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Thursday, September 22


Visual Arts

Couldn't This Have Been Settled On The Playground? In what may be the most bizarre copyright lawsuit of the year, a Colombian painter is being sued by two marketing firms for interfering with their efforts to sell reproductions of his work. The fracas started when artist Fernando Botero donated a number of his works to a Colombian museum, which turned around and sold the right to produce and market posters of several of the works. Angered by the move, Botero told several media outlets in Miami that the posters were "unauthorized and illegitimate," which the company producing the posters viewed as a deliberate effort to suppress sales. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 6:29 am

New Rembrandt Declared After two years of exploration, a painting has been declared a Rembrandt. "X-rays showed many layers to the painting. Around the woman's neck was the fur collar, but under it there was a black layer of paint, and under that what Rembrandt had originally intended: a whitish collar. That explained the reflections, since light could well reflect off a white collar, but not off dark, fur." The New York Times 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 12:17 am

The Phenomenon That Was Thomas Krens So the legendary Thomas Krens is stepping aside at the Guggenheim. "This departure is a genuine art world event, because of Mr. Krens's influence and buccaneering style. He has done more to redefine museum practice than anyone since Thomas Hoving was director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1960s and 1970s. Still, as with Mr. Hoving, the surprise isn't that his departure took place, but that it didn't happen sooner." OpinionJournal.com 09/21/05
Posted: 09/21/2005 5:31 pm

Ailing Art Investment Funds Art investment funds are struggling. "The fact is that, while a host of funds are currently jostling to find investors, few are succeeding. Most have scaled back their initial optimistic targets, and only one is actually up and running. It is a struggle to make the concept fit with financial institutions." The Art Newspaper 09/21/05
Posted: 09/21/2005 4:49 pm

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Are iPods Destroying Hearing? Audiologists have long expressed concern about hearing loss stemming from the use of headphones, but according to some, the new generation of digital music players pose a particular threat, allowing consumers to listen for long periods at high volume, and eliminating so much of the distortion and background noise common to, say, cassette players, that many listeners won't even realize how much sound they're pumping into their head. "Even with the sound piped directly into the ear canal, noise from the outside often competes with the music, and listeners turn it up louder. People listening to music while riding [commuter] trains, for example, frequently increase the volume levels to drown out the sound of the commute." San Francisco Chronicle 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 6:54 am

Crunch & Twang, Together At Last That the gulf between rock and country music has narrowed in recent years is old news, and to a large extent, the sub-genre known as "arena rock" (hard-driving bands capable of filling arenas that seat tens of thousands - think Bon Jovi) has been replaced by ultra-popular country acts like Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith. But as country rises and rock continues to morph horribly into candy-coated pop, marketers are seeing serious potential in a crossover approach to selling old-fashioned arena rock. "There's no reason, after all, why a pop song can't crunch and twang at the same time." The New York Times 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 5:44 am

Preservation Hall Band Reunites Musicians of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band have reunited in New York. "Preservation Hall itself dates back to a private residence built in 1750, when New Orleans was still a French colony. Like most of the French Quarter, the building suffered only minimal damage from Katrina, its stone walls and thick wooden shutters holding firm against yet another hurricane. The band last performed at Preservation Hall on Aug. 27, a Saturday night, one day before Katrina hit. They played for about 20 people, one of the smallest crowds since the hall was founded by Jaffe's parents in 1961 in a former art gallery. The performance ended early so the musicians could get out of town." Yahoo! (AP) 09/21/05
Posted: 09/21/2005 5:04 pm

Spano, Runnicles Earn ASO Extensions The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has extended the contracts of music director Robert Spano and principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles through the 2008-09 season. The move to lock up a popular music director for an additional two years will likely be seen as a signal to larger U.S. orchestras with music director vacancies that the 44-year-old Spano, a rising star among American conductors, is not available to them in the near term. Andante (AJC) 09/21/05
Posted: 09/21/2005 2:28 pm

Concert Canceled Due To Approaching Disaster With Hurricane Rita churning across the Gulf of Mexico toward the Texas Coast, the Houston Symphony Orchestra has canceled all of its scheduled concerts for the upcoming weekend. Houston sits approximately 50 miles inland from where Rita, now a Category 5 storm, is expected to make landfall, but officials are warning of the possibility of severe flooding in the city nonetheless. The orchestra's concert hall and library were badly damaged by hurricane-induced flooding in 2001. PlaybillArts (NY) 09/21/05
Posted: 09/21/2005 2:24 pm

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Arts Issues

Americans For The Arts' New Relief Fund Americans for the Arts has set up a new emergency relief fund. The organization "describes its new creation as a permanent fund developed to provide timely financial assistance to victims of a major disaster for the purpose of helping them rebuild the arts in their community. Americans for the Arts kicked off the fund with $100,000 and is overseeing donations. Robert L. Lynch, the organization's president and CEO, said on Monday that outside donors had so far contributed close to $50,000 more." Backstage 09/21/05
Posted: 09/21/2005 4:57 pm

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Needed: Rules For Child Actors New laws are needed in the UK to limit the hours that child actors work. "The old law stipulated a maximum of 80 days' paid work a year for performers under the age of 17, 40 days if they were under 13. Since 2000, however, the limit has been abolished, leaving the period to the discretion of each child's local educational authority." The Telegraph (UK) 09/21/05
Posted: 09/21/2005 11:58 pm

Shakespeare, The Modern Subversive "Subversive theatre in the Arab world? Try Shakespeare. "Hidden within everything that is sometimes construed as tame, inoffensive and establishment about the Bard to the modern western sensibility lies - to the Arab theatre practitioner - a heaving underworld of illicit meanings, transgressive actions and contentious critique." The Guardian (UK) 09/22/05
Posted: 09/21/2005 11:42 pm

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ScotiaBank To Bail Out Giller Prize "The Bank of Nova Scotia is preparing to unveil itself as the financial saviour of the Giller Prize, cementing Bay Street's growing reputation as the deep-pocketed patron of the national arts community... The prize pays $25,000 to the best novel or collection of short stories written in English, but the cost of staging the extravagant black-tie event is said to be several times that amount." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 6:26 am

Are Copyright Hawks Shooting Themselves In The Foot? Google has been sued by two authors over its plans to create a searchable archive of academic libraries, and the editors at Wired say that the lawsuit represents a short-sighted attempt to stifle a worthy program. "There are fundamental differences between copying analog works into a digital format for the purposes of piracy, and copying the same works to create a service that conforms to copyright laws in making that data available to the public. What happens on the backend should be of little or no interest to copyright holders, so long as rights are respected on the front end, where control over a work really counts." Wired 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 5:39 am

Blogging For A Living? Can you actually earn a reasonable income from your blog? That'd be news to ArtsJournal's bloggers, but according to some in the blog biz, ad revenue for high-traffic blogs has been going up steadily, and some bloggers are even getting paid directly for their work. "On average, Weblog salaries are about a quarter to half what a mid-level editorial job would pay, without the daily office commute... What do you have to do to earn $500? Publish 125 entries a month, monitor comments, respond to readers and delete offensive comments -- all for about $4 a post." Wired 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 5:30 am

Won't You Please Take This Book? Ian McEwan goes for a stroll in London trying to give away books. "We moved through the lunchtime office crowds picnicking on the grass. In less than five minutes we gave away 30 novels. Every young woman we approached - in central London practically everyone seems young - was eager and grateful to take a book. Some riffled through the pile murmuring, 'Read that, read that, read that ...' before making a choice. Others asked for two, or even three. The guys were a different proposition. They frowned in suspicion, or distaste. When they were assured they would not have to part with their money, they still could not be persuaded. 'Nah, nah. Not for me. Thanks mate, but no.' Only one sensitive male soul was tempted." The Guardian (UK) 09/21/05
Posted: 09/21/2005 11:48 pm

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TiVo On A Hollywood Leash? "Among the functions included in TiVo's latest software upgrade is the ability to allow broadcasters to erase material recorded by TiVo's 3.6 million users after a certain date. That ability was demonstrated recently when some TiVo customers complained on TiVo community sites that episodes of The Simpsons and King of the Hill they recorded were 'red-flagged' for deletion by the copyright holder." The company insists that the deletions were a glitch, and that there are currently no plans to allow studios to remotely delete programs from TiVo hard drives. Of course, that kind of denial begs the question: why install the technology for something you don't plan to use? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (AP) 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 6:48 am

Attendance Low, Tensions High At Montreal Fest For a festival that was supposed to put Montreal back on the international filmfest map, the New Montreal FilmFest has so far been a consummate disaster. "Fears about a high degree of festival fatigue in Montreal appear to have been founded, given the poor attendance reported at many of the venues. Several screenings have had as few as 30 people in attendance -- one film even reportedly showed to just nine festivalgoers." In addition, an embarrassingly public spat has broken out between the fest's director and its corporate backers, and several high-profile screenings have been cancelled without explanation. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 6:20 am

Schorr: Bushies Are Too Smart To Make Nixon's Mistakes Journalist Daniel Schorr is 89, still producing daily segments for National Public Radio and unapologetically infuriating the American right wing. He insists he isn't worried about the future of public broadcasting, but he has serious concerns about the Bush administration's appproach to dealing with the national press. "Nixon hated the media and didn't know what to do about it. This administration is much cleverer. They know what to do about it. They're smart people." Boston Globe 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 5:53 am

ITV At 50: Low Ratings, Lower Standards Britain's ITV channel, the country's first commercial broadcaster, turns 50 this week, but not many in the UK view the milestone as worth celebrating. ITV's ratings have plummeted in recent years, and so has the channel's commitment to public service programming. "The days seem long gone when, in return for 'a licence to print money', it was made to produce an ambitious range of drama, documentaries, current affairs, religion, arts and children's programmes." BBC 09/22/05
Posted: 09/22/2005 5:24 am

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