Exterior installation made from traditional Berber mudbricks (earth, water & hay) in the village of Tassoultante, 14 km from Marrakech City. The structure was realised in collaboration with 8 local masons and craftsmen as well as Dar Al-Ma’mûn artist residency.
There are thousands of abandoned big box stores sitting empty all over America, including hundreds of former Walmart stores. With each store taking up enough space for 2.5 football fields, Walmart’s use of more than 698 million square feet of land in the U.S. is one of its biggest environmental impacts. But at least one of those buildings has been transformed into something arguably much more useful: the nation’s largest library.
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In a bed of grass by Michael Mehrhoff
In a city near Erfurt Germany in a burned out and abandoned hotel this room sits quiet amongst the bustle of the busy city outside, slowly it is being reclaimed by nature and no one knows of the beauty that sits inside this abandoned building only a few feet from the sidewalk.
Video from Halcyon Theatre's panel discussion on "Dreaming a New Theatre," on Saturday, August 4, 2012. This free event was part of the Alcyone Festival 2012.
Panelists include: Danny Bernardo, Deb Clapp, Neal Dandade, Reginald Edmund, Minita Gandhi, Marc Pinate, and Elaine Romero
Last week Harvard Business Review posted an intriguing article, "Every Leader is an Artist." The basic premise is fundamentally flawed, but it's intriguing nonetheless.
O'Malley argues "leadership is an actual art, not metaphorically an art." And he follows it up saying, "While people may disagree about the quality of a given work of art, we generally know how to communicate our experience of what we've seen or heard."
Both of which strike me as problematic. While there is an art to leadership, a leader is not an artist--except for in a metaphorical sense. Unless he's using leader is an artist in the same sense as a con artist is an artist, which I don't assume he is. There are many parallels to be drawn between leaders and artists. There are also many parallels that can be drawn between great leaders and great athletes. However, would anyone say every leader is an athlete?
The second fatal flaw in O'Malley's premise is the assumption that we know how to communicate our experiences. As a whole we--artists, critics, audiences--generally are at a loss when we try to communicate our experience of what we've seen or heard, especially when faced with works that are not wholly familiar to us. That's probably a couple books in itself.
With familiar works, Shakespeare being the granddaddy of them all, it's easy. There is a massive amount of context provided for us and we can just compare pieces of each production to other productions and other parts of the cannon. As a whole, we are much better with comparison than with comprehension. When we can't simply compare and contrast, we generally lack the context, clarity, curiosity and criteria for evaluating a work.
Ok, so the basic premise of O'Malley's post is problematic. However, O'Malley suggests 12 artistic criteria for judging the art of particular leaders. This is what intrigues me about O'Malley's post. I wonder how well these criteria would function for judging the work of an artist? Obviously some tweaks would need to be made, striking the language specific to business. With a few slight modifications, it could read:
So let me suggest 12 artistic criteria for judging the work of particular artists. To appreciate their art, we should ask about its ...
Intent. Do they make an express commitment to achieve certain exceptional ends?
Focus. Do they highlight certain features of the world over others to separate the important from the trivial?
Skill. Do they demonstrate mastery or virtuosity in critical aspects of their work; do they possess a foundation for understanding people, communities, and the way work is created?
Form. Do they combine their aesthetics, structures, politics, etc. into a unified, coherent whole?
Representation. Do they convey meanings, in nonobvious and captivating ways, as opposed to giving simple directives and making straightforward declarations of fact?
Imagination. Do they make surprising and unconventional departures from the ordinary that create a new sense of awareness or understanding?
Authenticity. Do they present a stylistic distinctiveness that is an honest expression of their individuality and personal beliefs?
Engagement. Do they offer complex and challenging information that stimulates intellectual effort and imaginative contemplation?
Pleasure. Do they provide emotionally rewarding experiences that are shared among members of an audience, promoting stronger bonds and fostering personal fulfillment?
Human significance. Do they facilitate personal reflection about who one is, what is most important, what is culturally valuable, and what is possible?
Context. Do they create work that is in conversation with other practices, customs, and artists, and communicate in a style that is understandable and appropriate?
Criticism. Do they welcome discourse and evaluation from others regarding how well they have performed and the amount of appreciation they should be afforded?
What do you think? How would these criteria work as a template for evaluating artists and their works? What criteria would/do you use?
"Seven Gates of Jerusalem" is a performance that premiered on the date of the composer’s 75th birthday. Combining classical music, ballet, and animation, the concert proved to be an extraordinarily creative idea, while the two orchestras and three choirs involved in the project illustrate its sheer scale.
Initially conceived as a television production, the performance later spawned an Emmy Award-nominated musical/dance film.
I love the inteplay of classical work and current technology. More on the concept and creation can be found here.