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Monday, March 28


The Future: Third World Cities? "The third-world metropolis is becoming the symbol of the 'new'. If, for the better part of the 20th century, it was New York and its glistening imitations that symbolised the future, it is now the stacked-up, sprawling, impromptu city-countries of the third world. The idea of the total, centralised, maximally efficient, planned city has long since lost its futuristic appeal: its confidence and ambition have turned to anxiety and besiegement; its homogenising obsession has induced counter-fantasies of insubordination, excess and life forms in chaotic variety. Such desires find in the third-world metropolis a scope, a speed, a more fecund ecology." New Statesman 03/27/06
Posted: 03/27/2006 8:49 am

The End Of Feminism? "According to a remarkable thesis that has blown open the debate around feminism, sexism and the future role of women, a new generation of bright, rich professionals have broken through the glass ceiling and have nothing to fear from the men around them. They will be just as successful." But "the meteoric rise of this new generation of 'go-getting women' who want high-powered, well-paid jobs has dire consequences for society. It has diverted the most talented away from the caring professions such as teaching, stopped them volunteering, is in danger of ending the notion of 'female altruism', has turned many women off having children - and has effectively killed off feminism." The Observer (UK) 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:16 pm

Satire Artist Proposes Wind Farm Vacation A planned windfarm off Nantucket Island has drawn the ire of residents worried about their views. Now Artist Jay Critchley has an idea to pretty it up. Critchley has "submitted a proposal to the Corps of Engineers for 'Martucket Eyeland,' a 'Las Vegas-style, family-oriented vacation land' to be built in the ocean on a corner of Cape Wind Associates' planned Nantucket Sound wind farm. The man-made island would offer the sights of Cape Cod - including the Pilgrim Monument - with terrific views of the turbines." Cape Cod Times 03/25/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 12:22 pm

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Aesthetic Competition Walker Art: Off Center Blog
Culture Clash Travel + Leisure, April 2006
William Safire And Art That's Good for You Washington Post 3/15/06
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Visual Arts

Maxwell Anderson To Indianapolis Maxwell Anderson, former director of the Whitney Museum, has been named director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. "At the IMA, Anderson will lead a multifaceted institution with a $325 million endowment; a $20 million annual operating budget; 320 employees; a collection of more than 50,000 artworks; and $74 million worth of expanded facilities." Indianapolis Star 03/27/06
Posted: 03/27/2006 6:28 am

Melbourne Erases Culture For Commonwealth Games "Melbourne is the proud capital of street painting with stencils. Its large, colonial-era walls and labyrinth of back alleys drip with graffiti that is more diverse and original than any other city in the world. Well, that was until a few weeks ago, when preparations for the Commonwealth games brought a tidal wave of grey paint, obliterating years of unique and vibrant culture overnight." The Guardian (UK) 03/24/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:22 pm

Archiphobia - Aussies Have It Bad "Why is it that Australians, who think so much about design when choosing a new BMW, a Dyson vacuum cleaner, or a Dualit toaster, think so little about design when it comes to their homes? Why is it that only 3 per cent of Australian homes are designed by an architect? Why are we so archiphobic?" The Age (Melbourne) 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:00 pm

Condo Developer Markets The Art A Toronto condo developer is "in the process of buying $700,000 worth of art from local galleries. Condo buyers will be invited to select their piece from the collection when the as-yet-undeveloped units hit the market in April. The idea was to offer an incentive that reflected the spirit of the art-rich neighbourhood. The question is, will this investment help ease the pang of gentrification for long-time residents?" Toronto Star 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 1:09 pm

BBC Defends Spending On Art The BBC is defending itself against critics who are protesting the corporation spending £4m on art. "Well-known artists including Rachel Whiteread and Tracey Emin are among those who have been asked to produce artworks for the corporation under a programme of purchasing public art linked to the redevelopment of Broadcasting House in London." Scotland on Sunday 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 11:57 am

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Aix - A Global Opera Hub? The new director of France's Aix-en-Provence opera festival says he'd like the festival to become an international hub for opera. "I would like the Aix festival to be a global opera hub. Festivals have helped the world of opera evolve, and they must reach beyond the place where they are held." Bloomberg.com 03/24/06
Posted: 03/27/2006 8:56 am

Orchestras Get The Tech Bug Orchestras are finally getting into technology in a big way, offering ringtones and MP3s. "What marks out classical downloading from pop-based genres is that classical music has so much more to gain. Digital technology is fast becoming the new vanguard in the fight for audiences." Scotland on Sunday 03/26/06
Posted: 03/27/2006 8:42 am

Louisiana Phil Back In New Orleans The Louisiana Philharmonic has resumed playing in its homeown. "The orchestra has started a 12-week spring season that was planned long before Hurricane Katrina hit and scattered the players everywhere. Members have since played with 61 different orchestras. The musicians [have gone] to great lengths to maintain the programs planned before the hurricane." Houston Chronicle 03/26/06
Posted: 03/27/2006 8:36 am

Are Lawyers Killing Musicians' Creativity? "Digital technology now makes it very easy for one musician to copy and modify some appealing element from another musician’s recording. Now lawyers hover over new records, listening for any legally actionable borrowing. Such cases are usually settled out of court — for undisclosed, but often enormous, sums. More interesting than the legal-sideshow aspect, I think, is the question of how artists deal with the situation. Imitation, allusion, parody, borrowing stray bits of melody or texture — all of this is fundamental to creativity. The line between mimicry and transformation is not absolute." InsideHigherEd 03/23/06
Posted: 03/27/2006 8:18 am

Kirov - Ringing With Confidence The Kirov Opera is touring - wait for it - Wagner's "Ring." "The Kirov is playing for very high stakes. Touring any opera is a complex and challenging business. The Ring, with its vast scale, huge technical demands and immense musical difficulties, represents a company going for broke. Still more remarkably, the Kirov, following its traditions, is casting entirely from its own ranks. This is an opera company with great confidence." The Guardian (UK) 03/27/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:33 pm

The Castrato - A Very Bad Idea "For every superstar castrato who graced Europe's opera houses between about 1600 and 1828 (when Giovanni Battista Velluti became the last eunuch to appear on stage, in a crusader epic by Meyerbeer), there were hundreds whose ordinariness or unpleasantness of voice condemned them to a life in B-grade church choirs, or on the streets as beggars or prostitutes. And those were the ones who survived the operation..."
The Guardian (UK) 02/27/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:28 pm

Orchestras Discover The Internet (Finally!) Want to download that orchestra concert you heard last week? Soon you may be able to. "Negotiations are under way with orchestras in London, Paris and three German cities. The current intention is for each orchestra to offer, on average, four concerts a season for digital downloading, and one of the four would also be released on CD. The project reflects a seismic shift in the way music is being discovered, distributed and heard." The New York Times 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 12:57 pm

Minnesota Orchestra Gets Played In Big Land Deal The orchestra had bought land for an amphitheatre. When the plan fell through, the orchestra decided to sell the land. "Last summer, the orchestra officially transferred the land to MOA Property Co. On that same day, property records indicate, MOA sold the land to Target for several million dollars more than what it paid the orchestra. While the orchestra's board chairman said that an opportunity to make money may have been lost, he had no regrets." The Star-Tribune (Mpls) 03/25/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 11:59 am

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Arts Issues

The Right To Art - Where Is It? "Try to think of a contemporary piece of art that made a right-wing point? Or a British film, or TV drama, or play? No bells ringing, yet. Nope, there’s no risk of tinnitus. So why are right-wingers in the arts as rare as Saudi snowballs?" The Times (UK) 03/27/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:41 pm

500,000 Rally In LA Against Immigration Bill Perhaps the largest demonstration in LA history gathered to protest federal legislation that would crack down on undocumented immigrants, penalize those who help them and build a security wall along the U.S.' southern border." Los Angeles Times 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 1:17 pm

Toronto Entertainment's "Downward Spiral" "Toronto's entertainment industry has been trapped in a long, downward spiral. How badly did Toronto think it needed "The Lord of the Rings," the colossal, $28 million musical spectacular that officially opened here Thursday night to high hopes but reviews that fell far short of expectations? Badly enough that the Ontario government agreed to risk $3 million in public money in this for-profit show -- not for the building but, incredibly, the actual production -- despite charges that deficit-strapped provincial taxpayers were now being asked to subsidize someone's singing hobbits." Chicago Tribune 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 12:49 pm

McMaster: Keep Edinburgh Scottish The outgoing director of the Edinburgh International Festival says the festical is financially sound. "Brian McMaster, who steps down at the end of this year's Festival, also warned against any reduction in its Scottish talent, saying he would be 'surprised and bloody angry' if that happened." Scotland of Sunday 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 11:54 am

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Actors Testify To Protect Their Likenesses Actors Paul Newman, Christopher Plummer and Charles Grodin say they're worried that "technology has made it possible to access their films, images and voices, and to use that material to produce another product they know nothing about. 'We are suddenly cloned into something we're not. We are robbed of our individuality, and our life's work is tarnished'." Yahoo! (AP) 03/24/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:37 pm

The Downfall Of The "Painter Of Light" "Art critics have long dismissed his work as a kitsch crime against aesthetics. But now the world has grown even more "unsympathetic and complex" for the artist, who describes himself as a devout Christian and has trademarked his 'Painter of Light' soubriquet. In court documents and other testimony, he has been accused of sexual harassment, fraudulent business practices and bizarre incidents of drunkenness including a habit of "ritual territory marking" that involves urinating in public places." The Guardian (UK) 03/25/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:24 pm

Man Behind The Curtain - Steve Jobs "Whether he's inspiring his staff or negotiating with captains of industry, Jobs has outsize abilities to persuade, motivate, inflame the imagination and enrage. How did he get this way? Like the Wizard of Oz, Jobs tries his best to hide behind a curtain, keeping a tight rein on media access and dealing harshly with friends who say too much to biographers." San Francisco Chronicle 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 1:23 pm

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Is London's National Theatre Chasing Away UK's Playwrights? So David Hare is bringing his new work to America first, rather than to London and the National. "The bitter irony is that for years American dramatists have been looking to Britain - and specifically the National Theatre - to showcase their work. Now the boot seems to be on the other foot. Although Hare cites pragmatic reasons for staging his new play in New York, he is not exactly gruntled - as another British exile, PG Wodehouse, said - by his treatment by the National. And in this he is not alone." The Guardian (UK) 03/24/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:30 pm

Seattle Rep To Produce "Rachel Corrie" Seattle Repertory Theatre will be the first big American company to produce the controversial "My Name is Rachel Corrie." "The fact that Rachel Corrie was from Olympia, and went to college at Evergreen, is a big part of why we want to do this. This is about someone local, who could have been any of us. And it's about what happens when your passion and activism reaches the level that hers did." Seattle Times 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 1:13 pm

"Rings" Panned In The Press The new "Lord of the Rings" musical got generally beat up by critics last week. "Most reviewers said the show, which runs to almost four hours, did not live up to expectations. The Toronto Star described it as 'dull', while the Toronto Sun said it 'falls victim to its own hype'. But the granddaughter of author JRR Tolkien praised it for staying true to his classic tale. BBC 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 12:30 pm

  • "Inventive" - A Minority View Of "Lord Of The Rings" "The Lord of the Rings is the most inventively staged show in history — as, indeed, it needed to be. The production’s pyrotechnics make all those gasp-inducing moments from blockbuster shows past seem primitive. That chandelier dropping in Phantom of the Opera? Pshaw. That helicopter landing in Miss Saigon? Ho hum. That revolving stage in Les Misérables? Puh-lease. More than that, these greatest hits of stagecraft seem gimmicky in hindsight. They don’t flow from a coherent vision of the source material in question or bear witness to a singular, original aesthetic — as LOTR’s gobsmacking special effects do." CBC 03/25/06
    Posted: 03/26/2006 12:14 pm

A "Fahrenheit 451" For The Information Age "More comic books, more sex. More nonbooks, more gossip. Plenty of facts but no meaning. Sounds like an average day at a 2006 magazine rack, or in cyberspace, or on the couch with television remote in hand. The danger was never really that we would lose access to information; it was that we would lose the ability, or the desire, to make intellectually rigorous use of it." The New York Times 03/25/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 12:10 pm

Jeune Lune Attempts To Get Back In Tune Minneapolis' Theatre de la Jeune Lune announced last week that it was abandoning its longtime collective leadership model. "It's a long-overdue move. Though Jeune Lune pulled down the 2005 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater, it has been stuck in a morass that has hamstrung the company aesthetically and crippled it programmatically." St. Paul Pioneer-Press 03/25/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 12:02 pm

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Hong Kong Gets Literary Hong Kong is becoming a big literary center. "This month, Hong Kong becomes home to a new international literary prize and to the relaunched Asia Literary Review. Major overseas publishers and agents, meanwhile, have been making regular visits or setting up operations in this area. Hong Kong is working hard to position itself in the middle of this potentially booming book trade." International Herald Tribune 03/26/06
Posted: 03/27/2006 8:33 am

A Year Of Reading About It... "Whether due to the short attention spans of readers, the churn of the book-publishing world or some kind of writing meme, authors are slicing and dicing up their experiences and their studies into rapidly digestible, often bestselling 12-month packages." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 1:01 pm

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The Remarkable Turnaround In Animation "Not a single animated feature was released in the U.S. in 1984, and the five released in 1985 sold less than $50 million worth of tickets combined. How healthy are animated movies today? Well, in 2004, the top five animated films sold more than $1.1 billion worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada. The three films nominated for Best Animated Feature that year outgrossed the five live-action nominees, $858.6 million to $401.5 million." New York Daily News 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:47 pm

Bollywood Looks Up From Its Formula Bollywood certainly has its formula. The movies typically are "kitschy, megawatt musicals with lavish song-and-dance sequences largely disconnected from the plot. In a three-hour film - it could even be a grisly thriller - there may be as many as 10 songs with leading men and women strutting their stuff in settings as diverse as idyllic mountain meadows and grimy city streets. And every time the music starts, the storyline comes to a halt as the hero and heroine dance in gaudy attires that change with dizzying frequency." Now some Indian directors are experimenting to change the formula... The Age (Melborune) 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 5:04 pm

When Video Goes Viral Video clips sampled, made and circulated on the net are hot. "These things are becoming ground zero for pop culture. It's no longer the moment on the Jon Stewart show, it's 'Did you watch the viral video of the moment on the Jon Stewart show?' "
The New York Times 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 12:54 pm

Korean TV Drama Sweeps The Globe "TV dramas have become South Korea's hottest export since cell phones, female golfers and kimchi. The Korean craze, which also includes music and film, has swept through Japan, China, the Philippines, Singapore and most of Asia and is now making its way across the United States." Backstage 03/25/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 12:37 pm

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All Roads Lead To Katherine Dunham? "Dunham brought to audiences, other artists and students an array of movement possibilities that had not been seen or used before in contemporary dance. Today it's impossible to imagine modern dance without these influences." Los Angeles Times 03/26/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 1:04 pm

Denver Dance Doyen Survives A Rough Year Cleo Parker Robinson is a long time luminary in Denver's dance scene. "But Robinson's optimism has been sternly tested during the past year by events that threatened her company financially and brought her great sadness. Last year the company was stung when the Denver Center for the Performing Arts ended a major annual gift of $200,000 it had been making since 1998." And that was just the start of the troubles... Rocky Mountain News 03/25/06
Posted: 03/26/2006 12:06 pm

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