Atlantic Citiies, John Metcalfe, May 30, 2013
The "Little Free Library" that recently appeared in Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood would seem to have a major design issue: Get more than one person inside, and turning a page suddenly becomes a violent ballet of jousting arms and elbow pokes.
But such is the cost of cuteness, which this teeniest of media centers has in spades. The adorable object, which sits outside St. Patrick's Old Cathedral School at 32 Prince Street, looks like a big doughnut on stilts or, if you imagine it with a few flourishes, a peevish robot.
The curious reading hovel is the work of Stereotank, a design collaboration between Venezuelan architects Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente, who were responsible for last summer's bicycle-powered musical whirligig on Astor Place. The couple built the library at the invitation of the Architectural League of New York and the organizers of the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. It is one of 10 mini-libraries now scattered in the 'hoods below 8th Street, which will serve printed words to the public until they disappear in September. (See their locations on this map.)
So how wee are we talking? Well, if somebody tried to stock it with the complete Encyclopedia Britannica, it would likely pop at the seams. Avoid eating a garlicky gyro or lox-and-onion bagel before entering, because your face will be inches away from any other occupant as you leaf through the literature. Read more
Workers at cultural and heritage sites protest government cuts CBC News May 30, 2013
Some of the U.K.'s most visited cultural and tourism spots are closing their doors Thursday or Friday as part of a one-day strike to protest recent cuts.
Approximately half of the National Gallery in London, one floor of the National Portrait Gallery and the entire Tate Liverpool museum were closed to the public on Thursday — to name just a few of the high-profile sites participating.
On Friday, the strike will affect the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, according to the Public and Commercial Services Union.
Meanwhile, workers at popular heritage site Stonehenge will walk out on Sunday.
According to the PCS union, the U.K.'s largest civil service union, the industrial action is part of a three-month campaign by its members to protest government cuts to pay, pensions and jobs.
A national walkout is also planned for the end of June. CBC News
by Stephen Thomson on May 28, 2013 Georgia Straight - Vancouver painter John Ferrie argues that major real-estate developers are missing out on opportunities to support the work of smaller, local artists.
Ferrie said artists are often asked to submit proposals for art installations to be included in development projects, which can be required by the city’s zoning process.
But he claimed many of those requests are for large-scale, complex installations that can have budgets of over $100,000—factors that put them out of reach for many artists with limited resources.
“What they’re sending out is not attainable for an artist,” Ferrie told the Straight by phone. “It’s a design team that can do that kind of thing. And most artists are not a design team. But it all seems to fall under the umbrella of ‘we worked with an artist.’ It’s like, no you didn’t.”
Ferrie also complained about developers asking artists to provide artwork for free, in exchange for display space in presentation centres or condo developments.
“It’s just, you know, like, ‘Oh, we’ll show your work here and it’ll be great exposure for you,’ is kind of the key words that you get,” he said. “And it’s just like, ‘Oh, but there’s no pay.’ … Exposure doesn’t pay your rent, which is a jagged pill to swallow and I still keep a waitering job because I never know when a painting’s going to sell.”
What approach does Ferrie think developers should take?
“What I would like to see is, if in fact the City of Vancouver is saying, ‘You’ve got to work with artists,’ then go and find actual artists that are living and working in Vancouver, that can sign their work and put it on the wall and say, ‘This is what this is.’ And that’s actually working with an artist. Putting out these ridiculous proposals, you know, that are supposedly working within the artist community, is ridiculous.”
One developer who agrees with Ferrie is Payam Imani, president of Vancouver-based Imani Development.
As part of a 93-unit residential project on south Main Street, located in Ferrie’s neighbourhood, Imani commissioned the artist to create a painting of the building for $1,800. Imani is also looking to buy work from a handful of other local artists, even though he has not been mandated to do so by the city.
“We’re trying to get down to the grassroots artists,” Imani told the Straight by phone. “It’s the local, small, and not-so-business-savvy artists that we’re focusing on, to help them develop a little bit in the community.”
Ferrie’s vibrant acrylic painting is on display in the project’s sales centre on Main Street and will be installed in the development, which is expected to be finished in summer 2015.
For Ferrie, the commission may not exactly be a financial windfall, but the support makes a difference.
“Payam is a gem,” Ferrie said. “I wish that other people would follow his lead because this is the true way to work with an artist.” Georgia Straight
by Charlotte Bond and Chloe Rickard, Friday 17 May 2013 Guardian Professional
A mobile app is a digital platform – like any other stage it should hold up your art, not work against it, say the Cornish company.
Kneehigh tell stories. Based in Cornwall, we create theatre on both epic and tiny scales and tour it regionally, nationally and internationally. One of our guiding principles is based on the words of Spanish artist Joan Miró: "In order to be truly universal, you must be truly local."
In recent years we have developed our online communications and kept an eye on digital innovation. However, there has always been a feeling that what we are good at is making live theatre, and therefore digital platforms aren't really for us, artistically.
Alongside touring, we have been developing our Connections programme, which aims to "engage creatively with communities through event and adventure" and (crucially) encompasses artist development in Cornwall. So in 2010, we commissioned writer and storyteller Anna Maria Murphy to deliver a project of her choosing.
Inspired by the story of Mary Kelynak, a 84-year-old local fishwife who walked 300 miles from Cornwall to London, desperate to see a London exhibition, Anna decided that she wanted to walk the roads less travelled of Cornwall. She would invite guests to walk with her, meet people along the way, and collect stories.
The project was successful and we have extended and developed it over the past three years. In her own words, Anna "wildly exaggerates" the stories she's collected, creating narratives that are entertaining, surprising and often moving – like modern day fairy tales. Read More
Venture Beat, May 26, 2013, by Bill Clerico
Social media has created a vast amount of data and every second we add more information. Consider that in a single day we send 400 million tweets, share 985 million pieces of content on Facebook, “like” 50 million brands or organizations on Facebook, and post 40 million photos on Instagram. Many have argued that sharing so much personal info in such a public forum can leave users open to identity theft and fraud, but I’d argue that it may also help prevent it.
Companies such as Kabbage, Affirm, and WePay (my own business) have begun using social data to understand and measure risk and help save millions of dollars in fraud. Each year, fraudsters attempt to steal billions of dollars online. In today’s technology-fueled world, we can be smarter about the information we use to assess risk potential. A traditional credit score only shows a sliver of a person or business’ risk potential, but an online profile shows a more accurate personal history of verified social data.
In addition to money stolen, online fraud costs payment companies, small businesses, and consumers a lot of time and grief. All companies are vulnerable to fraud, but small businesses are particularly vulnerable because decision-making and other responsibilities are often concentrated in a few key positions. In many instances we’ve seen small business names, addresses, and IDs are easily found online and used to sign-up for fraudulent merchant accounts.
By analyzing years of social data that is difficult to fake, we can more intelligently combat ever-more-sophisticated cybercriminals. Simply put, online identity is becoming the new and improved credit score. A few reasons for this:
Extensive profiles are hard to fake
It is difficult to fake an online presence these days as social networks push users to share more information across a longer period of time. Sure, you can create a profile quickly, but with Twitter and Facebook Timeline alone, it could take fraudsters years to build a fake, yet realistic, social presence. If you also consider years of online reviews and other data, social can provide a picture of a merchant that simply looking at a website and a credit score can’t.
Social data can tell you about quality
Online social activity can provide a look into the quality of merchants. Social data analysis reveals customer reviews, who a business associates with on LinkedIn, or who is commenting on their Facebook profile — all of which can give an indication of whether a merchant is trustworthy or not. Social data allows payment companies like mine to underwrite accounts without asking initially for any private data (credit scores, social security number, etc). In fact, it gives us the ability to sign up a new merchant and understand their risk in minutes. Most businesses need to fill out pages of information simply to be allowed to accept their customers’ money. Social data allows us to cut that to a fraction of the time.
It’s cheaper and faster
Using social data is more cost-effective than running credit checks and/or social security numbers and can be done more quickly. For the vast majority of businesses, this information is enough to verify the quality and existence of the business, allowing everyone to get on with the business of serving and customers and getting paid, rather than delays in paperwork.
We’ve been using social data actively to evaluate risk in our merchant underwriting process since last year. In the past six months, we’ve stopped more than $30 million in attempted fraud. In addition to protecting our business and our customers, it makes things easier and faster. More than 40 percent of our merchants are automatically approved to accept payments without giving us private identification data, such as a social security number.
Social data is increasingly becoming a crucial tool for businesses in a number of ways. Combating fraud is one of the newest and (I’d argue) most valuable uses for this treasure trove of information. Fraudsters have become sneakier, and it’s crucial that we are one step ahead of them at all times. I think we’ll see more businesses using social data to manage risk and lower fraud rates. See website
Hyperallergic, by Allison Meier on May 24, 2013 With Detroit on the brink of declaring bankruptcy, all avenues to rescue the city from insolvency are being put on the table. One of these is the multi-billion dollar art collection held by the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum (DIA), a possibility which could be pushed for in a bankruptcy situation to cover some of the city’s billions in debt.
“I believe that the only reason the city would sell the collection would be to satisfy the creditors,” Annmarie Erickson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of DIA, told Hyperallergic.
According to the Detroit Free Press: “Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr is considering whether the multibillion-dollar collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts should be considered city assets that potentially could be sold to cover about $15 billion in debt.” Read more
The Globe and Mail, by James Adams, Friday, May. 24 2013 - The federal government is contributing $1-million over the next two years to Culture Days, the annual three-day national celebration of arts and culture that started in 2010. Paul Calandra, Conservative MP and parliamentary secretary to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, made the announcement Friday in Toronto before 250 delegates to the 2013 National Congress on Culture.
The money will go toward determining best practices in digital marketing and social media for the estimated 2,000 arts and heritage organizations falling under the Culture Days umbrella. At the same time, it will “help [these] organizations develop a more effective relationship … a sustainable rapport with the private sector,” said David Moss, Culture Days national program director. Read more
Social Times, by Debra Eckerling on May 24, 2013
Hosting a Twitter chat is an excellent way to increase your value as an expert and set yourself apart in your industry. Before launching a chat, it’s important to develop a Twitter following. Fill out your Twitter profile completely, including profile and header photo. Follow those in your industry, and tweet and retweet relevant content, and they will follow you back.
After you have a handle on your Twitter account, it’s time for the good stuff.
Here’s how to start and manage a Twitter chat.
1. Attend Twitter Chats. Learn how Twitter chats work from an attendee standpoint. Also, volunteer to be a guest – or cohost – on a peer’s Twitter chat; that will give you valuable experience.
2. Research Twitter Chats. Choose a hashtag for your chat that is relevant … and not already in use. Note what other Twitter chats are out there, especially those in your industry and demographic. Keep a list of Twitter chat schedules, so you can add yours when you are ready.
3. Plan your Twitter Chats. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, make sure your chat is at a regularly scheduled time … and is not in conflict with any other chats in your industry. Then decide the format: Will your chat be 30 or 60 minutes? Will it be Q&A? Are you going to have guests? A co-host? Set up a tentative calendar of topics and guests.
“Make sure to have a defined topic for each Twitter chat, typically something related to current trending news or hot topics in your industry,” suggests Kristine deGuzman, Digital Marketing Manager at LEWIS Pulse. “Draft a few questions in advance in order to get the discussion going and to help fill in gaps when the conversation wanes.”
4. Promote your Twitter Chat. Use all channels available: email, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can also consider using promoted posts and tweets.
“Participation is key to a successful Twitter chat,” adds deGuzman. “Create an outreach list of influencers in your industry and send them personal invitations, whether by DM or @reply, letting them know that their industry insight would be appreciated. Doing so can not only help boost the number of participants in your chat, but it can also help your organization establish long-term relationships with these influencers.”
5. Manage the Chat. During the chat, use the hashtag with all tweets. Keep an eye on it, and respond to your audience as best you can.
“Use a platform like TweetDeck or TweetChat.com,” suggests Chelsea Furlong, Creative Media Marketing. “In TweetDeck you can set up individual columns for mentions, hashtag use, retweets, etc. That will make the whole process much more manageable and help you prioritize your responses.”
“We include Q1 at the beginning of the Tweet and then put the hashtag at the end,” shares Anum Hussain, Inbound Context Expert and Social Media leader at Hubspot.“Then the expert responds with “a1″ and includes the hashtag at the end. We don’t include the moderator’s Twitter handle in every answer, but we do include specific handles if they relate directly to the question or topic at hand.”
6. Thank – and Tweet to – your Audience. Post a transcript, if you’d like. You can do a Storify or Paper.li recap and tweet it out … using your hashtag, of course.
“It’s also important when doing Twitter chats to do more than one to test the market,” recommends Hussain. “Don’t just try one and call it a day – it’s important to test, learn, and apply your lessons learned.” Social Times
The Globe and Mail, May 23, 2013 by ERIN MILLAR
Ten years ago, urban theorist Richard Florida popularized the idea that creative people are linked to economic growth in his book The Rise of the Creative Class. As his theory goes, cities with high concentrations of creatives – designers, musicians, tech workers, artists, and so on – tend to experience higher levels of economic development. But it’s not necessarily the creatives themselves who drive growth, per se; to those who accept Dr. Florida’s ideas (and he has had considerable influence on some city planners), the creative class is seen as having an indirect impact by fostering an exciting, dynamic and open culture that lends itself to innovation.
Doug Richard takes this line of reasoning a (big) step further. The former Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor-turned-adviser to the British government argues that creative types are not nonbusiness-minded layabouts who contribute to the economy only passively by making a city cool but are key figures who have the potential to push stagnant economies back into growth. If we knew what was good for us, he says, we’d support creative industries with the same enthusiasm we do science and technology.
“There is this preoccupation with technology, but we don’t do ourselves any favours when we try to build Silicon Valleys all around the world,” Mr. Richard said. “At what point do we run out of the desire to consume creativity? Never. We will never want less music or great television programming.”
The presence of vibrant creative industries in Britain was one reason that Mr. Richard relocated there in 2001 after a career in California that included founding and selling two technology startups. “London is home to some of the best design and art schools in the world. They produce so much talent, but no one was tapping that.”
He now advises the British government on innovation, mentors entrepreneurs through his educational initiatives and is an active angel investor. But his main goal these days is changing perceptions of creative industries; he believes business leaders and governments need to recognize the value of a sector that he says accounts for about $1.6 of every $15.6 that Britain exports. He calculates British creative industries generate about $108,890 every minute. Read more
Buffer Blog, Written by Leo Widrich
Our brain on stories: How our brains become more active when we tell stories We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s a novel, a movie or simply something one of our friends is explaining to us that they’ve experienced. But why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear a narrative about events?
It’s in fact quite simple. If we listen to a powerpoint presentation with boring bullet points, a certain part in the brain gets activated. Scientists call this Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And that’s it, nothing else happens.
When we are being told a story though, things change dramatically found researchers in Spain. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain, that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.
If someone tells us about how delicious certain foods were, our sensory cortex lights up, if it’s about motion, our motor cortex gets active:
“Metaphors like “The singer had a velvet voice” and “He had leathery hands” roused the sensory cortex. […] Then, the brains of participants were scanned as they read sentences like “John grasped the object” and “Pablo kicked the ball.” The scans revealed activity in the motor cortex, which coordinates the body’s movements.”
A story can put your whole brain to work. And yet, it gets better:
When we tell stories to others that have really helped us shape our thinking and way of life, we can have the same effect on them too. The brains of the person telling a story and listening to it, can synchronize, says Uri Hasson from Princeton:
“When the woman spoke English, the volunteers understood her story, and their brains synchronized. When she had activity in her insula, an emotional brain region, the listeners did too. When her frontal cortex lit up, so did theirs. By simply telling a story, the woman could plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listeners’ brains.” Read more
Canopy Arts Desk
Tammy Hampel (Isaacson)
News and information about Arts and Culture, Arts Administration, Communications, Development and Non-profit Management