What makes this example enticing is the fact that much of the land in need of redevelopment in East Chicago was also owned by LTV steel. Like the South Side Works East Chicago is located with in 20 minutes from a major city center. In the case of East Chicago, it is 20 minutes from downtown Chicago.
When an innovative Planner becomes Mayor, innovative things can happen. Curitibas has been a favorite subject of many planning academies. It is a place where innovative ideas actually got built into the environment. It is amazing to think how lacking Americans Cities have become since the great mistakes of Urban Renewal. Today our energies are preoccupied with conservative instincts and the return to the idea of creating “livable” communities.
When over 90% of a citys residents are happy with their city, somebody must be doing something right. In Curitiba, a quaint, mid-sized town in southern Brazil, some forty years of sensitive urban design interventions have created a city that is pleasant and sustainable, and one that has managed to avoid many of the ills that have plagued Brazilian cities.
Countless innovations can be traced back to Curitiba, and over the years the place has become something of a Mecca for architects and urban planners from all over the world. But for those who cant afford the trip to Brazil in these tough economic times, a documentary film called A Convenient Truth is the next best thing.
Curitibas urban revolution began in 1971, when a young architect named Jaime Lerner was appointed mayor. Lerner came to the job accompanied by a team of like-minded innovators, and armed with a heap of original ideas, which he proceeded to implement one by one.
Steve Wolfram’s Wolfram|Alpha “computational knowledge engine” has been released. This could become a great tool for information graphic artists if it proves to be open and customizable. I am already thinking of uses.
Rhode Island School of Design plans to cut staff by 15 to 20 and close its museum for the month of August because of a significant decline in the Providence school’s endowment, according to the school.
RISD reports that the endowment lost a third of its value since its peak of $347 million in December 2007.
What is happening to the Arts the in the Northeast? Are we seeing evidence that Institutions of Art in the Northeast are over exposed to the OLD Economy? We know that Rhode Island was especially hit hard by the recession and we have heard about Brandeis closing the Rose Art Museum.
It looks like we are beginning to see less demand for NEW ARTISTS, or may be less of new artists from the old economy. Are there any artists of the new economy, yet? If so who are they? May be the New Museum will tell us. What economy are they from?
This morning, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) “was the only Democrat to oppose a renewable-energy requirement” that even some Republicans supported. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee “voted down an amendment offered by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions that would have removed the renewable electricity standard from the energy package the panel is currently debating” by a vote of 9 to 13. Even though the Energy Information Administration has found that a much stronger standard would only affect electricity prices in Indiana by 6 percent in 2026, Bayh argued Indiana would be hit hard:
Bayh said Indiana would be among the states that would bear a disproportionate share of the cost of meeting the requirement. He said a fairer system would be offering tax credits for producing power from renewable sources.
The standard of 15 percent renewable energy or efficiency gains by 2021 is significantly weaker than President Obama’s preferred standard of 25 percent by 2025. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) joined 11 Democrats in support of the standard, and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) did not vote.
I am having a problem with my senator. We have been fighting hard and long for a RES in Indiana to no avail, because out leaders have been so dependent on money from the old energy sector, and have consequent done a poor job preparing the state to address the issues of the coming decades.
This is one reason for cultivating a creative class, especially among the Political Elite - for that is apparently Evan Bayh only qualification. I think he ought to feel a little political blow back for these kinds of things.
This past Friday 33 Collective Gallery opened its 5th Annual National Self-Portrait Exhibit to which I contributed two small pieces.
The show opened to a large crowd - not surprising when your showing close to 50 artists. With so many artists showing there is always the opportunity that something quite new will surface and I think it did with Jens Brasch’s piece “the apparitions of faces in the crowd - the narrative self.”
Jens has a long, long history working with his own identity and self-portraiture. In his new piece he iterates the idea that Art and Identity need to be read. His work is a library series of twenty book covers on five shelves each contributing to the subject matter - himself. There is a lot to be said about this piece. It owes so much to Duchamp, Rembrandt and other artists who articulated individual human identity. Instead of enumerating the obvious and not so obvious I will leave it to others. His recent work is some of the strongest I have seen in today’s contemporary galleries.
One other point. With the depth that human awareness has achieved and the trajectory of the new, complexity has squeezed out prodigy from contributing to the depth of the new. I think Jen’s work is a great example of how much stuff his contemporary life processes and of course I am very sympathetic to the path he has taken. I find the depth behind his immediacy refreshing after enduring nearly twenty years of graphical one liners in the gallery’s of contemporary art. For the intellectually challenged a one liner became a simulacra for a minimalist moment.
I am guessing this show may go down as a major influence, not because it successfully authored a gap or moved our visual culture forward, but because it itself expresses this desperate moment. It may become known for its exuberance for technology 2.0 married to a worn-out curatorial strategy. And shilling the New as a generational change. In short it is a naive belief in identifying the agents of Obama in the audacity of tired memes.
We have all become familiar with these kinds of presentations. We have been audience to this pattern of promise for more than twenty years at conventions venues all over America featuring the ubiquitous Mac or PC Keynote address meme of the New. It is the branding of a collective production at the New. A location for organizing ownership.
Here is a presentation by Dr. Richard Miller (beyond Jesus’ age), Chair of the English Department at Rutgers University, delivering just such a keynote that promises a new facility as a vehicle to this New communication method.
Sergei Larenkov, the author of “Petersburg Now and Then” has released the second part of the modern city photos combined with the photo made during the city siege at World War2.
These images remind me of Harvey Keitel’s Character in the movie Smoke. His character takes a single photo everyday at the same place and time. They become records of differences and similarities - maybe not as dramatic, but carriers of the betweenness in what they reveal. It is partially what Monet’s haystacks where revealing to us in less dramatic fashion.
With Blogs there is the tendency to get to the end or close a story prematurely and write an opinion. I hope this blog is more about traveling and collecting stuff as I move to firmer ground for the occasional useful statement.
How we unfold or project the earth often depends on what we want to get at and sometimes it depends on the limits of the tools we have on hand. The difference between “what we want to get at” and “limit of the tools we have on hand” can tell us more about the gap.
Each projection is self-consciously 2-Dimensional.
I went to the the Art Chicago show last Friday and I am still thinking about what I saw. The two pieces that immediately stand out to me are the c-print and linen tape pieces by Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Le. from the Hill of Poisonous Trees Series. Dinh Q. Le shows at the P·P·O·W Gallery in New York.
His work is included in the special Partisan exhibition, curated by Mary Jane Jacob and exploring social and political ideas.
According to Jacob, “It is no wonder in this day and age that artists are reengaging one of the most critical subjects in art: the political and social climate, war and survival. Such human dramas that shape destiny have always existed in the history of art, but they are not usually found, no less highlighted, in the environment of an art fair. So this year’s “Partisan” show is evidence of inescapable concerns on everyone’s minds and which have a place in every sector of the art world.”
Other works of interest for me was this piece by Jane Parshall and Brian Cooper, a 2009 West Prize finalist.
In 2000, the water level at Lake Mead was 1,214 feet, close to its all-time high. It’s been dropping ever since. When Lake Mead was built during the 1920s and 1930s, the western United States was enjoying one of the wettest periods of the past 1,200 years. Even today, our so-called drought is still wetter than the average precipitation for the area averaged over centuries. In other words, for the last 75 years, we’ve been partying like it’s 1929. Farmers grow rice by flooding arid farmland with water from Lake Mead; residents of desert communities maintain front lawns of green grass; golfers demand courses in areas where the temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.
The combination of a changing climate and a strong demand for the lake’s remaining water has resulted in 100 foot drop since 2000. While that’s just 10 percent under the lake’s high water mark in 1983, Lake Mead is like a martini glass—wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. That 10 percent dip represents a loss of half Lake Mead’s water supply in nine years, from 96 percent capacity to 43 percent.
[ Gapminder ] Unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view.
The Activist Cause
I want to look back at Hans Rosling’s now very famous presentation at the 2006 TED-conference for a moment. In this presentation Hans is hocking this “Ah-Ha” moment to the audience. He knows what he is pedaling and he knows its ramifications. Does this moment fit in the history of progressive “Ah-Ha” efforts? I think so.
Many of the great achievements of the “progressive” movement, in America, came from those who answered oppressive conditions supported by neglect, power and wealth with extraordinary discipline of research and evidence. Some examples are found in W.E.B Du Bois’ survey of Philadelphia’s Seventh Ward in his 1899 classic book, The Philadelphia Negro work in Philadelphia, and Jane Jacobs’ book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) writtten during height of “Urban Renewal.”
It appears Hans’ visualization tool sits well within this tradition, his scope however, widens out to the early reaches, and future projections of statical analysis of DATA. What I find interesting about Hans’ work is the certain manner in which he strolls through his subject matter. It reminds me quite a bit like Jane Jacobs approach with the Urban build environment.
I have made my visit to my heart doctor. Last time he told me to come back in two months. Today, he says cheerfully: “You’re doing well. Come back in six months.”
Six months! That’s like getting a gold bond on my life. Not payable for six months, or later. I am exhilarated. I must rely on a whole set of physicians. Today’s lively medical send-off stimulates me to write a haiku with a modest pattern at the end:
I owe them all so very much, My life and fun and sense of ease And welcome freedom from disease My…
In 1955, south-sider Leon Despres was elected to the Chicago City Council-the same year that Paddy Bauler famously uttered that “Chicago ain’t ready for reform.” Ready or not, Chicago got twenty years of reform efforts from Despres, one of the few independents in the council and the most liberal alderman in the city. His demand to cut out the corrupt sale of city driveway permits made him enemies from the very beginning. Over the years his crusades to ban discrimination, preserve Chicago landmark buildings, and gain equality for African-Americans-when Daley-beholden African-American council members refused to help-threw wrench after wrench into the Machine. And, not incidentally, changed the city. But Challenging the Daley Machine is more than a memoir. It’s a historical portrait of the way things were done under the Boss, when changing times and a changing city forced the Machine to confront the problems Despres championed. His battles against the seemingly monolithic Machine are also an inspiration to anyone who is facing long odds, but is convinced he/she is on the side of right.
Over his 101 years, Leon Despres took artist Frida Kahlo to the movies, drove the first Mayor Daley to distraction, and fought a long and often lonely crusade for civil rights and political reform that saw African-Americans gain entry to the mayor’s office and the White House.
Despres, a former Chicago alderman, died of heart failure Wednesday in his Hyde Park apartment, said Kenan Heise, who collaborated with Despres on his 2005 memoir….
During his 20 years on the City Council, he lost many more battles than he won against Richard J. Daley and the Democratic machine. When the mayor lost patience with the 5th Ward alderman, he simply turned off Despres’ microphone, said William Singer, a North Side independent alderman in the 1970s.
Yet the city has moved closer to much of what Despres fought for — fair elections and an end to patronage and segregation. Singer said younger Chicagoans may not realize how much the best of the city today reflects Despres’ legacy.
“For those of us who followed him to the City Council, he taught us that it was important for us to raise the issues even if we were sure to lose,” said Singer, who also ran for mayor against Richard J. Daley