Sorry, kids but I have to report on a little politiking.
In a New York Times article this morning on the recent executive edict by Governor David A. Patterson for the State’s agencies to retool their regulations to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state, the chairman of NY State’s conservative party criticized the governor’s actions, putting it this way: “[The Governor is] for same-sex marriage, that’s fine. I have no problem with that. To do this in the dark of night, through the back door…is really wrong.”
Well, to do it in broad daylight would just be gratuitous. And Frankly, the internet has destroyed any need to engage in seedy, dark-of-night conquests under the west-side piers. Although if you’re still looking for that kind of action, I’m sure Larry Kraig, or any of the other Top-5 closeted Republicans could give you pointers.
According to the AP, La Scala is commissioning Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli to write an opera adaptation of Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” (via Gawker)
I suppose the music might be better than that crappy song Melissa Ethridge wrote in her sleep (and won an Oscar for); although I don’t know Battistelli’s stuff.
My only hope is that it ends with the chorus getting submerged by rising sea levels and having to sing underwater!
L. Ro. invites readers to join in a few different threads of confab over on The Culturist. One of them is on something I had written about the Murakami exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. My comment was that “Art, by definition, is false,” and to me, Murakami’s art was too real, or too much part of popular culture to be a comment on or representation of popular culture.
I’ve elaborated my position, which I will include below (or you can check it out on The Culturist). But I’m finding that by writing about art, I’ve been refining my own belief system.
One thing I’m finding more and more, is that boundaries are essential to art-making, and to the consideration of an object or activity as Art. This holds true for my belief in the separation of classical and popular musical cultures; classical being “Art music” and popular being, well, “popular music.”
It’s very en vogue right now to hail cross-over and breaking down the boundary between classical music and popular music. My preference and belief is that keeping the line clear between the two (in purpose; in how they are experienced) will not only save concert music, but will ensure a more diversified musical culture overall.
Read on, if you dare. It gets really hot near the end…
Art (capital A) is a “para” experience; along side what is real. Every Art I can think of exists because of its position that is parallel to the real as real things are defined. Art is either a comment or critique or reference to things that are real in our culture, whether by its materials, its manner, or its physical and/or economic contexts. In this way Art circumvents language as well. Art is not the thing. Art is like the thing. Abstract art is unlike anything, and therefore also stands in a position outside of the real. Read More…
I suppose if they made a reality TV competition for conducting, this young man would definitely make the finals (thnx to Nicklcat for the referral). The only problem is that so much goes on in conducting that is not immediately visible to the eye. So here, it’s more like watching someone dance. Anyone recall Xavier Le Roy’s “Rite”? At least this kid is far more interesting to watch, and far less pretentious than the Frenchman.
To be clear, I’m definitely not hating on this guy. Not knowing anything about him, other than that he clearly loves to video himself conducting to audio recordings, I can’t speak to his intentions. The baton strikes me as authentic, as does the unidentifiable bust (of a composer, presumably) in the background.
But who knows, maybe he’ll move on to do great things as a conductor. If recent times proves anything, a little unrestrained passion can go a long way.
Stop the presses!
No really. Stop ‘em.
Because The Times has eased its exclusivity grip on at least one of its stringers, and allowed none other than Claudia La Rocco (aka, L. Ro.)…TO START A BLOG!
“The Culturist” is being hosted by WNYC and promises to host some inspiring confab. In her maiden post, L. Ro. writes:
…with your help [that's all y'all], The Culturist will be an ever-growing critic’s collective notebook, an open space for a rich stew of ideas, overheard remarks, questions, digressions, arguments, conversations and asides.
Girl’s already got three comments. Let’s see what a little freedom and no editor will do for this critic.
Let’s also hope she can endure the random lame comments from blogotrash. My feeling is that L. Ro. will probably be able to handle it with a little more grace than yours truly.
Being a resident of Brooklyn, I’m quite familiar with sinking-gut reaction that comes with spotting the plywood barriers and angular iron beams rising up from the open pit of the latest luxury condo tower site (in case you aren’t up to speed, check out the website for Downtown Brooklyn Partnership to see what Flatbush Avenue will look like by 2012).
I’ve always thought I reacted that way because at heart I’m a proletarian, and also I probably distrust just how luxury all these complexes can be given the speed of their proliferation and construction, and, maybe, I’m also a bit nostalgic about the parts of New York that look old timey. I also don’t want my rent to quadruple just because one luxury complex decides to park its giant ass in my back yard.
But The Times’ Nicolai Ouroussoff offers an interesting argument in favor of a tower plan designed by Norman Foster that got nixed by the Upper East Side’s community board and is set to be replaced by a new Foster design that seems aimed to appease the opposition. Ourourssoff seems to believe in the optimism of the new, or, at least favors it to the political wrangling that can impede progress; he accuses some of the opposition of using landmark protectivity really just to protect their own luxury views. By the end he seems to say that the tall glass tower would be more beneficial to those of us down on the street than the short, inconspicuous bronze box.
I’m not so sure I agree. Towers cast shadows. Even my reaction to seeing these renderings side by side was one of relief as I got to the new rendering. The tower frenzy that’s taking place in Brooklyn is visually exhausting. You can actually notice when a new shadow appears ten or so blocks away from where the tower sits. In less towerous areas, the new towers seem to loom rather than rise. They catch your vision at odd angles and by surprise from around the cornice of a more modest building relatively far away from the spire. Maybe I see them more as threatening because they promote exclusion and–at least in Brooklyn–tend to have leveled some affordable housing to make room for themselves.
I don’t want to oversimplify the situation. Perhaps there are merits to the proliferation of luxury towers I don’t fully see. I know they are a great alternative to urban sprawl, but lack of affordability and the promise of an impermeably luxurious lifestyle sully the social optimism they intend to purport.
The tower also just looks out of place.