Photographer Buckner Sutter has gone from taking images with toy cameras and old Polaroids to using software on his smartphone to create a similar, otherworldly feel.
"Dream Museum" by Buckner Sutter
Image courtesy of the artist
Sutter, a photographer with thirty years experience, is currently showing some of his recent work at VidTiger Studio and Gallery in the Solar Arts building in Northeast Minneapolis.
The show is titled "Between Worlds," a reference to the space Sutter is attempting to create with his images.
"I'm always going for this borderline place that looks familiar, yet has this dreamy aspect," says Sutter, sitting in the gallery surrounded by his work. "I'm striving to capture that childlike naive connection with the strange and the beautiful... that feeling you have the moment before you recognize something as a dream."
"The Aftermath" by Buckner Sutter
Image courtesy of the artist
Sutter says while he used to work with more expensive cameras, he found smartphones much more portable and easy to work with - albeit relatively crude when they first came out.
"The more I had my point-and-shoot with me, the more pictures I took," explains Sutter, "so I abandoned the more expensive cameras, and opted for a Blackberry, then the iPhone. Nowadays it comes with a nice camera - 5-8 megapixels - which is equivalent to some of my early digital cameras."
Now with multiple photo editing applications like Hipstamatic, Filterstorm and Photowizard, Sutter finds he's able to create layered images that evoke the primitive feel of the old film-based toy cameras - Dianas, Holgas - that he used to experiment with. But now he doesn't have to deal with the unpredictability of film.
"With the digital apps the learning curve is really fast compared to working with negatives," says Sutter. "You can change as you go to get different results.
I do it because I can get the work done; it's always with me. I'm immersed in the visual world and capturing it. I can do this on my break at work - I can walk and edit images at the same time!"
"Under a Silver Moon" by Buckner Sutter
Image courtesy of the artist
Sutter is known on Instagram and other image sites by his handle "Intao" - he says he currently has 1800 images up on Instagram, all created within the last two years. That level of productivity simply wouldn't have been possible for him using film.
Ironically, says VidTiger owner Chuck Olsen, images taken on smartphones never look better than when they're on the phone because of the high resolution it now offers. A 'retina display" - also known as liquid crystal display - means there's no visible pixelation; the images are actually finer than the eye can discern. That means the images don't often hold up to being transferred to another medium. But Olsen says in the case of Sutter's images, which are printed on porous aluminum to mimic the affect of seeing an image on an illuminated screen, the transfer works.
"Shaman Lake" by Buckner Sutter
Image courtesy of the artist
Sutter says that while he knows photography "purists" who swear off digital cameras, he increasingly sees them switching over, enchanted by what technology has to offer.
"Between Worlds" closes tomorrow night with a reception from 5-9 pm at the Solar Arts building, featuring live soundscapes by Chris Strouth and Paris 1919.
Have you ever wanted to impress your friends or woo a lover by spontaneously reciting a beautiful piece of poetry?
So... how's that going?
If you haven't managed to store more than a stanza in your little gray cells, perhaps a new smartphone app from Penguin will help.
A screenshot from Penguin's "Poems by Heart" app for smartphones
Called "Poems by Heart," the app is essentially a memorization game featuring poems by Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and other famous wordsmiths.
It feature 24 free poems, and you can also purchase additional "poetry packs." Competitive players can track their progress online, rack up achievements and brag about their high scores... all while flexing their memory muscles.
How... romantic?(0 Comments)
GiveMN, the website which provides a central fundraising terminal for Minnesota non-profits and schools, will likely have to increase the fee it charges for online donations.
Currently the transaction fee is 2.9%; the fee goes to Razoo.com, the platform provider for GiveMN's website.
Beginning April 1, 2013 Razoo.com is almost doubling its transaction fee for its clients to 4.9%.
GiveMN Executive Director Dana Nelson says Razoo.com has given GiveMN an extension; they are currently negotiating when that extension will expire. Once that happens, Nelson admits GiveMN rates are 'likely to increase.'
"We are fighting for Minnesota nonprofits and schools," said Nelson. "As a not-for-profit ourselves, our goal is to continue to offer low cost, high value online giving resources to Minnesota nonprofits, schools and donors."
Nelson says her organization is negotiating with Razoo to get the best possible rate.
For years at the Guthrie Theater, just before the show began, a voice has asked audiences to please turn off their cell-phones.
Are those days coming to an end?
The cast of The Servant of Two Masters
Photo by Richard Termine
Today the Guthrie announced that a dedicated section of the audience will actually be encouraged to 'tweet' during performances of the Italian comedy The Servant of Two Masters.
These "tweet seats" as they're called, will be available for four consecutive Thursday evening performances, beginning December 27. They're located on the balcony level of the McGuire proscenium stage, so as not to be disruptive to other theater-goers.
"If there were ever a Guthrie show to host Tweet Seats, it's The Servant of Two Masters," said Guthrie External Relations Director Trish Santini in a Guthrie release. "This cast is an incredible ensemble of comedians, and night after night they're riffing and improvising--it's the kind of show that makes you ask, 'Did they just say that?' Usually they did--and tweeting should be a great way to talk about it."
"Tweeting" is already encouraged in some other venues, including MPR's own "Wits" series at the Fitzgerald Theater.
So what do you think? Is this a good idea? Do you like the idea of being able to text while you're in the theater watching a stage production? Or would you prefer your concerts to be free of smart phones and other digital devices?(3 Comments)
This Thursday, public schools across the state also have a chance to get in on the action.
GiveMN Executive Director Dana Nelson says up until this year many schools (either charter schools with a non-profit status, or schools that have a nonprofit PTA) have been able to participate, but some public schools were left out.
"There's been this small island of schools that haven't been able to use GiveMN and our online fundraising. And online fundraising continues to grow as a great way to find new donors and efficiently raise money. So now finally we've been able to come up with a solution and add them to our website."
The solution involves some new software which downloads data from the Minnesota Department of Education, similar to how GiveMN accesses nonprofits' 990 tax forms to create their web pages.
"It's a slightly different process. Non-profits don't have to sign up, they have a process where they update their pages, but they're already on GiveMN. However public schools are not automatically on the site - they do have to register. They have to sign up and get a principal or superintendent to sign off."
Nelson says RAZOO, the technology company that powers GiveMN, is now looking at using the Minnesota model for schools nationwide.
"So Minnesota, once again a leader, out in front," cheers Nelson.
GiveMN is also doubling the number of "golden tickets" it issues throughout the day. Last year a donor was selected at random each hour and given $1,000 to pass on to the nonprofit of his or her choosing. In addition one person was given a ticket worth $10,000 to donate.
This year two tickets will be given out each hour, one to be given to a non-profit, the other to be given to a school. Similarly, two tickets will be issued for $10,000.
As in past years, there is a 2.9% processing fee taken out of donations to cover credit card and disbursement fees. And the Mall of America will be the headquarters for Give to the Max Day from 9am - 9pm.
Some school principals are volunteering to ride the mall's roller coaster for hours at a time to help inspire giving.
And artist Eyenga Bokamba will paint and assemble 24 canvases at the mall over the course of the day.
"It's the first time we've tried this," explains Nelson. "And why this is important to us is, I think it's challenging to express the magnitude of what happens on that day and how much is given and how many people give. It's a huge thing but people are doing it on computers and on their phones - and all around the world - making an impact in Minnesota. So what Eyenga is attempting to do is express that through this public art piece, with the 24 canvases representing the 24 hours."
Of the thousand of Minnesota nonprofits in existence, Nelson says only three have formally requested that GiveMN take their name off the fundraising site. Nelson attributes the organization's popular success with its focus on simplicity:
"Our strategy is to make it as easy as possible - Give to the Max Day is at the right time of year, we put out tools, and help nonprofits figure out how to promote it via social media while being strategic about it, too."
Nelson says Minnesota nonprofits have taken ownership of Give to the Max Day, turning it into a sort of nonprofit holiday.
Last year people gave a total of $13.4 million to close to 4,000 Minnesota nonprofits - the most ever given on a single day in an online giving event.
Will people be as generous this Thursday as they were last year? Nelson can't say.
"Our goal is very big and broad. Our hope is that we raise millions of dollars for thousands of nonprofits and schools in one day. We hope for big results like last year but we'll be pleased with really whatever happens. In all honesty if it's five million, ten million - it's all so good!"
This is the first time that Give to the Max Day has taken place on the heels of a presidential election, so it remains to be seen whether people's political donations of the last few months have an impact on their giving to schools and non-profits on Thursday.
Keyboard Cat will live again.
The Walker Art Center is hosting the first ever (that we know of) Internet Cat Video Film Festival.
The Walker's Katie Hill is the one responsible for the feline film festival.
"Basically, I just like them. And sort of jokingly self-identify myself as a cat lady. And spend a little too much time on the Internet," said Hill, who does have two cats. "Somehow this translated into an awesome program opportunity at Open Field at the Walker."
The Open Field events held throughout the summer transform the Walker's yard into what Hill calls a "collective cultural commons."
"It's a way of engaging a new community of people who might not otherwise come," Hill said. "People who don't think there's a place for them, hopefully will find a place here through things like the cat video film festival."
This kitty Cannes (sorry) is being held in the spirit of fun. But the cat video is an art form typically watched alone on a laptop.
"I wonder how it will translate into the public space of a social gathering," Hill said. "Maybe people will be proud to be cat video fans, or maybe they might be a little more shy about it."
People can nominate their favorite videos on the Walker site. Since the nomination process opened on Monday, the Walker has already received 1,000 videos.
"[It's] everything from just your average cute kitten yawning or meowing to the sort of more artful, crazy, French-speaking existentialist cats," Hill said. "I sort of challenge haters to not laugh at the cat on the vacuum."
But this isn't the Walker's first foray into the feline. The Walker news site has published a post every Friday titled, "Cat Break." And the Walker permanent collection includes a six-minute video of a cat drinking milk.
Dog lovers need not despair. Last year, the Walker hosted a dog opera in the Open Field.(2 Comments)
In the wake of the recent controversy over the Guthrie Theater's upcoming season, the arts unit here at MPR was left with a few nagging questions.
The debate revolved around the need to sell tickets (approximately 2,000 a night), and determining which shows would manage to do that. Artistic Director Joe Dowling stated that he only looks at the quality of the play and the talent of the director when planning his season; he does not look at the gender or color of the people doing the writing or the directing.
That left us wondering - how important is diversity to the audience? Would knowing that a play was written by a woman or a person of color sway their attendance? How about the director?
Using MPR's Public Insight Network, we sent out a query asking these questions and a few others.
Answers tended to fall into one of two categories: "I appreciate and seek out diversity in my theater experience" or "I buy tickets based on reviews, and don't really think about who wrote the play or is directing."
While the results are too small to be statistically conclusive, we found the answers enlightening. Here's a sampling:
Would knowing that the author or director of a play was a woman influence your decision to go? Please tell us why or why not:
Dollis Scheele of Green Isle:
Yes. I am a woman and would like to see a wide diversity of choices in actors, directors, stage designers, costumes etc. If you do not attend plays with minority leadership they will soon be unemployed.
Kaohly Her of St. Paul:
I think that women and minorities bring a different perspective to theater. I seek opportunities to support plays directed by people who are generally under represented groups. BTW, I like to seek out plays that reflect different cultural perspective but also my own cultural perspective. Likewise, I prefer to see plays are familiar to me but I also love plays that are also new.
I have two young girls so the plays I attend are no longer just for my enjoyment. Seeing the classics are important (Cats, Les Miserable, etc...) but seeing smaller shows that are educational, that speak to our cultural heritage, deal with social justice issues, are thought provoking and educational are really important to me.
Aditi Kapil of Minneapolis:
Trick question: it depends on which woman. most of my favorite local directors are women, so in that sense yes. Just a female director on the basis of gender alone, no. But I do expect from female directors a greater interpretive boldness, an inventiveness that comes from having a new perspective, particularly when dealing with classics, so maybe... I'm more likely to go to a familiar classic play when directed through the lens of Lisa Peterson or Michelle Hensley.
Q: Would knowing that the author or director of a play was a person of color influence your decision to go?
Eric Pone of Brooklyn Center:
I don't want to relive bad times in my life. As an African American, I get tired of the same civil rights, social justice, why don't Black men value Black women plays. I want to be entertained I don't want an agenda thrown at me. How about an action oriented African tale, or any other cultural tale. I love Macbeth but c'mon there are other countries!
As for the Guthrie, I have always wanted to go to their new space, but the shows they pick frankly, been there done that. The Guthrie is for the wealthy corporate executives and their wives who have a lot of money and want shows that appeal to them. I don't feel that the Guthrie is geared toward the middle class. I certainly don't feel that welcomed as a Black male. Maybe that is just their niche.
Heid Erdrich of Minneapolis:
When I go to a play, I am seeking what is lacking in readily available dramatic art forms, such as film. I am seeking voice and presence and I am more interested in the voice and presence of women and people of color than I am in the established voice and vision of regularly represented artists.
I go to the theater to be transported. To examine artistic choices. To be moved by passionate voices that both touch on my own worldview and interrogate it. To have a special evening out. To understand other artists and other people better. To feel human pity and wonder. To enter a conversation about art.
Minnesotans hold strong opinions about theater--we are so lucky we can! There's enormous talent here, too, but the divide between what the people love and what gets supported for the larger stages is enormous, a gulf that many of us see and increasingly find harder to cross for production value alone.
Thomas Noerper of St. Paul:
Yes. I might be suspicious that the play is produced not for the quality of the writing, but to "give voice" to diverse peoples. I'm glad that is done, but I spend my time and money for the highest quality experience I can have. That is primary to me.
What else should we know about this topic?
Markeeta Keyes of Brooklyn Center:
There is a defined demographic of individuals that attend Guthrie plays. The customers or the plays don't tend to reflect my culture. Risk taking is key, yet unchartered here in terms or race/women's issues. The plays at the Guthrie are great, it's a great idea to draw more people of color and diverse backgrounds, by a diversification of play type and actors/actresses. I LOVE the Guthrie and most plays I've seen there.
Elizabeth Leaf of Red Wing:
I have lived my life in Minnesota and have gone to theater productions and been a part of productions since the age of 5. As a person of color one of the great things about theater is that it is not restrictive to age, race, gender or sexual orientation. I grew up in a community that was restricted in its ideas of diversity. Theater is always a way to break stereotypes. I'm now 41 and can see how much support is needed for actors/writers/directors that produce plays that are not what we expect to see.
Why do you go to the theater? Would knowing the playwright or director was a woman or a person of color sway your decision? How so? Share your responses in the comments section.
A good education can take you to some amazing places. But Kaila Bibeau never thought her studies in apparel design would take her to NASA.
Apparel design junior Kaila Bibeau looks through different types of fabric that can be used to insulate space suits for a group project in her apparel design class. Photo: Eric Tanaka, The Minnesota Daily
According to a report by Claire Bramel in the Minnesota Daily, Bibeau and 11 other students have spent the semester working on spacesuit prototypes as part of a 3000-level apparel design class at the University of Minnesota. This summer Bibeau will continue working with NASA in Houston, hopefully contributing innovative ideas based on the research she's doing this semester.
Bibeau will work in the human interface branch of the Johnson Space Center and will help integrate computer interfaces and other electronics into a garment. Cory Simon, a human systems engineer at NASA, said she will be a "domain expert" in garment design and will also do some user testing.
"I'm developing a garment that can provide wearable displays, controls and sensors inside future space habitats," Simon said.
Bibeau's project in [Lucy] Dunne's apparel design studio correlates well to Simon's research and what she'll be doing this summer.
"[I am] exploring placement of different removable swatches on a suit for the astronauts to wear while on missions," she said.
Her work includes testing different fasteners and modes of application in addition to exploring problems related to the visibility and accessibility of the components.
You can read the full article about Kaila Bibeau's job with NASA here.
How do you study the bones of a creature without destroying it in the process?
Simple enough - you take an x-ray.
In the case of Lynne Parenti and Sandra Raredon, you take thousands of X-rays of fish specimens. Their work is for scientific research, but the results have been so beautiful that they're now the subject of an exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
Credit: Sandra J. Raredon/National Museum of Natural History/Smithsonian Institution
Arranged in evolutionary sequence, the X-rays give a sense of the long chain of fish evolution. X-rays may also reveal other details of natural history: undigested food or prey in the gut might reveal to an ichthyologist what a fish had for its last meal.
Credit: Sandra J. Raredon/National Museum of Natural History/Smithsonian Institution
Not headed to Washington, D.C. anytime soon? No worries - time is on your side. The exhibition, titled "X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out," will be heading out on a national tour, and is scheduled to make a stop at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona in May of 2014.
The Minnesota Theater Alliance, headed by Leah Cooper, has announced it's hosting a national conference on sustainability in theater this spring. The tag line for the two-day event is "Inspiration and innovation from around the world on how greener practices can make your work and our communities more sustainable."
I asked Cooper to answer a few questions about the conference and how sustainability applies to theaters. Here are her responses:
1. Why are you holding the conference?
Sustainable practices are changing the way many industries approach their work, their missions, and their communities, and the perforing arts industry is lagging behind in this area that is critical to survival. Minnesota is home to many leaders in sustainability, so hosting the conference here is a great opportunity to bring those leaders together with our industry.
The conference came about through discussions among members of the Twin Cities Sustainable Theatres group, a working group of theaters already working in this area. When Brave New Workshop, a member of the group, announced they were opening a new green event center with webcasting capabilities, it seemed like the perfect time and place.
You can learn about how the Brave New Workshop has been working on becoming a sustainable theater by clicking here.
2. What does sustainable theater look like?
We're still learning what it looks like. And it varies based on what organizations can afford to do and where they can make changes that have the greatest immediate impact.
There's the obvious stuff like recycling, composting, using less materials, less toxic materials, more sustainable materials for paper, paint, lumber, concessions, cleaning.
For organizations with facilities, there's energy reduction through newer fixtures, better HVAC, insulation, LED lighting, turning off lights and monitors at night.
The less obvious and also more interesting things are new business models that reduce transportation, shipping, better management of human resources (which also need to be sustainable).
And even more interesting is considering sustainable themes as inspiration for art-making - sets made entirely of found materials, community participation in art making, shows with ecological themes. There are some super inspiring examples from all over the world that we will be sharing through webcasting.
3. What are the biggest challenges theaters face to "going green?" What waste are theaters creating?
The biggest challenge is that it's not as simple as just recycling paper and that there's no one best solution for everyone. To do it successfully requires a change in the way an organization approaches everything it does - a paradigm shift in thinking and a culture shift in doing. Another challenge is that nonprofits think it's expensive to go green and that they'll never be able to do it. Many changes don't have a cost; in fact, some yield cost savings that can make it possible to have extra funds to spend on initiatives that do have a cost.
The biggest environmental impact theaters are making varies depending on activities. For some, they're just wasting a lot of energy heating an old building. For others it's using tons of lumber from unsustainable sources and toxic paint to build sets that they throw out after every show. For others, it's using incandescent lights when LED would work better with a fraction the energy. For those with big admin infrastructure, it's paper and electricity for computer monitors left on all night. For those that travel a lot, carbon emissions from airplanes and cars is the biggest impact. The most important first step is a commitment to changing the way they think. The second is to assess what they are doing now and how it is impacting both the environment and their own survival.
4. It sounds like this is not just about the environment, but about survival - how are the two connected?
Currently, most individuals and organizations don't pay the real cost of materials and energy we use, or waste we produce. So survival for the planet and survival for an organization might not seem connected. But increasingly, we will pay through hard costs of inefficient resource usage, through health impacts on our artists, staff, and audiences; through loss of philanthropic support as granters and donors start asking for accountability in this area.
Also, we work in the field of human inspiration and learning. We can not inspire and learn if are culture and business models are out of date, disconnected from our environment, and wasteful. Lastly, as innovators and, as local theater director Ben Krywosz calls those of us in the arts, "soul workers," we should be inspiring our communities to see themselves connected to a healther more holistic community that cares for its resources.
5. What do you hope to see come out of this conference?
I hope theaters are inspired to start engaging in these critical and empowering ideas and efforts. And then I hope they work collectively to start taking action. Day 1 of the conference is a series of presentations about what's been done elsewhere and what's possible - that's the inspiration part. Day 2 will be peer-to-peer brainstorming sessions with experts from other fields to discuss what we can do next, together.
By the way, what makes this national is that Day 1 will be live Webcast, Day 2 will have concurrent breakouts at regional partners around the country with national collaboration over the Web. We hope to make the whole conference a model for remote presentation and collaboration - another great way to reduce carbon emissions and be efficient.
A couple of weeks I wrote about a Twitter challenge the Loft Literary Center started, asking people for their six word memoirs.
One of the more than 700 six word memoirs Emily Lloyd has collected
It turns out Emily Lloyd of Eden Prairie Hennepin County Library has been asking people for their six word memoirs for some time, and her hope is to get all of Minneapolis to participate.
That's 382,605 residents, six words each.
Lloyd says she was inspired to create the project after the book Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure arrived in her library. Inspired, she created a display where people could leave their own abbreviated memoirs.
Suddenly, the 6-word memoir concept was flooded with meaning: I was reading the memoirs of patrons (and staff) that lived in the community where I work, people I passed on the street or in the stacks every day. Some were endearing, some were angry, some were silly, some were prayerful, some were witty, and every last one mattered. I felt my love and compassion for the community increase. I looked forward to every new addition. I felt more connected to the struggles and joys of the people I was sharing space with. And I thought, Someone should do this with Minneapolis.
To date Lloyd has collected more than 700 memoirs, which you can see on her flickr stream. She'd like to gather thousands more before she starts displaying them on portable murals around the city.
To participate, it's as easy as tweeting your memoir to @6wordsmpls. In addition to the memoir, be sure to include your first name, neighborhood and age.
So my Wednesday post on @loftliterary's Twitter contest, asking for #6wordmemoirs, drew some great responses. Submissions continued to pour in on Twitter, as well as on the blog. Here's a look at some of your ultra-condensed lives:
On my own at age five
Started flying, once I dropped anchor
He never quite finished what he...
Need dirt on my hands, surprisingly.
Trying to have it both ways.
Finally grew into my parents' skins.
Aged faster than I had planned.
Alive 30 years, just getting started.
Wild party girl gets a job
Entrepreneurial gypsy now dog-loving homebody. (That's only five, but I'm downsizing.)
Worked/played with, for, about children.
She loved cupcakes and making out.
Lost the damn manual. Guessed right!
I am bad at math
Born, lived, wrote memoir, brutally murdered
Rich food performances. Repeats pro bono.
"Say it politely," they suggested. No.
Gypsy blood ran from my pen.
I just wanted to be useful.
He said, "never write anything down."
Fourteen homes, ten jobs, one family.
Vietnam born. Minnesota raised. World wanderer.
She teetered but did not fall.
Creative effervescence still mistaken as bubbly.
Always moving, losing money, laughing loudly
Love makes for strange bedfellows, too.
Flattened to death by a bookshelf.
Finally bored with her own story.
Can't find my glasses anywhere. Crunch.
The Loft Literary Center will close its contest at noon. A select winner will win participation in an online writing class.(3 Comments)
The Loft Literary Center has been having fun on Twitter today, getting people to sum up their lives in six words. A select winner will win participation in an online writing class. Here are some of the wittier responses:
I erred by caring too much.
Started scribbling at six, never stopped.
You would think I'd have learned.
Left too many books, friendships unfinished.
I came, I saw, I ate.
Never a bridesmaid, always a bride.
Theater major. Will work for food.
Wrote lesbian novel. Married a guy.
So much icecream, so little time.
I walked, fell, then grew wings.
Wait here, sweetheart. I'll come back.
Trust me, you'd rather not know.
My heart was right all along.
Stayed up all night writing this.
Tripping up the curb of love.
Failed, failed, failed. No matter. Learned.
Young, threw discus. Now, torn meniscus.
Crafty gal reporting on artsy world.
So which six words would you choose to summarize your life? Share your abbreviated memoir in the comments section, or on Twitter with #6wordmemoirs and @loftliterary in the tweet. Better yet, do both!(8 Comments)
The noise level is rising.
In public spaces everywhere people are talking on their cellphones, chatting on social media, or laughing at a movie they're watching on a portable viewer.
And in the workplace, offices are now designed to create spontaneous interaction, with the idea that open design will allow ideas to flow and grow freely.
In a world such as this, where can we go for silence?
Susan Cain writes an eloquent opinion piece in the New York Times that examines the supposed payoff of "groupthink" versus working in solitude. According to Cain, "research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption."
And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist. They're extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas, but see themselves as independent and individualistic. They're not joiners by nature.
...Solitude has long been associated with creativity and transcendence. "Without great solitude, no serious work is possible," Picasso said. A central narrative of many religions is the seeker -- Moses, Jesus, Buddha -- who goes off by himself and brings profound insights back to the community.
...And yet. The New Groupthink has overtaken our workplaces, our schools and our religious institutions. Anyone who has ever needed noise-canceling headphones in her own office or marked an online calendar with a fake meeting in order to escape yet another real one knows what I'm talking about. Virtually all American workers now spend time on teams and some 70 percent inhabit open-plan offices, in which no one has "a room of one's own." During the last decades, the average amount of space allotted to each employee shrank 300 square feet, from 500 square feet in the 1970s to 200 square feet in 2010.
...Studies show that open-plan offices make workers hostile, insecure and distracted. They're also more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, stress, the flu and exhaustion. And people whose work is interrupted make 50 percent more mistakes and take twice as long to finish it.
So what are the consequences of this new, hypersocial, crowded world we live in? How to retreat, for extended periods of time, without being labeled 'unwilling' or 'uncooperative?'
I was delighted to note, at a recent art crawl, one gallery was set aside, empty except for several chairs, for people to take a break from all the visual stimuli.
And it was also interesting to see how the new silent movie "The Artist" has been received with such welcome arms. Is it perhaps due in part to our nostalgia for a quieter time?
Your thoughts welcome, as always.
By now you may have heard about the New York Philharmonic performance earlier this week which was halted due to an iPhone alarm going off in the front row. The owner of the phone continued to allow the alarm to sound for minutes, in the final movement of Mahler's 9th Symphony, until finally the conductor stopped the performance, addressed the patron directly, and waited until the alarm was turned off before starting the movement over from the beginning.
By all accounts this is an extreme event, and it was later revealed that the patron - a devoted fan of the Philharmonic - had just been given a new phone by his employer, and didn't even know it had an alarm on it.
But performers will regale you with numerous instances in which their performances were marred by a patron's poor phone etiquette. I remember seeing Twelfth Night at the Guthrie Theater, and in the middle of Malvolio's monologue (performed by Charles Keating), a cell phone went off. Keating finished the monologue, turned and pointed at the offending patron, and yelled "Answer it!"
Charles Keating as Malvolio in Twelfth Night: whan a man in a kilt tells you to answer your phone, you do as he says.
Photo: Michal Daniel
So what's to be done with cell phones? Most venues will remind audiences to turn off their phones before the performance begins, but for some reason that doesn't seem to do the trick.
Christi Rodriguez Cottrell, former Executive Director at CalibanCo Theatre, shares this technique:
At CalibanCo, we always stated at the beginning of each show that if a cell phone went off, we would stop the performance. The audience was encouraged to go ahead, pull out their phone, and make sure it was turned off. In the entire time we performed, we never had a cell phone go off. I think fear of humiliation goes a long way, but it shouldn't be so hard to get people to be respectful. That should be true of all things - dinner, doctor's office, library, coffee with mom:-) We all had lives before cell phones. I think we can part with them for a couple of hours while we're entertained. Nothing interrupts a suspension of disbelief like a ringtone from reality.
Performer Christopher Kehoe wonders:
I'm not sure theatres/performers can do anything outside of the curtain speech without losing some class in the process. Perhaps audience members should hold one another accountable?
And Jeff Prauer, Executive Director at the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, had this to add:
Grown-ups should take some simple lessons from their kids, or other kids if they don't have kids of their own. In my experience, young people seem to handle cell phone etiquette much better by having their phones on vibrate almost all of the time.
So what do you think should be done? Is there a way to convince people to turn off their phones before a performance in a way that's convincing, but not threatening?
It's much more than flipping a switch. For Tom Letness, projectionist and owner of the Heights Theater on Central Avenue in Columbia Heights, film projection is a craft.
Every film Letness receives, he manually inspects "on the bench" -- the work table in the booth -- to make sure the film doesn't contain bad splices or damaged sprockets, and to ensure it has cue marks, those black dots that appear in the upper-right corner of a film frame to help projectionists start a new reel during reel-to-reel changeovers.
Projectionist Tom Letness inspects a film "on the bench."
Letness then previews at least two reels of the film to make sure the aperture, focus and sound levels are properly set. "Time you spend checking the film saves a lot of grief during the presentation," he explains. "I believe that if people are going to come back on a regular basis, you have to have good presentation."
Inside the projection booth at the Heights are two Philips Norelco model AAII 35/70mm mechanical film projectors, both dating from the 1960s. "It's the greatest projector that was ever made, hands down," Letness says. "They are still running and they show a great image and I'm able to do so much with them."
Letness uses his Norelcos for many purposes: to screen new 35mm releases -- on this night, a print of Clint Eastwood's biopic J. Edgar is prepped and recumbent on an adjacent platter; to screen classic silent films and 1930s Hollywood fare; to project the Fifties' widescreen Cinemascope and Vista Vision films; and to show 70mm prints that became popular in the '60s and '70s and ended with 1997's megahit Titanic.
The Philips Norleco AAII projector can play either 35mm or 70mm film. Letness added several different audio readers to enable multiple soundtrack formats.
Having two projectors allows Letness to do reel-to-reel changes, a necessity for screenings of archival films, which are often from such sources as the Library of Congress, the UCLA Film and Television Archive and New York's Museum of Modern Art. Those archives enforce strict rules that prohibit projectionists from automating -- essentially, taping together -- film reels. "A lot of these classic films, it's the only print they have left," Letness explains.
Alongside the Norelco projectors, the cooling fans whirr on a DLP Cinema projector, which just completed a screening of The Nutcracker ballet. A hulking black block aimed out a porthole, the DLP slightly resembles a 19th-century naval cannon; as a digital projector, however, the DLP is strictly 21st-century technology. Next year, Letness plans to upgrade the eight-year-old DLP to Digital Cinema.
"Avatar was the big game-changer because it was making so much money," Letness says. "We want to be able to show any 3D if it comes out. In order to do that, we have to be digital because that's where the technology is going. ... For the average cinema, the average multiplex, their film days are, if not done, almost done."
At the AMC Southdale 16 in Edina this week, Jason Reitman's Young Adult -- partially shot on location in Minnesota -- is being shown on film. But according to Ryan Noonan, director of public relations at AMC Theatres, film presentations are becoming less common for the cinema chain. "Approximately two-thirds of our auditoriums at AMC Theatres are digital as the conversion process is ongoing," Noonan explained via e-mail. "With a few exceptions, it's AMC's goal to be fully digital during the next few years."
In his recent book, The Good, The Bad and the Multiplex, BBC film critic Mark Kermode cautions about the rapid proliferation of digital cinema and what that means for projectionists. "The great profession of projection (in the traditional sense of the craft) is in the process of becoming obsolete," Kermode writes.
Letness, however, believes digital and film can peacefully coexist.
"Digital is not the enemy," Letness insists. "I think for a new release, if your digital system is set up right, if you have a bright lamp house, if everything is the way it should be, I think it looks really great."
Letness says digital will enable him to start a showing at the Heights from vacation in Florida using his smartphone; he also says digital provides many more opportunities for contemporary alternative programming, such as operas, ballets, concerts and stage plays.
"I think for actual mainstream theaters, film will be gone forever," Letness says. "But for theaters like mine and other theaters that already specialize in film and archive screenings, film will continue."
The Heights Theater
One pervasive attraction remains, no matter the format: "I think the biggest thing is the community event," Letness says. "It really is the communal event of watching the film together, even though I don't know if people necessarily realize that."
What do you think about digital cinema versus film? Share your thoughts and experiences below.
Minneapolis Photographer Joann Verburg is used to having her large photographs - tryptichs of olive trees, portraits of people floating in water - hanging on the walls of such prestigious museums as the Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center.
Now she wants them in your purse or briefcase.
JoAnn Verburg in her Minneapolis studio. She approached the publishers at Location Books with the idea for an iPad app. (MPR Photo/Euan Kerr)
As Euan Kerr reports, Verburg has just released a new collection of images as an iPad application as a new way for people to experience her work.
The iPad lets a viewer do what would be unthinkable in a gallery: to touch the images, to zoom in and look deeper, Verburg said.
"Some places where you see raindrops hanging on the tips of branches or you see a blossom that's absolutely sharp in focus," she said. "There are a lot of places that are out of focus and especially if you enlarge them on your iPad they become abstractions and so there is a lot of variety as there is in life."
There are some intriguing forces at work here. One is about location. Until now, experiencing Verburg's work meant visiting a museum or buying an expensive photography book. "As It Is Again" is a free application, available to anyone with an iPad. You can't get it in book form.
Verburg's publishers are hoping the new application will change the way many people use technology, providing them with opportunities to slow down, instead of speed up.
You can hear the entire story by clicking on the audio link below:
The Walker Art Center's website is sporting a new look.
Olga Viso stands before a projection of the new website design
Image courtesy Walker Art Center
The redesign is the first major overhaul of the museum's website since 2005.
It's being overseen former Adbuster journalist Paul Schmelzer and, according to Executive Director Olga Viso, walkerart.org will be more like a news site about the arts than a typical museum website.
Resembling an online art magazine in its design and format, this new site provides a multifaceted publishing platform--unique among museums worldwide. Here you will find news and feature content about contemporary art as well as the Walker's own programs and collections. As a pioneer in developing new platforms for scholarship, publishing, arts journalism, and creative exchange with our audiences, we believe we can play an important role in offering alternative media infrastructures as arts coverage in the mainstream media outlets everywhere have been dramatically reduced in recent years. Our cross-disciplinary focus as an institution also positions us well to survey larger trends in contemporary visual arts, performing arts, design, and media culture.
The site showcases news stories, interviews and essays written by Walker staff as well as aggregated content, covering issues not just limited to the museum itself but to art around the world.
As a reporter, I find this shift particularly interesting, because it marks a significant step forward in an ongoing trend. Namely arts organizations, faced with a lack of media coverage, are creating their own coverage, and taking the dialogue directly to their audiences. Will arts journalists eventually be employed by museums and theaters, rather than newspapers?
While the redesign has been applied to most major sections of the site, some additional sections will continue to be updated over the next year.
What do you think of the redesign? Your thoughts are always welcome.
MPR and the City of Minneapolis are working together to raise the profile of public art in the city. "Sound Point" is a new interactive audio tour that allows visitors to use their mobile devices to access stories about works of public art in Minneapolis.
Signs like this one next to select works of public art in Minneapolis direct passers-by to learn more about the work and listen to interviews with the artists.
My colleague Jeff Jones conceived of the project, and partnered with Mary Altman at the City of Minneapolis to realize it.
"I wanted to take what we know about audio and storytelling to the streets," said Jones. "Minneapolis has great public art and this project allows people to hear from the artists who created it."
Say you're at the "Blossoms of Hope" bus stop in North Minneapolis, and you're admiring the huge colorful blooms over the shelter. A few feet away a sign invites you to call or text a number, or visit a website using your smart phone, and hear artist Marjorie Pitz talk about the project.
At the end of her talk, you have the option of leaving a message, telling the city and MPR what you think of the shelter. Raves and rants are equally welcome.
"Whether we look closely or not, great art in public spaces improves our quality of life in Minneapolis every day," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. "I'm pleased that MPR has created the 'Sound Point' tour of our beautiful public artwork. It's a terrific tool for people to pause, look and learn more about our city, our art and our many great artists."
Currently there are 13 "sound points" in Minneapolis, with plans to expand to 25 in the near future.
The City has published a map of these locations to assist viewers in conducting their own self-guided tour of these artworks.
Note: There are lots of QR scanning apps to choose from for both iPhone and Android, and all behave a little differently. For Sound Point, MPR recommends a simple one called "Scan" for iPhone.
In the coming weeks, check State of the Arts for profiles of the individual sound points, starting Monday with a closer look at the "Blossoms of Hope" bus shelter.
A couple of weeks ago "Top Score" presenter Emily Reese presented MPR staff with a very compelling arguement on why many contemporary classical composers are now looking to video games as a source not only of income, but creative challenge.
Composing the the theme and incidental music for a major game allows a composer to explore and develop motifs while creating the atmosphere for an interactive experience. Reese led a lunchtime session for MPR staff to explore some of the new approaches being taken by composers and game creators, which gave many of us a new appreciation for the myriad creative aspects of the work.
This is the material Reese presents in every edition of the Top Score podcast.
To celebrate the upcoming second season of Top Score Reese has created a prize challenge for listeners to identify the composers behind seven musical selections. The winner gets a $60 giftcard to Gamestop.
You can find details here. Good luck!
PBS is launching a new web series devoted to exploring experimental and non-traditional art forms.
Called "Off Book," the 13-part, bi-weekly series debuts Wednesday on PBSArts.org. The first episode focuses on a new generation of photographers who are pushing digital imagery to its limits.
The second episode, set to premiere on August 3, looks at the world of typography, interviewing graphic designers and font creators.
Future episodes will look at steampunk art, video games, fashion, aerial dance, and more.
A release from PBS describes the inspiration for the show's title this way:
Just as actors reach a point at which they're confident enough to go 'off-book' and leave their scripts behind, the visual and performing artists featured in this series are taking the next steps with their talents and training, forging new artistic paths. "Off Book" will offer interactive experiences for each of its 13 online episodes, encouraging further viewer participation and providing additional artistic inspiration.
How do you make energy - something we generally can't even see - compelling to kids?
In the case of the most recent exhibition at the Bakken Museum, you invite artists to help tell the story.
The Bakken Museum's rooftop terrace
All images courtesy the Bakken Museum
The Bakken Museum, located just a block from Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, is currently presenting a Green Energy Art Garden on the museum's rooftop terrace.
Kelly Finnerty, Deputy Director for Programs at the Bakken, says the museum wanted to talk about green energy, but not give that "same old presentation that's been done a hundred times."
We're a museum about electricity and we wanted to talk about the energy challenges facing our world. The Minnesota Legislature has mandated that 25% of our energy come from renewable resources by 2020; we want to raise awareness about the potential for renewable energy uses in our daily lives.
The museum partnered with Forecast Public Art to create a sort of cross-pollination between artists and engineers. They asked a group of artists to use energy the way they use paint - not just for functional use but with aesthetics in mind. Because, says Finnerty, "renewable energy can be funtional and beautiful."
The artists then met with a team of experts to help them figure out just how they could bring their "energy sculptures" to life.
The results of this collaboration are four different works of art powered by the sun and wind, that invite the public to experiment and play. Marjorie Pitz' "Solar Spitters" are three fountains powered by solar panels. As I toured the garden, young boys came running up to the fountain, and by placing their hands over the panels, could control the flow of water shooting out of the mouths of Pitz' "pond goblins."
Infinite Flower Garden
In Mayumi Amada's "Infinite Flower Garden" a panel of pinwheels made from plastic bottles powers LED lights inside view boxes, forming a kaleidoscope of images and patterns.
Finnerty says the public response to the exhibition has been just what she was hoping for.
They find it creative, cool and fun. I hear people say "I bet I could do that in my garden" or "what a clever use of plast ic bottles!" We take the sun's energy for granted, and this makes it visible.
Finnerty says the exhibition is just one component in the museum's ongoing effort to raise public awareness of green energy, including an outreach program in St. Paul Public Schools.
The Green Energy Art Garden will remain on the museum's rooftop terrace through September 3; families who visit the museum on "Super Science Saturdays" will have the opportunity to participate in conversations on renewable energy.
Have you ever thought about just how bizarre our online relationships are? I mean, really, are you actually "friends" with all those people on Facebook? What if you really "followed" people over the course of days, or years?
Composer Nico Muhly has been pondering these questions, and it's the inspiration for a charming - albeit slightly disturbing video - promoting his upcoming opera "Two Boys," which gets its premiere later this month by the English National Opera.
However, according to The Guardian's Tom Service, the film is nothing like the actual opera.
If the wit of the film gets people to turn up to ENO for the show, so much the better, but anyone who buys their ticket based on the film is in for a shock. If Two Boys lives up to the potential of its music and its story, it will be a searing night at the theatre that will do more than make you delete a few friends on Facebook. It should force you to think about the complexities of human identity and relationships, on- and offline, as well as confront you with some of the freshest music in the opera house in the 21st century.
And truly, to read the opera's description on the ENO website, viewers are in for something quite dark:
A teenage boy is stabbed. An older boy is caught on CCTV leaving the scene. An open-and-shut case, it would seem. But, as Detective Inspector Anne Strawson investigates the older boy's story, she uncovers a bizarre nexus of chatroom meetings, mysterious internet identities, supposed spy rings and disturbing cybersex, leading to a stunning conclusion.
Loosely inspired by actual events that occured in an English industrial city, Nico Muhly's new opera is a cautionary tale of the dark side of the internet.
Museums work hard to provide the best environment for artwork so that it can both be seen, and be protected from the elements. Heat, light and humidity can all have disastrous effects on prints, paintings and even tapestries.
A new device created by the folks at IBM is giving museums a whole new level of sophistication when it comes to monitoring gallery conditions.
The IBM sensors -- each housed with a radio and a microcontroller in a case about the size of a pack of cigarettes -- can measure temperature, humidity, air flow, light levels, contaminants and more. They are inexpensive and run on low power, and several can be positioned in a room, scientists said Wednesday.
The information collected goes into a three-dimensional "climate map" that can be accessed on a computer, and the data can then be analyzed to adjust the climate, spot trends and even make predictions.
The data collected will help museum staff determine how best to accomodate for such anomalies as sun shining through a window onto a specific part of the room, a group of people walking into a gallery after being out in the rain, or a packed opening event.
You can read more about the technoology here.
An example of a small electronic sensor, like those that will be deployed at the Cloisters Museum, is placed on a table next to a quarter to illustrate its size in New York. The new system will monitor the environment in the museum to help preserve the works of art within its walls. (AP Photo/Metropolitan Museum of Art)
RW001-001, 2004, from the series Real World I, 2004
Courtesy Gana Art Gallery, Seoul
What is "reality?"
I mean, if a person spends hours of their time role playing on Second Life, isn't their experience still part of their reality?
And hasn't American political debate proven time and time again that there are people out there who have a completely different understanding of reality from your own?
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, under the direction of contemporary art curator Elizabeth Armstrong, is taking a look at how we perceive reality in the modern age.
The exhibition is still a ways out in the future - it will open at SITE Santa Fe in July 2012, then travel to the MIA in February 2013. But I know from past conversations with Armstrong that this idea has been on her mind for quite some time, and she's extremely excited to be putting the show together.
It's titled "More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness," a reference to a term coined by humorist Stephen Colbert, but which has since made its way into our English lexicon. The American Dialect Society defines truthiness as "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true,"
Armstrong says "the exhibition proposes that we now live in an 'Age of Truthiness,' a period in which the slippage between fact and fiction has become increasingly blurred. Today artists in all parts of the world are exploring the pervasiveness of "truthiness" in art, politics, and the culture at large."
One of the featured artists in the exhibition will be Ai Weiwei, whose own understanding of reality appears to be at conflict with that of the Chinese government.
Over on the classical side of MPR, Emily Reese has been having a bit of fun.
Reese has been interviewing composers about their work creating scores for video games. So far the series - called Top Score - has featured such games as Dragon Age II, Stacking, Dead Space and Bioshock.
Reese admits, she had a motivated self-interest in producing these interviews:
I love classical music, I'm a classically-trained musician with a masters in music theory - but I'm also a serious gamer. I began to notice an upward trend in the quality of video game scores and knew that if someone like ME loved the music in games that other people would too. I wanted to share the insights of composers with listeners, and give gamers who love game music the opportunity to hear a conversation between composers and someone who knows a bit about music.
Composers of game music are often also composers of other music, but Reese says composing for video games presents its own set of unique challenges:
Music in games is responsive, far more often than not, to what the player is doing in a particular environment, and since individual people control the player on the screen, the music will often respond differently for every player. Video game composers often are involved in the development process long before composers for film or television, simply because the music is one of many components of the interactivity of the game. What happens musically if I pick up this wrench? What will happen if I move toward the door? What will happen if I move toward the door, but then decide not to go inside? Music can change depending on the slightest action of a player, so composers spend a great deal of time thinking about how their music can achieve that type of interaction.
Here's an excerpt from Bioshock that gives you a sense of just how the music is incorporated into game-play - it really comes to the fore at about four minutes in:
The cover of Central High School's yearbook from 1890
Image courtesy of Hennepin County Library
Who knew that the most popular books in the Central Library's special collections are old yearbooks?
But, as it turns out, the 50 oldest yearbooks - which date from 1890 to 1922 - are so fragile, and also so in demand, that the Hennepin County Library has digitized them.
Now people can browse them at their leisure on the HCL website.
The digitized yearbooks can be searched by name or browsed by a particular school or year.
The yearbook digitization project is made possible by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and is administered by the Minnesota Historical Society. More yearbooks will be digitized and added to the collection in the future. The remainder of the project will be funded by a gift from the Professional Librarian's Union of Minneapolis.
Librarian Heather Lawton says the yearbooks are commonly sought by family historians, people trying to track down former classmates or planning class reunions, or children looking for material for a parent's or grandparent's retirement or anniversary party.
Interested in donating an old yearbook to the collection? Contact Special Collections at 612-543-8200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have an HD-capable radio, you can now listen to Local Current on the air at 89.3 KCMP HD2.
For those of you who don't own HD-capable radios, not to worry - Local Current is still also a web stream.
So have you given Local Current a listen? What do you think? >
In a rather low energy talk, software developer Mike Matas demos the first full-length interactive book for the iPad -- featuring video, audio, and even a windmill that responds to your breath. The book is "Our Choice," Al Gore's sequel to "An Inconvenient Truth."
One commenter on the TED website said "It's an interesting way to present information, but I don't think it's a book." What do you think?
This photo taken on February 15, 2011 shows professional typist Purushottam Sakhare typing an affidavit on his typewriter at a sidewalk outside a city court in Mumbai.
Photo credit: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images
So about an hour ago I forwarded on the news reported in the CBC, that the last known typewriter factory had shut its doors.
Gawker.com proves otherwise. Here's an excerpt from their post:
From the fake typewriter ashes, a million nostalgic personal essays bloomed.
But rest easy, annoyingly hirsute hipster Luddites loitering at local cafes: The typewriter is alive and well. How do I know? Well, because I looked on Staples' website. But don't take my word for it. Let's check in with a typewriter manufacturing expert:
The typewriter is "far from dead," [says] Ed Michael, General Manager of Sales at Moonachie, NJ-based Swintec.
"We have manufacturers making typewriters for us in China, Japan, Indonesia," Michael says. "We have contracts with correctional facilities in 43 states to supply clear typewriters for inmates so they can't hide contraband inside them," Michael explained.
There you have it: So long as you can smuggle a nail file inside a MacBook, the typewriter will live to jam another day.
Well, I, for one, am happy to find out I was misled.(3 Comments)
It sounds too good to be true - all your favorite local bands, playing twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
89.3 The Current (also known in the MPR newsroom as "those hipsters upstairs") has announced it will launch "Local Current Music Stream" on April 14.
The 24-hour stream will be dedicated entirely to local music, new and old.
"The Local Current music stream is another way we can share the music and culture of Minnesota with the world," says program director Jim McGuinn. "We are excited to offer the best local music 24/7."
Of course, 89.3 The Current's stream already does expose the world to quite a bit of Minnesota music. I was on vacation in New Zealand last year, and had an animated conversation with a "Kiwi" about Atmosphere and P.O.S. - he streamed The Current on his computer.
I've put in call to McGuinn to see if he'll divulge what the first song will be on the new stream... back in 2005 89.3 The Current launched with "Shhh" by Atmosphere.
The Local Current music stream is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund
Starting Thursdays, listeners can tune in to the Local Current music stream at thecurrent.org/local.
If you've done a Google search this morning, you may have noticed the home page is promoting something called "Art Project." Well that's too tempting a title for me to resist, so I did a little exploring, and am pretty thrilled with what I found.
"Art Project" is basically a collaboration between museums around the world to upload their artworks online in extraordinary detail, as well as offer virtual tours of their galleries. Users can create their own collections of favorite artworks from the participating museums.
In short, it's an art lover's dream come true.
Currently there are 17 museums participating in the project, including the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the Tate Britain in London, the Uffizi gallery in Florence and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The website promises more information soon on how other museums can join the project (the Walker and MIA, perhaps?).
According to the Art Project website, Google approached the museum partners with the idea, and each museum was able to chose the number of galleries, artwork and information they wanted to include.
As you might imagine, the images on the site are copyright protected, and Google owns the "Stree View" imagery used for creating the virtual museum tours.
Here's the current list of museum partners:
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin - Germany
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC - USA
The Frick Collection, NYC - USA
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin - Germany
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC - USA
MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC - USA
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid - Spain
Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza, Madrid - Spain
Museum Kampa, Prague - Czech Republic
National Gallery, London - UK
Palace of Versailles - France
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands
The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg - Russia
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow - Russia
Tate Britain, London - UK
Uffizi Gallery, Florence - Italy
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands
Starting today, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design has a new look on the web.
The website redesign features a new logo and a new banner. The logo is pretty simple - it's an "X." MCAD President Jay Coogan explains the new logo this way:
The new logo mark shows two arrows that have come together to form an intersection. The Intersection is illustrative of the new MCAD vision statement, "transforming the world through creativity and purpose." MCAD is the place where creativity meets purpose, and increasingly where the student experience will take place at the intersection of the campus and the world at large.
The website banner, which used to feature silhouettes of the Minneapolis skyline, now shows students and their work. Visitors to the website can click on the images and be taken to a virtual gallery of student work.
The new look on the website is the first stage in a three part overhaul; the next two phases will be geared at adding services for students/alumnae and faculty/staff, respectively.
The website and logo were both created by MCAD alums. The redesigned logo was created by MCAD DesignWorks Director J. Zachary Keenan '05; Little & Company, the Minneapolis-based consultancy founded by Monica Little '78, designed the new website.
Miwa Matreyek creates performances where real shapes and virtual images trade places, amid layers of animation, video and live bodies. Using animation, projections and her own moving shadow, Miwa Matreyek performs a gorgeous, meditative piece about inner and outer discovery. The piece Matreyek performed at TEDGlobal 2010 is an abridgement of the work "Myth and Infrastructure." Take a quiet 10 minutes and dive in. With music from Anna Oxygen, Mirah, Caroline Lufkin and Mileece.
Ever been at a museum, and really wished you could get a better look at a piece, either by walking around it's backside (which is up against a wall) or by opening up a drawer or by just holding it and examining it in your hands?
Now technology is making it possible for museums to let you do just that - virtually.
The Getty Museum has a new feature on its website which allows the curious to explore the many facets of one of its most intricate pieces - a four-sided collector's cabinet from Augsberg, Germany.
Collectors' cabinets were basically the forerunners of today's museums, holding precious items in their many different compartments, and the cabinets themselves were often works of art in their own right.
So what work of art do you wish you could get your hands on?
[h/t Open Culture]
Evidently the Guthrie Theater is enjoying its role as a high-quality art cinema. The theater has re-upped its partnership with the National Theatre in London, and will broadcast six of the NT's productions in the coming performance calendar. They are as follows:
Saturday, November 6 at 1 p.m.
Complicite's A Disappearing Number
Directed by Simon McBurney
A Disappearing Number weaves together the story of two love affairs, separated by a century and a continent. The first happens now. The second is set in 1914. It tells of the heartbreaking collaboration between the greatest natural mathematician of the 20th century, Srinivasa Ramanujan, a penniless Brahmin from Madras in South India, and his British counterpart, the brilliant Cambridge don GH Hardy
Thursday, January 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner
Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, sees his father's ghost. Tormented with loathing and consumed by grief, he must avenge his father's murder. What he cannot foresee is the destruction that ensues.
Thursday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), FELA! reveals Fela Kuti's controversial life as an artist and political activist while featuring many of his songs and choroegrapher Bill T. Jones' staging.
Monday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Donmar Warehouse presents Shakespeare's King Lear
Directed by Michael Grandage, and featuring Derek Jacobi in the title role.
An aging monarch. A kingdom divided. A child's love rejected. As Lear's world descends into chaos, all that he once believed is brought into question. One of the greatest works in western literature, King Lear explores the very nature of human existence: love and duty, power and loss, good and evil.
Sunday, April 3 at 1 p.m.
Danny Boyle's production of Frankenstein
A play by Nick Dear based on the novel by Mary Shelley
Oscar winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) returns to his theater roots with a new adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Boyle is making his debut at the National Theatre directing Nick Dear's play as a "large-scale and theatrically and visually ambitious stage production."
Monday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard
Directed by Howard Davies
The Gaev family face bankruptcy and the loss of their estate. Even so, they refuse to sell their largest asset, their famous cherry orchard. The old world is giving way to the new, but the Gaevs seem not to have noticed the bewildering changes in the Russian way of life. The fate of the beautiful orchard becomes a symbol of the fate of all of the characters in this classic masterpiece.
Tickets for all performances are $20.
NT Live's first season was seen by over 150,000 people on 320 screens in 22 countries. Outside of the Guthrie Theater, the closest venues for Minnesotans to check out the NT productions are in Thunder Bay(Canada), Winnipeg(Canada), Lincoln(Nebraska) and Ann Arbor(Michigan).
Botticelli's The Birth of Venus is one of several paintings you can now explore in hyper-detail on an Italian website.
I love the difference in looking at a painting from a distance of ten feet or so, and then getting up close to look at the brush strokes. Of course, museum guards get a little nervous when you start getting really close to a painting, and sometimes there's even a cord in place to keep you from doing just that.
Thanks to an Italian website, you can now explore some of the great Italian masterworks in amazing detail, all from the comfort of your home computer. For fun I took a virtual tour of Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" (or "Venus on the half shell" as we know it in my family). I was able to zoom in on her eyes and see the cracks in the paint. The clarity was stunning, and made me see Botticelli's work with even greater appreciation.
Other paintings available for perusal include da Vinci's The Last Supper and Annunciation, Caravaggio's Bacchus and Agnolo Bronzino's stunning Portrait of Eleonor of Toledo.
via Open Culture
In a world where we can watch movies from the comfort of our own homes for pennies and assemble personalized soundtracks in a tool the size of our thumb, how likely is it people will continue to attend live theater and music? Not only must one contend with the price of tickets, but then there's parking, babysitting, fighting traffic and the fact that the show might not be as great as hoped. With such odds stacked against them, it seems only inevitable that the performing arts will fade as instant entertainment continues to become more readily available.
Not so, says Ben Cameron, Arts Program Director at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York. In this empassioned speech, Cameron points to the performing arts role in helping technology to succeed, and economies to thrive.
The performing arts are going to be more important to the economy as we move forward, especially in industries we can't even imagine yet, just as they have been central to the ipod and the computer game industry, which few if any of us could have foreseen 10 to 15 years ago. Business leadership will depend more and more on emotional intelligence, the ability to listen deeply, to have empathy, to articulate change, to motivate others - the very capacities that the arts cultivate with every encounter.(2 Comments)
Especially now, as we all must confront the fallacy of a market-only orientation uninformed by social conscience we must sieze and celebrate the power of the arts to shape our individual and national characters. ...The arts, whatever they do, whenever they call us together, invite us to look at our fellow human being with generosity and curiosity. God knows if we have every needed that capacity in human history, we need it now.
Composer Eric Whitacre is known for his lovely choral pieces that evoke a deep sense of calm and connection to the universe.
Now his work is being performed in a way that evokes a deep sense of connection... via the internet.
After seeing a video of a soprano sitting at her computer, singing along to his piece "Sleep." Whitacre realized he could have all the parts sung by people anywhere on the earth, and create a virtual choir.
Since then, Whitacre along with producer Scott Haines, have completed two virtual choral pieces: "Sleep" and "Lux Aurumque." You can read more about the process of putting the project together here.
Jane McGonigal's goal for the next decade is to make it as easy to save the world in real life as it is to save the world in a computer game. According to McGonigal, people spend on average 3 billion hours a week playing video games. These games are intensely engaging, satisfying, and demand great concentration on the part of the player. So what if were able to get all those people playing games that dealt with poverty, obesity, and other world crises? Could we have an "epic win" for the world?
Marco Breuer doesn't like to interfere with the way people see his pictures.
For instance, what do you see in the image below?
We'll get back to what it is in a moment, but in the meantime meet Breuer, an academically trained photographer who decided a few years ago he wanted to follow his own path.
"I think that photographers tend to find the longest way to the image," he says. "What I am after is the other end of the spectrum, the shortest way, the most direct, immediate interaction with photographic material."
In other words, Marco Breuer usually doesn't use a camera. He says his work really goes back to the idea of a photogram. He tends to work directly with photographic paper, stressing it, as he calls it with abrasive materials, or even a heat gun to create his images. Sometimes this is done before the paper is processed, sometimes after.
Several of Breuer's images are on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts beginning this weekend. It's simply called "New Pictures:2"
The images are all very different. There is the swirling image above, but there are others with intricate patterns scratched into their surface.
"I want these images to read photographically," he says. He creates images in one way, but due to the way people tend to see photographs, they can appear to be something else.
For instance one piece looks as if it is textured like a rug, until you get close-up and see the lines are the result of pieces of fluff and other material produced by scoring the paper before processing. The image is quite flat.
"What I don't want the images to be is kind of a check list," he says, meaning people should not be able to readily identify certain things in the images. "There always remains a degree of openness in the whole matter."
Breuer takes this almost to extremes. He has had a long standing rule that his own face does not appear with his work. He's a photographer who sees problems in having his own image appear with his work. He chuckles a little when asked about it, but then explains
"From my own experience there are certain artists that I wish I didn't know what they look like. I wish I had never seen a photograph," he says. "I just want to experience the work. And so a while back I made the decision that for myself I would just take my likeness out of the equation. What I have to say is in the work, and there it is."
Breuer's process is ever-evolving however, and this is true of this show.
After the exhibit has been open for about a month, Breuer will return from his home in New York state to redecorate the gallery where his pictures are now on display. He'll paint all the walls, which are currently creamy white, with black paint, creating a giant blackboard. He says he'll use chalk to "join the dots," fill in more information about the images. All of the pictures will be in the same place, but everything else in the show will have changed.
He did give me a small preview of what that might reveal.
He says the image above was created through putting photographic paper in a plywood box, with a lens attached to the front. (He points out that he does sometimes use what is essentially a camera.) He then attached L.E.D.'s to his finger tips. The image was created by the movement of his fingers as he loaded a 12 gauge shotgun. It's a snippet of information which, at least for this viewer, entirely changes the perception of the image.
We'll run more of my interview with Marco Breuer on the air next week.(1 Comments)
The Oscar ceremonies are a few weeks away yet, but later this week Twin Cities and Twin Ports audiences will get their fleeting chance to check out the contenders for the short live action and short animation prizes.
The live action nominees form a lively, if dark, selection, featuring entries set in India, Australia, Russia, Sweden, and the USA, although several of them have international production teams. The stories range from a social commentary piece on child labor practices ("Kiva,") to a twisted tale of apartment living adapted by, and starring, David Rakoff called "The New Tenants." There is the story of a lonely grade schooler in an Australian school "Miracle Fish" and a tragic tale of a family caught in an environmental disaster ("The Door.") A tale of a wannabe magician trying to survive his parents demands he get a real job, "Instead of Abracadabra," rounds out the pack.
Once a staple of the silver screen, the short film is not so well known to many filmgoers nowadays, which is a real shame. Like a great short story, a great short film delivers a slice of life with at least one twist to give viewers a small glimpse of a greater truth or absurdity. All five of the live action short nominees deliver.
The films open this weekend at the Lagoon Theater in Minneapolis and the Zinema 2 in Duluth. Also after a couple of weeks in the theaters the movies will be available for download through iTunes on March 2nd.
I'll write up the animation (which includes a new Wallace and Gromit episode from Nick Parks) tomorrow.
The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis announced today it will show three more NT Live broadcasts from the National Theatre in London. The decision follows the success of the the NT performance of Phedre with Helen Mirren in midsummer.
The three shows are Shakespeare's "All's Well That Ends Well" (right) on Oct 24th and 25th at 1pm, "Nation" by Terry Pratchett (Feb 5th and 6th at 7,30,) and a new Allen Bennett play "The Habit of Art" on May 1st and 2nd.
Some theaters will take the NT feed live, but due to timing considerations, and other shows already booked in the theater, the Guthrie shows will be tape delayed.
The Guthrie's Lee Henderson says while there were a few technical glitches on "Phedre" the production was very well received. He says the Metropolitan Opera has already prepared audiences for the idea through its productions sent to theaters around the world. He says patrons know the quality of the National Theatre and then curiosity brings them in.
He also points out that it's expensive to fly to London to see a show, and this arrangement offers a unique opportunity.
"To see four shows at the National Theater in London is just not possible for the average theater-goer in Minneapolis," he says.
The Guthrie is betting the broadcast option will work well as an affordable substitute. If local audiences like it, the Guthrie may make future NT Live broadcasts a regular feature.
A friend of mine recently convinced me to check out Shelfari, the website for book lovers. Shelfari was inspired by the simple pleasure of perusing your friends' bookshelves. The website allows you to do this virtually, so you're not limited to what they own. You can see what they've read, what they're currently reading, and what's on their "to read" list.
The site is also incredibly useful to people who want to chart their progress on their own reading lists, or who are interested in seeing just how well-read they are. Readers can post reviews about a book, or partake in an online discussion.
There are a couple of downsides to the site: there are many different listings for the same title - one for each edition. This can make navigating what you have and haven't read tedious (I know I've already clicked on Wuthering Heights three times!). The site also requires a pretty steep initial time investment, as you try to remember just how many of those classics you read in high school and college.
Have you tried Shelfari out? If so, what do you think? Any tricks or features I should know about?
The other night when I went to see "9." I spent a few minutes talking with a couple of fine gentlemen from Canada about getting the shakes in a movie house.
The Canadians were Philippe Roy ands Guy Marcoux, who both work with D-Box, a company which makes chairs designed to make movie watching, and video-game playing, what Philippe calls an immersive experience.
I was at the Theaters at the Mall of America, one of only seven multiplexes nationwide to feature D-Box seats.
Basically what happens is when something shakes, rumbles, or even explodes on the screen you feel it through your D-Box. Philippe says after the introduction of Surround Sound in theaters, making your seat part of the action was the next step.
The idea is to link a mechanical system in the chair to what is happening on screen. Guy says this is done through a code created by a motion designer.
"A what?" I asked.
"It's like a sound designer, except it's for motion," he said with a smile. They described how the motion designer watches a move frame by frame to create the code which is fed into the chairs as the film rolls. It's only been done with a few titles: "The Fast and the Furious," "Terminator Salvation" "Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince," and "The Final Destination." Now "9" becomes the first animated film to get the D-Box treatment.
Being of that age, I brought up how I had seen "Earthquake" back in 1974. I was convinced that this had been a similar mechanical system all those years ago.
Philippe looked mildly pained as he explained that system depended on banks of sub woofer speakers mounted at the front of a theater, pumping out low frequency sounds. I remember even now how the sensation was quite frightening. Every time a shock hit in the film, your knees started shaking.
The D-Box is much more sophisticated. Watching "9" it was quite remarkable how small movements on screen caused your chair to react. They were actually much more effective than the moments when the action on-screen became very violent. Good sense and insurance companies mean a seat can only whip around so much when while the characters were being thrown across the landscape. So the immersive experience didn't match the visual and the magic dimmed a little.
You'll pay a premium to sit in a D-Box. At the MOA Theater they are $16.50 as opposed to the $9.50 for the plain old stationary seats. However you can buy a D-Box seat for home use, either with your DVD or game system. There are even ways of converting certain existing seats to the immersive experience.
Actually, you can try it out for free. There's a demo chair outside the theater at the MOA.
I must admit I was intrigued by the D-Box, but I think I'd want to carefully select the next movie I see with it, to maximize the effect.
Has anyone else tried them? Let us know your reactions.
Special effects producer Bruce Branit created this short film, which is now getting its own legs. "WorldBuilder" is a sweet little story that revolves around the notion of what we might be able to create in a virtual world.
Imagine yourself the city planner, architect, decorator and gardener for your own virtual neighborhood. What would you build?(1 Comments)
I just discovered the work of Urbanscreen, a group of German video installation artists, and I'm hooked. As you'll see in the piece above, Urbanscreen manages to combine movement, architecture, film and public art into something wholly engaging and fantastic.
Below is a piece titled "How would it be, if a house was dreaming?" which projects an incredibly convincing 3D video onto the building, creating what appears to be a living, breathing structure. The sounds of the bricks sliding in and out of place really just puts it over the top. Enjoy!
(Please forgive this act of self-indulgence. Oh wait, this is a blog...)
Blogging about art has made me a member of a rarified group of people, perhaps even more rare than the group "arts reporters." But our numbers are growing, as both traditional media outlets and freelancers find value in talking about art on a more casual, daily basis.
So when I saw that PBS' blog Art Beat had posted a new blurb (that's a technical term) titled "The Art of Blogging About Art," I was immediately sucked into the great naval-gazing void. Would I find myself reflected in their descriptions? Would I agree with my art-blogging compatriots?
Chris Amico talks with three arts bloggers: Lisa Fung (arts editor and contributor to LA Times' Culture Monster), Don Share (contributor to "Harriet," the Poetry Foundation's group blog) and Lee Rosenbaum (arts writer for the Wall Street Journal, aka CultureGrrl).
Here are some of the ideas they raised, with which I heartily agree:
Blogging about the arts allows me and my colleagues at MPR to share news and ideas with you in ways completely different from our traditional radio format. That gives us flexibility to tell a story more creatively, with slideshows and video, if we like. It also allows me to speak in a more personal voice, and engage in a conversation that I don't get to have as a reporter on our air.
Talking about art in a more personal voice in turn makes the conversation more accessible to the general public. No snooty noses in the air here - all opinions are welcome. And the more voices that pitch in, the better the conversation.
Finally, writing a blog - and having a place where people can post their comments - helps me to do my job better as an arts reporter. I hear more now from people who wouldn't have taken the time to hunt down my e-mail address and send me a personal note. Those comments sometimes lead to (valued) corrections, and sometimes lead to new posts and even in-depth stories.
So yea for art blogs. But there is one idea brought forth by the bloggers with which I must disagree, at least in terms of my own writing.
Lee Rosenbaum says in the Art Beat article that she blogs "because I felt I had a lot to say and no place to put it... I can only write so many articles for the Journal but I have ideas everyday that I feel like sharing."
Reporter/blogger Chris Amico goes on to quote Scott Rosenberg, the author of "Say Everything," as saying that most people blog out of "a desire to express themselves, to think out loud, to exult in the possibilities of writing in public..."
In my case, not so much. I may have lots of ideas or thoughts throughout the course of a day, but there are very few I feel are worth typing out. For me, writing is often a very deliberate process, and when I post something here I want to make sure that it's worth my time - and yours. I'm much more excited in hearing what you have to say in response to a post than I am in the idea of simply "writing in public."
So with that, I'll shamelessly plug some of the ways in which YOU can have a say in this blog. As with any blog, you can comment on what you find here. You can also share your favorite work of Minnesota art for our series "We Art Minnesota." And you are always welcome to sign up to be an Art Hound, to help keep me and your fellow Minnesotans in the know about cool cultural events.(1 Comments)
Imagine my delight when I stumbled across a new game on Yahoo called "Artist Colony." Great! An opportunity for us not-so-creative folk to live the artistic life, if only vicariously. I downloaded a trial version of the game, and gave it a whirl.
I should have known better. The game, based on the SIMS model of gaming, is all about managing a community. In this case, it's a run down artist colony that a couple of guys are trying to rehabilitate and repopulate (preferably with cute female artists). In the first hour of play there was very little art-making, but a lot of cleaning up debris and learning how to keep your artists rested and happy.
While the game was not nearly as satisfying as I had hoped, it was in some strange way educational about the world of the artist.
First off, an artist's creativity is significantly enhanced or upset by the quality of his or her love life (I'll buy that one).
Also, the price a person is willing to pay for a painting appears to be completely random. If you wait long enough there's sure to be a dealer who will offer far more than the painting is worth (again, depending on the economy, I'll buy that one, too).
A lot more time is spent working on non-artistic activities in order to sustain the making of art. I know of many artists who will attest to the truth of that.
However, there was one aspect of the game that I fear only perpetuates poor stereotyping. Every once in a while, a psychedelic looking "magic flower" will appear somewhere in the colony. In order to inspire your artist to create a new work, you must place them next to the magic flower (a lotus? a poppy?) until their inspiration levels are fully charged. Sigh...
Posted at 9:08 AM on August 4, 2009
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Technology
Computer engineer and artist Golan Levin wants to see more art made with software. He's not talking about graphic design, but actual works of art that engage and react to human movement. Golan bemoans the lack of applications for iphones that involve real creativity, and demonstrates some of the many interactive pieces he's created using the latest technology.
If you have ever wondered how film makers get those great shots of people driving their cars, take a look at the picture below.1 Comments)
Film maker Davis Guggenheim says someone in his team told him just before his film "An Inconvenient Truth" went before an audience for the first time that his movie was "a feathered fish."
"What's that?" Guggenheim asked.
"It doesn't swim and it doesn't fly," came the terse response.
"And this is someone who's supposed to like the film," Guggenheim says. Then a studio executive told them no-one would pay to see the film.
Of course it then went to the Sundance Film Festival, became a box office smash, and won the best documentary Oscar.
"And then going with (Al Gore) to get the Nobel Peace Prize, that was pretty cool," he laughs.
Looking back though, he says they made the film in a vacuum, and that was ultimately a good thing. They were convinced that they had an important message to spread, and they were shielded from common wisdom which might have scuppered them.
Guggenheim was in the Twin Cities to talk about his new documentary "It Might Get Loud." It is is built around the meeting of three rock guitar legends: Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, U2's The Edge, and Jack White of the White Stripes.
He says he didn't want to make a traditional rock film, and he has succeeded. He interviewed all three of his subjects separately on their home turf and then put them together on a giant soundset in Hollywood (he say's it's where they filmed "The Perfect Storm") and made them talk to one another.
While nominally about the art and science of the electric guitar, the film delves into what it means to be an artist, and how each of these three musicians developed their own approach to what they do.
And then they jam together. It's a fascinating piece of film as three icons from very different parts of the rock world watch and learn from one other.
The film opens in the Twin Cities in late August. We'll have a piece closer to that time but in the meantime here is the trailer.
If you have ever wondered about the sounds of an insect eating a leaf, or even the mist condensing on a window, you are not alone.
These are the kind of sounds which sonic artist Diane Willow hopes to collect with a new microphone she will use for her work "Listening to the Silent Landscape of the Everyday."
Willow, who teaches at the University of Minnesota will gather sounds with a highly sensitive contact microphone which allows her to listen in the tiny sounds all around us which are beyond the sensitivity of normal human hearing.
Willow, who came to the U from MIT, has used other recordings in sculptures and other works. She will develop interactive pieces from the new recordings.
You can see at video of "Serenade," a piece she did in Beijing here(1 Comments)
Collegehumor.com takes on Facebook, Twitter, Pandora and more in this modern take on "West Side Story." Enjoy!
Here's a site that encourages you to be creative for a good cause. The canvas? A slice of bread. You can draw on it, and even download images onto it. Every piece of "bread art" results in a $1 donation to Feeding America, formerly known as America's Second Harvest.
There's also a gallery of other people's work, and as you wander from image to image you are fed little tidbits of information about hunger in the United States. The Bread Art Project was created by the Grain Foods Foundation to raise awareness about the prevalence of hunger here at home.
A jury ruled today that Brainerd resident Jammie Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs. The price tag? $80,000 per song, or $1.92 million. If you agree the average song lasts approximately three and a half minutes, that amounts to approximately $380 per second of downloaded music.
Thomas-Rasset says it's unlikely the plaintiffs (Warner Music Group Corp., Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, EMI Group PLC and Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment) will ever see the money, since she's the mother of four kids and has little means.
So what does the decision mean for people who share music files on the web, and for the recording industry? Will it inspire these major corporations to pursue more lawsuits? Will it scare people off of file-sharing?
Some advocates of file-sharing say it doesn't hurt the music industry, and in fact many musicians make their songs available for free on the internet. So who will win out in the long run? Who are you supporting?