Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Incredible Tracey Moffatt is a God

Tracey Moffatt, "Marie Curie, Under the Sign of Scorpio", 2005, archival pigment ink on acid-free rag paper, 17 x 23 inches

Artist. Feminist. Human Being. Her words and work use the artifice of culture and get to the sinew that connects life with death. Spend twenty minutes with her via these videos and you may follow her work for the rest of your life. Tracey Moffatt may be Australian and part aboriginal by birth, but her creative gift belongs to the world.

First, a short interview with her about her latest project at The Brooklyn Museum.

Twenty years ago, she created this short experimental film that is about the relationship between an aboriginal daughter and her white mother. The daughter cares for her mother as she approaches death in a film shot entirely in her own created visual environment. It is easy to see this film as at least partially autobiographical, and yet its wordlessness brings to mind the simplicity of Beckett, the desolate world of Sam Shepherd and even the early experimental films of Kenneth Anger.

Her film Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy is in two parts.

The Brooklyn Museum has an extensive collection of her work.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Berkshires - Chicago Connection

In seeking out diversions, people fall into predictable patterns. There is a great deal of traffic between Boston, New York and the Berkshires. Tanglewood has its roots in Boston's Symphony Hall, and the Willliamstown Theatre Festival in Manhattan's theater scene. But there are other circuits, too.

Not nearly as well travelled, but still significant is the Chicago-Berkshires loop, bringing players from the Windy City's Goodman Theatre now running the hilarious musical, Animal Crackers, and Steepenwolf (currently running Fake and The House on Mango Street) to the resident companies along Route 7: Berkshire Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage Company, Shakespeare & Company, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.

The only train service in the Berkshires is the Lake Shore Limited which runs between Boston and Chicago, stopping at the Intermodal Center in Pittsfield along the way. And for a limited time, you can save 40% on tickets.

Here's the deal: travel with a friend on the Lake Shore Limited and save 40% on the companion rail fare. Whether you want to travel from Boston, New York, Chicago or anywhere in between, take advantage of this limited-time offer to plan your next trip.

Watch the seasons change from your train window as you travel along the shorelines of the Great Lakes and through the Berkshire mountains. Relax in your spacious seat or grab a bite to eat in the dining car — you'll enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or visit Amtrak online.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Etiquette - Non-Theater Carried to an Extreme

I don't think it is theater either.

The Premise: Etiquette is Theater
For this intimate piece of participatory theater, two museum visitors sit across from each other at a small table...

The response from theater critic Gail Burns: No, it's not.
…Etiquette failed to qualify for lack of an audience. I wanted to see a) if there was anything worth watching, b) if there was anything visually provocative that would cause other people in the cafĂ© to watch, and c) if people actually did watch. The answer was “no” on all counts.

Points to Mass MoCA for trying this, but it is a new form of social networking in which you come in contact with other people in a ultimately meaningless way.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Online Innovations in Spotlight at National Summit on Arts Journalism

Some of the Speakers

Online coverage of arts and culture is continuing to grow and become more important to artists and organizations. That was the conclusion reached at the National Summit on Arts Journalism held today, and streamed live from this blog.

Online there are more than 300,000 blogs like this already in existence, not to mention hundreds of online magazines, multi-media sites and other variations on traditional coverage. The question is what is going to be the economic model. How do the writers get paid. It seems when the discussion turns to the finances, the traditional business model falters. Support seems to moving in the direction of a hybrid taking different parts of existing profit and nonprofit models. For all the individuality that artists and blogs represent, success seems to tied to the ability to scale up any efforts to become attractive to either advertisers or funders.

The presentations by the innovators in this field were wonderful, combining creativity and good reporting with the array of multimedia available to online entrepreneurs today. These examples are available for viewing, as are the roundtable discussions that followed. Topics covered ethics, income and the evolution of arts journalism.

In the digital age, it appears that some arts organizations are already ahead of the critics in technology and in a basic understanding of what the public wants. And that technology savvy ticket buyers want more personal involvement in the arts themselves, just reading objective critical response is too narrowly focused. People want context in their content, and to shape the arts experience to their own lives.

The four hour session was interspersed with sample tweets and online comments from viewers which provided immediate feedback to the hosts of this event, Doug McLennan of Arts Journal and Sasha Anawalt, director of USC Annenberg Arts Journalism Programs.

The entire conference held on October 2, 2009 has been archived and is reachable at Journalism Summit Website