Harnessing The Power Of Us

“Call it the Age of Peer Production. From Amazon.com to MySpace to craigslist, the most successful Web companies are building business models based on user-generated content. This is perhaps the most dramatic manifestation of the second-generation Web. The tools of production, from blogging to video-sharing, are fully democratized, and the engine for growth is the spare cycles, talent, and capacity of regular folks, who are, in aggregate, creating a distributed labor force of unprecedented scale.”

The Museum Will Be Podcast

“Thanks to podcasting, it’s becoming as easy to download a museum visit onto a portable digital audio player as it is a pop tune. And museums, realizing this is a way to reach a younger generation of potential patrons, are racing to get involved. They are making their in-house audio tours of special exhibits, as well as original programming, available on their websites for free use on iPods and other MP3 players. And art lovers can listen through their home computers as well. There’s even a newly coined term for the phenomenon – ‘artcasting’.”

Art To Help You Break The Law

“Travelling Guide is written in the style of a guide-book, but is not intended for affluent Western tourists. It is a piece of controversial art which aims to ‘subvert the language and purpose of the format’, speaking directly to Romanian travellers and illegal immigrant workers, helping them through border controls, ports and stations into Western Europe. It contains instructions on acquiring forged identity papers, fake UK national insurance numbers, includes a bar chart grading the risk factor at each crossing point, instructions on breaking into shipping containers and safety tips.”

Your TV Online – Everyone’s Doing It

New internet-only TV shows are an indication of how hot online video has become. “The inter-tube trend has been ongoing since the late ’90s, but slow connections, poor buffering and small screens hampered it from gaining a mainstream following. Now, with over two-thirds of Internet users paying for broadband connections, the inter-tube is taking off.”

Berkeley Rep’s Grand Plan

Berkeley Repertory Theatre is embarking on an ambitious project, says artistic director Tony Taccone. “The lion’s share, he says, ‘is an artistic endowment’ to fund a program for creating work, modeled, on a smaller scale, on the extensive program at England’s National Theatre. The project is designed to commission 30 to 70 plays in the next 10 years, not all of which would end up being produced by the Rep. Each would receive at least a staged reading or workshop. Some would become part of future Rep seasons, if not on one of its current stages, then in a new, 150-seat house to be developed under the endowment.”

It’s Hot – All About The Video

“The success of YouTube, which a half-year after its launch is streaming more than 50 million video clips a day, has spawned 180 video sites in the past three months alone. Visits to online video sites have increased fourfold in the past six months. Online video has become the latest evolution in consumer-generated content.”

Falling For The Picasso Hype?

Christie’s has been hyping the sale of an expensive Picasso owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber. But maybe it’s not a very good Picasso. “Lloyd Webber recently suggested to Bloomberg that his sale announcement would be ‘the biggest news in the art market in 30 years.’ Why does it matter if someone actually falls for such hype? After all, the proceeds will reportedly go to a good cause—the education of young performers. The problem is that feverish prices pose a threat to the longterm health of the art market. The acquisition of lesser works for exorbitant amounts is the art trade’s version of ‘irrational exuberance.’ It can only set the stage for the next correction.”