Thursday, June 26, 2008

Windpowered Dynamic Skyscrapers Oh My!

Architect David Fisher is building a moving skyscraper that generates its own electricity using built in wind turbines. It will be built in Duabi. This idea changes the whole paradym of building. Artists rock the world!!!!

Click on the title above to see another video on these new buildings.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Empire = Treasure

Empire Books is a treasure. This small, used book store in the shadows of Guilford College on W. Friendly Avenue is filled with beautiful art books, refreshingly uncensored and challenging texts, walls of paperbacks, and antique-cool books from the 20th Century. Owners Shane and Mark obviously love their collection. Many books that they take in are quickly covered in a protective clear covering. Like a Vet caring for sick kitten Shane commented "There, that's better" after covering one book I was buying today. The owners make selection like knowledgeable antique dealers cherry picking books that are small jewels whether for their content, imagery, or style. Each owner has their favorite topics. Their wall of art books is the best I have ever seen. I forever imagine that it is the complete collection of some blue chip artist or curator. Why Guilford students are not lined up to browse and buy from this treasure chest baffles me. Good for me and my semi-regular visit to look and leave with new treasures for my own collection.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I never even knew...

...did you, that our government banned certain books from being printed in the United States? Words without Borders has compiled the best of writing from places our government would prefer we did not think of as harboring humans. Here is a lesson plan for teachers. Buy it here.

"Not knowing what the rest of the world is thinking and writing is both dangerous and boring." -Alane Mason, Editor

Thursday, June 5, 2008

James Carroll's Constantine's Sword

You may have heard about this documentary like I did, on NPR today. If not, take a moment to listen to this trailer and visit the Web site. Carroll's book by the same name has been made into a documentary by Oren Jacoby that traces the roots of religious violence to Christians' hatred of the Jews. I had been a Lutheran for many years before I learned of Martin Luther's rantings against the Jews. A truth never mentioned in my congregational church until I brought it up. I look forward to seeing this documentary- if it comes to my community. Right now you have to be in New York or LA. The rest of use can catch the DVD if nothing else.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sister Wendy: The Heart of the Value of Art

"We know great art by its effect on us. If we are prepared to look without preconceptions, without defenses, without haste, then art will change us." - Sister Wendy Beckett

Before you skim over this blog entry give me a moment to explain; this video interview of Sister Wendy goes way beyond the expected to the heart of the value of art. I know some of you may not have a spiritual based world view, and may find the first two parts hard to take, if so skip to Part 3. I recommend watching the whole series posted on You Tube; 1 through 6. It gets better and better as Bill Moyers carefully listens to Sister Wendy and gives her room to unfold her truest thoughts about art. It's a sacred experience.

When I show it to students I ask them to start paying close attention at Part 3 and usually stop at Part 4 - attention spans are short late at night and in those hard seats, But Part 5 and 6 are great too. I hear the actual three hour interview was cut to one hour, the way it ends seems a little trivial but Wendy's insights into how to approach art and its importance to ALL of us has changed lives- I've seen it first hand in the eyes of my students. Take some time and watch all 6 You Tube postings. If you want to share it with your own students, buy the video on Amazon.

Although Sister Wendy would probably not agree, I believe art saves souls. Sister Wendy comes as close as anyone of our time to showing us all The Way.

Click here to watch Sister Wendy in Conversation Part 1. The other parts (1-6) will show in the box to the right on the You Tube page.

The Cats of Mirikitani

A colleague of mine at Guilford College first told me about this artist and the documentary being made about Jimmy Mirikitani, an artist in his 80's living on the streets of New York. I had forgotten about Mr. Mirikitani and this project until today when I was doing research on the phrase "Make Art, Not War." This was Mirikitani's favorite saying- not sure if he gets credit for starting it. Never-the-less, the man's life story is a testament to the consequences of our forefathers' wrong headed thinking and fear ( not be to confused with our own.) Thankfully, Mirikitani, with the help of others, was finally able to rise above what the world dished out and has left us with the gifts of his spirit and art.

Here is a link to the trailer.

And here is a link to the website where you can purchase the DVD of this work.

Thank you Linda Hattendorf for this wonderful work.