June 11, 2011

Visualizing Historical Data, And The Rise Of "Digital Humanities"

David Zax

All historians encounter them, at some point in their careers: Vast troves of data that are undeniably useful to history--but too complex to make narratively interesting. For Stanford's Richard White, an American historian, these were railroad freight tables. The reams of paper held a story about America, he knew. It just seemed impossible to tell it.

Impossible to tell in a traditional way, that is. White is the director of the Stanford University Spatial History Project, an interdisciplinary lab at the university that produces "creative visual analysis to further research in the field of history." (The images in this post are taken from the project's many visualizations.) Recent announcements on the project site announce "source data now available" (openness is one of the project's tenets) on such topics as "Mapping Rio," "Land Speculation in Fresno County: 1860-1891," and "When the Loss of a Finger is Considered a 'Minor' Injury."

Posted by jez at 4:52 PM

May 17, 2011

An Interview with Platon

The Economist:

FEW photographers find themselves grasping Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by the hand, facing down Robert Mugabe or eliciting a grin from Binyamin Netanyahu--all within a 72-hour period, no less. Platon, a London-raised and New York-based photographer, is the keen eye behind "Power: Portraits of World Leaders" (Chronicle Books), a book of 150 photographs of world leaders, all of them taken at the United Nations.

This collection is full of surprises and affirmations alike: Hugo Chávez has all the penetrability of an Easter Island statue; Victor Yushchenko could be a friendly school principal; and Muammar Qaddafi is a villain straight out of "Star Wars". Securing the portraits required tenacity, quick reflexes and the wiles of a fixer. More Intelligent Life spoke with Platon, a staff photographer at the New Yorker, about his adventures in assembling his portraits.

Posted by jez at 8:20 AM

April 28, 2011

Obituary: The man who gave the world CDs

Michiyo Nakamoto:

Norio Ohga, who was instrumental in bringing the world the compact disc and the PlayStation and is credited with building Sony into a global electronics and entertainment group, has died of organ failure aged 81.

"It is no exaggeration to attribute Sony's evolution beyond audio and video products into music, movies and games, and subsequent transformation into a global entertainment leader to Ohga-san's foresight and vision," Howard Stringer, Sony's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

"By redefining Sony as a company encompassing both hardware and software, Ohga-san succeeded where other Japanese companies failed," Mr Stringer said.

A musician by training, who was a close friend of Austrian conductor, Herbert von Karayan, Mr Ohga led Sony during perhaps its most successful years, as president from 1982 until 1995, when the Japanese electronics maker became one of the most admired companies in the world.

It was under Mr Ohga that the name Sony came to symbolise Japanese manufacturing excellence and to define what was "cool" in the world of electronics - an image encapsulated in the catchphrase, "It's a Sony."

Posted by jez at 1:18 AM

February 20, 2011

Nevada Museum of Art Panorama



Website.

Posted by jez at 9:16 PM

February 18, 2011

Outdoor Art



Posted by jez at 9:49 PM

January 24, 2011

David Hockney's friends in art: the iPad and iPhone

Barbara Isenberg:

David Hockney may be pretty isolated here in Yorkshire, some four hours by train from London, but that's the way he likes it. Ensconced near the quiet rural landscape he's immortalized in paintings and watercolors, he has more time not only to draw but to experiment with new ways of making art.

"We think we're way ahead here," he confides. "We need this little remote place to be observant about the medium."

The art-making medium he's using most often these days is the iPad, brother to the iPhone, which he took up earlier. Whether he's lying in bed or driving through snow-covered woods, his ever-ready iPhone and iPad are instant drawing pads, always by his side. The electronic duo keeps him in touch with not only his craft but a small group of friends and colleagues who regularly receive his colorful missives of landscapes, flowers, cap or ashtray.

Posted by jez at 9:18 PM

January 13, 2011

The Hardy 2009-2010 Annual Report Photo

350K PDF. My dusk Hardy photo appears on the cover of their annual report. It was a beautiful evening. Much more on the Hardy Gallery, here.

Posted by jez at 10:32 AM

December 19, 2010

Doyen of Type Design: The most-read man in the world

The Economist:

MATTHEW CARTER, a type designer and the recipient of a MacArthur genius grant, was recently approached in the street near his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A woman greeted him by name. "Have we met?" Mr Carter asked. No, she said, her daughter had pointed him out when they were driving down the street a few days before. "Is your daughter a graphic designer?" he inquired. "She's in sixth grade," came the reply.

Mr Carter sits near the pinnacle of an elite profession. No more than several thousand type designers ply the trade worldwide, only a few hundred earn their keep by it, and only several dozens--most of them dead--have their names on the lips of discerning aficionados. Then, there is Mr Carter. He has never sought recognition, but it found him, and his underappreciated craft, in part thanks to a "New Yorker" profile in 2005. Now, even schoolchildren (albeit discerning ones) seem to know who he is and what he does. However, the reason is probably not so much the beauty and utility of his faces, both of which are almost universally acknowledged. Rather, it is Georgia and Verdana. Mr Carter conjured up both fonts in the 1990s for Microsoft, which released them with its Internet Explorer in the late 1990s and bundled them into Windows, before disseminating them as a free download.

Posted by jez at 2:34 PM

December 16, 2010

Primary Flight

primaryflight.com

Primary Flight is Miami's original open air museum and street level mural installation that takes place annually throughout the Wynwood Arts District and the Miami Design District. Primary Flight is arguably the world's largest event of its kind, having featured over 250 world class artists from around the globe since its inception, the majority of whom travel to Miami during Art Basel. Artists from all walks of contemporary art headline our annual event, collaborating on high profile walls throughout Miami's urban landscape. Maps outlining the installation are circulated, providing patrons with an opportunity to view the works in progress.

Posted by jez at 9:46 AM

On Sugar Plums

Joe McNally:

The world of dance is very much about the unrelenting and occasionally cruel quest for perfection. I've worked with many dancers, and have made what I naively thought to be a worthwhile or even beautiful photograph, only to have the perfectionist inside the dancer rise up and shred it. "Ooh, no. You can't use that, look at the position of my ring finger on my left hand!" I am only being midly facetious here. Ballet demands perfection, which of course is unattainable. Any dancer who sticks with it has heard the call to be perfect, in their head, and perhaps in their dreams. I would speculate many a little girl, as they take their first stumbles in toe shoes, has drifted to sleep with visions of being lifted into the lights before adoring thousands, and then drowning delightfully in a sea of tossed roses from a rapturously applauding audience.

More often, though, the call to perfection is more of a bark, harsh and unforgiving, from a dance master or mistress, or a choreographer, who, understandably driven by their own sense of discipline and vision, pushes the dancer to that point where the laws of gravity simply fall away. As Balanchine once said, "Dance is music made visible." That's hard to do. I was blessed to work briefly for ABT and made this picture of the magnificent Marcelo Gomes and Julie Kent, who together and apart, are the epitome of grace and elegant lines. As they took this position, I was stupefied at the exacting nature of the choreographer, and the giving nature of the dancers, striving to bend their bodies to his will.

Posted by jez at 9:44 AM

December 8, 2010

Bond deal puts San Francisco's Asian Art Museum on brink

Richard Waters

The great and the good who sit on the board of San Francisco's prestigious Asian Art Museum are grappling with problems that run deeper than reviving recession-hit visitor numbers or repairing a dented endowment fund.

A financial derivative gone bad is threatening to become the last straw that tips the museum into bankruptcy - unless a stand-off involving the city and two prominent US financial institutions can be resolved within the next two weeks.

The museum's problems have touched off a war of words in recent days. Dennis Herrera, San Francisco's city attorney, fired off letters last week to JPMorgan Chase and bond insurer MBIA, accusing them of taking millions of dollars in fees from the city while washing their hands of the problems to which they have contributed.

"The city's involvement is not just for the city attorney to write a letter and say it's everyone else's problem," retorted Mitchell Sonkin, chief portfolio officer at MBIA. The city itself had short-changed the museum in recent years, forcing it to draw more heavily on its endowment, and should take part in a rescue.

Posted by jez at 10:20 AM

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!



Posted by jez at 9:47 PM

November 23, 2010

Disney Animation is closing the book on fairy tales

Dawn C. Chmielewski and Claudia Eller,

Once upon a time, there was a studio in Burbank that spun classic fairy tales into silver-screen gold.

But now the curtain is falling on "princess movies," which have been a part of Disney Animation's heritage since the 1937 debut of its first feature film, "Snow White." The studio's Wednesday release of "Tangled," a contemporary retelling of the Rapunzel story, will be the last fairy tale produced by Disney's animation group for the foreseeable future.

"Films and genres do run a course," said Pixar Animation Studios chief Ed Catmull, who along with director John Lasseter oversees Disney Animation. "They may come back later because someone has a fresh take on it ... but we don't have any other musicals or fairy tales lined up." Indeed, Catmull and Lasseter killed two other fairy tale movies that had been in development, "The Snow Queen" and "Jack and the Beanstalk."

To appreciate what a sea change this is for the company, consider that a fairy tale castle is a landmark at Disney theme parks around the world and is embedded in the Walt Disney Pictures logo. Fairy tale characters from Disney's movies populate the parks, drive sales of merchandise and serve as the inspiration for Broadway musicals.

Alas, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Jasmine and the other Disney royals were all born in the 20th century. Now, different kinds of Disney characters are elbowing their way into the megaplexes and toy aisles, including Pixar's "Toy Story" buddies Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Capt. Jack Sparrow from "Pirates of the Caribbean" and a platoon of superheroes from the recent acquisition of Marvel Entertainment.

Posted by jez at 9:59 AM

November 21, 2010

Stanley Kubrick Fotografo 1945-1950, Venice



Drew Gardner:

When I was in Venice a couple of weeks ago I caught the Stanley Kubrick Fotografo 1945-1950 show at the Istituto Veneto di Science.

Kubrick started his career, not with moving images but with stills

He started shooting when he was just 17 years old for 'Look' magazine

It is an interesting exhibition for many reasons, with some very beautiful images

Even in his very early work you can see the visual language of his great movies

You get to see the very 'seeds' of his work, they are movies in still form

With a few notable exceptions, you don't see photojournalism 'per se' at work.

What you do see is beautifully directed still images and in my opinion is all the more interesting for that.

Posted by jez at 10:03 AM

November 17, 2010

Carl Bloch Paintings Panorama

Hans Nyberg

The Brigham Young University's Museum of Art in Utah US opens on November 12 an exhibition with paintings by the 19th century Danish painter Carl Heinrich Bloch. The exhibition will run until May 7

Carl Bloch became famous as religous painter after he was commisioned to paint 23 new paintings from the bible in the Kings Oratory (Kongens Bedekammer) at Frederiksborg Castle. The original paintings had been destroyed in the big fire in1859 which destroyed large areas of the castle.

I was commissioned by the Brigham Young museum to photograph panoramas from all the Danish and Swedish churches where Carl Bloch's altar paintings are found.

Some of these original paintings have been lend to the exhibition in US.

However the most important panorama was the panorama from the Kings Oratory. These paintings are his main religous work which his church altar paintings are based on.

Posted by jez at 11:03 AM

October 10, 2010

Lunch with Phoebe Philo

Vanessa Friedman
Phoebe Philo, the 37-year-old creative director of Céline, is surprisingly frail for someone who a year ago accomplished the Herculean feat of turning the river of trend and washing fashion’s Augean stables clean of decorative bling. A 2010 nominee as British Designer of the Year, she was also behind one of the most heralded collections at last week’s women’s wear shows in Paris.

Medium height, with wispy brown hair and prominent cheekbones, her thin frame swamped by a black leather jacket and a long, man’s shirt over slouchy black trousers, she can seem almost fragile. On the other hand, she has chosen St John, a restaurant in Clerkenwell, London, known for its “nose to tail” menu of offal and other meaty innards, so clearly she has a carnivorous, protein-packing side.

“Well, it’s run by a friend,” she says when she arrives in the stripped-down white space and sits at the paper-covered table. “And it has a straightforwardness that I quite like. It’s very to-the-point.”

To wit: there are “peas in the pod” on the menu. Literally. Undressed, unshelled, peas in the pod, like the kind you get in the market. Or, as Philo says, like the kind that might have “come right from the garden”. She orders some of those with fresh lemonade – the kind they make in America, with just lemon juice, water, and sugar – plus a green salad, some cured mackerel and a roast beef sandwich, because she “rather fancies some white bread”. I opt for lemonade, some cauliflower and lentils, a green salad and a cheese plate. Philo looks at me appraisingly.
Posted by James Zellmer at 4:29 PM

September 26, 2010

The Rural South

Elisabeth Biondi
For one weekend every year since 2003, tiny Concord, Georgia, population 336, becomes a photography mecca. “Slow Exposures” lures photographers, curators, and editors to look at pictures from the South, to discuss and debate them, and to exchange experiences, all thanks to the wonderful Chris Curry and Nancy McCrary, with the help of a staff of cheerful volunteers. Southern conviviality and hospitality create an ambiance that is most of all creative and communicative. Chris and Nancy created the festival as a photographic center representing the rural South. It is a non-profit organization, with proceeds going toward the preservation and restoration of historic buildings and land in Pike County, and attracts devotees and newcomers for a full slate of photographic events: a juried photography show, an all-day portfolio review, and exhibitions, all in beautifully restored local buildings. This year, John Bennette, a curator, collector, and champion of artists, conceived the wonderful exhibition “Southern Memories: Part I” for the festival, on view in the restored Whiskey Bonding Bar, in Molena. The show is John’s subjective vision of the South, shaped by his memories—he grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and now lives in New York. Asking himself what is important in the South, he came up with four categories: the land, God, school, and Southern history; he believes that history—i.e., the Civil War—still drives Southern culture today. His show avoids the extremes of rich and poor and stays away from clichés. Many of the artists he included were discovered in earlier “Slow Exposure” shows, and were surprises to me.
Posted by James Zellmer at 7:44 PM

September 24, 2010

Street Art



Posted by James Zellmer at 9:45 PM

August 23, 2010

God's Glory: A Retreating Storm Mountain Sunset



Posted by James Zellmer at 8:07 PM

August 15, 2010

The Hardy Gallery



The Hardy Gallery
Posted by James Zellmer at 4:43 PM

July 26, 2010

Himal Chuli Dinner - The "Combination Plate"



Very good and a great value. Isthmus on Himal Chuli.
Posted by James Zellmer at 7:37 PM

July 11, 2010

A Few Photos



I believe this is a rather rare Shelby Cobra.



A sign of the times: "We will be glad to serve you when you are off your cell phone".



KRLX



A squirrel seeking dinner



Malt O-Meal



Cooling off...



Dinner at Sea Salt Minneapolis



Art Fair on the Square Madison

Posted by James Zellmer at 8:39 PM

June 6, 2010

Vintage VW Bus Signage

Delicious Industries:

Posted by James Zellmer at 3:14 PM

December 5, 2009

Musée de l'Orangerie Panorama



Click to the image above to view this August, 2007 (hand held) panoramic image of Monet's water lillies. Musée de l'Orangerie website. This journey and image made possible by the generosity of my parents!
Posted by James Zellmer at 6:47 PM

November 29, 2009

St. Stephen's Cathedral Panorama - Budapest



Wikipedia entry on St. Stephen's, or Szent István Bazilika in Hungarian.

Our trip was made possible through the incredible generosity of my parents. We are truly blessed!
Posted by James Zellmer at 8:43 PM

September 20, 2009

Andrew Bird Concert @ Overture Center Madison Photos



Click on the image above to view a panoramic scene. A few still photos can be seen here.

Bird appeared in Madison as part of the 2009 Forward Music Festival.
Posted by James Zellmer at 7:35 PM

June 20, 2009

Lunch with the FT: Sir Simon Rattle

Andrew Clark:
attle found the criticism painful. Popping another tomato in his mouth, he lets slip that the reason Lunch with the FT took so long to arrange – more than a year – was that he was stung by what I had written. “That’s why I avoided speaking to you.”

. . .

But last year his Berlin contract was extended to 2018 – an impressive vote of confidence from an orchestra that, unusually, is entirely self-governing while receiving most of its funds from the state. And a visit to the London Proms revealed a man who had matured and mellowed. He had finally begun to learn German. He still struggles to speak it (“anyone less linguistically gifted than me is hard to imagine”, he confesses), but by attempting to do so he had broken an important psychological barrier. His podium gestures were as jubilant as ever, but his Brahms had acquired unmistakable depth.

Sitting across the lunch table, I begin to understand why. Rattle is settling into comfortable middle age. The blue T-shirt may advertise a man still young at heart but the curls are white and thinning. Yesterday’s boy wonder is now older than most of his orchestra. He has begun to slow down, to be slightly less sensitive to criticism.

But there’s another factor at work. Rattle has made his home in Berlin, something not even Herbert von Karajan, his most illustrious predecessor, had done. He lives in one of the city’s leafy quarters and is often seen doing the family shopping in its open-air markets. It’s as if he has gone native. So what has he learned about the Germans?

“People are more subtle and complicated than they are made out to be,” he answers, pouring some of the red wine he has brought outside. Does this mean Germans are not the humourless caricature peddled by England’s tabloid newspapers? Rattle sighs. It wasn’t until his late twenties, he says, after discussing the horrors of the Nazi era with Viennese conductor Rudolf Schwarz, a Belsen survivor who resumed his career in Birmingham after the war, that he became aware of the complexities of national identity.
Posted by James Zellmer at 9:26 PM

May 10, 2009

Amon Carter Museum



Amon Carter Museum.
Posted by James Zellmer at 7:33 PM

April 26, 2009

VR Scene: Jepson Center for the Arts Savannah


Click for a full screen VR scene. Jepson website.
Posted by James Zellmer at 8:46 PM

April 19, 2009

Swamp Art



www.swampart.com.
Posted by James Zellmer at 9:57 PM

February 13, 2009

BMW Art Cars on Parade

Mark Vaughn:
They won't be racing but BMW's famous Art Cars will be back on display. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will feature four of BMW's 16 art cars until Feb. 24.

Among the four are some of our favorites:

-- Roy Lichtenstein's 1977 Group 5 320i with its wild wing and body work.

-- Frank Stella's graph-paper 3.0 CSL.

-- The 1979 Group 4 M1 that Andy Warhol painted with a brush.

All three cars raced at Le Mans with their new paint jobs.

Robert Rauschenberg's 1986 6-series was not a race car and, with its more conventional bodywork, seems far more restrained than the rest.
Posted by James Zellmer at 9:01 PM

February 3, 2009

Bangle Bids Adieu

Robert Farago:
When it comes time to chart designer Chris Bangle's contribution to the BMW brand's aesthetic, few pundits will praise his pulchritudinous perversion of pistonhead passion, or thank him for the aesthetic affectations for which BMW is now known. In other words, the "Bangle Butt" will be Chris' lasting legacy. Of course, this is also the man who removed the words "flame surfacing" from art school and placed them on the tip of his detractors' tongues. That and Axis of White Power. (Oh! How we laughed!) Equally improbably, the Buckeye State native helped the expression "Dame Edna glasses" cross into the automotive lexicon. Yup. It's been a wild ride. Literally.
CAR:
BMW design boss Chris Bangle is to leave the car industry, it was announced today. In a statement, BMW said Bangle was quitting 'to pursue his own design-related endeavors beyond the auto industry.'

Bangle, 52, was the architect of the often controversial flame surfacing look that transformed BMW design from the Russian doll mentality of the 1990s to the edgy – some would say radical and divisive – styling of today.

The cars Bangle spannered

The outgoing design chief has overseen the launch of the current 1-, 3-, 5- and 7-series saloons and hatchbacks, as well as the raft of niche models that have seen BMW's model range explode in recent years: the Z3, Z4, Z8, X3, X5, X6 and 6-series were all conceived on his watch.
Bangle grew up in Wausau, WI.

I give him a great deal of credit for dramatically changing what is often a very conservative business: car design.

Dan Neil has more.

Gavin Green has more.
Posted by James Zellmer at 8:18 PM

December 1, 2008

Jason Bentley Takes over Morning Becomes Eclectic

laist:
One of the biggest issues on listeners' minds is the direction you'll take KCRW. They wonder how much like Nic Hartcourt you'll be and how your electronic influences will affect the morning slot. What say you? My responsibility in this position is to integrate the influences of all the Music Directors before me, and take it to another place altogether--which means all genres of music from all over the world.

Besides a reverence of Joe Strummer and The Clash and a good ear for underground bands that could appeal to a wider audience, I don't have that much in common with Nic musically. Nic's been great at the helm of MBE, but I'm going to bring my own music experience to the program with an appreciation of where it's been. Yes, that does mean an affinity for Electronic music and global club culture, but that's not all and I certainly will consider what works best during the morning hours.

Will you start focusing locally?

I feel like I do already to a great extent. I've been producing events locally for nearly two decades. I'm very involved in the LA scene, and KCRW is totally invested in local music, while at the same time actively making connections abroad. Personally, Silversun Pickups and Morgan Page are among my favorite local artists.

What considerations and thoughts will go into who you choose to play in studio?

Mostly looking to mix it up - everything from Afrobeat to Neo Soul and quirky Folk.
Posted by James Zellmer at 4:50 PM

November 7, 2008

Fordlandia

Johann Johannsson:
The album has a theme, although it's more loose and open to interpretation than on my last album, IBM 1401, a User's Manual.

One of the two main threads running through it is this idea of failed utopia, as represented by the "Fordlândia" title - the story of the rubber plantation Henry Ford established in the Amazon in the 1920’s, and his dreams of creating an idealized American town in the middle of the jungle complete with white picket fences, hamburgers and alcohol prohibition. The project – started because of the high price Ford had to pay for the rubber necessary for his cars’ tyres – failed, of course, as the indigenous workers soon rioted against the alien conditions. It reminded me of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, this doomed attempt at taming the heart of darkness. The remains of the town are still there today. The image of the Amazon forest slowly and surely reclaiming the ruins of Fordlândia is the one that gave spark to this album. For the structure and themes of the album I was influenced by the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Herzog and Kenneth Anger. I was interested in a kind of poetic juxtaposition and an alchemical fusion of themes and ideas, which I feel is similar to the way Anger uses montage as an alchemical technique - as a way of casting a spell. During the making of the album, I also had in mind the Andre Breton quote about convulsive beauty, which he saw in the image of "an abandoned locomotive overgrown by luxurious vegetation". There is a strong connection to the IBM 1401 album in terms of both thematic and musical ideas and I see the two albums as belonging to a series of works.
Fascinating and quite pleasant. Clusty Search: Fordlandia.
Posted by James Zellmer at 8:28 AM

September 23, 2008

The Power of One

A few years ago, I had an opportunity to hear "her deepness" Sylvia Earle speak. She included this short video in her presentation - "the Power of One".

Earle emphasized the opportunities we all have to change the world. I recalled her talk while visiting with Hal Herron recently. Herron, of Riverton, Wyoming has been adding outdoor art to his home town in an interesting way.

Museums often create large banners to promote an exhibit. Herron sought out these banners after a showing is complete. He pays for shipping to Riverton and places them around the community for all to enjoy. Fascinating. He forwarded two photos, seen below:




Bill Perkin's full page New York Times ad in today's paper is another illustration of the "Power of One".

Perkins approach requires a certain size checkbook, of course :)

All of which reminds me of the "two greatest commandments".

Posted by jez at 8:38 AM

September 7, 2008

KAL Illustrations at the Republican Convention



The Economist. Democrat convention illustrations can be found here.

Great stuff.

Posted by jez at 5:57 PM

April 16, 2008

VR Scene: Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum

Click to view the full screen vr scene. Place your mouse inside the photo, click and pan left, right, up or down..

Bata Shoe Museum website:

Sonja Bata was born in Switzerland, where she studied architecture. In 1946 she married Thomas J. Bata, the son of a well-known Czechoslovakian shoe manufacturer who had emigrated to Canada at the beginning of World War II. His family enterprise in Czechoslovakia had been nationalized under the Communist occupation. From the beginning, Sonja Bata shared her husbandfs determination to rebuild the organization and took an active interest in what was to become a global footwear business.

Over the years, she grew increasingly fascinated by shoes, their history and the reasons why specific shapes and decorative treatments had developed in different cultures. During her travels, she realized that some traditional forms were being replaced with western shoes, reflecting changing lifestyles to some extent influenced by the production of the spreading Bata factories serving local markets.

Since the 1940s, Sonja Bata has scoured the world for footwear of every description, from the most ordinary to the most extraordinary. Her combined interest in design and shoes has led to a very personal collection, with examples from many cultures and historic periods.

This hand held vr scene was taken a few months ago while "stuck" in Toronto during a snowstorm.

Posted by jez at 3:46 PM

April 13, 2008

News Musuem VR Gallery

Washington Post.

Posted by jez at 1:39 PM

March 31, 2008

MAD Magazine's Fold-in Illustrator

Neil Genzlinger:

THIS was going to be a simple artist-at-work article about Al Jaffee, a man who could lay claim to being the world’s oldest adolescent and who just now is enjoying a fresh burst of public and professional recognition. The idea was to look in on him as he created the latest installment of a feature he has been drawing for Mad magazine since, incredibly, 1964.

But because that feature is the Mad Fold-In, which embeds a hidden joke within a seemingly straightforward illustration, it should come as no surprise that the simple article ended up being not so simple after all. There were times when Mr. Jaffee, who faced a serious health scare over the last few weeks, thought it might be something closer to a eulogy.

If you were young at any time in the last 44 years, you know the fold-in: the feature on the inside of Mad’s back cover that poses a question whose answer is found by folding the page in thirds. September 1978: “What colorful fantastic creature is still being exploited even after it has wiggled and died?” A picture of a garish butterfly, folded, becomes an equally garish Elvis.

Posted by jez at 3:11 AM

March 30, 2008

Creativity Step by Step: A Conversation with Choreographer Twyla Tharp

Diane Coutu:

The notion that some people are simply born artistic—and that there is a profile that can help organizations identify them—is quite firmly entrenched. All the talk of genetic determination nowadays undoubtedly has a lot to do with that. But the idea that creativity is a predetermined personality trait probably appeals at a psychological level because it gives people an excuse for not innovating or initiating change themselves, reducing the problem of creativity to a recruitment challenge.

Significantly, the people least likely to buy into the idea that creativity is preordained are the creative geniuses themselves. Choreographer Twyla Tharp, for one, doesn’t subscribe to any notion of effortless artistry. As someone who has changed the face of dance, she’s certainly qualified to have an opinion. The winner of a MacArthur fellowship (popularly called “the genius grant”), two Emmy awards, and a Tony award, she has written and directed television programs, created Broadway productions, and choreographed dances for the movies Hair, Ragtime, and Amadeus. Tharp, now 66, did all this while creating more than 130 dances—many of which have become classics—for her own company, the Joffrey Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, London’s Royal Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. The author of two books, she is now in the process of simultaneously developing new ballets for the Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

At her Manhattan home, Tharp met with HBR senior editor Diane Coutu to discuss what it takes to be a choreographer. In these pages, she shares what she has learned about fostering creativity, initiating change, and firing even top-notch performers when push comes to shove. In her suffer-no-fools way, she talks about her “monomaniacal absorption” with her work and the need to be tough, even ruthless, when that work is at stake. What follows is an edited version of their conversation.

Posted by jez at 8:12 AM

March 21, 2008

Milwaukee Art Museum VR Scene



Click for a full screen VR view.

There are some flaws in this hand held scene, but it's a pleasant view of a spectacular space, particularly the day before our latest snowstorm.

Posted by jez at 9:43 PM

December 19, 2007

Workshop of the World - Fine Arts Division

James Fallows:

Which brings us to the Dafen "art factory village" outside Shenzhen, in southern China. I had heard a lot about Dafen, including in a very good story by Evan Osnos of the Chicago Tribune early this year. (The story seems no longer to be on the Tribune's site. For reference, it was published on February 13, 2007.) But only this weekend did I see it, guided by Liam Casey, the Irish "Mr. China" I described a few months ago in an article about Shenzhen's more conventional factories. Now that I've seen it -- my lord!

Posted by James Zellmer at 10:20 AM

December 3, 2007

An Extraordinary VR Journey - The Latest VRMAG

vrmag122007.jpg

Editorial Director Marco Trezzini, via email:

Since I believe we have created the best issue of VRMAG ever, I'm writing you with the hope you will accept to dedicate 5 minutes of your time to explore our online magazine dedicated to photographic virtual reality exploration of people, places and events around the world. Almost forgot to mention, VRMAG is a no profit publication, with no ads.

This issue features the closed zone of Chernobyl, Wired NextFest in Los Angeles, Cuba's capital city La Habana, Red square in Moscow, the Palaces where European Royalties lives, New York's Tribute in light, the island of Cyprus's Aphrodite beach, Valentino's exhibit Ara Pacis museum in Rome, the Mayan ruins Chinkultic and Tenam Puente in Mexico, Vienna, the Copenhagen Opera House, Seattle, RedBull AirRace Abu Dhabi ....

For VRMAG showing panoramas of the physical world is not enough,
so we'll take you to Second Life in order to visit Anshe Chung's Picture Gallery Dresden, and to DanCoyote's Full Immersion Hyperformalism and get behind the scenes on the creation of next generation interactive screenshots for the gaming industry, take a visit to an "wellenkreis" an art installation of an endless sine curve in real space ...

You will experience the view a sleeping pill has from it's medicine bottle,
watch the world as a coca cola would do, transport you into a washing machine and feel like your sock. Be a fish and be intrigued by a guy ironing underwater,
enter the head of Hermann's sculpture, chat with Jonathan livingston, experience a bubble party, feel the thrill of extreme canyoning, and much more ...

Visit www.vrmag.org now.

Posted by James Zellmer at 10:29 AM

November 14, 2007

Asian Artists Paint the Color Of Money

Hannah Beech:

Throughout Asia's developing nations, once penniless painters are getting used to this most unexpected emotion. The region's contemporary-art market has never been so hot. Last year, a collection of dreamlike portraits and landscapes by China's Zhang Xiaogang raked in just over $24 million — more than British enfant terrible Damien Hirst made in 2006. In March, a sale of modern Indian art in New York City raised a record $15 million, including just under $800,000 for Captives, a stark evocation of desiccated torsos by New Delhi–born Rameshwar Broota. Two months later, an auction in London elicited $1.42 million for a Tantric-inspired oil painting by India's Syed Haider Raza. Even in Vietnam, idyllic rural scenes coated in the country's distinctive lacquer that sold for a few hundred dollars a few years ago are now selling for 10 times that. A gouache-and-ink painting by Vietnamese post-impressionist Le Pho, whose work is part of the permanent exhibition at the Modern Art Museum in Paris, captured nearly $250,000 at a Singapore sale. Overall, leading auction houses Sotheby's and Christie's auctioned $190 million in contemporary Asian art last year, compared to $22 million just two years before. "This is just the beginning," says Swiss art dealer Pierre Huber, who in September oversaw a debut contemporary Asian art fair in Shanghai. "For so long, people did not know about Asian art. But now the world is turning to Asia, and what they see is amazing."

Posted by James Zellmer at 11:43 AM

May 14, 2007

The Apollo Prophecies


The Apollo Prophecies: Overview: The Apollo Prophecies Project has been in development and production since 2002, when it was started at Toni Morrison's Atelier Program at Princeton University. Working with 15 students, Kahn/Selesnick built three major sculptural and architectural installation pieces, The Mind Rocket, Lunar Explorer and the Moon Cabinet. A revelatory text was created in collaboration with a brilliant physics graduate student, Erez Lieberman. This text was altered by Kahn/Selesnick so that American and Russian Astronauts involved in the 1960's-70's Aquarian lunar expeditions became Gods for the Edwardian expedition members who were waiting for them in their Mind Rocket. Initial props and costumes were drawn and created.
More in this video.

Posted by James Zellmer at 8:57 AM

March 9, 2007

Delightful

Took in the Madison Rep's latest last night: Talley's Folly. Highly entertaining and simply delightful.
Posted by James Zellmer at 11:20 AM

March 1, 2007

Wonderful Snow Art

Posted by James Zellmer at 9:29 AM

February 1, 2007

Anna Christie

The Madison Rep:
Following the success of 2005’s A Moon for the Misbegotten, Artistic Director Richard Corley returns to America’s greatest playwright. Winner of the 1922 Pulitzer Prize, Anna Christie is the tale of a mid-western girl who loses and finds her way amid New York’s waterfront bars and barges, and the two men who fight for her body and soul. One of the finest female roles ever written, Anna Christie has been played by actresses as diverse as Greta Garbo, Natasha Richardson, Liv Ullman, and Celeste Holm.
We enjoyed the Rep's production of Annie Christie. I'm always amazed at how well the actors adopt their character's language, in this case Swedish and Irish influenced English. Carrie Coon, Lea Coco and Craig Spidle were great. Go.
Posted by James Zellmer at 11:22 PM

January 28, 2007

Lucinda Williams' Playlist

Winter Miller:
IMAGINE a time before alternative country. Before Americana and roots rock. Picture a corner office, sometime in the early ’80s, with record executives scratching their heads over how to market a talented singer, songwriter and guitarist from Louisiana named Lucinda Williams. Was she country? Folk? Blues? The answer of course was (and is) all of the above. A three-time Grammy winner, Ms. Williams will release “West,” her eighth studio album, on Feb. 13. A tour is scheduled to begin soon after, including a stop at Radio City Music Hall on March 23. Ms. Williams, 54, shows no signs of getting any less sexy with her lyrics or her taste in music. She recently spoke by phone with Winter Miller about what she’s listening to now.
Posted by James Zellmer at 9:43 PM

January 9, 2007

Interesting Art

Drawing on top of Coffee.... More here, including an interesting exhibit at the Musee d'Orsay.
Posted by James Zellmer at 8:43 AM

December 3, 2006

A New Goofy Short: "How to Install Your Home Theater"


Charles Solomon:
It is not surprising that Mr. Lasseter is using short films to train and test the artists: he and his fellow Pixar animators spent almost 10 years making shorts, learning how to use computer graphics effectively before they made “Toy Story” and the string of hits that followed. Pixar continues to produce a cartoon short every year, and has won Oscars for the shorts “Tin Toy,” “Geri’s Game” and “For the Birds.”

Four new shorts are in development at Disney: “The Ballad of Nessie,” a stylized account of the origin of the Loch Ness monster; “Golgo’s Guest,” about a meeting between a Russian frontier guard and an extraterrestrial; “Prep and Landing,” in which two inept elves ready a house for Santa’s visit; and “How to Install Your Home Theater,” the return of Goofy’s popular “How to” shorts of the ’40s and ’50s, in which a deadpan narrator explains how to play a sport or execute a task, while Goofy attempts to demonstrate — with disastrous results. The new Goofy short is slated to go into production early next year.
I've long enjoyed short films. Clusty has more.
Posted by James Zellmer at 10:35 PM

November 4, 2006

"The Only Thing"




The Madison Rep's New Play Festival: The Only Thing by Eric Simonson, based on David Maraniss' excellent "When Pride Still Mattered".

Simonson's approach to Lombardi is clever and interesting. There's another reading Saturday evening, 11/11/2006 @ 7:00p.m. GO!
Posted by James Zellmer at 10:18 PM

October 14, 2006

British Gentry, Fiddling While the Abyss Looms

Charles Isherwood:
The time will soon be ripe for fresh political leadership. With a presidential election just a couple of years away, we need to start looking for viable new candidates, fellows with those outside-the-Beltway views voters are said to cherish.

I’d like to suggest the American electorate consider the merits of Captain Shotover, the straight-talking old salt currently and eternally presiding over “Heartbreak House,” George Bernard Shaw’s comedy about British gentry waltzing toward the apocalypse.

Qualifications? He has military experience and fresh ideas. And he’s not beholden to big business types, whom he colorfully refers to as “those hogs to whom the universe is nothing but a machine for greasing their bristles and filling their snouts.” Which reminds me: He already has a crack speechwriter on staff.

True, the candidate has a few glaring liabilities. The rumors about his alcohol consumption are well founded. But there’s always rehab. The attention span is a little short, but is that such a problem in politics these days? Of course he’s a fictional character too. Considered from all angles, though, that may not be a drawback. Imaginary people can’t send instant messages.
A timely, well done presentation of George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House. Free ebook. Now playing at New York's Roundabout Theatre. Thanks to the Rep's Rick Corley for suggesting this play.
Posted by James Zellmer at 3:04 PM

September 24, 2006

Life as Art Practices

Momentarium:
Each moment of the everyday, every action of living, poses the question: how it might be lived differently, more truthfully and respectfully. Through the conscious experiment and artful intervention Momentarium inspires creative techniques to address the challenges of our times.
Lates video clips.
Posted by James Zellmer at 11:09 PM

September 20, 2006

Go, Fish! Muskie Love, New Wisconsin-Set Musical, Begins Sept. 20 in Madison

Kenneth Jones:
In Wisconsin, where audiences like their new musicals quirky and with lots of local color, Madison Repertory Theatre opens its season Sept. 20 with Muskie Love — a rare musical named after a freshwater game fish.

Don't discount the show. After all, this is the same state where the ice-fishing comedy Guys on Ice and the great-outdoors comedy Lumberjacks in Love were smasheroos.

Muskie Love opens Sept. 22. Performances continue to Oct. 15, in The Playhouse at the Overture Center for the Arts.

Loosely based on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing "is a home grown Wisconsin delight" by the winners of the Richard Rodgers Award, Dave Hudson and Paul Libman, featuring Doug Mancheski and Lee Becker from Madison Repertory Theatre's earlier Guys on Ice (which was also a hit at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre).
The Rep has a great deal for first time subscribers.
Posted by James Zellmer at 11:13 AM

Noting Sarah Ruhl's MacArthur Fellowship

Madison Rep Artistic Director Rick Corley:
Dear Folks: It was a delight to awaken this morning to the news that Sarah Ruhl was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. These awards are in the amount of $500,000 - one hundred thousand for each year of five years. Sarah is the only playwright to receive the award this year. For new staff and board members, we at Madison Repertory Theatre can take pride in giving Sarah her very first professional production when we produced EURYDICE four years ago. Since then Sarah's plays have gone on to major productions in Seattle, Atlanta, Berkeley, Chicago, New Haven, and many, many other cities.

This fall her Pulitzer-finalist play, THE CLEAN HOUSE, will have its New York premiere at Lincoln Center Theatre, and there is talk of EURYDICE appearing in New York as well. Bravo, Sarah! And congratulations to all of you who support the Madison New Play Festival and the development of new work. Sarah's success is a tribute to you.
Posted by James Zellmer at 10:48 AM

August 31, 2006

Madison Rep New Subscriber Deal

The Madison Rep has a fabulous deal for new subscribers: 50% off 4 and 5 play packages. Check it out. Full disclosure: Artistic Director Rick Corley is a good friend.

For example, a 5 play package Isthmus Preview Series is $50/person (Wed night) or $63 (Thu night)!

Posted by James Zellmer at 3:26 PM

August 27, 2006

Kinetic Sculpture

John Nack:
Dutch artist/engineer Theo Jansen makes unbelievable kinetic sculptures; it's as if da Vinci had access to PVC. This video (a BMW ad, as it happens) shows off some of his walking machines in motion on the beach. Wired covers the genesis and evolution of Jansen's work, and you can see his two-ton Animaris Rhinoceros Transport on the move in this video. Many more photos are on his site. [Via] [For more on kinetic scuplture, see previous entry.]
Posted by James Zellmer at 10:32 PM

July 1, 2006

On Lake Michigan, A Global Village

Steve Lohr:
As Racine has changed, so have its politics. Once, a ritual antagonism for business was a sure vote-getter among Democrats. But Mr. Becker was elected three years ago with a pro-development message, pledging to trim jobs from the public payroll to free resources to attract new residents and businesses.

Racine's future, Mr. Becker believes, lies in forging stronger links with the regional economy and global markets. Reinvention can be unnerving, he acknowledges, but he says it is his hometown's best shot at prosperity and progress. "In the past, Racine was a self-contained economy," he said. "But that is not an option anymore."

No local economy truly mirrors the nation. But for Racine and its surrounding suburbs, the last few years have been marked by gradually rising prosperity, in step with the national trend. And the recent history of Racine, like that of the nation as a whole, is also the story of how a community comes to grips with the larger forces of globalization and technological change.
Posted by James Zellmer at 6:41 PM

May 1, 2006

Gorgeous Evening Paris VR Scene

Check it out. Via Virginia Postrel.
Posted by James Zellmer at 7:47 PM

April 28, 2006

The Price Opens at the Madison Rep

Kenneth Burns:
But Corley says the play is both personal and political, and that the current political climate makes The Price as relevant as ever.

In The Price, one of the brothers, Victor (played by Roderick Peeples), is a retired policeman who gave up a budding scientific career to care for his ailing father. The other brother, Walter (Richard Henzel), is a wealthy surgeon who has given their father only token support.

The play's political themes emerge, Corley says, as the brothers try to make sense of their past and of their choices -- and of the prices they have paid. "When Miller wrote the play, he wanted to write about the ideology that created the Vietnam War," Corley says, "and the belief that the end of war could make things better. Both fallacies are based on a misunderstanding of the past."
Posted by James Zellmer at 3:03 PM

April 19, 2006

Chihuly Victimized by His Own Success

Regina Hackett:
But at age 64, he's where he never wanted to be, in court. He's suing two glass blowers for copyright infringement, contending they're imitating his work. They're threatening to sue him back, questioning whether Chihuly is the creative intelligence behind the art bearing his signature. And a former dealer is attacking him with a gusto rare in the art world. If that's not enough, his feet hurt.

Emotionally, he has been through the wringer.

Since 2001, a significant number of the people closest to him have died, some without warning. Partially because both his brother and father died in quick succession in his teens, he tends to experience each death as a blow to the body.

Last year he sank into a depression from which he is now recovering. Friends who haven't seen him in many months are being invited over for dinner.
Chihuly's work lights up the Kohl Center's entrance - adding color to an emotionless sea of grey.
Posted by James Zellmer at 7:36 AM

February 22, 2006

An Interview with Errol Morris

Megan Cunningham interviews UW Grad and noted film and advertising impresario Errol Morris [pdf]:
Within the entertainment industry, Errol Morris holds a chameleon position. To the commercial production world, he’s established as a highly successful director, both innovative and intelligent. (He’s one of the only, if not the only, director of TV commercials who has written an opinion-page article published in The New York Times.) Within talent and advertising agencies, he is known for his exceptional off-kilter vision, and honored in ways usually reserved for noncommercial artists. (In November 1999, his work received a full retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. In 2002, the organizers of the Academy Awards asked him to direct the short film that introduced the annual Oscars ceremony; it featured a series of real-life characters—some well-known, some everyday citizens—describing their passion for movies.) In a 2004 Adweek article honoring Morris’s contributions as someone who “rises above the fray to create work that resonates and inspires,”
Errol Morris
Posted by James Zellmer at 10:51 AM

January 1, 2006

Winter Milwaukee Art Museum Visit: Rembrandt and His Time

mam_zmetro12312005.jpg
Through January 8, 2006. We'll worth a trip.
Posted by James Zellmer at 6:44 PM

December 27, 2005

A Window into Nature

Fascinating: Rivers and Tides:
This amazing documentary from Thomas Riedelsheimer won the Golden Gate Award Grand Prize for Best Documentary at the 2003 San Francisco International Film Festival. The film follows renowned sculptor Andy Goldsworthy as he creates with ice, driftwood, bracken, leaves, stone, dirt and snow in open fields, beaches, rivers, creeks and forests. With each new creation, he carefully studies the energetic flow and transitory nature of his work.
Posted by James Zellmer at 9:10 AM

December 21, 2005

John Lasseter at MoMa

Jason Kottke:
MoMA just opened their show about Pixar last week and on Friday, we went to a presentation by John Lasseter, head creative guy at the company. Interesting talk, although I'd heard some of it in various places before, most notably in this interview with him on WNYC. Two quick highlights:
Posted by James Zellmer at 10:20 AM

November 22, 2005

New Mexico's Rock Art


Doug Fine:

Some anthropologists now believe that more human beings lived in Southwest New Mexico 1,000 years ago than live there today.

How do they know? Because the region is covered with thousands of archaeological sites. Some areas are positively littered with rock art and artifacts from long-gone ancient cultures.

Posted by James Zellmer at 12:01 AM

November 13, 2005

Blogs Saving Arts Journalism

Terry Teachout:

The emergence of the practitioner-blogger has the highest potential significance for arts journalism. Many, perhaps most, of the greatest critics in history — George Bernard Shaw, Virgil Thomson, Edwin Denby and Fairfield Porter come immediately to mind — were also practicing artists. But with the growing tendency of mainstream-media journalists to think of themselves as members of an academically credentialed profession, the practitioner-critic has lately become a comparative rarity in the American print media. Not so on the Web, which is one of the reasons why readers in search of stimulating commentary on the arts are going online to find it.

Posted by James Zellmer at 9:37 AM

July 24, 2005

Racine's Artist Colony

Robert Sharoff:
IF Racine, Wis., is not yet the Hamptons of the Midwest, it's not for lack of effort.

This formerly gritty industrial city roughly 70 miles north of Chicago and 30 miles south of Milwaukee on the shores of Lake Michigan has been trying for much of the last decade to reinvent itself as an artist's colony and tourist destination.

The efforts have included the opening of the $11 million Racine Art Museum on Main Street in 2003 and the creation of a gallery district centering on nearby Sixth Street, currently home to about a dozen galleries.
Racine Map. Madison based Gorman & Company, developer of the Mitchell Wagon Factory Lofts is mentioned in Sharoff's article.

Racine is considering county-wide WiFi. Perhaps they'll have it in place before we Madisonians do?
Posted by James Zellmer at 11:12 AM

July 18, 2005

Metro Logos Around the World

Via Paolo: Metro Bits.
Posted by James Zellmer at 8:23 AM

June 30, 2005

Eva Zeisel Makes Beautiful Things at 98

Linda Matchan:
A few months ago, designer Eva Zeisel was contacted by Swarovski, the Austrian cut-crystal manufacturer. They asked her to submit ideas for designs and said they'd send her a contract so she could get started.

"I hope it arrives soon," Zeisel, who is 98, told her daughter matter-of- factly. "I am unemployed!"

She exaggerates. The irrepressible Zeisel -- one of the 20th century's first industrial designers, and a leading force, still, in American design -- is, at nearly 100, busier, more productive and more celebrated than ever.
Posted by James Zellmer at 7:26 AM

May 7, 2005

$20M for UW Art Museum

Jerome & Simona Chazen gave $20M to the Elvehjem Museum of Art - now renamed the Chazen Museum of Art. The funds will be used for a major expansion. Aaron Nathans has more. Background: clusty search.
Posted by James Zellmer at 11:35 AM

April 15, 2005

The Walker Reopens

Holland Cotter:

The Walker is one of the country's liveliest and most personable museums. It has been collecting shrewdly and imaginatively for the better part of a century. Of the several hundred works from its permanent holdings that make up its reopening suite of seven inaugural shows, many are being shown for the first time, and very few strike me as expendable. And now there is room for more.

Posted by James Zellmer at 12:00 AM

April 9, 2005

Arts & Education: Milwaukee Ballet, Degas & Milwaukee Art Museum

I chanced upon a rather extraordinary afternoon recently at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The Museum is currently featuring a Degas sculpture exhibition, including Little Dancer. Interestingly, several ballerinas from the Milwaukee Ballet were present. Children could sketch and participate. I took a few photos and added some music. The result is this movie. Enjoy!
Posted by James Zellmer at 2:16 PM

March 21, 2005

Calatrava's Milwaukee Art Musuem: Nocturnal Illumination?

Whitney Gould:
As Calatrava projects go, this one is unusually subdued at night. His buildings and bridges in Spain, many of which I saw on a Calatrava-related odyssey in 2001, are beautifully lighted, sometimes theatrically so. His City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, for example, becomes a charismatic town square at night, with an eyeball-shaped planetarium that gives off a lantern-like glow and a museum whose white ribcage looks even more dramatic than in the daytime. Calatrava himself designed the dramatic lighting for his cabled Alamillo Bridge in Seville (1992), its leaning-harp profile a forerunner of our own (well-lighted) 6th St. Viaduct, designed by Kahler Slater Architects.
Posted by James Zellmer at 7:15 AM

February 20, 2005

The Gates (Central Park) VR Scenes

Elizabeth Gentile has posted some lovely VR scenes from Central Park, site of Christo & Jean-Claude's The Gates. Scene 1, 2, 3, 4. Well worth checking out.

Kate adds:

In Central Park, there is a great work of art, called The Gates. There are many gates that have beautiful flags hanging from them. They are made by Christo & Jean-Claude. The works of art will be on display for two weeks.

Posted by James Zellmer at 12:01 AM

February 13, 2005

The Gates: Christo & Jeanne-Claude Opens in Central Park

The Gates opened Saturday. More on Christo & Jeanne-Claude.
Posted by James Zellmer at 12:00 AM

December 15, 2004

Overture Center & The Madison Economy

Megan Krug continues her series on the economic impact of the Overture Center.

Posted by James Zellmer at 12:14 PM

December 14, 2004

Barnes to Move


Philadelphia's fascinating Barnes Foundation is set to move downtown (from the Main Line) to Museum Row. Virtual Properties has a VR scene of the exterior here. Founder Albert C. Barnes, a patent medicine millionaire, never wanted this - he loathed the downtown art crowd. Visit the Barnes before it moves... Carol Vogel has more. Background links: Alltheweb Clusty Google MSN TeomaYahoo Search

"Everything these days doesn't have to be a tourist trap."

Posted by James Zellmer at 12:25 AM

December 13, 2004

Wyland battles destruction of his Milwaukee Mural


Wyland is battling the destuction of a Milwaukee whale mural he painted in the late 1990's. Background links: Alltheweb Clusty Google MSN TeomaYahoo Search

Posted by James Zellmer at 11:32 AM

November 26, 2004

Christo and Jean-Claude

Christo and Jean-Claude are planning to bring saffron to Central Park next February according to Carol Vogel. Reading this reminded me of their work in Paris from 1975 to 1985. A fresh UW grad, I was in Europe for an extended stay when I came upon Christo and Jean-Claude's The Pont Neuf Wrapped. I snapped these photos in 1985:

I commend and admire their work.

Posted by James Zellmer at 12:00 AM

November 21, 2004

A Night on State Street & The Madison Symphony

Click to view larger photos. Dinner at LuLu's, the Madison Symphony at the Overture and a walk around the Square.
Posted by James Zellmer at 12:11 AM

October 22, 2004

Getty in the news


Nova Safo on the recent resignation of Deborah Gribbon's, Director of the Getty Museum in LA. I shot two panoramas at the Getty on a gorgeous clear day a few years ago.

Posted by James Zellmer at 12:33 AM

September 20, 2004

Overture: All Hat No Cattle?

The exciting Overture Opening was brought back to reality via Tom Laskin's Isthmus article (apparently not online) on the financial challenge that several local arts groups face as they migrate to the new facilities:

Off the record, members of the local arts community have suggested that the Rep's problems stem from lavish spending by artistic Director Richard Corley, who joined the company in 2002. But (acting Rep managing director) Fadell says that such speculation is off the mark. Problems with the bottom line had been building for years.
This quote, surprisingly unattributed reminds me of the challenges Wisconsin faces in business as well as arts.

I remember being pleased years ago, while living in San Francisco, with the can do and risk friendly business (and arts) culture. People are willing to try, fail and try again, generally without fear.

Our local culture is not so tolerant of risk and change, despite the image we try to present. In fact, we tend to protect the status quo (Overture itself is testament to this with it's compromised facade), rather than relish in it's demise (and therefore let others benefit - see WARF's biotech offices in California).

It's the rare local banker/investor that is willing to take a risk. Better to invest in treasuries, evidently. There's plenty of cash in Madison & Wisconsin. It just needs to be put to good use, for our children.

Jerry Frautschi and Pleasant have thrown down the gauntlet. Let's all take advantage of that risk taking. After all, there would be no $700M had they not started Pleasant Company years ago (and Jill Barad's willingness to write the check).

Corley has certainly stepped up the Rep's tempo. I hope he continues to push.

We already have one Miller Park..... [All Hat No Cattle]

Posted by James Zellmer at 12:01 AM

September 15, 2004

God's Sky


Clearing storms produce incredible light, as this photo illustrates. This 9MB Quicktime movie says it all. Gorgeous....!!!

Posted by James Zellmer at 8:38 PM

September 13, 2004

Garcetti's Disney Hall Photos


Book cover of 'Iron: Erecting the Disney Concert Hall.' Credit: Gil Garcetti

Former L.A. County District Attorney Gil Garcetti is known for his high-profile prosecutions of O.J. Simpson and the Menendez brothers.

But he left the district attorney's office in 2000 and got out his cameras, turning a lifelong hobby -- photography -- into a second career. He talks with Scott Simon about his images of the ironworkers who built the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, designed by architect Frank Gehry.

Posted by James Zellmer at 12:16 AM

August 4, 2004

Cartier-Bresson Dies

Henry Allen on Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's death.

Posted by James Zellmer at 11:18 PM

May 27, 2004

Rock the Garden - Looks Great!


Minneapolis's Walker Art Center features Rock the Garden 2004 (June 18). Looks like fun! Featuring David Byrne | Tosca Strings | Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra among others.

Posted by James Zellmer at 1:41 PM

February 2, 2004

Fifth Avenue American Girl Store

Doris Hajewski updates us on Mattel's American Girl Company (formerly the Pleasant Company), including their new Fifth Avenue store. American Girl, based in Middleton, was sold to Mattel by Pleasant Rowland for $700M in 1998.

$100M of the proceeds is funding Madison's Overture Center for the Arts.
Posted by James Zellmer at 9:34 PM