Blossoms of Hope by Marjorie Pitz
As I mentioned last week, MPR and the City of Minneapolis have partnered to create "Soundpoint," a new interactive audio tour that allows visitors to use their mobile phones to access stories about works of public art in Minneapolis.
One of those works is the bus shelter at the corner of Broadway and Penn in North Minneapolis. And it has a rather remarkable story.
Landscape architect and public artist Marjorie Pitz wanted to create a bus shelter/sculpture that would serve as a gateway to North Minneapolis. Not easy, considering it was going to be located at the intersection of five street corners where many other things compete for a viewer's attention. So she created a very large bouquet of five large and colorful metal flowers.
This past May, when the sculpture was 95% completed, the Minneapolis tornado hit, ripping right through Broadway and Penn. Pitz was travelling at the time:
I came back late at night, turned on the 10 o'clock news and discovered that a tornado had hit North Minneapolis and so I was really afraid that the flowers had maybe flown off and hurt people. I was worried that I had created something that would cause more damage and more injury to people.
Fortunately the man who helped create the flowers for Pitz designed them so that they were flexible enough to bend and sway in the wind. Only one flower showed any damage from the high winds, and was replaced.
In the days following the tornado, the building next to the bus stop was turned into an emergency center, providing food, water and clothing. Pitz, who was happy to have the colorful flowers standing as a symbol of hope amongst the wreckage, agreed that the sculpture should be renamed "Blossoms of Hope."
You can explore other works of public art in Minneapolis, and hear artists discuss their work, by going to http://bit.ly/MPRpublicart
Posted at 9:18 AM on November 18, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Funding
This morning GiveMN released its final numbers, which show a slight drop from what was on the website at midnight on November 16.
For the record, 47,534 donors raised more than $13.4 million for nearly 4000 MN nonprofits.
That's what's printed in the GiveMN news release; as a reporter I prefer more exact numbers, so I went to their website, which shows the following numbers:
This year a random donor was selected each hour and given a "golden ticket" which added $1,000 to their donation. One donor got a "supersized" golden ticket, adding $10,000 to their donation. The winner was Jim Colten and he gave the money to The Raptor Center.
Namely: When is street art art, and when is it vandalism?
The question has already drawn quite a few responses, with many agreeing that if the artist didn't get permission to create the work of art on someone else's property, then it's vandalism, no matter how good it is.
However, one commenter named Brian, thinks it's more complicated than that:
"Vandalism" is a legal term, and "art" is not, so the two are not mutually exclusive. I can appreciate the artistic merit of something, while also condemning its creation as an act of vandalism.
Certainly our view of graffiti changes depending on the context and time. Ancient graffiti in Rome (carved into buildings - imagine trying to clean that up) included curses, magic spells and declarations of love as well as political rhetoric. Now those markings leave important clues for historians and anthropologists.
In the case of HOTTEA, he switched from spraypaint to yarn to create a work that doesn't last much more than a couple of weeks before breaking down.
HOTTEA - a.k.a. Eric Rieger - says he got tasered four or five times as a graffiti artist before he switched from spray paint to yarn.
MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel
Banksy, a graffiti artist in England, has become so wildly popular that many building owners choose to leave his stenciled works up as an attraction.
Stencil graffiti by Banksy
Photo Adrian Pingstone, Wikimedia Commons
One of Banksy's pieces reads "If graffiti changed anything it would be illegal."
Sao Paulo, Brazil is generally considered to be home to one of the richest graffiti scenes in the world.
In an article for Time Out New York, Terrance Lindall, executive director of the Williamsburg Art and Historic Center said graffiti is a necessary means of expression for the poor and oppressed.
Graffiti is revolutionary, in my opinion and any revolution might be considered a crime. People who are oppressed or suppressed need an outlet, so they write on walls--it's free.
So what do you think? How do you differentiate between art and vandalism? And, how do you tell the difference between graffiti that's art, and graffiti that's simply writing on a wall?(1 Comments)
A startlingly diverse crowd packed the UBS Forum tonight for the live recording of Top Score podcast presenter Emily Reese's conversation with Assassin's Creed composer Jesper Kyd.
Hipsters, gamers, and classical buffs came to learn a few of the secrets behind the immensely popular video game franchise, which released its fourth title Assassin's Creed:Revelations on Tuesday.
Kyd (right) is a Dane who is unusual among video game music composers in that he didn't begin his career in film. He began composing what he laughingly called bleep music on what was then his cutting edge Commodore 64. He moved on to an Amiga with its whopping four channels and joined the European Demoscene where he and his friends composed music like maniacs. He said he tried to do a tune a day.
"Don't take it that seriously," he said of learning how to write music. "That's important. I didn't really care. I wrote a lot of music that really sucked, but I had a good time."
He said he also got to know a lot of other people in the scene too, composers and graphic artists all drawn together by the maverick spirit, and it was an almost natural progression that they put their skills together to create a game. It was so good Sega bought it, and he moved to the US.
Kyd has done the scores for all four of the Assassin's games so far, and he told Emily Reese the music provides an interesting challenge. While much of the action in the first game occurs during the Crusades, and in the second in 15th century Italy, with the third being a combination of both, the storyline is actually set in 2012. It's really a science fiction travel adventure, with strong historical elements.
Kyd says he works hard to keep that science fiction element in the scores, while also conjuring the feel of those historical times. Part of his secret is his use of electronic music, and his delight in manipulation and sampling. He always uses a live choir for recording the music, but will digitally alter the sound to get the effect he is after.
He has little time for those who claim orchestral music is superior to electronic material. Instead of having many players he says, an electronic musician creates a framework alone, and then builds around it.
"You have to create that awesomeness of your own," he said. He researches a great deal as he composes, but bluntly says most people today find the music of the Crusades primitive. He says the trick is not to be accurate, but working on creating the music so people feel it is accurate.
He also talked about the difference between composing for a game and writing music for a film. A film is finite, and a composer knows what is going to happen. For a game however a lot depends on how a gamer is playing.
"A lot of it is to try to work out what would be cool (to hear) when you are playing," he said.
There is also a lot of opportunity to explore musical themes and variations. He said for Assassin's Creed II he delivered three hours of finished music.
Jesper Kyd signs copies of Assassin's Creed games after appearing on Top Score
"Assassin's Creed: Revelations" is so new Kyd admits he hasn't actually played it. In fact he's not entirely sure how his music is used in the game.
When asked if he is working on the next game in the series he smiled and said "I can't really talk about that. I'd get into trouble." He paused for a moment and continued, "But there is more music on the way."
After talking and taking questions for an hour the final piece of business was a drawing for two collector's editions of the new game.
When Reese asked him if he wanted to draw the XBox or the PS3 entries, he smiled and said "That's a loaded question," making the gamers in the audience roar with laughter.
He went with the XBox.1 Comments)