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We are delighted to share with you a fascinating and beautifully illustrated dialogue between Margaret Atwood and Barry Lord on A World without Oil, featured in medium.com/matter.
It’s Not Climate Change, It’s Everything Change
TORONTO, CANADA — "Oil! Our secret god, our secret sharer, our magic wand, fulfiller of our every desire, our co-conspirator, the sine qua
non in all we do! Can’t live with it, can’t — right at this
moment — live without it. But it’s on everyone’s mind.
The Culture of A World Without Oil
TORONTO, CANADA — "Margaret Atwood’s brilliant contribution to this discussion analyzes the salient features of the climate change that we can now recognize as the inevitable outcome of the culture of consumption that oil and gas made possible. An Encyclical from Pope Francis was the most recent mainstream identification of this linkage, specifically focused on its cultural implications. As Atwood observes, my 2014 book Art& Energy: How Culture Changes (The AAM Press) demonstrates how all of our external energy sources have been accompanied by cultural transitions, from the mastery of fire and the culture of community around the hearth that it made possible to the culture of stewardship of the earth and the body that we are adopting as we switch to renewable energy."
Louvre introduces a single-price ticket
PARIS, FRANCE — "Over the past eighteen months, the Louvre has been implementing a new strategy to promote a more comprehensive and cohesive cultural offering, and in particular to create stronger links between temporary exhibitions and permanent collections. In line with this strategy, the Paris museum has adopted a simplified price list, already in use in a number of national and international museums, with a single admission ticket giving access to collections and exhibitions. Free access conditions previously restricted to the permanent collections will be extended to exhibitions. The Louvre visitor profile has changed considerably over the last decade; currently, 70% of visitors are from overseas and have traveled to see the museum’s outstanding masterpieces. French visitors, meanwhile, tend to visit the temporary exhibitions and bypass the permanent collections. Eighteen months ago, the Louvre launched a project to restore the balance and forge stronger ties between the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, with the aim of developing a more comprehensive and cohesive cultural offering."
Lord Cultural Resources was part of the team of the French programming firm Pro-Développement planning the Louvre's new Islamic Gallery in the Court Visconti in the Denon wing of the historic Louvre Palace building in Paris. Moreover, Lordculture, the European office of Lord Cultural Resources, provided functional and museological planning for Louvre's branch in Lens, as well as advice on the technical commission for architect selection, which was won by Tokyo-based firm Sanaa. Our Paris firm also advised on capital cost projections for Louvre Lens.
NY | 9/11 Museum, a contemporary pantheon
NEW YORK, USA — "The September 11 Memorial Museum in New York is,
in many ways, a museum different from any other in the world.
Lord Cultural Resources provided Institutional Planning to define the concept of the September 11 Memorial Museum and plan for its programs, collections, facilities, structure and overall operations. We were also on the design team of the Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta as museum planning consultants for the Visitor Center, and prepared a Business Plan.
Denver Art Museum relaxes its long-held ban on visitor photos
DENVER, CO, USA — "Visitors to the Denver Art Museum's show of Impressionist still life paintings may notice something else new in the galleries: People taking pictures with their phones. DAM is relaxing a long-held policy of prohibiting photography throughout its buildings.The museum understands people are connected to their smartphones and want to take pictures when they come into the museum," according to spokeswoman Shadia Lemus. "It's how today's modern society works and we're working toward embracing this culture. The change makes for a more relaxed atmosphere at the museum and it's a gift of sorts for the security staff, which has spent much of its time over the past decade admonishing amateur photographers."
Meditations on Relevance, Part 1: Overview
WORLD — "We want our museum to be relevant."
Metropolitan Museum Sets Attendance Record
NEW YORK, USA — "A record 6.3 million people visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the highest number since the institution began tracking attendance more than 40 years earlier, the museum announced Tuesday morning. The admission figures are for the fiscal year that ended on June 30. They include visitors to the Met’s 2-million-square foot main building on Fifth Avenue as well as those at the Cloisters museum and garden in upper Manhattan. Attendance was up by 1.6% compared to the previous year, when the Met had 6.2 million visitors."
British Museums may start charging an entrance fee again.
YORK, UNITED KINGDOM — "York Art Gallery will introduce a £7.50 entrance fee after the body that runs it had its council subsidy cut by 60%. That follows Brighton Museum and Art Gallery's decision to charge tourists. Museums Association president David Fleming said charging for entry was now on the agenda at many other venues that face local council funding cuts. "I'm absolutely certain that museums all over the country are considering introducing admissions fees in order to try to help plug the gaps that are appearing in their budgets," he said. But the move would only be successful in towns and cities that attract a significant number of tourists, he added."
[See also Funding cuts could spell end of free museums and galleries, The Guardian, 23 July 2015]
Educators from the Guggenheim, the Met, and MoMA Discuss Access at Museums
NEW YORK, USA — "This month marks an important milestone: the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For the education staff within the nation’s museums, it’s a moment to give thought and bring more attention to a question they consider on a daily basis: how can we provide the best possible access to everything our institution has to offer? Three educators from three prominent New York City art museums gathered recently at the Guggenheim to delve into that question and all it entails. Marie Clapot, Assistant Museum Educator, Access and Community Programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Lara Schweller, Coordinator of Community and Access Programs at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); and moderator Maya Jeffereis, Education Associate, Adult and Access Programs at the Guggenheim discussed how their respective institutions approach access."
Every Art Museum Should Launch a Pop-Up Satellite
LOS ANGELES, USA — "Everyone should be thrilled that the Underground Museum in Los Angeles is screening 7 Fragments for George Méliès. It's an animation installation by William Kentridge, a fantastic artist, but that's not the reason people should be pumped—or not the only one. No, what's so great about 7 Fragments is that it's a Museum of Contemporary Art show—featuring an artwork from the Museum of Contemporary Art collection—that’s not on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Let Carolina A. Miranda explain. In the Los Angeles Times, she details the unlikely collaboration between the Underground Museum and MOCA that has made 7 Fragments possible. MOCA is one of the most visible visual-art institutions in L.A., if not the nation. The Underground Museum, by comparison, is invisible. There isn't a city in the country that wouldn't benefit from such a program: a non-museum space for showcasing museum-collection works."
Museums' disturbing transformation: relentless commercialization
LOS ANGELES, USA — "In January, the website IfOnly.com, a San Francisco lifestyle company that organizes and sells so-called curated experiences, began to offer exclusive, one-on-one private tours of a socially connected photography collector's Georgian mansion in Pacific Heights. About a third of the collection's roughly 300 photographs had been featured as a 2012 exhibition at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. The company sales pitch touts the museum's imprimatur. The price of a 90-minute private tour: $3,500 and up. A Wall Street Journal tech writer was frank in describing the company's general marketing plan: "[You] get to do some shoulder-rubbing with the jet-setter of your choice if you cough up the dough." Art museum pedigree adds luster. So does another, far more troubling fact: The businessman-collector is also a De Young trustee. The link between the art museum and IfOnly is emblematic of a disturbing transformation, which has been unfolding over a generation: Museums are being relentlessly commercialized."
Zaha Hadid buries a museum in the peak of an Alpine mountain
ITALY — "Zaha Hadid has completed a museum for renowned climber Reinhold Messner at the top of Alpine peak Mount Kronplatz, featuring underground galleries and a viewing platform cantilevered over a valley (+ slideshow). The Messner Mountain Museum Corones is the final instalment in a series of six mountaintop museums built by Messner – the first climber to ascend all 14 mountains over 8,000 metres and to reach the summit of Mount Everest without additional oxygen. Located 2,275 metres above sea level, in the heart of the popular Kronplatz ski resort in South Tyrol, Italy, the building will exhibit objects, images and tools that tell the story of Messner's life as a mountaineer."
[See also Zaha Hadid’s MM Corones gazes at the mountains, inexhibit, July 2015]
Rogers Stirk Harbour Partners unveils design for International Spy Museum
WASHINGTON, DC — "Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has released new images of its design for a six-storey building that will house the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. The contemporary building is slated to rise in L'Enfant Plaza – a large, historic plaza encircled by commercial buildings in the city's Southwest quadrant. Renderings show an upside-down trapezoid sitting atop a single-storey base clad in glass. The roof features a two-storey glazed pavilion. Bright red columns are visible on the exterior. The colour regularly features in structures designed by the London-based architecture firm, which was founded by Richard Rogers."
Preserving Palmyra’s Architectural Legacy
PALMYRA, SYRIA — "What do the ruins of an ancient Roman city in Syria and some of the most iconic buildings in Washington and London have to do with each other? A new exhibit aims to connect US audiences with antiquities under fire in Syria's civil war. Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl named Haliphat. She was rich, but also modest and virtuous. She lived in a magnificent desert city that glowed pink when the sun set. This could be the beginning of a fairy story - except the tale is true and right now there is no happy ending in sight. Haliphat really did exist about 1,800 years ago. Her home was Palmyra, a vibrant commercial hub at the heart of the Roman Empire. Today its ancient ruins stand at the crosshairs of Syria's brutal civil war."
Iran Is Opening Up To Foreign Architects
TEHRAN, IRAN — "London-based Kamvari Architects has recently won an invited competition for a mixed use development in the heart of Tehran, Iran. The Iranian Market has remained relatively closed off for some years but with the prospect of a nuclear deal on the horizon Iran will become an exciting market to explore in the near future. The design for Zartosht, a 300,000 square-foot retail and office building in Tehran is based on local cultural contexts, like the region’s reputation for renowned fabric and textile shops, and environmentalism, particularly with respect to solar energy."
Alejandro Aravena named as director of 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale
CHILE — "Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena has been appointed as artistic director for the Venice Architecture Biennale, which will focus on the "battles to be won" to improve quality of life within the built environment. "There are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people's quality of life," said Aravena, who is based in Santiago, Chile, and is best known for his work with his firm Elemental. "This is what we would like people to come and see at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition: success stories worthy to be told and exemplary cases worthy to be shared where architecture did, is and will make a difference in those battles and frontiers," he added. The 15th annual architecture exhibition in Venice will be open to the public from 28 May to 27 November 2016 and occupy the Arsenale and Giardini venues in the east of the Italian city, as well as a number of smaller satellite spaces."
Auckland Art Gallery by Mitchell and Stout Architects features an aluminium-plated facade
NEW ZEALAND — "Green aluminium panels cover the facade of this contemporary art gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, where a ceiling shaped like a gramophone horn funnels in light from an opening in the roof (+ slideshow). The Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery by local studio Mitchell and Stout Architects is set on a sloping site in the Auckland suburb of Titirangi. The interior spaces are spread across six floors, three above ground and three partially submerged in earth. The building's facade follows the curve of an almond-shaped staircase and an angled entrance hall within, and is clad in panels of green-painted aluminium sheeting that give the appearance of weathered copper."
The New York Library distributes Wifi devices to better integrate the community.
NEW YORK, USA — "In a conversation with The Huffington Post's editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington, New York Public Library president and CEO Tony Marx spoke to the digital divide in America, where an estimated 60 million people are without personal access to Internet service, and the role of public libraries amid a changing landscape. With $1 million in funding from Google and backing from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the library began offering free Wi-Fi devices, with a goal to reach approximately 10,000 low-income families so they can access the system from home. The FCC passed last year a $5 billion plan for schools and libraries to follow suit in an effort to address the digital divide on a national scale."
The Smithsonian taps into Kickstarter's crowdfunding potential to preserve Neil Armstrong's Spacesuit.
WASHINGTON, DC — "The Apollo 11 spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore when he became the first man to step on the moon 46 years ago July 20 is deteriorating, has been out of public eye for nine years, and is about to undergo extensive conservation. So on the anniversary of that “small step for a man,” the Smithsonian Institution announced a plan of action that is, in its own way, a giant leap for funding the job with what the Institution’s first federal Kickstarter campaign. With a goal of raising $500,000 in 30 days—by offering incentives such as exclusive updates to 3D printed facsimiles of the space suit gloves—museum officials hope to be able to unveil a restored spacesuit by the time of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing four years from now, in 2019."
Text Has Been Digitally Resurrected From a Hebrew Scroll
ISRAEL — "More than four decades ago, an archaeologist discovered a scroll in the ruins of an ancient settlement built near the Dead Sea. Found inside a holy ark, the fragile document was so badly burned that the scientist decided not to risk unrolling it, lest it crumble to pieces. Kept safe in storage ever since, the Ein Gedi scroll has held on to its secrets—until now. This week a computer scientist announced that his team found a way to unroll the scroll virtually. Working off x-ray scans of the artifact, specialized software detected the layers of parchment and digitally unwound them, revealing for the first time Hebrew characters written on the scroll about 1,500 years ago."
Museums are using virtual reality to preserve the past – before it's too late
WORLD — "Cultural institutions are steeped in history and tradition, but they are also uniquely placed to take advantage of some of the latest technology. Drones, 3D printing and augmented reality apps are just some of the tools being used to construct “virtual museum” experiences for real and digital visitors. While these technologies open up new and exciting possibilities for curators, they also provoke resistance around the issues of authenticity, ownership and value. There are currently a number of projects under way that explore how historically or culturally significant sites and objects can be presented using digital means. For instance, museums around the world are investigating the possibilities offered by 3D printers to extend and further examine their collections in a form where detail can be magnified and destruction is far less consequential. Meanwhile, the EU’s Digiart project will be using drones to “capture” inaccessible cultural artefacts, before creating advanced 3D representations of them. And Cyark is creating a free online 3D library of the world’s cultural heritage sites, using a combination of lasers and computer modelling."
Dubai to print a house layer-by-layer
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — "UAE’s National Innovation Committee has unveiled plans to print an entire office building in Dubai using a 3D printer. The use of a printer to make three-dimensional objects from a digital design has been used mostly for making small models of development projects, although there are plans for robot 3-D printers to build a bridge across a canal in Amsterdam. The innovative project is the first major initiative of the 'Museum of the Future' launched in March this year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed which is scheduled to open in 2017. Dubai's one-storey prototype building, with about 185 sq m (2,000 sq ft) of floor space, will be printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot tall printer. It would then be assembled on site in a matter of weeks. The office will then serve as temporary headquarters of the ‘Museum of the Future’ and will be big enough to accommodate 16 people."
Young Designers Transform the Interiors of Mumbai’s Taxis
MUMBAI, INDIA — "With a population of over 20 million in its metropolitan area, Mumbai is one of the biggest cities in the world, and taxis are integral to its transportation. Five of the over 50,000 taxis operating in the city area were recently reupholstered with fabrics created by local emerging designers. Taxi Fabric was started by designer Sanket Avlani, and the initiative is currently funding on Kickstarter to transform another 25 taxis. Until this campaign, it’s been a self-funded project, offering a showcase for designers in a city where those opportunities are limited. As the crowdfunding page states, design “can often be taken for granted in India,” and the taxi interiors invite thousands of people to experience the impact of design in the four to five months each interior is on the streets."
New York City’s Oldest Public Art Is Pompeii Ancient
NEW YORK, USA — "New York City has public art that’s older than the city itself. Stones carved before Manhattan was an overgrown island glimpsed in Henry Hudson’s eye are on public view, outside of museums. Although they journeyed thousands of miles across the oceans and centuries across time, these artifacts of antiquity often go overlooked."
Painting Used as a Kitchen Bulletin Board Estimated to Bring $1.1 Million
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — "A painting by the important South African artist Irma Stern, donated to raise funds for the defense in the 1961 treason trial of Nelson Mandela and his fellow African National Congress detainees, has been discovered in a London kitchen, The Guardian reported. Covered in letters, postcards and bills, it was being used as a bulletin board until spotted by Hannah O’Leary from the auction house Bonhams, during a routine valuation in early May. Stern, who died in 1966, painted the work, “Arab in Black,” in 1939, after a visit to Zanzibar, where she collected elaborately carved antique door cases that she later used as frames for a number of paintings. These Zanzibar-frame paintings and subjects are rare within Stern’s oeuvre, which has increased dramatically in value over the last several years. Bonhams, which will put the work on sale at its September 9 auction of South African art here, has estimated its value at 700,000 to 1 million pounds (about $1.1 million to $1.5 million)."
K11 Art Foundation Announces Centre Pompidou Partnership
PARIS, FRANCE — "Paris’s Centre Pompidou has signed a major three-year partnership agreement with K11 Art Foundation (KAF), the Hong Kong-based not-for-profit organisation that supports the development of Chinese contemporary art from greater China. Focused on research into the contemporary Chinese art scene, the partnership agreement will enable KAF to support the Centre Pompidou to further develop its research program and expertise of young contemporary Chinese artists. One of the major initiatives of the partnership will be the appointment of a Chinese curator who will “work to develop an in-depth knowledge of the different movements as well as identifying outstanding young talented artists from Greater China,” according to KAF. Adrian Cheng, Founder of KAF, said that KAF is delighted to join forces with Centre Pompidou to enable the institution to further expand its expertise in this area. “It is vital to continue to identify and show outstanding new talent,” said Cheng."
German culture minister defends controversial art law
GERMANY — "Germany is planning to strictly regulate the international sale of art and artifacts deemed of significant cultural value. German Culture Minister Monika Grütters stands behind the draft cultural protection act, despite hefty criticism from the art world. The proposed legislation aims to scrutinize the sale of any artworks or artifacts valued at more than 150,000 euro ($164,000) and older the 50 years, intending to both stem the flow of the illegal sale of antiques and keep works in Germany which are considered "national treasures." While many in the art world agree the sale of illegal antiques needs to be better regulated - specifically in the wake of Islamic State's plundering of historic sites across the Middle East - they also insist the collateral impact on the wider German art market will be detrimental."
Sixth Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art and Culture this winter
QATAR — "Qatar is all set to witness an enlightening conclave of epic proportions this winter. The Sixth Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art and Culture, which will be held from November 7 to November 9 will feature the choicest of stalwarts from the art and culture sphere. This year’s symposium, titled By the Pen and What They Write: Writing in Islamic Art and Culture, will feature “original presentations by leading art historians, curators, conservators and writers on the role of writing in Islamic art, covering topics such as early Islamic inscriptions, calligraphy and the relationship between text and image.” The symposium will close on a high as noted contemporary calligrapher Nasser al-Salem, who was shortlisted for the Jameel Prize in 2013, will demonstrate his fine skills with the pen. Al-Salem’s practice has been said to push the boundaries of the age-old Islamic art by reinventing it in non-conventional mixed media forms and by exploring its conceptual potential. A keynote address given by Sheila S Blair titled Writing as Signifier of Islam will open the grand event on the evening of November 7 at the Al Rayyan Theater in Souq Waqif. Presentations on November 8 and 9 will take place at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)."
Dying art by Malcolm Forbes
WORLD — "In his essay "Culture and Anarchy," Matthew Arnold defines culture "as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection." Those in pursuit of human perfection—those who aim to be enriched and ennobled by art, literature, science, and philosophy—incline naturally towards what Arnold famously called "sweetness and light."
Manchester's city council approves Factory arts venue project
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM — "Plans for a £110 million arts venue in Manchester - set to make the city cultural capital of the UK "if not the world" - have been approved by the city council. The Government pledged £78 million in last year's autumn statement towards The Factory project - located at the former Granada Studios site - as part of its Northern Powerhouse initiative. A meeting of the council's executive this morning welcomed recommendations regarding the venue which is scheduled to open in July 2019. Manchester council leader Sir Richard Leese said: "This is very exciting indeed." And Councillor Rosa Battle, executive member for culture and leisure, said The Factory could make Manchester cultural capital of the UK "if not the world". The venue is set to be able to transform from a seated theatre space to a standing environment suitable for a wide range of art forms."
Why millenials may be the most valuable generation for cultural non-profits.
WORLD — "The sheer size of the millennial generation makes them a critical target audience, but data suggest that millennial visitors may actually be the best visitors. Here’s why. Millennials are the largest generation in human history. We know that they are a critical audience to engage now in order for cultural organizations to exist later. And, quite frankly, you’re probably tired of hearing about this public-service motivated, connected, social, educated, super-duper-special, hierarchy-hating, everyone-is-an-MVP bunch. (Heck, I’m a true-blue millennial and I’m right there with you!) However, all this talk about the need to engage millennials seems to still be met with an eye-roll and a “Here are even more things that we need to do for them” attitude from too many executive leaders. It seems that the size of this generation is the primary reason driving the need to engage millennials for many...and that’s an important reason."
PanAmania: Epic Arts & Culture Programme is On!
TORONTO, ON — "By now, it is pretty hard to avoid the fact that the PanAm Games are scheduled in Toronto. And you may be thinking that it won’t affect your life, other than increasing your traffic time due to the HOV lanes. But even if you have no interest in sports, there are a lot of reasons why you should be checking out what the PanAm Games have to offer. Whether it’s one of the many free photo exhibits or the abundance of live Latin music, you will be sure to find a way to connect with the 41 countries represented at the Games. A large part of Panamania, the arts & culture program component of the Toronto 2015 PanAm and Para PanAm Games, is theatre. There is a new work by Robert Lepage called “887”, an exploration of memory as it is relevant to today’s high tech world. There’s also a modern adaptation of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”and a piece about Toronto’s first African-Canadian letter carrier. The organizers have also managed to include something called Watercolour, which is a sailpast to celebrate the start of the sailing competition, curated by the Textile Museum of Canada. There’s ballet, break-dancing and urban street dancing."
Ethiopia is elected as world best tourist destination for 2015
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — "Ethiopia is selected the winner of World Best Tourist Destination for 2015 and receiver of the Favorite Cultural Destination Distinction for 2015 by the General Assembly of the European Council on Tourism and Trade(ECTT). According to the report issued on June 25, 2015, the reasons for awarding World Best Tourist Destination for 2015 Prize to Ethiopia were the excellent preservation of humanity landmarks such as the ruins of the city of Aksum, the heart of ancient Ethiopia; Fasil Ghebbi, the residence of the Ethiopian emperors during the 16th and 17th century; Harar Jugol, 82 mosques, 102 shrines, and unique interior design in the townhouses; Lalibela, holy site encompassing eleven medieval stone carved churches from the 13th century; Konso Cultural Landscape (containing 55 kilometers of stonewalled terraces and fortified settlements); Lower Valley of the Awash where humanity made his first steps and where was found the Eva of all mankind—Lucy fossil's; Lower Valley of the Omo also containing fragments pertaining to early humanity development and the fossils of Homo Gracilis. All these sites were recognized as being of world significance and registered as UNESCO World heritage monuments."
Creating Cultural Capital|