Confusion

This was the image that cruised the world this week with tags:
“308-8-traitors-government-upturn-vote-take-note-resignation-italian-president-one-solution-lets-move”
I am not a fan of Berlusconi, and never have been. In fact, I am convinced that he did more damage to the country in 17 years than the Democrazia Cristiana in almost 70….YET, Europe, the world, will need more than just the overthrow of powerful individuals. It needs a profound change, preached by the likes of Beppe Grillo. It needs an end to greed and the end of capitalism (as we know it.)

NaNoWriMo Kick-off

NaNoWriMo 2011

Fabulous NaNoWriMo 2011 kickoff at the Central Amsterdam Library (OBA) today.
NaNo veteran Nico Janssen sketched a bit of NaNoWriMo history for newcomers and pointed out that by last year, 2.8 billion words have been generated through the NaNoWriMo community that has grown to 200.000 writers!
The challenge is personal. It is no problem if you don’t finish or manage to get 50.000 words in by the end of the month. It’s about being productive all the time, every day, writing during the month of November with 200.000 fellow writers spread out over the globe.
Lisa Friedman introduced freewriting to the assembled NaNoWriMo wannabees. “Just Do It, Don’t Think, Outrun the Critic.”
Some of her tips on how to be productive during NaNoWriMo include “Train yourself like a dog to write on command; don’t re-read (as of yet); replace self-criticism with encouragement; forget about Facebook.”
Are we ready?
I am.

Mayor Bloomberg Speaks at La MaMa Fiftieth Anniversary Gala

Mayor Bloomberg spoke yesterday at La MaMa’s Fiftieth Anniversary Gala at the Ellen Stewart Theater on East 4th Street, the block that is now renamed “Ellen Stewart Way.”
Bloomberg talked about his first encounter in 2006 with Ellen’s driving visionary force, which made him hand over the building that was formerly called “the Annex” for one dollar (1$)!
He also announced that – at the instruction of Kate D. Levin, commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) – the city will support La MaMa with 2 million dollars for capital improvements on four facilities (the original La MaMa building, the Ellen Stewart Theater, La MaMa Galleria on 1st Street and the rehearsal studio building on 47 Great Jones Street). This not only to perpetuate La MaMa’s own activities in theater, the visual arts and education, but also to support La MaMa’s guiding light function in a “Naturally Occurring Cultural District.”
“Theater, including off-off-Broadway,” said the mayor, “is a major industry in our city. In fact, on-Broadway theaters have a quarter-billion-dollar impact on our economy every year.” And that is why he thinks investing in La MaMa is “a sound investment in the city’s future.”
The evening was full of wonderful theatrical surprises, like Estelle Parsons and John Kelly in a beautifully executed mother-and-son scene of Harvey Fierstein’s ‘Torch Song Trilogy,’ touching video messages from Harvey Keitel and Sam Shepard, who received the first-ever Ellen Stewart Award, a scene from Wallace Shawn’s zany ‘Hotel Play’ with a million characters young and old flocking to the stage including Shawn himself as the bell-boy, and a vibrant new piece by the inimitable Elizabeth Swados, a ‘La MaMa Cantata’ set to Ellen Stewart’s own words. MC’d by La MaMa old-timers Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw of Split Britches, the evening was a reconfirmation that La MaMa’s future is secured for at least another fifty years.

La MaMa 50 World Block Party Day

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, East 4th street between Bowery and Second Avenue metamorphosed into a meeting place of world culture yesterday.
Ellen Stewart died on January 13 2011, but her spirit was felt forceful as ever yesterday.
Master of Ceremonies Carmelita Tropicana brought to the stage Bill de Blasio, holding the citywide office of New York City Public Advocate, City Council member for the Lower East Side Rosie Mendez and Manhattan Community Board 3 district manager Susan Stetzer, who all spoke lovingly and with admiration of Ellen’s accomplishments.
Kathleen Hughes, Assistant Commissioner of NYC Department of Cultural Affairs had the honor of bestowing a name change for Ellen’s beloved block.
“I think Ellen Stewart convinced all of us that she was immortal. She was a friend, a booster, she could be a buster, she was radiant, she was dedicated she was visionary, she was love,” Hughes began her speech.
“Whether ringing her bell on Mount Olympus or in heaven – or both, if you’re a believer in omnipresence – she’s with us still and this simple but tangible municipal honor, a street sign, a ‘way,’ is proof that if we follow the Ellen Stewart Way, care about those around us, spur them on, inspire them, give them beauty, cause them to think deeply about meaning, and art, and thoughtfulness, then Ellen is still with us. And we are here acknowledging her and that perhaps she was an immortal.
For not only did she have the past fifty years in giving us new ways to look at things, new artists that we have come to know, all of those who thought she and La MaMa are on a course for the next fifty years as well. She set that for us. And those artists have inspired other artists to go inspire others and yet others.
What else is that if not a kind of immortality.
Thank you Ellen for showing us the way, I hope you hear our bells on Mount Olympus, or in heaven, or wherever you are on this glorious day and I hope you are ringing yours with us as well.”
Kathleen Hughes proceeded to read a Proclamation from the Office of Mayor Bloomberg:
“Fittingly, this year’s fiftieth anniversary celebration includes the rededication of East 4th Street between Second Avenue and Bowery as Ellen Stewart Way.
Her extraordinary spirit will live on here in La MaMa’s three New York theaters and throughout the world.
Whereas, as we celebrate the founder who made La MaMa great, we also look forward to the theater’s future. Our cultural scene is one that welcomes experimentation and innovation, which is what la MaMa is and always will be.
And we’re confident that La MaMa will always be counted on as a place where artists can explore and challenge themselves.”

Apple tribute logo

Apple tribute logo a Web hit | Today in Tech – Yahoo! News.

The End of Videoheads?

Today, I received an alarming message from Jack Moore, founder and director of Videoheads – since 1966!

“It looks like the end of Videoheads and their collection.
After 45 years of work, play and accumulation, Videoheads is in great danger of disappearing.
Various deals to sell our material or license it for publishing have been delayed and delayed. a sales agent we were hoping to work with had not panned out and we are 4 months behind in our rent. This week the Landlords will demand that we empty the building and vacate. The equipment will be sold and the tape collection will be thrown in garbage bins. We need to find 6000 Euros immediately (within a couple of days) or watch Videoheads go down in flames. If you know of anyone or any organization who could help to save this situation and the collection, please contact me or them or both. The 60s collection, our UNESCO material, the theater dance and performance collection as well as the Art, artists and writers tapes are just used tapes with no value to a bailiff.
Please have a think and be in touch.”

Are we going to do something about it?
Please contact Jack at:
jack.videomaster@gmail.com

http://videoheads.info/

Jack trained as an opera director, with degrees in Music and Theater, but since 1966 he has been intensely active in the area of application of video technology to support artists and performers in their work as well as stilmulating creativity in the fields of videographic and computer art.
Videoheads has an open workshop and video gallery in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Jack worked as a consulting expert for U.N.E.S.C.O. for 20 years, inspecting and developing media strategies and facilities in 61 countries.

Largely retired now, he lives in Amsterdam and keeps himself busy with restoring old video material to digital standards and indexing his 60,000 hours of programming.
He teaches and assists artists who use video in various ways, and gives ample video support for the performing arts.

The Marriage of Malasch and Moore

A new museum? A Lab? An art space, or factory – like Andy Warhol? A think tank? Or a community center?

There’s a new hotspot in town.

The new Serieuze Zaken is Amsterdam Arts Lab. This is the petri dish for creativity in Amsterdam West.
It started as a merger of meneer de wit and Serieuze Zaken and is now a marriage of sorts between gallerist extraordinaire Rob Malasch and moving image magician Jack Moore.
Moore’s vast archive straddles both sides of art and entertainment.
On opening Sunday last week, Jack treated the audience to Norman McLaren’s wistful and fistful Neighbours from 1952; a rare complete (the only in the world) recording of Grace Jones’ debut concert at the Roseland Ballroom in New York on Halloween 1978 and a stream of George Méliès’s wickedly funny shorts shot in 1896 (yes, you got that right, late-19th century film!).
Jack’s running encyclopedic commentary, providing context and piquant details make the marriage between Malasch and Moore a great success.
“Don’t forget to tell them it was a shotgun marriage,” Malasch said to me when I left his gorgeous new gallery space where the paint had barely dried.

I need a man

Norman McLaren

George Méliès

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