Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lyndi Sales

Go see this show please at Toomey Tourell Fine Art in San Francisco at 49 Geary Street. Take the elevator, go down the hall. It's like Silence of the Lambs, when they arrive in Lecter's holding area and find the police officer flayed and hung up in the air, dead and resplendent.

Indeed there's blood everywhere, but it is all paper and string, cut and falling, elegant and wispy, stark and heavy.

Go see this Lyndi Sales, for you will hear her name again. The show is sold out. It's mad in this economy, but this quaint little show is littered with the telling red pins of American art galleries -- "They're sold."

From Toomey Tourell -- A brief rationale on the work[by the artist]:

All the works I created are part of the airline crash series. The Helderberg crash happened 20 years ago during the Apartheid era and remains unresolved and is still a controversial issue today in South Africa. At the time of the crash there were political sanctions against our country, there was an arms embargo that prohibited SA from importing any arms or substances used in warfare into the country.

It is believed that the SA authorities were importing highly flammable substances on passenger Boeings as a result of the embargo. On leaving Taipei turbulence caused by a storm enabled the Ammonia petro chlorate to self ignite causing a fatal fire onboard leading the plane to crash a few hours later. Subsequently there have been a number of cover-ups to hide information such as the black box recordings, paperwork etc.

Lottery Globe illustrates the area on the ocean floor where the wreckage landed. An image of seaweed was cut into the map and then the negative pieces were repined and arranged to form a contour of the ocean floor. The seaweed is symbolic of bronchial branches (lungs and breath) and suggests that the ocean (and crash site) is alive with the breath of those that died as well as alive with the mystery of what went down. So the lottery coupons make reference to the notion that 159 lives (all aboard) were gambled with by the SA apartheid officials.

There is other gambling imagery through this series such as playing cards, money, gambling chips etc. The Chinese paper money that is burnt as a sacrifice to those who have passed is also included due to the fact that half the passengers were of Chinese or Japanese decent.

I used to do a lot of hand cutting until I wanted to cut into materials such as life vest material and life raft rubber. This material is very difficult to hand cut so that’s when I started investigating lazar cutting. Conceptually I found that it was very relevant for this body of work – the crash being caused by fire-seemed to fit in with the burning away of paper, rubber, material etc. — Lyndi

And Alan Bamberger of Art Business says, "Intense effective presentation, incredibly labor intensive-- and good art too. Pick of First Thursday [04/09/2009]." For Alan's full review from that First Thursday click here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This from Radical Cross Stitch

This is someone I have been following on twitter for a while and just now got to dig into her blog a bit...LOVE what i have found.

and she says:

I just adore the idea of spreading some positive messages via fence stitching. In this time of global financial stress it really is all too easy to get depressed and despondent about it all. And some would suggest that the powers that be are all too happy for us to do so..

For more Radical Cross Stitch click here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Two Grandpas

Here are Li'l E's two grandpas, spending down a little bit of time before going to see The Wiz at the Marin County Theater, as part of K's school's spring production. Really, it does not get more beautiful and important than this. Li'l E sat through the performance that followed in its entirity. Two proud grandpas watched him make his way through the crowd afterward, still awake and congratulating the performers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Nonprofit Business Model Works?!

Kul Wadhwa, Wikimedia


Wikipedia Gets a Corporate Partner

By Geoffrey A. Fowler

On Wednesday, the Wikimedia Foundation — the organization that runs online community-edited encyclopedia Wikipedia — announced its first large content partnership with a major company, Orange, the European telecom brand of France Telecom.

The deal will allow Orange to develop co-branded Wiki channels on its mobile and Web portals. The two will also begin working together to develop new services and features around content from Wikipedia.

For Orange, the motivation is simple: Wikipedia is popular with Web users, more so in Europe than any other part of the world. “We are looking to partner with some of the best Internet brands, so that our customers have access to the best of information on the Web,” said Orange spokeswoman Carolyn Owen.

But for the nonprofit Wikimedia, partnering up is more complex. Orange will share some revenue out of the deal with the foundation, but Ms. Owen declined to reveal the specific terms. Wikimedia currently raises most of its money — $6.2 million last year — through donations from users. But it will need more resources if its traffic continues to soar.

Kul Wadhwa, who heads the foundation’s business development efforts, says Wikimedia gets approached by a whole range of companies, but bats away many offers. The terms of use on content from Wikipedia does allow for some commercial use. But any company that Wikimedia works with, he said, would have to help “expand free knowledge to everyone.” For example, he won’t allow companies to tap directly into the Wiki community, or directly link commerce into Wikipedia pages, such as directing viewers away to buy products.

“Our site is very unusual — the community really controls it and we want to make sure that that isn’t influenced by an outside entity, whether it is a business or a non-profit,” said Wadhwa.

That said, “one thing that people misunderstand is that our community isn’t anti-business,” added Wadhwa. “We just need for them to be mission friendly and provide strategic value to us.”

Wadhwa is also looking for corporate partners to help Wikimedia explore new technologies that the foundation’s staff of about 30 couldn’t develop on its own. “This really lets us try some things that are experimental,” said Wadhwa.

With Orange, for example, he said the foundation would get to explore ways to get Wikipedia content onto cellphones, as well as ways to distribute content from the foundation on systems such as IPTV, which Orange runs in Europe.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Beautiful New Getty Ad Campaign


This just in from "The God Blog."

A source told Jewish Journal editor-in-chief Rob Eshman that the University of Southern California and Hebrew Union College-Jewish institute of Religion, which already share some faculty and facilities, are working on a deal to fold the L.A. campus into USC as a Jewish studies program.

“Its a win win,“ the source said. “HUC gets a big chunk of money for what it owns—about a block of prime real estate by the USC campus—and USC gets to solidify a Jewish studies and outreach program that it has been building for some time now.“

Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles has been having big problems -- a consolidation of resources may present a novel and impactful solution.


I Want My IMATv

Watch more Artbabble!

To view Maxwell Anderson's Museums and the Web Annual Conference (#mw2009) Plenary Address -- click here.

It is AMAZING. Amazing, what one great leader in this age has done for a museum, its team and a municipality...and then a universe on-line.

It takes a village, sure -- donors have clearly stepped forward, there are already acres in place, many important museum professionals make all this possible, the public, the on-line community, etc.

But whatever it is that gives me a sense that this one cat's had such a great impact must hold some truth, if even that he has served as a symbol, which is at least half the game, right?

But check the succinctness and eloquence here. I'm only half way through in MY watching...wish I was there.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Museum 2.0 Baselining

Nina Simon's Musuem 2.0's got a new post that baselines a lot of the on-going issues related to museums and social media. To read the blog post click here. Nina's observations are broad and significant. She also links to a colleague's blog:

Additionally, it was the second time that week alone that I first heard a piece of major news via news stories posted by friends. Not via television, a news website, or the paper. Facebook. And it hit me. I didn't need the Boston Globe anymore. Or the White County News. My friends were editing all the news I needed. No, not editing. Curating.
- Susie Wilkening
Reach advisors

Very interesting, but, um, "Ouch," on the whole Boston Globe thing, right? I mean what happens if all the news goes away and all that we are left with is the trading of Facebook's "5 Beers I Like" polls?

Clearly this is not what Wilkening is espousing and I think we are all profoundly curious and smart enough that inquisitive and positive intellectualism will thrive (note: see blogs like, um, Nina Simon's Musuem 2.0).

Further, all this is a good argument for museums, because they got all that stuff to curate, right? I mean wasn't it Solomon who said, "There's nothing new under the sun?"

The wise king Solomon said (Ecclesiastes 1:9) "There is nothing new under the sun." The meaning is that in the category of things "under the sun," in the physical world, nothing is truly new. Everything is just a new configuration of something which has already been done. However, our sages say "under the sun nothing is new, but above the sun, beyond the limitations of the physical world, everything is new." In the morning liturgy (in the blessings preceding the Sh'ma) we refer to G-d as "The One Who renews the creation every day constantly." Behind the scenes is constant renewal. What's new? Everything!

Text Copyright © 1996 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.

And to quote Philippe de Montebello, who is referenced by the Brooklyn Museum's Will Cary (notorious creator of Brooklyn's 1st Fans) in a comment on Nina's post.

But in attempting to answer the question "why should we care?" [about museums] I'd like to suggest a final, more broadly significant lesson. It is mankind's awe-inspiring ability, time and again, to surpass itself. What this means is that no matter how bleak the times we may live in, we cannot wholly despair of the human condition.

- Philippe de Montebello,
from WSJ

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This JUST IN from Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

Please join us on Sunday May 10 at The Jewish Museum, when the exhibition They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust opens to the public at The Jewish Musem (Fifth Avenue at 92nd St, NYC), 11:00am-5:45pm. We hope you can also come on Thursday May 14 for a special public program with us at The Jewish Museum moderated by Dave Isay (StoryCorps and NPR). The members' opening is on May 5.

Mayer Kirshenblatt has made it his mission to remember the world of his childhood in living color, lest future generations know more about how Jews died than how they lived. This unique project is a blend of memoir, oral history, and visual interpretation, the culmination of a forty-year collaboration with Mayer's daughter Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. Intimate, humorous, and refreshingly candid, the project is a remarkable record -- in both words and images -- of Jewish life in a Polish town before World War II, as seen through the eyes of an inquisitive boy. Further information can be found at

Mayer Kirshenblatt is a self-taught artist living and working in Toronto. Born in Apt (Opatów in Polish) in 1916, he arrived in Canada in 1934 at the age of seventeen, having completed the seven grades of Polish public school and kheyder. In 1990, at the age of 73, he began to paint everything he could remember about his hometown and his childhood, lest people know more about how Jews died than how they lived.

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies at New York University. She is currently leading the Core Exhibition Development Team at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. They Called Me Mayer July is the culmination of their collaboration, which began in 1967, when Barbara began interviewing her father about everything he could remember about his childhood in Poland.

They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland before the Holocaust has been organized by the Judah L. Magnes Museum. The exhibition has been made possible through a grant from the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture and thanks to the generosity of Jean and Sandy Colen, Varda and Irving Rabin, and Katie and Amnon Rodan.

The presentation at The Jewish Museum is generously supported by the Weiser Family Foundation in honor of Siegfried and Paula Weiser; The Atlantic Philanthropies; the Joseph Alexander Foundation; Goldie and David Blanksteen; the Robert I. Goldman Foundation; the Koret Foundation; the Winnick Family Foundation; Amy Rubenstein; and other donors.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Flutter: The New Twitter

I Wanna Few Good Platforms

...Vook tries to address a big problem for book publishers as they expand onto digital formats. For all the hype and initial success of devices like the Kindle, they threaten to strip traditional books of much of their transportive appeal. Images on the jacket cover, inviting fonts and the satisfying feel of quality paper are all largely absent, replaced by humdrum pixels on a virtual page.

Even worse, on multipurpose reading devices like the iPhone, more immediately gratifying pastimes like video games are a click away for readers with short attention spans.

“Publishers are going to be confronted with the idea that either the words on the page have to be completely compelling on their own, or they have to figure out a way to create new sorts of subliminal draws in the new medium,” said Sara Nelson, the former editor of Publishers Weekly and a publishing industry consultant...

I was very taken by this piece in the NYTimes today by Brad Stone.

I am working on something like this for my work at my tiny little museum and we need a few good platforms, right? I got so many "tabs" going right now...

The other important thing I got my eye on is Art Babble.

It's the "baddest." And when I wrote that to one of the development team members at the Indianapolis Museum of Art [note: web site = "I'M A MUSEUM dot ORG" *love*], he wrote, "Wow! Thanks for the support. Saying "Baddest" is perhaps the most touching thing anyone has ever said about ArtBabble. Well done, Phil."

Aw. he didn't have to go that far...but it moved me. JOIN THE EVENT ON FACEBOOK.

According to the people at Art Babble, "On April 7, will be presented to the world. Humans will finally be able to Play Art Loud.

When you visit ArtBabble in a few days, you might notice something different. On April 7, we're removing the velvet ropes and making ArtBabble accessible to everyone, without an invitation... but wait, THERE'S MORE!

As always, we'll be offering you up some hot and fresh content just the way you like it- but we've got something up our sleeve. Check on April 7, for the big news."

Which Amendment Again? And WHY?!

For a land already in a bad mood, shootings slap around the American psyche
By TED ANTHONY , Associated Press
April 4, 2009

...Without excusing one whit of the violent tendencies that ended with so many bullets in so many bodies from Binghamton to North Carolina to Alabama to California in the past month, isn't it time, finally, to figure out where this national dream makes a wrong turn?

"Maybe research can prevent further tragedies of this type," a man named Charles Whitman wrote one day in 1966. Then he ascended a tower at the University of Texas, looked out over the campus, pulled out a shotgun, three rifles and three pistols and killed 16 people.

Forty-three years and countless reams of research and lost loved ones later, we have not figured it out. Today, the American Civic Association in Binghamton says so. The Pittsburgh Police Department says so. The vulnerable people at the Pinelake Health and Rehab Center in Carthage, N.C., say so.

Of Jiverly Wong, Binghamton police Chief Joseph Zikuski had this to say Saturday: "He must have been a coward." Perhaps. But that's the beginning of an answer, not the end of one. On Friday, the federal government announced that 663,000 Americans lost their jobs in March. What's truly unsettling in America's new era of gloom and dead ends is wondering how many of those 663,000 might be deeply, irrevocably angry about it — and might have a gun.

Because the American tragedies that haven't happened yet are the most terrifying ones of all.

James G Leventhal Blog Loveitallabove