October 2008


October 30th marks the 70th anniversary of the CBS radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ War of The Worlds, as adapted by Howard Koch and the Mercury Theatre on the Air under the direction of Orson Welles. Presented in the format of a news broadcast, the dramatization created mass panic among listeners, who accepted the description of a Martian invasion as an actual event under way.  In the controversy that ensued, Welles maintained that he had no intention of causing panic and that he had intended the dramatization as nothing more than a Halloween offering.  I am posting the entire original recording broken into three separate mp3 segments below.  Total running time is 57 minutes 36 seconds.  Each mp3 may take a few seconds to begin playing.  Please be patient.


War of the Worlds (mp3 Part I)


War of the Worlds (mp3 Part II)


War of the Worlds (mp3 Part III)

Orson Welles in the CBS Radio studio.

Orson Welles in the CBS Radio studio.

Orson Welles’ Iconic ‘War of the Worlds’

Marks 70th Anniversary

on Thursday, October 30

NEW YORK, Oct 29, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Famous Radio Broadcast Created Nationwide Panic and Helped to Establish Radio

Tomorrow marks the 70th Anniversary of “War of the Worlds,” the groundbreaking radio broadcast that terrified millions of Americans who thought that the fictional audio play was real and Martians were actually landing in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.

The original hour-long broadcast, which aired on the eve of Halloween, October 30, 1938, was part of CBS’s Mercury Theatre On the Air, directed and narrated by Orson Welles, adapted from the H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds, with the audio play written by Howard Koch (writer of Casablanca). It simulated a live news report of a Martian invasion with a series of realistic newscasts seeming to interrupt regularly scheduled programming.

According to Ron Simon, Curator of Radio and Television, Paley Center for Media: “Blurring reality and fiction so seamlessly, Orson Welles established himself as a major artist, and helped to legitimize radio as an artistic medium and major force in American culture.”

As part of the program, a fictional CBS news reporter tracks the Martians progress until he himself keels over …

“Five great machines … They rise like a line of new towers on the city’s west side … Now they’re lifting their metal hands. This is the end now. Smoke comes out … black smoke, drifting over the city. People in the streets see it now. They’re running towards the East River … thousands of them, dropping in like rats. Now the smoke’s spreading faster. It’s reached Times Square. People are trying to run away from it, but it’s no use. They’re falling like flies. Now the smoke’s crossing Sixth Avenue … Fifth Avenue … a… a hundred yards away … it’s fifty feet …”

The broadcast is said to have been heard by over 6 million people that night. According to historians, various factors contributed to the widespread reaction: Tensions were running high leading to World War II, the convincing natural delivery of the cast, long stretches of commercial free airplay and only three disclaimers during the broadcast clarifying its fictional nature. As a result, the show ignited a reaction of fear and confusion among listeners across the country. News reports cited people fleeing their homes, and police lines flooded with listeners trying to determine the validity of the Martian invasion.

The broadcast, considered one of the great moments in media history, continues to live-on through re-airings, live re-enactments and adaptations all over the world, introducing a new generation to the power of radio.

 

Hipsters

 

By Douglas Haddow

ADBUSTERS

East and West:  Issue 79

We’ve reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it’s been stripped of its subversion and originality. 

I‘m sipping a scummy pint of cloudy beer in the back of a trendy dive bar turned nightclub in the heart of the city’s heroin district. In front of me stand a gang of hippiesh grunge-punk types, who crowd around each other and collectively scoff at the smoking laws by sneaking puffs of “fuck-you,” reveling in their perceived rebellion as the haggard, staggering staff look on without the slightest concern.

The “DJ” is keystroking a selection of MP3s off his MacBook, making a mix that sounds like he took a hatchet to a collection of yesteryear billboard hits, from DMX to Dolly Parton, but mashed up with a jittery techno backbeat.

So… this is a hipster party?” I ask the girl sitting next to me. She’s wearing big dangling earrings, an American Apparel V-neck tee, non-prescription eyeglasses and an inappropriately warm wool coat.

Yeah, just look around you, 99 percent of the people here are total hipsters!”

Are you a hipster?”

Fuck no,” she says, laughing back the last of her glass before she hops off to the dance floor.

Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that have energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade of the post-war era has seen it smash social standards, riot and fight to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and civil society.

But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

***

Take a stroll down the street in any major North American or European city and you’ll be sure to see a speckle of fashion-conscious twentysomethings hanging about and sporting a number of predictable stylistic trademarks: skinny jeans, cotton spandex leggings, fixed-gear bikes, vintage flannel, fake eyeglasses and a keffiyeh – initially sported by Jewish students and Western protesters to express solidarity with Palestinians, the keffiyeh has become a completely meaningless hipster cliché fashion accessory.

The American Apparel V-neck shirt, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Parliament cigarettes are symbols and icons of working or revolutionary classes that have been appropriated by hipsterdom and drained of meaning. Ten years ago, a man wearing a plain V-neck tee and drinking a Pabst would never be accused of being a trend-follower. But in 2008, such things have become shameless clichés of a class of individuals that seek to escape their own wealth and privilege by immersing themselves in the aesthetic of the working class.

This obsession with “street-cred” reaches its apex of absurdity as hipsters have recently and wholeheartedly adopted the fixed-gear bike as the only acceptable form of transportation – only to have brakes installed on a piece of machinery that is defined by its lack thereof.

Lovers of apathy and irony, hipsters are connected through a global network of blogs and shops that push forth a global vision of fashion-informed aesthetics. Loosely associated with some form of creative output, they attend art parties, take lo-fi pictures with analog cameras, ride their bikes to night clubs and sweat it up at nouveau disco-coke parties. The hipster tends to religiously blog about their daily exploits, usually while leafing through generation-defining magazines like ViceAnother Magazine andWallpaper. This cursory and stylized lifestyle has made the hipster almost universally loathed.

These hipster zombies… are the idols of the style pages, the darlings of viral marketers and the marks of predatory real-estate agents,” wrote Christian Lorentzen in a Time Out New Yorkarticle entitled ‘Why the Hipster Must Die.’ “And they must be buried for cool to be reborn.”

With nothing to defend, uphold or even embrace, the idea of “hipsterdom” is left wide open for attack. And yet, it is this ironic lack of authenticity that has allowed hipsterdom to grow into a global phenomenon that is set to consume the very core of Western counterculture. Most critics make a point of attacking the hipster’s lack of individuality, but it is this stubborn obfuscation that distinguishes them from their predecessors, while allowing hipsterdom to easily blend in and mutate other social movements, sub-cultures and lifestyles.

***

Standing outside an art-party next to a neat row of locked-up fixed-gear bikes, I come across a couple girls who exemplify hipster homogeneity. I ask one of the girls if her being at an art party and wearing fake eyeglasses, leggings and a flannel shirt makes her a hipster.

I’m not comfortable with that term,” she replies.

Her friend adds, with just a flicker of menace in her eyes, “Yeah, I don’t know, you shouldn’t use that word, it’s just…”

 “Offensive?”

No… it’s just, well… if you don’t know why then you just shouldn’t even use it.”

Ok, so what are you girls doing tonight after this party?”

Ummm… We’re going to the after-party.”

***

Gavin McInnes, one of the founders of Vice, who recently left the magazine, is considered to be one of hipsterdom’s primary architects. But, in contrast to the majority of concerned media-types, McInnes, whose “Dos and Don’ts” commentary defined the rules of hipster fashion for over a decade, is more critical of those doing the criticizing.

I’ve always found that word [“hipster”] is used with such disdain, like it’s always used by chubby bloggers who aren’t getting laid anymore and are bored, and they’re just so mad at these young kids for going out and getting wasted and having fun and being fashionable,” he says. “I’m dubious of these hypotheses because they always smell of an agenda.”

Punks wear their tattered threads and studded leather jackets with honor, priding themselves on their innovative and cheap methods of self-expression and rebellion. B-boys and b-girls announce themselves to anyone within earshot with baggy gear and boomboxes. But it is rare, if not impossible, to find an individual who will proclaim themself a proud hipster. It’s an odd dance of self-identity – adamantly denying your existence while wearing clearly defined symbols that proclaims it.

***

He’s 17 and he lives for the scene!” a girl whispers in my ear as I sneak a photo of a young kid dancing up against a wall in a dimly lit corner of the after-party. He’s got a flipped-out, do-it-yourself haircut, skin-tight jeans, leather jacket, a vintage punk tee and some popping high tops.

Shoot me,” he demands, walking up, cigarette in mouth, striking a pose and exhaling. He hits a few different angles with a firmly unimpressed expression and then gets a bit giddy when I show him the results.

Rad, thanks,” he says, re-focusing on the music and submerging himself back into the sweaty funk of the crowd where he resumes a jittery head bobble with a little bit of a twitch.

The dance floor at a hipster party looks like it should be surrounded by quotation marks. While punk, disco and hip hop all had immersive, intimate and energetic dance styles that liberated the dancer from his/her mental states – be it the head-spinning b-boy or violent thrashings of a live punk show – the hipster has more of a joke dance. A faux shrug shuffle that mocks the very idea of dancing or, at its best, illustrates a non-committal fear of expression typified in a weird twitch/ironic twist. The dancers are too self-aware to let themselves feel any form of liberation; they shuffle along, shrugging themselves into oblivion.

For the entire article:  go to Adbusters.

 

Mother and Daughter. Image by Klaus Enrique Gerdes (2007)

Mother and Daughter. Image by Klaus Enrique Gerdes (2007)

 

Yesterday, I was looking back through some work by my previous students; and I came across this wonderful image – Mother and Daughter – by Klaus Enrique Gerdes.  Klaus was in my photography class at Parsons during the summer of 2007.  He and I spent time editing images for a submission to the 2007 Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.  Of all of his images, this was my favorite.  I later learned that the image was accepted for the exhibition.

Oct 23 Union Square Park! 6pm-7:30pm
Celebrate the History of Union Square

 

Rev. Billy at Union Square

 

Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Gospel Choir
Approaching Storm Marching Band
Labor Leaders
Historian Joshua Freeman
Walking Tours with Kevin Baker and Center for Acoustic Ecology
and a Historic Draw-a-thon where YOU imagine the future of the pavilion!
Drawing from 4pm-7pm
Walking Tours 5pm-6pm
Speakers and Music 6pm-7pm

Ten years ago Union Square Park was deisgnated a National Historic Landmark for its a role as a center of free speech and assembly!  This event is brought to you by a broad coalition of NYC groups including: NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, NY State AFL-CIO, United Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, Professor Joshua Freeman, historian, Tamiment Library/Wagner Archives, NYU, Workers Defense League, Rev. Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping, 250+ Friends of NYC Parks, NYC Park Advocates, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Historic Districts Council, Union Square Community Coalition, Gramercy Park Block Association, The “OUR” Labyrinth Project and Chelsea Midtown Democrats.

 

What This Is About

 

The historic Pavilion at Union Square must be kept public space for use by the people of New York City. The Pavilion’s priceless legacy as a platform for children and families, musicians, and progressive political activists must not be subverted by a backroom deal to turn it into a restaurant. The Union Square neighborhood is saturated with restaurants, yet New York City is starving for public space.

The First Amendment, invoked in public space, is a community’s greatest weapon against repression and exploitation. Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson and countless activists have demonstrated this at Union Square, winning the 40 hour work week and other freedoms we now take for granted. A high-end restaurant on the site of the Pavilion will have a chilling effect on the essential demonstrations and organizing that take place on the north side of the Square to this day, and will swindle the families and people of New York City out of yet another commercial-free space for community use.

We call on the City and Union Square Partnership to preserve and invest in the Pavilion as a public space for the public good, and terminate their plan to convert it into a restaurant.

 

Get involved:  Go to Rev. Billy’s website

 

Alfredo Jaar’s “Power of Words”; and images from Wendy Ewald’s “Towards a Promised Land.”

ABSTRACTIONS From “Framing and Being Framed: The Uses of Documentary Photography,” from left: Alfredo Jaar’s “Power of Words”; images from Wendy Ewald’s “Towards a Promised Land.”

 

 

October 12, 2008
THE NEW YORK TIMES
ART REVIEW

Not Quite Documentary Art

 

Despite its title — “Framing and Being Framed: The Uses of Documentary Photography” — the exhibition at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University contains many artworks that are not, strictly speaking, documentary photographs. Some of them are not even documentary in nature. They are more conceptual projects that employ photographic material ranging from snapshots of everyday life to portraits and conventional documentary imagery.

But this in no way negates the show’s powerful premise, which is to encourage viewers to think about the ways in which artists and photographers use and abuse documentary principles. Nina Felshin, the gallery’s curator, has done a terrific job assembling interesting and provocative work in this vein, the best of which invite viewers to consider issues of agency, context and interpretation in documentary-based art.

Take, for instance, Wendy Ewald’s “Towards a Promised Land” (2004-2006), a collaborative conceptual project comprising photographs, banners and sound recordings. For 30 years, the artist has put cameras in the hands of children all over the world to record their impressions of life and the world around them. The present installation documents her work with 22 children living in the English seaside town of Margate, all of whom are asylum seekers and refugees.

Ms. Ewald spent 18 months interviewing children in Margate, taking their photographs and teaching them to use a camera. Showing here are installation shots of her photographs of the children, displayed as public banners around the streets of Margate, along with the project’s 2006 book, “Towards a Promised Land.” There is also an audiotape including snippets of the children’s personal accounts of their experiences. It is quite moving.

Employing elements of self-representation, participation and collaboration, Ms. Ewald departs from standard documentary conventions in which the artist is at arm’s length from the subject. Her project is less a documentary than a kind of testimonial. The same goes for Eric Gottesman’s “Sudden Flowers,” an ongoing installation of photographs and video made in collaboration with children in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in an effort to improve the public image of Ethiopia abroad. Here the participants are openly trying to reshape an image of themselves.

Much of this work illustrates a simple point: The way in which subjects are perceived depends on the lens through which they are viewed. Emily Jacir toys with this idea in her photographs of the annual Israeli Day Parade in New York. On the one hand, several images emphasize bonds of friendship between the United States and Israel, with parade participants carrying flags from both countries and wearing T-shirts with pro-United States slogans emblazoned across them. On the other hand, other images contain nasty anti-Arab references.

Artists also complicate traditional assumptions about documentary imagery by restaging, rehearsing, or simply evoking past events for the camera. Matthew Buckingham’s “Will Someone Please Explain It to Me, I’ve Just Become a Radical” (2008), consists of 12 photographs of the interior of a building at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where in 1967 a sit-in against recruitment on the campus by Dow Chemical, manufactures of napalm, used in bombs during the Vietnam War, ended in a violent police action against the protesters. The artist invites us to project our own thoughts onto these now empty interiors.

By contrast, An-My Le is a more conventional documentary photographer, using a large format camera to create richly detailed black-and-white photographs of young American marines doing training exercises for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at a military base in the Mohave Desert in California. Her accurate and engaging rendering of simulated battlefields evokes the harsh reality of soldiering in desert conditions, but also, in a quite profound way, brings the war home.

Also bringing the past back to the present is Kota Ezawa’s “Simpson Verdict” (2002), an animated projection based on the actual courtroom footage of one of the most widely publicized legal cases in history, O.J. Simpson’s 1997 murder trial. Focusing on the emotionally-charged final minutes, as the defendant and his legal team awaited the jury verdict, the footage is simplified and abstracted to focus on Mr. Simpson’s movements and gestures. The result is a case study in body language.

“Framing and Being Framed: The
Uses of Documentary Photography,”
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Center
for the Arts, Wesleyan University, 283
Washington Terrace, Middletown, through Dec. 7. Information: (860)
685-3355 or http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.

 

 

Sunburned GSP#206, (Mojave, full day), 2008, 3 Unique 10"x8" Gelatin Silver Paper Negatives © Chris McCaw, 2008

image: Sunburned GSP#206, (Mojave, full day), 2008, 3 Unique 10"x8" Gelatin Silver Paper Negatives © Chris McCaw, 2008

 

 

CHRIS McCAW

New Photographs from the Sunburn Series

 

Opening Reception Thursday, October 16, 6PM-8PM

 

Michael Mazzeo Gallery is pleased to present Chris McCaw, New Photographs from the Sunburn Series. The artist’s first solo exhibition in New York will be on view from October 16 through November 22. A reception for the artist will be held at the gallery on Thursday, October 16, from 6PM to 8PM.

Working amidst the historically sacred and timeless landscape of the American West, Chris McCaw’s latest works in his Sunburn series reveal an intimate relationship with the primal nature of photography and an unprecedented interpretation of its usage. Each piece a necessarily unique work, these serene images transcend the established conception of the two dimensional photograph, embracing the physicality of light and inspiring awe and reverence.

Employing only the most basic elements of the medium: camera, lens and paper, McCaw documents a celestial and terrestrial landscape transformed by long exposures of the sun traversing the sky, scorching, and often burning its path completely through the photographic paper. The intense light further alters the image, paradoxically turning day into night. While recalling cosmic anomaly and prophetic revelation, each emotionally charged work remains a vivid graphic record of the rhythmic and potent forces of nature. The large-format Gelatin Silver Paper Negatives, each created in-camera, range in size from 8 x 10 inches to 20 x 24 inches.

Chris McCaw’s work has recently been acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, SFMoMA, The Philadelphia Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and The Princeton Museum. His photographs are in the collections of the George Eastman House Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Harry Ransom Center of Humanities at the University of Texas, and many corporate and private collections. He has received numerous awards, including an Alternative Exposure Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation. Born in Daly City, California, McCaw received his BFA from the Academy of Art, San Francisco. He currently lives and works in San Francisco.

 

                     For more information about the artists and their work, please contact the gallery.

Michael Mazzeo Gallery / 526 W.26 Street / Suite 209 / NYC 10001

212.741.6599 / info@michaelmazzeo.com

 

This trailer for Guy Ben Ner’s family sitcom was shot in Ikea during regular store hours.   Customers enter the living space to examine items for sale.  Sometimes the customers pay attention to the domestic family values drama being played out, while at other times they seem oblivious.

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