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Thursday, September 10, 2009: One Time Only Back-To-School Special

While I continue to compile listings for my own use, I stopped publishing an online events calendar years ago. But perhaps this one off, ad hoc effort will not only serve to introduce the new season, but might also illuminate the art world's commercial zeitgeist at a pivotal moment in the marketplace.

Despite grim forecasts of galleries closing over the summer and Chelsea becoming a ghost town, notices of 113 openings and events have thus far been received by email, regular mail, Facebook etc. for the first Thursday after Labor Day, shaping up to be a watershed evening. Since back-to-school Thursdays in previous years could also top 100 events, it seems there has not been a significant falling off. Most galleries that closed did so prior to the summer recess. The direness of the anticipated "death watch" was exaggerated, although there certainly could be additional casualties during the ensuing season.

Miles Davis: Kind of Blue, 50th Anniversary

from Slate Magazine:

Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, which was released 50 years ago today, is a nearly unique thing in music or any other creative realm: a huge hit—the best-selling jazz album of all time—and the spearhead of an artistic revolution. Everyone, even people who say they don't like jazz, likes Kind of Blue. It's cool, romantic, melancholic, and gorgeously melodic. But why do critics regard it as one of the best jazz albums ever made?

The Art Aquatic with Duke Riley

Duke Riley
Those Who Are About to Die Salute You
Naumachia - Live Roman Naval Battle
Queens Museum of Art: Launch Pad Artist-in-Residence Program
Thursday, August 13th, 6 - 9:30 pm

August 15, 2009. This event promised to adhere to historical precedents from the Roman Empire, at least as filtered through the popular imagination of Hollywood films like Ben Hur: bread and circuses; pomp and revelry; the heady Coliseum drama of thumbs up and thumbs down; the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat; reenacted maritime battles staged in a shallow reflecting pool; "death" by baguette or balloon sword, catapulted watermelon bomb and tomato projectile; an orgy of flotsam and jetsam; an outdoor food fight seasoned with the anarchic spirit of a college toga party. And the added promise that all of this estival mayhem was being done in the name of art.

The Round Heard Round the World

On July 30, President Obama bought a round of beer for Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Massachusetts police, in an attempt to heal feelings in the aftermath of the arrest and alleged racial profiling of Mr. Gates earlier this month. VP Joe Biden also attended the informal gathering around a picnic table in the Rose Garden.

Merce Cunningham, 1919 - 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009. From the New York Times:

Merce Cunningham, the visionary American choreographer who helped transform dance in the 20th-century into a major art and a major form of theater, died Sunday night at his home in Manhattan. He was 90. His death was announced by the The Cunningham Dance Foundation, which received visitors at its 55 Bethune Street studios on July 27 from 9am to 9pm.

Iran: The End of the Beginning

Cohen explains how the recent election protests have revealed the inherent contradictions in Iranian society: between an entrenched, isolationist, autocratic theocracy and a technologically savvy, inherently democratic and cosmopolitan generation that came of age since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The situation as the lines are drawn in the sand "isn't pretty", but could be the harbinger of real change in Iran.

The End of the Beginning
Published: June 23, 2009

TEHRAN — Iran’s 1979 revolution took a full year to gestate. The uprising of 2009 has now ended its first phase. But the volatility ushered in by the June 12 ballot-box putsch of Iran’s New Right is certain to endure over the coming year. The Islamic Republic has been weakened.

Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology

An article in the June 23, 2009 Wall Street Journal indicates that it's not just the repression of democracy on Tienanmen Square that's being recapitulated in the current election protests in Iran, but also the antiseptic, fully monitored experience of last summer's Olympic Games in Beijing, where an autocratic regime relied on technologies of surveillance supplied by complaint Western corporations to control the ability of their people to express dissent.

Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology
European Gear Used in Vast Effort to Monitor Communications


The Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies, one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet, allowing it to examine the content of individual online communications on a massive scale.

Interviews with technology experts in Iran and outside the country say Iranian efforts at monitoring Internet information go well beyond blocking access to Web sites or severing Internet connections.

Instead, in confronting the political turmoil that has consumed the country this past week, the Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection, which enables authorities to not only block communication but to monitor it to gather information about individuals, as well as alter it for disinformation purposes, according to these experts.

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