Arts History Update for early October 2013

20 Sep

Arts History Update for early October 2013 by David Cummins


A federal appeals court is affirming a judge’s decision that Google overstepped its bounds by enabling its vehicles to collect emails, Internet passwords and Web surfing behavior while photographing neighborhoods for the search giant’s popular “Street View” mapping feature. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in a report Tuesday that the Google cars with cameras mounted on their roofs went far beyond listening to accessible radio communication. A Google spokesperson says “attorneys for the Internet giant are disappointed in the 9th Circuit’s decision and are considering our next steps.” Google has apologized for the snooping, promised to stop collecting the data, and said what it did was inadvertent but not illegal. (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press)

Patently, it was illegal as two levels of federal courts have said. We like to go online and view our landscapes in Google Earth. We like to travel about and use global positioning systems GPS to find our way to destinations. We don’t however, want our privacy violated as a cost of gaining those services. Nor is there any reason that it should be. What is disturbing is how casual Google and other large companies are in collecting data, both needed and un-needed. Close and vigorous regulation is essential. Heavy fines and sanctions is all that these companies understand, and will only adjust their behavior when they must.


Apple announces its new smart phones iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. The 5c is designed to be competitive world-wide, is priced at $99 with a two year activation contract, and is a 16GB device, has an A6 chip for its iOS7 operating system, a 4 inch Retina display, and an eight megapixel iSight camera. It comes in colors. It is a significant improvement over iPhone 5.

iPhone 5s is top of the line $199 with a two year activation contract, a 32GB device, has an A7 chip for its iOS7 operating system , an eight megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash, and a fingerprint scanner for the owner and only the owner, to unlock the device. Available in gold, silver or space gray.

In America and Great Britain iPhone3, 4 or 5 is the most popular smart phone while globally it’s Android and Samsung operating system phones. iPhone 5c will make a dent in the burgeoning global market for Apple, and iPhone 5s will push forward the top of the line in British and American markets.

For iOS6 users anxious about how iOS7 will work, here is a walk through at Gizmodo


Oktoberfest Beer Festivals, while cultural in Bavaria in southern Germany, are now becoming popular in America.

Leavenworth, Washington October 4-5, 11-12, 18-19

Cincinnati, Ohio Sept 20-22

Glendale, Wisconsin (10 miles north of Milwaukee, a sudsy city) September all Fridays and Saturdays

Helen, Georgia Sept 12-15, Sept 19 – October 27

Mount Angel, Oregon (40 miles south of Portland) Sept 12-15

Denver, Colorado September 27-29, Oct 4-6

San Francisco, California Sept 20-22 at Pier 48

Texas Oktoberfest Festivals include but none in Lubbock

You can make your own by visiting United Supermarkets Market Street where there is a section with a fold out empty carton for a six pack into which you can place any six bottles or cans. Try Oktoberfest styles from different breweries.

If you shop at Spec’s 6818 Slide Road, former Linens & Things location, try a 22 ounce bottle of Avery Kaiser which is an Imperial Oktoberfest or Marzen style beer $8.41

Triple J Chophouse & Brew Company [a brewpub] at Buddy Holly Avenue at 19th Street has a Marzen similar to what one might find in Munich Germany.


In June 2013 Emanuel Martinez of Morrison Colorado, the artist who painted the exterior mural in Aztlan Park in 1994, traveled back to Lubbock to lead a community restoration and re-painting effort. It was a $7,000 project funded by Bayer Crop Science.

More recently a plaque was revealed in Aztlan Park honoring the late Carlos A. Quirino, Sr, naming a part of the Jim Bertram Canyon Lakes System the Quirino Arroyo & Esplanade. Aztlan Park is in the north part of the Guadalupe district at 1st Street and Avenue K. Travel north on Buddy Holly Avenue [former Avenue H] from 4th Street and enter the southeast corner of the park at 1st Street and Avenue J.


Storytelling, Self, Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Storytelling Studies (Wayne State University Press 2013) annual subscription two issues $44 senior or student $14

Telling Stories: Language, Narrative and Social Life (2010) by Georgetown University Round table. Texas Tech Library P302.7 G48

29th Annual Texas Storytelling Festival is March 6-9, 2014 at Denton Civic Center, Denton Texas. George West Texas is the boyhood home of J. Frank Dobie 1888-1964. It’s located on US highway 281 off Interstate Highway 37 halfway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi in Live Oak County. Dobie Dichos [sayings] is an event in that hometown, this year on November 2, 2013 where storytellers and authors gather and proceeds go toward restoration of the Dobie/West Performing Arts Theatre in downtown George West. The grounds for the event are often outdoors near the old Oakville Jail now re-purposed as a B&B

Eric Strong is a Lubbock storyteller

At Texas Tech University Library there is an Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative created by English professor Warren S. Walker and his wife Barbara Walker during their many trips to Turkey and here is the website The Walkers sat around campfires after a day’s work was done, and were the only English speakers for miles around, listening to and recording for this archive, tales told by the village elders. They are translated in the Archive. Dr. Walker taught at Texas Tech from 1964 to 1986 and thereafter worked on the Archive tirelessly. He was a Paul Whitfield Horn professor from 1971 onward.

Closest storytelling guild to Lubbock is Storytellers of the High Plains led by Dr. Trudy Hanson at West Texas A&M University at Canyon phone 806-359-6103 e-mail

Society of the Muse of the Southwest is a storytelling guild in northern New Mexico. On October 5, 2013 Terry Allen and his wife Jo Harvey Allen, Santa Fe residents, will tell stories “The Bleeding Walls of Taos” at the Taos Center for the Arts 7:00 pm $20. One can expect them to use music in the telling. 


Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening is an art exhibition that is itself a train and is carried by a train across America coast to coast September 6 – 28, 2013 New York City, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis-St Paul, Kansas City, Santa Fe, Winslow, Barstow, Los Angeles, Oakland-San Francisco. A public art project, the train is itself wrapped so that it is luminous as it moves along, especially thrilling after dark. Aboard there is art, film, and music that spills out into each station stop, a ticketed event for the public.

Aaron Koblin is a data visualization artist. He boarded the train at Chicago intent on projecting a series of color bands onto the landscape using an RGB laser. He calls this extremely temporary installation Light Echoes. He takes video of the lighted landscape so this momentary art installation is best seen by viewing the video.

At Santa Fe New Mexico’s Railyard, a sold out venue, here is the lineup of performers at nearby Farmers Market Pavilion and here is the lineup of art for viewing at Railyard Plaza

Think this train station is dead? Not true. Rio Metro operates a Rail Runner train schedule from this north Santa Fe station to Belen, south of Albuquerque. Twelve stops

Even Winslow Arizona is a sell-out the food offering here is Ed Ruscha’s Cactus Omelet. La Posada Hotel & Gardens in Winslowwas built by the Santa Fe Railway in 1929 so it is a most appropriate performance and art exhibit venue. Route 66 Art Museum is located in the newly restored La Posada Railway Depot Plans for the conversion of the adjacent parking lot include: convert part to an orchard, a potager garden, and a sculpture garden with the central feature being a sky space by James Turrell, thus becoming an in-town gateway to Turrell’s Roden Crater project northwest of Winslow. Depot and plans refer back to Tina Mion and husband Allan Affeldt current owners of La Posada Hotel & Gardens, Paul Ruscha owner of El Gran Art Garage, and Ann-Mary and Dan Lutzick owners of Snowdrift Art Space. A note about Roden Crater 

Tom McGrath, Roden Crater’s project director, greeted us at the gate, from which we could barely make out a structure of some sort rising up on the other side—the closest view most people can attain, since the site itself is strictly off-limits to all but those who receive personal invitations (the art-world equivalent of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket). We followed him through the green checkpoint and up the road seeing little except raw nature, and it began to dawn on us just why James Turrell’s giant artwork, now four decades in the making, was such a monumental project: the artist was literally carving out the core of mountain, making a hollow piece of earth.

We came to an impeccable visitor lodge, and Tom gave us a tour of various drawings, memorabilia, and books on display in an attempt to provide us with the architectural vocabulary needed to understand the Crater, which Turrell has cored out to create apertures framing views of the sky above, each rigorously chosen to show show a patch of the heavens notable for either phenomenological or astrological reasons—an infinitely more complex version of one of the artist’s signature “skyspaces.”

Again, as at the Chinati Foundation, our curious crew—particularly the up-and-coming architect Tarek Shamma and the mechanical engineer-turned-investment banker Rayan Fayez—peppered our obliging guide with questions. Afterward, Tom led us down a long black corridor into the volcano that is known as the Alpha Tunnel, stopping at an aperture called the Keyhole—which provided one of the singularly most incredible snapshots our eyes had ever seen. Where do you focus your eyes? What are you exactly seeing? There’s no way to explain to yourself what is on the other end, other than to recognize its sublimity.

Tom took us through the paths, curves, loops, and rings that led from one skyspace to another, stopping us at each of them for moments of quiet contemplation. We finally emerged at the pinnacle of the center of the crater, and the astounding vista of the Arizona sky and landscape of the breathtaking Painted Desert was revealed, viewable from atop a structure inspired by the Jai Prakash Yantra astrological observatory in Jaipur. Many of us had traveled to India the previous February for another crazy group journey, and we understood the connection between Turrell and the scientist who built that observatory, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singhthese: both were men who wanted to distill and unveil the universe. Our evening ended with sunset spent at the Crater’s Eye trading stories and paying homage to the heavens and man’s indomitable power to create.

La Posada means the resting place. The hotel’s architect was Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter who was architect for The Fred Harvey Company, owner of the new hotel in 1929. She was famous for her Grand Canyon structures but this hotel was her favorite design. Here is an 8 minute 40 second video Tribute to Mary The hotel ended its run as a hotel in 1957 until the current owners’ 1997 restoration that is ongoing. Tina Mion Art Museum is inside the hotel as is the Tina Mion Art Gallery. The hotel also includes sculptures by Dan Lutzick.

Window Rock Arizona is capitol of the Navajo Nation and its huge reservation 130 miles northeast from Winslow on Interstate Highway 40 and BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] Highway 12. Hopi Third Mesa is 75 miles north from Winslow on Arizona Highway 87. The Hopi Reservation is within the Navajo Reservation.

Flagstaff is 68 miles to the west of Winslow on Interstate Highway 40 old Route 66 and has two historic hotels Weatherford Hotel (1900)  to 1929, hostel opened 1978, changed to fine dining in 1990 and became a hotel again, two stories 11 rooms and Hotel Monte Vista (1927) 4 stories 50 rooms

At Barstow California the ticketed event is off-site from the railyard. It’s a lightly used drive-in movie theatre surrounded by sagebrush.


America’s Cup Challenge by Team New Zealand against Oracle Team USA as of September 15 stands New Zealand won 7 races and Team USA won 3 races but penalties reduce that two points so it stands 7-1 against Oracle Team USA. First team to win nine points wins the Challenge and Team New Zealand is only two races away from victory. First team that has nine points wins. Next races were on September 18 and Team new Zealand won another race and the other was postponed due to high winds. Score is 8-1 New Zealand.


One person’s art is another person’s billboard, and when you get the Texas Department of Transportation doing the classification, well we’re at small remove from trouble. Prada Marfa (2005) roadside installation by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, went up and has been remarked about globally. Ashton Thornhill’s photo of it is fine art photography. Will it now have to come down because it is an illegal billboard, rather than art? Nice to have the New York Times commenting on art outside the small town of Marfa Texas in the Chihuahuan Desert.


One more Art Fair? Surely not. Yet it’s true and its location is the New York City building that housed the famous 1913 Armory Show in which Marcel Duchamp exhibited to a scandalized audience. The rest of the story is the history of modern art. 69th Regiment Armory is the building and the Fair is Downtown Armory Art Fair May 8-11, 2014 conflicting with the Frieze May 9-12, 2014.


Conversations between visionaries and artists are stimulating. Christopher Vroom is the founder of Art Space He is interested in teaching the public about the economic value of having a thriving art scene in each community. Toward that end he created a Fund that would respond to artists’ request for funds and finance them Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue

Watching Vroom’s video I couldn’t help but notice that much of what he is saying is directly pertinent to the drive to raise funds for a private performing arts center in Lubbock headed up by Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association.

The primary vehicle to achieve that public education in Lubbock is the annual Arts Festival April 10-13, 2014. A secondary vehicle is the annual invitation to visit studios of Lubbock artists and interact with artists showing their own work and willing to explain and introduce it to potential patrons. Local Color Artist Studio Tour November 9-10, 2013 Lubbock Arts Alliance sponsors both events


Vortex (2004) by Steve Teeters, an organic steel piece representing tornadic activity and that’s the Panhandle South Plains Fair buildings in the background. The annual Fair continues through September 28.


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