The New Breed of Chelsea Galleries

A new era is blossoming in New York’s venerable Chelsea neighborhood, as personified by a slew of new galleries owned and run by “a group of enterprising young dealers who are shaking up a corner of the New York art scene.” The youngsters have a name for themselves – the New Art Dealers Alliance – and they have a mission, as well: to provide a stage for emerging artists who wouldn’t have a prayer of being exhibited at Chelsea’s more established galleries, and to make money doing it. NADA is also a sign of the growing trend towards the reemergence of the artists’ collectives which dominated the 1960s and ’70s.

A Radical Proposal – Let’s Cut Copyright Terms Back

Long copyrights are choking creativity, and make no sense as incentives to further creativity. “The flood of free content on the internet has shown that most creators do not need incentives that stretch across generations. To reward those who can attract a paying audience, and the firms that support them, much shorter copyrights would be enough. The 14-year term of the original 18th-century British and American copyright laws, renewable once, might be a good place to start.”

Acoustics Vs. Democracy?

“Many acousticians agree that the safest way to ensure a good sound environment for orchestral music is to emulate the old, aristocratically modeled halls of 18th and 19th century Europe: a shoebox shape, with a proscenium arch and a horseshoe of ornate boxes to diffuse the sound. The current wave of concert halls, though, favors a ‘vineyard’ style, featuring terraced seats rising above the stage and arrayed around its flanks and rear. This arrangement is acoustically risky (though it has also produced wonderful results in the Philharmonie in Berlin), but socially desirable. It blurs visual borders between different sections of the house and brings each seat much closer to the stage than is possible in a traditional ‘shoebox,’ thereby creating a feeling of intimacy even in a very big room.”

The Royal Ballet’s Popular New Leader

“When Monica Mason was confirmed as head of the Royal Ballet just before Christmas her room filled so thick with flowers that, weeks later, the fragrance still lingers. Hers was a hugely popular internal appointment, a healing unguent after the rough and ready rule of the Australian Ross Stretton who lasted less than a year, leaving abruptly last September.”

Consolidators, Unlimited

Should media companies be allowed to own newspapers, radio and TV stations? The Federal Communication Commission is “studying whether decades-old media ownership restrictions are appropriate in a market altered by the growth of the Internet, satellite broadcasts and cable television. Media companies say outdated regulations restrict their ability to grow and stay competitive. Critics warn that mergers resulting from looser rules could leave a few huge companies in control of what people watch, hear and read.”

Will Broadway Continue To Employ Live Musicians?

Broadway musicians are getting ready to negotiate for a new contract. The musicians’ union says the negotiation will be about whether theatres continue to use live musicians. “They have made direct statements to me that they are or will be prepared to replace us with mechanical devices. They’re going to walk in with a proposal to eliminate minimums, and behind it will be the threat to replace us should we go on strike.”

Dreaming Of A New Lincoln Center

New York’s Lincoln Center is planning a renovation/expansion. What should the new campus achieve? “The goal is still to expose the American citizen to art and music, but the emphasis has changed. Arts institutions no longer see themselves as beneficent agents of acculturation and middle-class homogenization. Instead, they are scrambling to adapt to a crowded entertainment market and recast themselves as democratic, youthful, relevant and diverse. As Lincoln Center rebuilds, its planners are searching for ways to open it up, make it more visible, transparent and permeable.”