Archive for April, 2011

I went to MoMA and….

April 26, 2011

Although New York City’s MoMA is one of the foremost modern art museums in the world, little Annabelle found their collection lacking.  Her comments are just one of many that MoMA has highlighted on their website “I went to MoMA and …”

UCD art major wins “Next Generation”

April 25, 2011

Stephanie Lin, an art studio major here at UCD, took first place at the De Young Museums “New Generations” exhibition for her sculpture “Burn.”  Lin developed “Burn” through her studies in exploring a single material. Congratulations Stephanie!

Museums and social media

April 21, 2011

Today’s museums are enthusiastic exploiters of social media. Museums, employing new technology in their effort to engage and attract the public, are turning museums into “virtual community centers.” Facebook, podcasts, iPhone apps and YouTube are enabling museums to present information in creative ways and to reinvent themselves. Here are just a few successful examples:

YouTube Play: Created by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum last summer, YouTube Play allowed anyone with a video camera, a computer and a little time to submit a video to its art Biennial. The Guggenheim received a stunning 23,358 submissions from 91 countries. More than 24 million viewers watched the Biennial on YouTube and at the museum. YouTube and the Gugenheim are holding discussions about the next Biennial.

ArtBabble: A web site started by the Indianapolis Art Museum, ArtBabble offers viewers videos (most in high-definition) from institutions around the world. During its initial phase, the Indianapolis Art Museum asked a 6 institutions to participate, including the New York Public Library, SF MOMA, LACMA and the Smithsonian. ArtBabble now has 30 museum participants. Each video is accompanied by notes offering links to related material such as artist interviews. (New York Times, “ArtBabble Site Opens Window to World of Museums”)

Podcasts: Many museums are utilizing audio programs and podcasts to support online visitors. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art developed “SFMOMA Artcasts” available on topics ranging from current and past exhibitions, interviews with artists, collectors and curators, and discussions about the formation of the collection.

For more on this topic, checkout the New York Times article “The Spirit of Sharing.”

An alternative view of Copyright and Fair Use

April 21, 2011

Taking a sharply different view of Copyright and Fair Use from Falzone and Ahrens (see previous post) is Veronique Wiesinger in her just published editorial in ARTINFO titled “Copyright Protection Is Not an Artistic Hurdle But a Legal Right.” Wiesinger is the Giacometti Foundation director who recently rejected John Baldessari’s request to duplicate a Giacometti sculpture for one of his installations. Baldesarri went ahead with his installation as planned and the Foundation is now taking him to court for violating the their request. Wiesinger argues that “intellectual property law is largely ignored by the art world” today and that Fair Use is “brandished in order to make money in the name of culture and education. Go here to read Wiesinger’s complete Op-ed.

Ask an expert about Fair Use

April 20, 2011

YouTube and the Center for Internet and Society are hosting a Fair Use question and answer session. From YouTube Blog: “Fair use is a legal term that grants creators an exception to the strict copyright that the original content owner controls — in layman’s terms, it’s the idea that as long as the use is “fair,” someone can reference part of someone else’s work for parody, scholarly reasons, or more.

What constitutes “fair use” is a complicated issue and one that we get asked about quite often. So we’ve asked two leading experts from the Stanford Center for Internet and Society (CIS), Anthony Falzone and Julie Ahrens, to help answer your questions.”

Anthony Falzone and Julie Ahrens, Executive Directors of the Fair Use Project, will be accepting questions until April 21 through Google Moderator. On May 2 they will answer questions on video and re-post the questions/answers on their CIS blog. Google Moderator will also allow you to vote on other questions you hope to have answered by Falzone and Ahrens.

What’s in (or not) the new budget for federal art groups

April 14, 2011

The recently negotiated national budget includes dramatic cuts to federally funded arts programs. The NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) and NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) will each take a $12.5 million hit to their annual budget (or 7%). The IMLS (Institute of Museums and Library Services) will see a 15.7% drop in their operating budget. The National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs grant program, which supports the numerous large and small museums, theaters and libraries in the DC area, will shrink to $2.5 million from its previous budget of $9.5 million, while the National Gallery of Art will experience a 7.2% reduction. According to IMLS spokeswoman Mamie Bittner, the cuts force the agency to rethink its granting process: “should the IMLS help as many recipients as it did before, allocating smaller average grants to each? Or should it keep grants as large as before, but issue fewer to implement the $44.3 million in budget cuts?” Despite the hit, Americans for the Arts noted that the hit was “more sensible and proportional” than the suggested 26% reduction to the NEA and NEH proposed by the House Republicans. (source: Culture Monster, April 14, 2011 and Hyperallergic, April 13, 2011 and Committee  on Appropriation’s Spending Cuts the Centerpiece for Final Continuing Resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year 2011)

Banksy at the VRF

April 13, 2011

The VRF is excited to announce the addition of “Exit Through the Gift Shop: a Banksy Film” to our DVD collection. The film was premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for best documentary at the 2011 Academy Awards. “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is the story of an eccentric French shop-keeper turned amateur film-maker as he attempts to document many of the world’s most infamous contemporary street artists, only to have the British stencil artist, Banksy, turn the camera back on its owner.

The VRF houses a modest collection of about 350 art-related DVDs and videos. Current faculty, students and staff are welcome to borrow films from our collection or just come in to browse. Find our staff contacts on our webpage if you have questions regarding access and circulation.

Buddhist relics in danger in Mes Aynak, Afghanistan

April 7, 2011

According to Art Newspaper, the world’s largest archaeological excavation is underway as archaeologist attempt to rescue ancient Buddhist monasteries in Mes Aynak, Afghanistan before the site is turned into an open-cast mine.  The site, a former training camp for Osama bin Laden, is now leased to a mining company in China and, at $3 billion, is the largest business opportunity in Afghanistan’s history.  The Buddhist monasteries date from the 3rd to 7th centuries. Archaeologists have uncovered a 260 foot walled complex with a stupa, a 25 foot reclining Buddha and wall paintings. Recovered artifacts are being moved to the National Museum in Kabul for conservation. Mining is scheduled for 2014.
For additional information on the excavations at Mes Aynak, visit Penn Museum Blog.

The latest on Ai Weiwei

April 5, 2011

Ai Weiwei

If you are following the situation surrounding the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the art blog Hyperallergic: Sensitive to Art & its Discontents is regularly posting updates on his status as it is made known. If you haven’t been tracking the story, here is a quick synopsis: Beijing artist Ai Weiwei was arrested and detained by Chinese police at the Beijing airport on April 3rd. The artist has not been heard from since. His studio was raided and hundreds of objects (notebooks, electronic equipment etc.) have been confiscated; his studio continues to be guarded by the police. His wife Lu Qing and 8 studio assistants were also detained and questioned but have been released. This is not the first time the provocative artist has had run-ins with the Chinese government: in late 2010, Ai’s Shanghai studio was demolished and Ai was one of several liberal intellectuals placed under travel restrictions after Liu Xiabo was awarded the Nobel Prize.
If you want to learn more about Ai Weiwei, take a look at: Ai Weiwei answers visitors questions on Politics and Society at the Tate Gallery, Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, and Ai Weiwei’s TED film.

Maine murals caught in political tug-of-war

April 5, 2011

Battles between organized labor and Republicans are not unexpected these days but last week in Augusta, Maine, the disputes took an unusual turn. Maine’s (Republican) governor Paul LePage has ordered the removal of a three-year-old mural in the Department of Labor building, arguing that the murals, which depict Maine workers in various eras and professions, are not neutral but are in fact pro-union. In a fax to LePage, one anonymous individual argued that the murals were akin to “communist North Korea where they use these murals to brainwash the masses.” Judy Taylor, the painter awarded the contract by the Maine Art Commission, maintains that the murals are “based on historical fact. I’m not sure how you can say history is one-sided.” [New York Times, 3/23/11] One day ago, the U. S. Department of Labor got involved when the department sent a request for reimbursement to LePage. They argued that LePage violated the terms of a federal grant that paid for the bulk of the mural’s contract and that the federal government should be refunded. The murals are currently in storage until a new home can be found. You can read Judy Taylor’s statement here and more on the the mural controversy:
New York Times, March 23, 2011, Portland Press Herald, April 5, 2011, and AP News, April 4, 2011.