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Thursday, March 30




Ideas

What We've Learned About The World From Video Games "Economics is loosely defined as choice under scarcity. After all, in the real world, there's only so much to go around. You can't always get what you want, and unfulfilled desires give rise to markets. But in a game world, there's no inherent reason for scarcity. Game designers have given us plenty of utopias where we can have all the mithril we want, to buy whatever we want whenever we want it. Problem is, those worlds turn out to be dull." Wired 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 7:17 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

Congress To Smithsonian: Make Your Own Money Officials from the Smithsonian Institution were on Capitol Hill yesterday to testify to the deteriorating condition of the landmark D.C. museum complex, and to beg Congress for more money to make repairs. In response, at least one Republican Congressman is strongly urging the Smithsonian to scrap its free-admission policy in order to raise the money on its own. Washington Post 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 7:04 am

British Dealer Drawn Into True/Hecht Trial "The activities of Robin Symes, a London antiquities dealer who has done business with many of the world's top collectors, came into sharp focus on Wednesday at the trial of Marion True, a former curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Robert Hecht, an American dealer." Specifically, prosecutors are bringing to light details of "Mr. Symes's elaborate use of offshore companies and warehouses to buy and sell ancient artworks. Italians contend that some of these works were illegally excavated and exported." The New York Times 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 6:38 am

Museum Works to Fix Shattered Vases broken By Visitor Conservators at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge are working restore Qing vases that were shattered when a museum viisitor tripped and smashed into them. What will happen when they're glued back together? They'll go back on display. "These vases were given to us in the 1940s and have been in the same place for 50 years. Some 9 million people have walked past them and this is the first time they have been damaged. We have to look at the risk in perspective." The Guardian (UK) 03/30/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 10:01 pm

An Islamic Show in A Political Dance "Without Boundary" is "the most important exhibit MoMA has launched in at least a decade, and its the first exhibition of contemporary art from the Islamic world in a major American museum since 9/11." But "the exhibition is a reminder of the difficulties that museums face when it comes to merging or not art and politics." New York Observer 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 6:55 pm

Journalist Testifies Against Curator British journalist Peter Watson has testified against former Getty curator Marion True, linking her to an Italian smuggler. Bloomberg.com 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 6:09 pm

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Visual Arts

Congress To Smithsonian: Make Your Own Money Officials from the Smithsonian Institution were on Capitol Hill yesterday to testify to the deteriorating condition of the landmark D.C. museum complex, and to beg Congress for more money to make repairs. In response, at least one Republican Congressman is strongly urging the Smithsonian to scrap its free-admission policy in order to raise the money on its own. Washington Post 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 7:04 am

British Dealer Drawn Into True/Hecht Trial "The activities of Robin Symes, a London antiquities dealer who has done business with many of the world's top collectors, came into sharp focus on Wednesday at the trial of Marion True, a former curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Robert Hecht, an American dealer." Specifically, prosecutors are bringing to light details of "Mr. Symes's elaborate use of offshore companies and warehouses to buy and sell ancient artworks. Italians contend that some of these works were illegally excavated and exported." The New York Times 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 6:38 am

Museum Works to Fix Shattered Vases broken By Visitor Conservators at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge are working restore Qing vases that were shattered when a museum viisitor tripped and smashed into them. What will happen when they're glued back together? They'll go back on display. "These vases were given to us in the 1940s and have been in the same place for 50 years. Some 9 million people have walked past them and this is the first time they have been damaged. We have to look at the risk in perspective." The Guardian (UK) 03/30/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 10:01 pm

An Islamic Show in A Political Dance "Without Boundary" is "the most important exhibit MoMA has launched in at least a decade, and its the first exhibition of contemporary art from the Islamic world in a major American museum since 9/11." But "the exhibition is a reminder of the difficulties that museums face when it comes to merging or not art and politics." New York Observer 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 6:55 pm

Journalist Testifies Against Curator British journalist Peter Watson has testified against former Getty curator Marion True, linking her to an Italian smuggler. Bloomberg.com 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 6:09 pm

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Music

Will Gamer Music Be The New Orchestral Pops? Video games have become such a huge part of the entertainment sphere that there are currently two competing international touring shows in which live professional orchestras perform the scores from such hits as Donkey Kong and Myst. Interest is so high in the shows that some in the music industry are beginning to wonder if such programs might be more than a one-time gimmick, and might represent the evolution of the "pops" program. As if to demonstrate the versatility of the form, one of the two tours focuses most of the attention on the music being played, while in the other, the orchestra is in the background while scenes from the games play out on a giant screen. Wired 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 6:14 am

$5 Million of Breathing Room In Toronto The Toronto Symphony, which has struggled to stay solvent in recent years, was significantly buoyed this week by news that it would be receiving a $5 million gift from a single donor - the largest such donation in the TSO's history. "With a Toronto building spree that includes an opera house, two museum makeovers and two great arts-education institutions, the TSO has been having a rough time wooing donors. After all, it has no building project just a scarily mounting deficit, currently at $9.5 million." $4 million of the gift must go to the orchestra's long-term endowment, but the remaining million can be used to pay down debt. Toronto Star 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 5:47 am

Baltimore Sym Wipes Out Debt With Huge Endowment Draw The good news is that the Baltimore Symphony is about to rid itself of all the red ink it accumulated over the last several years. The bad news is that the cost of doing so will be nearly a third of its entire endowment. The move, which is extremely unorthodox, will pay off the BSO's $16 million accumulated debt all at once, and leave the orchestra with $8 million in cash on hand. The remaining endowment (around $62 million, low for a major American ensemble) will be transferred to a new, independent trust which the BSO hopes will give donors confidence in the organization's fiscal prudence. Baltimore Sun 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 5:28 am

Orchestra Of the Future - Laptops? "The Princeton Laptop Orchestra, or PLOrk as it is known, has caused something of a sensation in academic circles, and avant-garde musicians are queueing up to compose for them." The Guardian (UK) 03/30/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 10:17 pm

UK Orchestra Cancels American Tour Over Visa Costs Britain's Halle Orchestra has canceled an impending tour to the US because of the cost of visas. "Managers said yesterday they had cancelled the tour when they realised that the cost of arranging the visas, estimated at 45,000, would render the trip uneconomic. Other agents said rock musicians, also fed up with the process and expense, were refusing to visit the US to work." The Guardian (UK) 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 9:56 pm

Gold-Plated "Ring" (At Least The Tickets Are) "The Kirov Opera's Ring Cycle, which tours to the Wales Millennium Centre in November, sold out in just three hours on Monday. The cheapest tickets were 80 (standing, mind you) and the most expensive (wait for it) 750. My first thought was: you could have a luxury holiday for that. The second went something like this: stand? Eighteen hours? 80? What madness is this?" The Guardian (UK) 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 8:44 pm

Where's The Operatic Shakesepeare? The Royal Shakespeare Company is staging the complete works of Shakespeare. So why don't the operas based on the Bard get performed more often? There are "more than 400 operatic adaptations of the plays - 40 of A Midsummer Night's Dream alone. The archive of Shakespeare in opera is also rich in aborted projects. Mendelssohn, Schumann, Glinka, Bizet and Prokofiev all dreamed of setting Hamlet." The Telegraph (UK) 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 7:25 pm

Apple v. Apple (A Battle Over iTunes) Back in 1991, Apple Computer and Apple (the recording company of the Beatles) carved up the world. Apple-the-computer company promised not to be in the recording business. Now Apple-the-record-label is suing Apple Computer over using the apple logo on iTunes... BBC 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 5:46 pm

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Arts Issues

What If They Built A PAC In Miami And Only Cleveland Came? "With six months to go before the October grand opening, the Miami Performing Arts Center and the four South Florida arts groups slated to be its principal residents have yet to come to terms over basic issues such as rental fees, terms of payment, box office services and concessions... To date PAC leaders have signed just two licensing agreements: one with Clear Channel Entertainment, the presenters of the Broadway in Miami series, and the other with the Cleveland Orchestra." No South Florida arts groups have been able to reach agreement with the center on terms of use, although representatives from both the PAC and the groups expected to be anchor tenants say they expect agreements to get done soon. Miami Herald 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 5:37 am

Arts In The Northern Wilderness The arts (or, at least, large concentrations of artists) are usually considered an urban phenomenon, centered in and around cities and often reflecting in their local vibrance the overall quality of life in the region. But a new study by a Minnesota group shows that one of the state's highest concentrations of arts and culture is in the mainly rural northeast "arrowhead" region. "Arts organizations bring a lot of outside money into the Arrowhead, according to the study. Nonresidents make up about one-third of the audience for nonprofit arts events in the region, and out-of-towners tend to spend more." Duluth News Tribune (MN) 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 5:21 am

Welsh Arts Minister Appoints New Arts Council Head Despite Controversy Welsh culture minister Alan Pugh has further infuriated Welsh artists by appointing his own head of Arts Council Wales after the council itslef had expressed an interest in keeping its fired leader... The Stage (UK) 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 10:39 pm

Canada's Artists - A Snapshot A new study measures Canada's arts workforce. "Toronto artists on average earned $34,100 a year. That's almost $11,000 more than the national average for artists and almost $15,000 more that what artists in St. John's get -- but 11 per cent less than the average earnings for Toronto's total labour force. Moreover, dancers in Toronto were found to earn on average less than $20,000 a year. In 2001 -- the last year a full, nationwide census was completed -- artists represented 0.8 per cent of Canada's working population. But Vancouver had 7,250 artists in its total labour force of just over 307,000; at 2.4 per cent, that was the highest concentration of arts workers in the country." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 9:01 am

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People

Schenk's Last New York Stand The opera director Otto Schenk, 76, says that his current production of Don Pasquale will be the last work he does for New York's Metropolitan Opera - in fact, it took some prodding from the Met's Joseph Volpe and the presence of legendary Anna Netrebko to coax Schenk out of his semi-retirement at all. "He is a link to an earlier, even a prewar tradition of German-language theater, down to the earthy dry humor that harks back to cabaret traditions of the 1920's." The New York Times 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 6:33 am

NC Symphony CEO Tagged For DUI The president and CEO of the Raleigh-based North Carolina Symphony has been arrested for driving drunk. David Worters was pulled over on a Raleigh street for going 15mph over the speed limit, and then blew a 0.11 on a breathalyzer test. (The legal limit is 0.08) Raleigh News & Observer (NC) 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 5:41 am

Louise McBain Builds An Empire Louise McBain has been on a tear, building an empire of art publications and inserting herself into New York society. I am ambidextrous and dyslexic, with a lively creative spirit. As a child, I didnt know which hand to use, or which side of my brain to use. It took me a long time to develop confidence in my creativity. I realized that thinking out of the box didnt make me out of my mind. New York Observer 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 6:51 pm

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Theatre

And We Think Avenue Q Is Subversive? Sometimes, it must seem to South Koreans that their primary goal in life is to avoid offending, annoying, or otherwise poking at the repressive (and unbelievably sensitive) North Korean government. After all, when a neighboring country makes a habit of threatening to turn your capital city into a "sea of fire," you tend to make special efforts to placate them. So one can only imagine the consternation in Seoul when officials heard of plans to mount "a new musical about love, torture, and survival in a North Korean prison camp." The Christian Science Monitor 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 6:44 am

First "Complete" Shakespeare Folio To Be Sold "A rare book of Shakespeare's plays, considered to be one of the most important in British literature, is to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London. The complete first folio of the playwright's work had a print run of approximately 750 in 1623. However, only a third of these survive and most of them are incomplete. The book is being sold by Dr Williams's Theological Library in London, which hopes the proceeds - expected to be more than 3m - will secure its future." BBC 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 6:06 am

Theatre Fined For Stage Collapse A British theatre has been fined after its stage collapsed while people were on it. "Thirty people were hurt during Sing-Along-A-Sound-of-Music at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre. Audience members, many dressed as nuns, had climbed onto the stage to join in a song before they fell 20ft into the orchestra pit in September 2003." BBC 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 10:47 pm

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Publishing

Rowling Wins Book-Of-The-Year JK Rowling's sixth Harry Potter book has won book of the year in the abritish Book Awards. "Rowling won the public vote ahead of autobiographies by the late John Peel, Sharon Osbourne, Jeremy Clarkson and Piers Morgan, and Jamie Oliver's Italy." BBC 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 5:54 pm

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Media

CBC Gets A New Arts Chief Hollywood veteran Fred Fuchs, who served as head of Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope studio, has been hired as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's new executive director of arts and entertainment programming. He arrives at the CBC as pressure is mounting on Canadian broadcasters to focus more on homegrown content and less on American imports. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 6:51 am

Will Direct-To-DVD Kill The Big Screen? Hollywood is all abuzz over the latest notion in consumer marketing - bringing a movie to DVD while it's still available in theatres, and sometimes even launching the two simultaneously. But while consumers may cheer the idea, there's one significant group of players in the movie biz who couldn't be more against it: theatre owners. They believe that simultaneous DVD release will cripple their business, and they're using all their clout to nip the idea in the bud. Wired 03/30/06
Posted: 03/30/2006 6:17 am

A Matter Of Timing - FCC Cancels Some Of Record Fines The FCC has canceled a quarter of the fines it recently leveled. A change in heart? Policy? Nope. "The Indiana stations that had aired CBS's Without a Trace that included the objectionable scene of teen-sex party, aired the broadcast at 10 p.m. in the Central and Mountain zones when indecency broadcasts are protected, rather than at 9 p.m. when the broadcast could be fined (the indecency "safe harbor" is 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.)." Backstage 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 6:01 pm

How The Internet Is Rejuvenating College Radio "Some skeptics have predicted that today's increasingly diverse media landscape will render campus radio stations long known for eclectic fare obsolete. After all, many students have traded their stereos for computer speakers, forsaking FM radio for iTunes and song swapping. But, college stations with a tradition of strong listenership, are finding a bigger audience online, broadening their reach and their influence." Chronicle of Higher Education 03/29/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 5:17 pm

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Dance

Royal Ballet To Focus On New Works London's Royal Ballet will focus on new choreography in its 2006-07 season, with works by four British choreographers leading the programming. TheStage 03/30/06
Posted: 03/29/2006 10:34 pm

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