We’re Watching You – The Eye Project

British artist Antony Gormley travelled to China and enlisted the help of 300 villagers to create thousands of small figures with only eyes for features. “He and the villagers got stuck in to 100 tonnes of clay. He hoped for 120,000 figures but in five days 192,000 were produced.” Now they’re all arranged to fill up a room – 384,000 eyes all staring at whoever comes to see them.

Bringing Jazz To Rock

Trying to win fans, jazz tried hard to incorporate pop music into its bones. “But as each new attempt to bring jazz to rock failed loudly, a new generation of jazz musicians has quietly been bringing rock to jazz. In this reverse fusion, instead of applying rock’s rhythms and amplified dynamics to jazz forms, they’ve brought jazz sophistication and swing to rock tunes. The range of material being drawn from is as broad as pop itself.”

Top Programmer Leaves CBC

Adrian Mills, who was brought in last year to revamp the CBC’s programming, has resigned from the public broadcaster. “Mills’ departure was described by one observer as ‘reassuring,’ and it will certainly be applauded by those listeners who became disgruntled with CBC Radio’s dramatic changes under his leadership.” Mills had said his mandate was to go after a “younger, more diverse, audience. ‘Canada is changing, and society has changed, so CBC Radio needs to make sure it is as relevant to future generations as it was to previous ones.”

Why Do Artists Lean Left?

Patrick Goldstein wonders: “Why have most artists, be they poets, playwrights, painters, writers, musicians, actors or filmmakers, historically been far more involved with causes on the left than the right? The simplest explanation for this tradition of left-wing politics is that artists identify with the underdog. They tend to be disaffected outsiders and mavericks, skeptical of institutions, often uncomfortable with mainstream values. They find inspiration in change; their affection is with the dispossessed, not the ruling order.”

Art – The New (Old) Investment

“In a year when many business investments have suffered, the value of art has kept rising. Over recent decades, everyone from Madonna to the Queen Mother discovered that if you invested in a Monet, you could end up making a lot of money. Collecting art today is perhaps more widespread than it has ever been. Once the prerogative of those with inherited wealth, auction houses are enjoying a new and varied clientele, including millionaire rock musicians and actors. Professional collectors will tell you it is addictive: there is always another – better – acquisition on the next horizon. Part of the thrill is the chase.”

War As Entertainment/Reality TV

We watch war movies as entertainment in peacetime. But “with the new engagement in Iraq, however, the Pentagon and television news coverage are blurring the lines between movies and real life as never before, turning viewers into 24-hour couch voyeurs. The start of the war caused business at movie theaters to drop by 25 percent on Wednesday as people stayed home to watch the war, and snack-food sales and restaurant deliveries thrived. The opening salvos of the war had taken the place of prime-time entertainment, and television stations did their best to serve up gaudily produced coverage: the war in Iraq as the ultimate in reality television.”