May 2005 Archives

In the magazine header, image:
Issue of 2005-06-06
Posted 2005-05-30

COMMENT/ LADIES FIRST/ Rebecca Mead on the new Laura Bush.
THE CLOTH/ INTERFAITH AT WORK/ Ben McGrath at a gathering of clergy and judges in Brooklyn.
ODD JOBS DEPT./ COOKIE MASTER/ Jeremy Olshan meets a fortune writer.
ROAD TEST/ STINKY TOWN/ Field Maloney on the smells of summer.
THE HOME TEAM/ THE PITCHER'S WIFE/ Lillian Ross goes to Shea stadium with Anna Benson.

ANNALS OF EDUCATION/ Margaret Talbot/ Best in Class/ What students will do to be valedictorian.
SHOUTS & MURMURS/ Paul Simms/ Talking Chimp Gives His First Press Conference
LETTER FROM ALASKA/ Elizabeth Kolbert/ Last Words/ Can a dying language be saved?
PROFILES/ Jon Lee Anderson/ The Man in the Palace/ Hamid Karzai's uncertain presidency.
ANNALS OF ADOLESCENCE/ Jonathan Franzen/ The Retreat/ Everybody wanted to be in the youth group.

FICTION/ Tessa Hadley/ "A Mouthful of Cut Glass"

A CRITIC AT LARGE/ Alex Ross/ The Record Effect/ How technology has transformed the sound of music.
DANCING/ Joan Acocella/ Personal Matters/ Five premiËres at New York City Ballet.
THE THEATRE/ John Lahr/ Unmaking the World/ Three plays on human bondage.
THE CURRENT CINEMA/ Anthony Lane/ Looking for Heroes/ "Cinderella Man" and "The White Diamond."

DISPATCHES/ A LION'S DEATH/ Jon Lee Anderson/ The assassination of the Taliban's most important Afghan opponent./ Issue of 2001-10-01

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A big sloppy kiss on the lips for The Sound of Music on the upcoming occasion of its 40th birthday, courtesy of the NY Times.

I still can't believe the same guy edited Citizen Kane, directed West Side Story and Sound of Music, and then directed Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Robert Wise, I KISS you.

Oh, and then totally shilled for Chicago. I take it back. Kiss this, Bob.

The Hills Still Resonate [nyt]

So according to the NYT, Helmut Lang's business sucked so bad, that sales dropped 60%--from $100 million to $37 million--over five years, and Prada rattles off a whole host of reasons why. It's terrorism, Lang's lack of business sense, he just wasn't friendly, he cared more about art than fashion. And then there's the possible effect of Bertelli's decision to cancel the company's jeans licenses "which were responsible for more than half of the brand's revenues."

Prada and Bertelli bought and killed a major one-time threat to their own power, and now they spin and cover it up with the willing help of the Times and the rest of the kiss-ass fashion press. They're the Bush & Cheney of the fashion world. I have a feeling Karl Rove'll be dressing better real soon.

I said it before, but damn, those people piss me off.

Decline and Fall of Helmut Lang [nyt]
Previously: Miuccia Pravda

bobby_shower.jpgLike some architecture critical version of Bobby Ewing. [Or is it Pamela? Whichever.] In this week's New Yorker, Paul Goldberger writes about the horrible dream he just had: Pataki and the Port Authority were railroading their 10mm sf uber alles program through at the WTC site, resulting in pointless, tenantless, characterless office buildings with marginal cultural facilities wedged in around their base, and a memorial that was little more than a front yard for some jingoistic, politicized ego-booster called the Freedom Tower.

Not only that, but Goldberger's own master plan--an "Eiffel Tower for the 21st Century"; acres of experimental, affordable, and much-in-demand housing by innovative young architects; built around a deep, solemn, Libeskind-esque void of a memorial--had inexplicably not moved any closer to realization.

How did this happen? [note to any SVA Parsons students, apologies for making you imagine your dean naked.]

A New Beginning/ Why We Should Build Apartments at Ground Zero [ny'er, via cut-n-pasting monkey at wiredny]
Previously: "The Eiffel Tower for the 21st Century" [PG on Studio360 01/13/2003]

It's always a bracing relief to see someone launch a musical with a more implausible basis than my own.

To wit: Danny Schur's upcoming staging of Strike!, which is about the Winnipeg General Strike, in which 30,000 workers shut down the city for six weeks in 1919.

Yeah, I'd never heard of it, either.

Winnipeg's 'Strike!' musical set for debut [, via robotwisdom]

The latest issue of Senses of Cinema includes Cubie King's intriguing look at PT Anderson's use of color in Punch-Drunk Love. In addition to the interstitial abstract animations by artist Jeremy Blake [which were originally meant to represent--is that too strong a word?--Adam Sandler's character's state of mind], King cites Anderson's recurring, particular use of red, white, and blue, and his inclusion of in-camera effects like washout lighting and lens flares. That's a lot.

King asserts that Anderson truly comes into his own in P-DL. But I recently rewatched Magnolia, and yeah, it's Altman-esque in its structure, but damn, that is one uniquely intense film. Tom Cruise is actually good, unnervingly so, [although the schtick gets tired when he tries it for real on Oprah; suspension of disbelief, my butt] and Julianne Moore, wow, what a sustained performance. Macy, too, now that I think about it.

FYI, Blake's latest trilogy of video work, Winchester moves to incorporate more representational and narrative elements than before. It's showing at SFMOMA through October 10. P-DL screens June 12 at the Museum as the last of a damn-I-missed-it Blake-curated film series.

Punch-Drunk Love: The Budding of an Auteur
Winchester, by Jeremy Blake []
Buy the Punch-Drunk Love 2-disc edition DVD or this sweet little Winchester exhibition catalogue []

I just got back from a visit to the new conservation department digs at MoMA [one word: AWESOME], and they'd just taken down the Richard Tuttle Letters sculpture today, to get it ready for the SFMOMA retrospective, and it was lying around on the table.

The conservator talked about interviewing Tuttle to see what his intentions were for the weak or broken solders, the accumulating fingerprints on the galvanized steel, even which side was the front and which was the back. Tuttle actually preferred the imperfections, the minor breaks, the accumulated history of wear and randomness, everything but the stickers some German museum stuck on what they thought was the back of the pieces. In another nod to non-prescriptiveness, Tuttle says there is no front or back.

This intentional abrogation seemed suitably interesting, admirable, even, and then I read Clay Risen's review of Peter Eisenman's Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin in The New Republic. Risen decries the inevitable but apparently unanticipated transformation of the grim, abstracted Holocaust memorial, now full of children, into "the world's greatest playground." He cites Eisenman's casual embrace of picnickers, skateboarders, and even defacement. "Maybe it would add to it," he said. For some reason I can't quite pin down, Eisenman's "maybe" bugs.

Can advocating chance ever be be cleanly differentiated from abrogating or denying responsibility for the life of a work? Risen also slams the open-ended whateverness of abstraction, especially for memorials. He calls Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial a rare exception, an abstract memorial that succeeds by not dictating a message; it's telling that he can't come up with any others.

There's little downside, little impact on our culture, ultimately, if a Richard Tuttle sculpture is repaired or displayed "wrong." But what is the impact of a Holocaust memorial in Germany being "misread"? Or turned into a skatepark? Are there situations when embracing randomness is wrong, or when it should be questioned?

Stone Cold [, sub req]

In the magazine header, image:
Issue of 2005-05-30
Posted 2005-05-23

COMMENT/ BIG NEWS WEEK/ Hendrik Hertzberg on Newsweek, the White House, and the fallout from the Guant·namo allegations.
THE BENCH/ GIRLS BEHAVING BADLY/ Jeffrey Toobin on a legal battle raging within a feminist art organization.
ENDANGERED SPECIES DEPT./ THE VILLAGE HILLS/ Rebecca Mead on trying to save the mounds in Washington Square Park.
DYNASTIES/ MODERN AT NINETY/ Calvin Tomkins on celebrating David Rockefeller's birthday.
THE FINANCIAL PAGE/ LOCAL KNOWLEDGE/ James Surowiecki on how geography is still destiny when it comes to medical care.

ANNALS OF SCIENCE/ H. Allen Orr/ MASTER PLANNED/ Why intelligent design isn't.
SHOUTS & MURMURS/ Ian Frazier/ Chinese Arithmetic
PROFILES?/ Connie Bruck/ McCain's Party/ Arizona Senator John McCain and his possible run for the presidency in 2008, I guess. It's not online.
THE SKY LINE/ Paul Goldberger/ A New Beginning/ Why We Should Build Apartments at Ground Zero [via forums]
FICTION/ David Bezmozgis/ "The Russian Riviera"

BOOKS/ Arthur Krystal/ Carpe Noctem/ A little night history.
THEATRE/ Hilton Als/ The Great Divide/ Class lines, countries, and oceans are crossed Off Broadway.
MUSICAL EVENTS/ Alex Ross/ The Waves/ "Tristan" in Paris, and "Cyrano" at the Met.
THE ART WORLD/ Peter Schjeldahl/ String Theory/ Jasper Johns's new work.
THE CURRENT CINEMA/ David Denby/ Free Choice/ "The Ninth Day" and "Madagascar."

ANNALS OF VIETNAM/ James Carroll/ A Friendship That Ended the War/ Chronicling the friendship between Senators John McCain and John Kerry/ Issue of 1996-10-21
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I had a small piece in the Times today about artists' unrealized projects, which is really based on the interviewing work of the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. Unlike architects' unbuilt projects, Obrist notes, which are published, debated, and considered critically important [look at the examples of Zaha Hadid or Thom Mayne, whose reputations were built largely on projects that weren't], artists' unrealized projects are invisible, almost a shame or a failure. Obrist is seeking to reconsider these projects.

These projects can feed, inform, or reveal the artistís process; or as Obrist puts it, they "show the artist negotiating with reality." And in some cases, the examining them has led to their renewal and fruition. Here are a few more unrealized projects I gleaned from Obrist's interviews (mostly from his most recent compilation, the 964-page Hans Ulrich Obrist Interviews, Volume 1) that didn't make it into the paper:

Maurizio Cattelan
made a proposal in 1992 to distribute posters and flyers advertising a non-existent Nazi skinhead rally was actually rejected twice, by curators in the Swedish city of Sonsbeck in 1992, and again by a New York gallery organizing an exhibition on the theme of fear. [Actually three times if you count being cut from this article.] "It was a way to use information to spread fear: it was a psychological lab in real life," the artist recounted.

Chantal Akerman In 1997, "when there was some hope of peace in Israel," the artist explains, she wrote a script and scouted film locations in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, but her producer was lukewarm to the project. "If I were to resume that project today, it would instead be about the impossibility of filming the Middle East."

Gabriel Orozco: Aguapracasa is a 1996 design for a house centered on a spherical pool, based on the 18th-century Jantar Mantar observatory complex in Jaipur, India. Since 1996, the artist found a place to build it, near the ocean in Mexico. "It is a house for me," Orozco says. "This one is a work in progress."

Yoko Ono:
Sometimes a project is only partly realized. Though her 1999 sculpture Freight Train has been exhibited in museums, Ono's plan is "to hook it up to a train that goes to different countries in Europe, and for it to visit every city in Europe that way. Each time it stops in a city or a town, I want people to see the train and write about their memories of what happened."

Olafur Eliasson: "Yes, I think my life in general is a yet-unrealized project. This is, let's say, the bottom line." Of his interest in anti-gravity or his desire to make a botanical garden in a climate-controlled dome, the artist explains, "Ideas like this come and go every day," and they're all in "the big mixture-process-soup."

Roni Horn: "My future is my unrealized road. And there are always those footnotes I haven't gotten toólike dust collecting in the corner."

Art of The Undone [nyt]
not related: whatever about my piece, the interviews with the Star Wars and Herbie nerds totally rock.

[update: Sarah has good questions, which I answer as best I can, on Forward Retreat]

May 22, 2005

What Cannes I Do

Fear and self-loathing in Cannes [guardian]
A step up from when they the Guardian crew would just complain about the shortage of open bars, Mark Lawson looks for the big themes in Cannes. The result: 1) guilt, 2) loser fathers. And the Palme d'Or goes to: Loser Fathers. The Dardennes' doc-style filmmaking wins again.

I [heart] Manohla Dargis, whose Cannes Journal with Tony Scott was very funny. Plus, she namechecked I'd say more, but I can't; it's off the record.

The film US TV networks dare not show [guardian]
BBC series-turned-feature at Cannes by the "anti-Michael Moore" examines US origins of fanatics: Strauss (and Strauss begat Wolfowitz) and Qutb (and Qutb begat Al Zawahiri and Al Zawahiri begat Bin Laden). Let's see, BBC-produced, Moore-invoked, Cannes-premiered, Al Jazeera-aired, and yet no giant media conglomerate in the US wants to air it? Go figure.

That cranky Galloway testified before Congress and all he got was press coverage in the UK--and mysteriously, no officially published transcript. Your tax dollars at work. [, via robotwisdom]

Trump Announces The Apprentice: The Musical

What is missing at ground zero is a sense of humility. This is something that cannot be remedied by reducing the scale of a building. We should refocus attention on what matters most: remembering the human beings who were lost at ground zero, while allowing life to return to the void there. The rest is a pointless distraction.
-Nicolai Ouroussoff, discussing the inherent problems with the current redevelopment and memorial plans for the WTC site, which he notes has been parcelled out to different political constituencies and filled with clutter.

Used to be you'd see people at the US Open in their tennis whites and carrying a racket, as if they just wanted to be ready, just in case Rod Laver's doubles partner twisted his ankle, and he'd turn to the stands and say, "Mind helping me finish this set?"

In the same deluded way, a month ago, I took four Netflix DVD's off the dresser and put them in my bag, I guess so I'd be ready to watch them at any moment.

[Note: Everyone else should use GreenCine, of course. I use Netflix because, until I started essentially paying them for the privilege of storing their DVD's, my charter member fee-for-life and my personal viewing rate was ridiculously unprofitable. Now that I'm apparently not watching DVD's at all, maybe I should make the switch to the GreenCine alternative.]

[FYI, they're The Office: Season 1, Spirited Away, Pasolini's The Gospel According to St Matthew, and Dumont's L'HumanitÈ]

May 19, 2005

On Land Marks


The late Cuban-American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres is well-known for appropriating minimalism--the Establishment for his generation--and for imbuing that movement's self-consciously impersonalized, content-free, manufactured forms with deeply resonant emotional, biographical, and political metaphor.

So it is again with the next generation, I thought, when I saw Land Marks (foot prints), photographs by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla.

Gonzalez-Torres made several works, including a billboard and a series of black & white photographs, of sand churned over with footprints. They're legible but barely, approaching a very painterly monochromatic abstraction. They speak of human presence, multiple people, and activity, but they're only sentimental in their impermanence.

Without knowing their intentions, I don't want to draw any hard and fast parallels, but Allora and Calzadilla seem to be referencing these works in Land Marks. They stake a claim to the iconic forms of a looming, preceding giant, and ratchet up the work's content, from the personal and identity themes of the 80's and 90's to larger, more explicity political activism.

In Land Marks, the artists put political messages on the soles of shoes, which were then worn by protestors infiltrating the beaches of Vieques while the US Navy was conducting weapons tests. When protestors tripped the Navy's sensors, the tests would have to be halted; eventually the military agreed to abandon testing and its base on Vieques altogether. These photographs are documentation of repeated messages being directed specifically at the military security guards on the island; they're a form of psychological counter-operations meant to disrupt or unsettle the larger, vastly more powerful opponent. And on top of that, they're pretty badass.

Land Marks are on exhibit in a group show of the same name at Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris through 18 June. Allora & Calzadilla also have work in the Venice Biennale opening next month.

"Land Marks" []
Insurgent Inquiry: The art of Allora & Calzadilla []
Paul Schmelzer also interviewed A&C on his weblog []

crownroast.jpgMiss Representation dumps a scalding hot cup of realism in the Port Authority's lap by asking if their crown jewel--and the only thing the PA's obduracy hasn't botched so far--the Calatrava "transit hub", isn't just a crown roast instead.

The official line, of course, is that everything's going smoothly, no hitches, what? but as MR points out, that's demonstrably not possible, given the degree of flux and uncertainty surrounding all the other elements of the site redevelopment.

And then, on its face, he says, the design seems guaranteed to fail as anything other than a pompous, largely superfluous "glass hat." And we know Calatrava's not above building one of those, given budget enough and a seducibly ignoramic client.

I don't see how 'roof of bones' won't be the inevitable epithet. [miss representation]
previously: How is this Calatrava Moment different from all other Calatrava Moments?

sugimoto_math2.jpgSherman Sam interviews the artist Hiroshi Sugimoto about his London show at Gagosian. Sugimoto's latest works, originally shown at the Fondation Cartier, are photographs of early 20th-century mathematical and mechanical study models from the collection of Tokyo University.

Sugimoto provides some more background on the models, which were also photographed by Man Ray and studied--in their day, in the 1910's and 20's--by Duchamp, Brancusi, and others.

By happy coincidence, the same series are on view at Sonnabend until June 11.

Artworker of the Week: Hiroshi Sugimoto [kultureflash]
previously: On Math & Art in France

gawker_guest_editor.jpgJust as there's hardly an actor/waiter left in New York who hasn't made rent by doing a couple day's work on some Law & Order spin-off or other as an at-first tearful but increasingly suspecious relative or a neighbor who conveniently pins down the time of death by recounting what they were watching on TV, there's hardly a blogger left in the city who hasn't had to feign interest in Radar Magazine and cop to a fondness for the hard stuff while doing a "guest-editor" stint at some Gawker Media blog or other.

Forget S.I. Newhouse, Nick's clearly on his way to becoming the Dick Wolf of the blogosphere, increasingly intdistinguishable spin-offs and all.

Come to think of it, Dickwolfer kinda sounds like a Gawker Media title already. Come to think of it. heh.

Memo to Diane Neal: Who are you again? []
Blogging, as in Slogging [nyt on guest-blogging, via gawker, please make me pure.]

[but not yet. 5/18 update with the best disclaimer ever: "(Disclaimer: Everybody involved in the Gawker-Radar spat works for or with everybody else involved, including The Observer.)"]

In the magazine header, image:
Issue of 2005-05-23
Posted 2005-05-16

COMMENT/ BLAIR'S BUSHY TAIL/ Hendrik Hertzberg on Tony Blair's shrinking majority.
DEPT. OF YESTERYEAR/ U.N. ON ICE/ Nick Paumgarten on the U.N.'s potential move to the outer boroughs.
STREET LIFE/ TREE COUNT/ Andy Young on cataloguing Manhattan's flora.
ICONS/ MR. G./ Adam Green on Robert Goulet, at seventy-one.
DEPT. OF INSPIRATION/ WRITERS AT WORK/ Ben McGrath on special work spaces for writers, in Queens.

A REPORTER AT LARGE/ Michael Specter/ Higher Risk/ Why H.I.V. rates are rising among gay men.
SHOUTS & MURMURS/ Paul Rudnick/ A Mother's Story
THE SPORTING SCENE/ Ben McGrath/ Teen Spirit/ The trials of being an American soccer star.
ANNALS OF ESPIONAGE/ Thomas A. Bass/ The Spy Who Loved Us/ The double life of a Vietnamese patriot.
PROFILES/ Calvin Tomkins/ Everything in Sight/ Robert Rauschenberg's big new work.
FICTION/ Jonathan Franzen/ "Two's Company"

BOOKS/ Joshua Micah Marshall/ National Treasure/ In the year 1776, character was destiny.
IN FASHION/ Judith Thurman/ Scenes From a Marriage/ The House of Chanel at the Met.
ON TELEVISION/ Nancy Franklin/ Magical Mystery Tour/ Forty-eight castaways win the prime-time challenge.
THE CURRENT CINEMA/ Anthony Lane/ Space Case/ "Star Wars: Episode III."

THE CURRENT CINEMA/ Galaxy Crisis/ Penelope Gilliatt/ A consideration of the human fascination with extraterrestrial life, complete with an R2-D2 namecheck/ Issue of 1977-06-13
THE CURRENT CINEMA/ Contrasts/ Pauline Kael considers the first "Star Wars" [wait, almost four months later? slacker. -greg]/ Issue of 1977-09-26
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Personally, every time I see those "Who Makes Movies?" spots where some lowly crew member is trotted out to say how Internet pirates are taking food out of his dyslexic kid's mouth, I want to say, "Actually, it's Canadians who are taking your job, pal, thanks to the studios moving over $10 billion worth of production-related economic activity out of the US in pursuit of lower wages, more pliable unions, and government-funded tax incentives. Oh, and they're the same studios who are funding these MPAA commercials and claiming that "potential worldwide losses" from "piracy" "could" exceed $3 billion a year.

Needless to say, the folks behind these three spoof spots have a funnier time of it.

Check out "Zombies make movies," "Script doctors make movies," and "Fluffers make movies" at R4NT Magazine. [, via boingboing]
Yeah, but who makes points on gross? [, 11/03, yes, this whole MPAA thing is getting old.]
Film & Television Action Committee []

Tuhirangi_Serra.jpgDirector Alberta Chu's 2003 documentary, Seeing The Landscape: Richard Serra: Tuhirangi Contour follows the artist's production of a massive, 843-foot steel wall piece in New Zealand. Here's a line from the synopsis: "A dramatic five years in the making, the Tuhirangi Contour finds Serra's artistic vision at odds with his patron, his materials, his environment, and the harsh realities of physics."

While I'm sure there'll be a lot of conflict, I don't think there's much suspense about who prevails here. Serra's whole artistic practice is built around pushing and expanding his understanding of his materials and the "harsh realities of physics," and from what I understand of his commission agreements, a patron who stays at odds with the artist can very quickly find himself without an artist to be at odds with.

Still, this sounds like a great way to spend an evening: The film screens Wed. 5/18 at 7pm at MIT's List Visual Arts Center. Chu will be present to discuss the work.

Buy Te Tuhirangi Contour, a book of photos documenting the finished work by Serra and Dirk Reinartz

Michael Bierut's excellent post on design bullshit has gotten a lot of attention. He starts by quoting the artist/gardner Robert Irwin, who hilariously calls bullshit on the man who would be king Of the Getty hill, architect Richard Meier, in a Getty-produced documentary, Concert of Wills. It's a startling moment in what's otherwise a typically institution-stroking hagiography of the "The travertine selected was from Michelangelo's quarry" variety.

If it's bullshit Irwin, wanted, Meier apparently thought, it's bullshit he got. To demarcate where the architect's work stops and the flaky artist's landscaping starts, Meier created what is essentially a travertine toilet bowl to empty the placid fountains of his pristine, self-conscious Acropolis. It literally sounds like a giant is taking a pee. Forever.

It's an at-once hilarious and unbelievably petty gesture. [And as I type this, I'd be even happier to find out the fountain was actually Irwin's backhanded joke. As if he turned Meier's bullshit into the fertilizer for his garden.] As it is, Irwin's baroque landscape can't defuse the rest of the Getty's overbearing sense of self-importance.

Don't get me wrong, I like it fine, and there's some hand-rubbed plaster on some of those gallery walls I'd love to have myself. But I've always felt the ratio of building to art--of building to life--seemed wildly out of whack there.

It doesn't help, of course, that on my first visit, I watched someone collapse in the main rotunda. With lightning efficiency, security guards hustled the portly man out of sight. They laid him on the ground behind one of the large stone benches at the entryway and radioed around frantically, while the man's companions tried reviving him. Transfixed, I watched the scene for nearly 20 minutes as a circle of guards shielded the man--who turned out to have a heart condition--from view until the ambulan--oh, wait, that's not an ambulance, that's a Getty security van they're loading him into. They're not letting the ambulance up the hill, they're shuttling him down to it.

I made a note to myself then not to die in a mausoleum. Well. That's a cheery way to start the day. Have a great weekend!

Dale Peck thoughtfully turns is hatcheting attentions from things that people should care about but don't (books) to things they shouldn't care about but do (movies).

And what he finds is, the current star-based movie rating system is inadequately and overly generous; it needs "a negative unit of measurement to warn viewers away," a Dark Side, if you will.

Naturally, his proposal is based on things people shouldn't care about and don't (the 'new' Star Wars movies).

Go to his NY Observer article and see how, exactly, his new unit of evil film measure, The Lucas, works.

[But go soon. Here, I thought that the NYO had just bunged up their search function, gone even cheaper and crappier with their site by adding free/slow-to-update Google search, and given up on ever publishing persistent links to their stories, when in fact, they've done all that and started charging money for the stories you can't find in the first place.]

thought_thieves.gifYou can't make this stuff up, folks. Microsoft UK is sponsoring a short film contest, with £2,000 worth of equipment vouchers. The theme: Thought Thieves.

"The theme of your film should be about how intellectual property theft affects both individuals and society. Think about it: what would a world look like without protection for intellectual property?"

[hint if you want to win: a glorious flowering of culture, peace and creativity is o-u-t.]

Entries must be 30-45 seconds long and must be in a Windows Media Player-compatible format. Entries must be received by July 1st.

The entry form boilerplate is especially poignant in light of the theme:

"...Should I be selected as a finalist in this competition, I confirm the following:
7. I will formally license on terms acceptable to Microsoft, all intellectual property rights in my film and agree to waive all moral rights in relation to my film if requested to do so..."

The Microsoft Short Film Competition: Thought Thieves [, via boingboing]
Previously on Dependent Filmmaking and The Sponsored Short

"Don't ask Nick Denton, publisher of Gawker Media and its growing list of popular Web logs, about his empire...

...If his reluctance to be interviewed is theater, it is deft theater."
- Excerpted from Nick's eleventh NYT profile.

A Blog Revolution? Get a Grip [nyt, via memefirst, were the NYT's 'deft theater' might be called The George Lucas School Of Boy, Do We Know How This Story'll Turn Out Acting]

Lockhart Steele, of the real estate blogging empire Steeles, has put architects in their place: The Gutter, a new sub-blog of Curbed.

"Ill-mannered commentary on the architectural arts" []


Right after their installation, End Station, opened at the Bohen Foundation (415 West 13th Street, Tu-Sa 12-5), I did a back and forth email interview with Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset for the NY Times. The paper ended up reviewing the installation and not using this piece [I'll get you, Roberta Smith! And your little-- oh, never mind.], so here it is in its entirety, cleaned it up a bit, but with all my essay questions in their full, self-important glory.

According to Alex Frangos' report in the Wall Street Journal, roughly $1.8 billion of the $4.6 billion insurance proceeds for the WTC have been spent so far on things like buyouts (is that Westfield, the Autralian mall company that used to have the retail rights?) and $15 million/year in management fees for Larry Silverstein. [Not mentioned: the eight figure monthly lease payments Silverstein pays to the Port Authority to stay in the game.]

What IS mentioned, though, is Silverstein's heartfelt but hmm, never-mentioned-until-now love of Tribeca:

To woo tenants, Silverstein Properties is trying to distance the building from the image of the Trade Center, though it literally sits on the site's edge. Instead of 7 World Trade Center, the building will be marketed under a newly created street address, 250 Greenwich St. The idea, according to someone familiar with the matter is to emphasize the building's proximity to TriBeCa, the trendy neighborhood to the north. It's also a tacit admission, according to real-estate executives, that the World Trade Center name scares prospective tenants.
Showdown at Ground Zero [wsj, sub. req.]

the 2+ month gap between posts on banker/nude male swimer Dana Vachon's blog/: $650,000
Vachon's last post, an interview with Christo & Jeanne-Claude: priceless.

After a couple of months of interviews and trying to wrap my head around the question of why there were no expensive women artists, I read Linda Nochlin's seminal 1972 essay, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" It was tremendously prescient and helpful; many of the explanations people had given me for why women's art wasn't, in fact, undervalued--or why it shouldn't be selling for more--were identical to the rationales Nochlin laid out--and then demolished--thirty years ago.

When I spoke with Prof. Nochlin, she was much more optimistic, though; from where she sees it, in the art history world--she's a professor at NYU's Institute of Fine Arts, and is co-curating an upcoming show of feminist art at the Brooklyn Museum with Maura Reilly--things have improved dramatically since she wrote "WHTBNGWA?" The number women making and showing art have increased; curators and critics and historians are paying them equal (or requisite) attention; and she never hears her current crops of students qualify a work based on the artist's gender, now it's really about the work.

So you've come a long way, baby, I guess.

"Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" by Linda Nochlin

The urban explorer/cinephiles of La Mexicaine De Perforation were featured on Laurent Weil's program, "La Semaine du CinÈma" Sunday (Dimanche Mai 01) on Canal+. The segment includes sweet video of LMDP's underground cinema, as well as the provocative kicker that "they had no problem" replacing it after it was discovered by the police.

The video's available online at the LSdC page [wmv] or in quicktime here.

Move over, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

In his article in Slate, "Paranoia for Fun and Profit: How Disney and Michael Moore cleaned up on Fahrenheit 9/11", Epstein shows how Moore played up Disney's refusal to distribute his Cannes-winning doc, and how Disney happily extracted some serious participation--they netted $75 million of the film's $228 million worldwide box office, plus another $3mm for DVD royalties-- from the distributors they "sold" it to.

Given Disney's ongoing interest F9/11's performance, it sounds more accurate, if not technically true, to say they didn't "sell" the film, so much as they outsourced distribution.

But Epstein's talking about the accounting world's reality, where, as he's written previously, Hollywood studio films are all German productions now.

As for Moore, he made at least $27 million, not counting what he may have pocketed for producing the film itself (Epstein notes that it cost far less to make than the $6 million Miramax fronted for production, not including Moore's acting, producing, writing, and directing fees. [Of course, clearing the music could've eaten up that much, too, so who can say?])

Next on Epstein's list (I hope): "Sadistic Religiosity and Jew-baiting for Fun and Profit: How, verily, Mel Gibson got is reward from The Passion"

While Kevin Rampe jumps from the LMDC, Larry Silverstein may be getting the push. NY1 hears creaking and shouts of eminent domain from Pataki's office, as if he wasn't the visionless machinator behind the whole fiasco. Now opportunists like Sheldon Silver and Chuck Schumer, and the previously stiff-armed Mike Bloomberg smell political smoke wafting from the pile that is the WTC site redevelopment process.

Once everything's cleared away, Liebeskind's Bathtub Wall may be the only thing left, by default. Except that, as Miss Representation points out, confusion and indecision and compartmentalized "fixes" only further the interests of the Port Authority, whose unaccountable activities--if not their plan--are already in slow, bureaucratic motion.

The leadership and vision void MR sees at the center deserves scrutiny and attention, and some day it'll get rigorous analysis, too. But in the mean time, I've got an all-too-familiar fear, a dread of another collapse that could have, should have, might have been avoided.

Now that the Times said it, it must be true [, via curbed]
Officials Consider Eminent Domain At Ground Zero [ny1]

In the magazine header, image:
Posted 2005-05-02
Issue of 2005-05-09

MATT AND JUDY SHOW/ Hendrik Hertzberg on Judith Miller, Matthew Cooper, and the freedom of the press.
DEPT. OF PALEONTOLOGY/ DINOMITE/ Adam Gopnik on new dinosaurs at the American Museum
of Natural History.
THE PICTURES/ TWO DAMES/ Lillian Ross on Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.
ON PROBATION/ SURE BEATS WORK/ Jeffrey Toobin on Martha Stewart's probation.
DANCE DEPARTMENT/ LEAVING AILEY/ Joan Acocella on a sixty-something dancer.

LETTER FROM WASHINGTON/ Jeffrey Goldberg/ A Little Learning/ A key strategist of the Iraq war looks back.
SHOUTS & MURMURS Patricia Marx/ Audio Tour
LIFE & LETTERS/ Cynthia Zarin/ The Diarist/ How a harried Englishwoman set a trend.
ANNALS OF SCIENCE/ Elizabeth Kolbert/ The Climate of ManóIII/ Why is the Bush Administration ignoring the dangers of global warming?
PROFILES/ Stanley Crouch/ The Colossus/ When Sonny Rollins is at his best./
FICTION/ Nick Arvin/ "Along the Highways"

DANCING/ Joan Acocella/ Spring Steps/ Three great seasons in one month.
BOOKS/ John Updike/ Bitter Bamboo/ Two novels from China.
THE ART WORLD/ Peter Schjeldahl/ Parked Cars/ American Photo-Realism at its best.
THE THEATRE/ John Lahr/ Survivors/ "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Glengarry Glen Ross" return to Broadway.
THE CURRENT CINEMA/ Anthony Lane/ Personal Battles/ "Kingdom of Heaven" and "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

TALK OF THE TOWN/ Sabbatical/ In this piece, from 1961, Whitney Balliett writes about Sonny Rollinsís decision to withdraw from performance for creative and spiritual reasons.
ANNALS OF SCIENCE/ Elizabeth Kolbert/ The Climate of ManóI/ The third in a three-part series on the reality of climate change appears in this weekís magazine. The first part appears
ANNALS OF SCIENCE/ Elizabeth Kolbert/ The Climate of ManóII
Subscribe to the New Yorker via Amazon

And that stands for Port Authority or Pataki, take your pick.

The Port Authority has apparently threatened some of the architects involved with various aspects of the WTC site redevelopment with breach of their confidentiality agreements if they talk to one other about possible solutions to the growing number of architectural casualties in the master plan. So what's a muzzled starchitect to do? Why, talk to the NY Times architecture critic, of course.

Who then writes a damning criticism on the crumbling folly of the Port Authority's handling of the master plan, the redevelopment, and the memorial. The problem? Imperiousness and "the mix of secrecy, self-interest and paranoia that have enveloped the site from the outset - a climate that favors political expediency and empty symbolic gestures over thoughtful urban planning discussions."

Sounds like New York real estate and politics to me.

At Ground Zero, Disarray Reigns, and an Opportunity Awaits [nyt]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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about this archive

Posts from May 2005, in reverse chronological order

Older: April 2005

Newer June 2005

recent projects, &c.

Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99