71 per cent of respondents earning between £20,000 and £30,000. 14 per cent earned below that, and 15 per cent above. Over the last three years, musicians' average earnings have risen at slightly below the rate of inflation." Gramophone 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 4:32 pm

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Arts Issues

Oops - Software Company Approriates Scottish Arts Council Logo makes of a leading desktop publishing program - "Quark" - proudly unveiled their new logo, a stylized "Q" last weekend. But almost immediately critics pointed out that "the desktop publishing company's new-look green 'Q' logo is visually almost identical with the Scottish Arts Council's (SAC) long-used blue 'A' logo. Such similarities were quickly noted by users in multiple design-focused message boards, but it's an honest mistake, claimed Quark." MacWorld 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 7:04 am

Priorities: Rebuilding A Modern City Rebuild New Orleans, sure. But how? "Among the questions facing architects are whether the city's footprint should be irrelevant, given that so many residents may not return; whether surviving industries should be pivotal to what is built; whether preservation should trump other priorities; and whether bold new architecture can or should rise from the muck and devastation. Many experts also warned against moving too quickly, arguing that being away from the city could help residents clarify what was most valued and should be reclaimed." The New York Times 09/14/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 5:12 pm

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Baltimore Sun Architecture Critic Accused Of Conflicts Of Interest The Baltimore City Paper reports that Baltimore Sun architecture critic Edward Gunts owns considerable property in areas of the city he writes about. "According to the most recently available city and state property-tax records, Gunts currently owns seven residential properties in Mount Vernon and one in Bolton Hill. In the past 18 months he has sold eight additional residential properties in Bolton Hill for more than $2 million—$1.1 million above their purchase price. Since joining The Sun in 1984, Gunts has written extensively about both neighborhoods, often praising their architecture." Baltimore City Paper 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 8:47 am

America's Oldest Bandleader Dies Sterling Dorwin Weed, the nation's oldest known active bandleader, whose Weed's Imperial Orchestra played dates from the early 1930s to this summer, has died. He was 104.
Boston Globe 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 8:19 am

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Stars Pay Off For West End Theatre Hiring Broadway stars for London's West End seems to be a strategy that works big-time at the box office, says online ticket retailer latsminute.com. "Ticket purchases on the site have tripled in the last year, it said. 'Going to the theatre has become the in thing to do this year, according to our sales figures'." BBC 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 6:51 am

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Get Ready For The Insta-New Orleans Books They're on the way, with authors and publishers hard at work... Publishers Weekly 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 5:01 pm

Dumbing Down The Classics? Publishers realize there are plenty of books out there that everyone knows but few have read. Is it because they're too hard? So publishers are putting out "new editions of some of the great, often unread, works with a fresh emphasis on 'accessibility'. Some may call it dumbing down. The books will be, well, simpler. One of the first to receive the treatment is Tolstoy's War and Peace, republished this month by Penguin in a new, reader-friendly translation." The Guardian (UK) 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 4:49 pm

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Gutting The CBC (Who's To Blame?) The CBC's leaders have failed Canada's public broadcaster. "The longer they allow their lockout of 5,500 members of the Canadian Media Guild to grind on — it's now well into its fifth week — the more precarious CBC's position becomes. True, negotiations are back on, but the hard slogging of the big issues still lies ahead. Meanwhile, listeners tired of hearing the same old classical tunes on a loop are fleeing to their CD players and iPods. News junkies are turning to CTV Newsnet or CNN. And now the door has been opened to a nasty national dialogue about CBC's alleged political bias." Toronto Star 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 8:35 am

Lions Gate Tries To Buy DVD Producer Canadian independent producer Lions Gate has made a bid to buy DVD producer Image Entertainment. "Lions Gate, which is based in British Columbia with offices in Santa Monica, California, announced plans last year to make strategic acquisitions. In May, it considered, but then dropped, an effort to bid for British production company HIT Entertainment. Image said Lions Gate was interested in the depth of its library of programs and films and growing music business." Yahoo! (Reuters) 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 8:08 am

Van Gogh Films To Be Remade Three of murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh's films will be remade. "Dutch and US co-producers will re-make 06, Blind Date and Interview in early 2006, Screen International said. In July radical Islamist Mohammed Bouyeri was sentenced to life in prison for shooting and stabbing van Gogh." BBC 09/14/05
Posted: 09/14/2005 6:48 am

Penguins Join The Culture War Conservative groups have turned the documentary "March of the Penguins" and "its stirring depiction of the mating ordeals of emperor penguins into an unexpected battle anthem in the culture wars." This is "the motion picture this summer that most passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing. This is the first movie they've enjoyed since 'The Passion of the Christ.' This is 'The 'Passion of the Penguins.' In part, the movie's appeal to conservatives may lie in its soft-pedaling of topics like evolution and global warming." The New York Times 09/13/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 4:06 pm

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Dancing In The Streets A New York group has "commissioned five choreographers to present 5- to 10-minute works under stuntlike conditions: they were informed after midnight Sunday, by e-mail, of the performance's location" - on the streets of New York. "They have until Saturday to come up with a dance." The New York Times 09/14/05
Posted: 09/13/2005 5:09 pm

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