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The Great Big GoogleLit Debate

"If there was any point of agreement between publishers, authors and Google in a debate Thursday night over the giant Web company's program to digitize the collections of major libraries and allow users to search them online, it seemed to be this: Information does not necessarily want to be free. Rather, the parties agreed, information wants to be found. But when it comes to how information will be found and who will share in the profits, the various sides remain far apart - not surprising, perhaps, since the issue has already landed in federal court."     ..... The New York Times

Madonna University Hosts Scientific Art Exhibit

LIVONIA, MI.-The exhibit Assimilation/Adaptation: The Recent Works of Helen Bevan, will be on display in the Madonna University Art Gallery . Interested in organic life from both a scientific approach and broader human curiosity, Bevan¹s oil paintings study the science behind her artwork. Exploring many visual themes which reflect her interest in landscapes, ape portraiture, lab equipment and anatomical studies, her work evokes ideas of adaptation to new physical or emotional environments. Bevan holds a degree in environmental science and previously worked as a laboratory technician before opening the Tangent Gallery in the New Center area in 2001. To further develop her artistic talents, Bevan returned to school to complete her master of fine arts degree. She currently teaches part-time at Wayne State University and at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. Madonna University, located at I-96 and Levan Road in Livonia, offers bachelor's and associate's degrees in graphic design and fine art.

EXETER, UK.- Spacex Gallery will present Hotel Futuro - Mika Taanila. The first one-person gallery survey in the UK of recent film-works by Finnish artist Mika Taanila is presented at SPACEX. The exhibition also includes the premiere of Taanila’s new film, Optical Sound, co-commissioned by SPACEX, LUX and Kinotar. Mika Taanila studied cultural anthropology in Helsinki, video design in Lahti, and worked as a documentary filmmaker and director of music videos, as well as an artist. Reflecting this range of practice, his works are collages of archive materials, found footage of amateur films and documentary, combined with electronic music. A common theme is a fascination with science fiction, and the futuristic ideas and utopias of the recent past. There is a focus upon the technological dreams of the previous generation. In his film Futuro – A New Stance for Tomorrow (1998) Taanila explores the history of an icon of space-age design, the 100% plastic Futuro House designed by Matti Suuronen in 1968; an egg-shaped, prefabricated portable building. The film traces the short history of this structure, which symbolizes ‘the dream of the future’ of the late 1960s, examining the utopian, ‘Made-In-Finland’ vision, and also how the oil crisis put an abrupt end to the project in 1974. Today the Futuro House stands for a utopia that almost came true. The Future Is Not What It Used To Be (2002) is a portrait in film of one of the unsung pioneers of early electronic art, Finnish scientist and artist Erkki Kurenniemi. It is a film about the 1960s avant-garde in music and film, the early history of microcomputers but also the open questions of 21st century science. Taanila links the past to the present by showing excerpts of Kurenniemi’s early experimental films alongside documentation of his current project, in which he obsessively catalogues details of his everyday life so that he might be re-constructed again, in the future, after his death.

WASHINGTON, D.C.- In a 70-year career, which spanned much of the 20th century, André Kertész (1894-1985) made some of the most deceptively simple yet compelling and poetic photographs ever created. André Kertész, on view February 6 through May 15, 2005, at the National Gallery of Art, will be the first major Kertész retrospective of vintage photographs held in the United States; also, the show will include works never before exhibited or reproduced. Following its premiere in Washington, D.C., the exhibition will travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Including some of the most celebrated works in 20th-century photography--such as Chez Mondrian and Satiric Dancer, both from 1926--this exhibition of 116 photographs will feature images from all periods of Kertész's exceptionally diverse body of work: from his early photographs of his native Budapest made in the 1910s and early 1920s, to his studies of Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, and the final series of photographs he took of New York in the 1970s and 1980s, shortly before his death. "André Kertész was a man of immense talent. Throughout his life he made photographs that are infused with a haunting poetry and quiet authority few other photographers of his time--or any other--could rival," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "We are grateful to the lenders and the funders that have made this important retrospective possible."

MADRID, SPAIN.- The Centro de Cultura de la Villa de Madrid presents Marilyn Monroe: Life of a Legend. This is the biggest ever exhibition devoted to the life of the ultimate screen icon, Marilyn Monroe - Life of a Legend. Renowned for her sensuality and sexuality, Marilyn Monroe has inspired generations of artists. Showcasing more than 250 works from over 70 famous artists and renowned photographers, alongside films and memorabilia, such as the dress and jewellery worn on her first date with Joe DiMaggio and a drawing she did when she was still Norma Jeane. As a tribute to her lasting popularity this extraordinary exhibition charts every stage of the bittersweet story of Monroe's life and career. Works on display include well-known pieces by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Allan Jones, Peter Blake, Richard Avedon and Henri Cartier-Bresson, as well as previously unseen works by Conny Holthusen, Antonio de Felipe, José de Guimares and Ernesto Tatafiore. From her humble beginnings as wannabe model Norma Jeane, through her meteoric rise to international film goddess, Marilyn Monroe - Life of a Legend, captures the magic and sparkle of this beguiling beauty. This stunning exhibition chronicles the life and influence of the vivacious Marilyn Monroe and her evolution into one of the twentieth century's greatest cultural icons. The works on display provide an insight into the private persona of the on-screen sensation and capture the many facets of her remarkable character. Photographs show Marilyn emitting an almost childlike innocence, whilst new works reflect the sexual allure for which she has become famous. Through the exhibition we also become aware of the internal conflicts that plagued Marilyn's life and helped to establish her reputation as one of the most intriguing and enduring personalities of the Twentieth century. Independently curated by Thomas Levy for the Stratton Foundation, an institution dedicated to the enrichment of cultural arts, this comprehensive exhibition, which includes never before seen works has been sourced from a myriad of private collectors and European Foundations, and is the culmination of a two-year project and the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition.

HELSINKI, FINLAND.- Heli Rekula's exhibition DESERT, works from 1989-2004 highlights one of the foremost media and photographic artists in Finland. In the past years, Rekula has been very active in both Finnish and international art scene, including participation in 2001 in the main exhibition at the Venice Biennial. In 2002 Heli Rekula was awarded the prestigious Finnish Ars Fennica prize. Exhibition on two floors brings together nearly all works by Rekula to date. The exhibition presents over 60 photographs from the series Portraits, Meeting with and Erotic Artist, Pilgrimage, Landscapes and Body, as well as eight video works. "Heli Rekula belongs to that class of artists whose media, photography and video, have in recent years Rekula is not merely a master of her media, she is an interesting artist, whose works aboun in content that demands thinking also on the part of the viewer. Characteristically, Rekula's art is easy to approach on the surface whilst her topics can be very challenging", museum director TuulaKarjalainen writes in her fore word for the exhibition catalogue.

ISHOJ, DENMARK.- The Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst presents Fernand Léger. ARKEN has the great pleasure of presenting 96 works by the French national artist Fernand Léger. The exhibition provides a comprehensive introduction to Léger's art from 1905 to 1954, one year before his death. The focus of the exhibition is on Léger’s delineations of the human form in the first half of the twentieth century. He was concerned with the role of man in the modern age and fervently committed to building a better society. As an artist he felt morally bound to improve the general conditions of man through his art. Faith in the future - Therefore Léger's art reflects an optimistic faith in the future. But its themes also number many of the conflicts that have marked modern culture and significantly changed human conditions in the western world. In 1908, intent on a radical break from the Impressionist style of his early paintings, Léger destroyed the bulk of his works. He wished to be in touch with his time and therefore chose to leave behind his previous style which he found too harmonious. Instead he developed a much more contrastive idiom that reflected the hectic, dynamic city culture which was forming in the early twentieth century.

DENVER, CO.- Floating Time V2-12 Marine Blue, an interactive environment by Tatsuo Miyajima, opens on the Museum’s 5th floor on Saturday, February 5. In this video installation, the Japanese artist uses computer-controlled electronic numbers to explore the concept of time. The projected numbers count from one to nine at different rates and in different colors, and scatter randomly across a platform, the floor and even the bodies of visitors. Miyajima does not use zero because he says it represents an end, and time is never-ending. He is intrigued by the notion that time—like art—is a human invention. “Time cannot exist without human intelligence, and art cannot exist without an audience. Art and time come from people.? Floating Time will be on display through 2005. In December 2004 the Denver Art Museum commissioned Miyajima to create a site-specific artwork for the new Hamilton Building, which will open in fall 2006.

NEW YORK.- To celebrate the gift of forty-four works of contemporary art to the Museum by the financial services firm UBS, MoMA presents Contemporary Voices: Works from The UBS Art Collection. Renowned for its holdings of work by European and American artists of the last forty years, The UBS Art Collection was established in 1970 by Donald B. Marron, a longtime Trustee, former President, and current Vice Chairman of The Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition, which includes both works from the gift and additional loans from The UBS Art Collection, features paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings by fifty-one artists. It covers a broad span of works that range from abstract paintings by Willem de Kooning and Brice Marden, figurative paintings by Philip Guston and Chuck Close, and Minimalist sculpture by Dan Flavin and Donald Judd to large-scale photography by Andreas Gursky and Thomas Struth and significant works on paper by Jenny Holzer and Cy Twombly. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Organized by Ann Temkin, Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture. The exhibition and accompanying publication are made possible by UBS.

LONDON, UK.- A half-tonne sculpture made out of chopped up guns and other decommissioned weapons was unveiled at the British Museum on 2 February 2005. The ‘Tree of Life’ was commissioned by The British Museum and overseas development charity Christian Aid to coincide with the start of the Africa 2005 season of cultural events in London. spent three months creating the three-metre-high sculpture, made entirely out of weapons such as AK-47s, pistols and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. They see it as a way of using their art to promote peace. The weapons are collected by an innovative project, Transforming Arms into Tools, which exchanges guns for equipment such as sewing machines, bicycles, and building materials. One village received a tractor for collecting 500 weapons. There are still millions of arms hidden throughout Mozambique – a legacy of the 16-year-long civil war that ended in 1992. In the last nine years the project, which employs some former child soldiers, has collected and dismantled more than 600,000 weapons. Bishop Dom Dinis Sengulane is the founder Transforming Arms into Tools, which is supported by Christian Aid. He said: ‘I tell people that sleeping with a gun in your bedroom is like sleeping with a snake – one day it will turn round and bite you.’ Dr Daleep Mukarji, director of Christian Aid, said: ‘It’s amazing to see how Mozambican artists build a culture of peace through creating fascinating sculptures from dismantled killing machines. This project encourages people to exchange tools of death with tools for living.’ Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, said: ‘The Tree of Life is an extraordinary, thought-provoking sculpture which is a potent emblem of the complexities linking Africa to the rest of the world.

LONDON, UK.- The British Museum presents The Wealth of Africa, 4,000 years of money and trade, through 26 June 2005. This exhibition examines the continent of Africa through its currency, from raffia cloth to cowrie shells from copper ingots to coins. Beginning with the use of weighed metal in ancient Egypt, and Africa’s earliest coins in Cyrenaica (modern-day Libya) in the sixth century BC, the exhibition reveals Africa’s power and influence before the arrival of European colonisers and slave traders. Links between money and identity are explored through changes to the coinage during the spread of Christianity and Islam, and the designing of currencies in the twentieth century for newly-independent African countries.

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Pause For Thought

Tolstoy on Art

"The task of art is enormous. Through the influence of real art, aided by science, guided by religion, that peaceful co-operation of man is now obtained by external means-by law courts, police, charitable institutions, factory inspection, etc.-should be obtained by man's free and joyous activity. Art should cause violence to be set aside. And it is only art that can accomplish this."