My interview with Benjamin Bowser on Gangster Rap and Its Social Cost was broadcast on March 3, 2013. Click below to listen through the Flash player or for the non-flash link:
About Benjamin Bowser:
Benjamin Paul Bowser (PhD, Cornell University) is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social Services and former department chair at California State University East Bay. His previous publications include The Black Middle Class, When Communities Assess their AIDS Epidemic, Against the Odds: Scholars Who Challenged Race in the Twentieth Century, and Impacts of Racism on White Americans. He has also published over fifty research journal articles and anthology chapters.
About the book, Benjamin Bowser on Gangster Rap and Its Social Cost: Exploiting Hip Hop and Using Racial Stereotypes to Entertain AmericaRap music and its gangster rap variant are now far too important and influential in American life to be ignored by the general public and research communities alike. Artists and promoters alike have made a number of questionable claims about the authenticity and impact of their music that have been taken for granted and not been critically assessed. Those who have written about from communications, music and cultural studies have provided an important but relatively fixed narrative that leaves the central claims and impacts of this entrepreneur unaddressed.
It is in this context that the author Benjamin Bowser began studying hip hop and gangster rap precisely because the influence of this movement and music on African American adolescents HIV infection risk takers. At the same time, the frequent use of the N-word by gangster rappers has become a major unaddressed issue in civil rights that has also not been studied. Furthermore, an important reason to study these unaddressed issues is to not only better understand them, but to offer solutions to the problems they pose and to improve the quality of life of all involved.
Within the rapidly growing literature on hip hop and gangster rap, Gangster Rap and Its Social Cost stands out from the rest because it provides a number of unique contributions. First, based upon a community case study, the author asserts that gangster rap has empowered white racists and, as a consequence, has reduced the quality of life and civil rights of listeners and non-listeners alike.
Second, this book goes to great length to make a serious distinction between gangster rap and hip hop. Disentangling one from the other opens the door to a more focused and critical analysis of gangster rap and provides an outline of the unmet potential of rap in hip hop.
Third, national surveys are used as evidence in the debate about the size and characteristics of the rap and hip hop listener audiences. There are some surprises here that should reframe the controversy on who listens to and buys rap music.
Fourth, there is a first generation of psychological and social scientific research on rap music that is summarized through 2011.
Finally, the problems in gangster rap are not inevitable and we do not have to live with them. They can be effectively addressed without attacking the civil liberties of gangster rappers or their corporate sponsors.
Gangster Rap and Its Social Cost is must reading for young adults, parents, those who both enjoy and dislike rap music, and students in sociology, psychology, ethnic studies, communication, music, community studies and public health.
My interview with Eddie Becton about Jazz History and Black History Month was broadcast on February 17, 2013. Click below to listen through the Flash player or for the non-flash link:
About Eddie Becton:
Eddie Becton is host of Jazz Journeys on KXLU Los Angeles 88.9 FM. He is also a professor of African-American Studies at Loyola Marymount University
My interview with Shannon Michael Cane was broadcast on February 27, 2013. Click below to listen through the Flash player or for the non-flash link:
About Printed Matter:
Printed Matter is the world”s largest non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of publications made by artists. Founded as a for-profit alternative arts space in 1976 by artists and artworkers, Printed Matter reincorporated in 1978 to become the independent non-profit organization that it is today. Originally situated in Tribeca, Printed Matter moved to SoHo in 1989 where for twelve years the book displays and artists’ projects in the large storefront windows contributed to the artistic and intellectual vibrancy of the neighborhood. In 2001 Printed Matter relocated to Chelsea, where it continued to foreground the book as an alternative venue – or artistic medium – for artists’ projects and ideas. Finally, in December of 2005 Printed Matter moved into our current storefront location in Chelsea with big windows and greatly increased display and exhibition space. Recognized for years as an essential voice in the increasingly diversified art world conversations and debates, Printed Matter is dedicated to the examination and interrogation of the changing role of artists’ publications in the landscape of contemporary art.
Printed Matter”s mission is to foster the appreciation, dissemination, and understanding of artists’ publications, which we define as books or other editioned publications conceived by artists as art works, or, more succinctly, as “artwork for the page.” Printed Matter specializes in publications produced in large, inexpensive editions and therefore does not deal in “book arts” or “book objects” which are often produced in smaller, more expensive editions due to the craft and labor involved in their fabrication.
To promote public awareness of and access to artists’ books, Printed Matter maintains a public reading room where over 15,000 titles by 6,000 international artists are available for viewing and purchase. In addition to being a wholesale and retail distribution hub for artists’ books, Printed Matter offers a free consulting service to libraries, art institutions, and art professionals involved with artists’ books throughout the world. Printed Matter presents a range of educational programs for the public from talks to student groups by staff members to in-store lectures and readings by artists, critics, and curators. These educational initiatives are complemented by our internationally recognized exhibitions program and publishing program.
More About Printed Matter
Since its founding, Printed Matter Inc. has helped to define the category of “artists’ books”, and we are committed to keeping the field – and all of its categories and definitions – vital and evolving. Printed Matter provides a context for the focused study of artists’ books and a center from which artists can distribute their work throughout the world.
In many cases, Printed Matter is the only outlet for artists whose work is not commercially viable, and oftentimes the first outlet for emerging artists who are just beginning to explore the medium. Printed Matter has always sought to provide a forum for critical engagement with the issues and discussions unique to the field of artists’ books and to forge a connection between this field and other contemporary art practices as well as with the social and political world that contains and affects all art production. Printed Matter”s programming supports the mission of the organization by deepening and broadening the public’s understanding of artists” publications and by offering individual artists, or groups of artists, greater public exposure.
Distribution of Artists’ Books
Printed Matter currently represents and distributes approximately 20,000 titles by over 6,000 artists. The selection process of titles is carried out weekly by a review committee made up of Max Schumann (Associate Director), Shannon Cane (Distribution Coordinator) and Keith Gray (Programming Assistant).
The criteria for selection is exceptionally broad, with the principal condition being that the work must be artwork conceived for the page. As well, each publication must be produced in an edition of 100 or greater and be relevant within the history of artists’ publications.
Printed Matter”s mail-order service offers people throughout the United States and around the world the opportunity to buy and collect artists” publications. Until 2003, Printed Matter produced an annual catalogue highlighting new books accepted during the year and offering a selection from the back stock as well. These days, mail order is carried out through our website, which catalogues Printed Matter”s entire inventory.
Printed Matter organizes exhibitions that contextualize artists” publications historically, aesthetically, and culturally. These exhibitions fall into three categories: works by individual artists and artists’ groups who are instrumental to the development of the medium of artists’ books, and group exhibitions that address particular issues or approaches or histories within the field.
Printed Matter’s exhibitions showcase both emerging and established artists and seek to emphasize the connections and the differences between generations of artists working in the field—and at its edges. Recent exhibitions have featured the work of Fiona Banner, Ian Hamilton Finlay, The Fugs, En/Of, General Idea, Guerilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, the Reverend Jen, Allan Kaprow, Sol LeWitt, Micah Lexier, Ligorano/Reese, Justin Lowe, LTTR, Ryan McGinness, Money for Food Press, Olaf Nicolai, Yoko Ono, Paper Rad, Michalis Pichler, Ed Ruscha, Dieter Roth, David Sandlin, Tom Sachs, Temporary Services, Sonic Youth, Peter Wegner, Josh Smith, Megawords, Werkplaats Typographie, Warja Lavater, Jimmy De Sana, Garry Neill Kennedy, Rick Myers, Jesse Hlebo, Colab, J. Morrison, among many others. (A complete list of exhibitions from 1995 to the present can be found below.)
Printed Matter organizes book launches, lectures, performances, and readings throughout the year. Recent artists to launch their publications at Printed Matter, include Vito Acconci, the Alps, Brian Belott, Black Dice, John Baldessari, Barbara Bloom, Gregg Bordowitz, Paul Chan, Devon Costello, Jen DeNike, Barbara Ess, Jason Fulford, Liam Gillick, Matthias Herrmann, Katie Holten, Chris Johanson, Eduardo Kac, Martin Kippenberger, Terence Koh, Lovett/Codagnone, John Lurie, Barry McGee, Ryan McGinley, Ryan McGinness, Slava McGutin, Linda Montano, Eileen Myles, Warren Neidich, Esta Partagas, Tristan Perich, Michalis Pichler, Jack Pierson, Richard Prince, Martha Rosler, Sam Samore, David Sandlin, Laurie Simmons, Amy Sillman, Mike Slack, Buzz Spector, Annie Sprinkle, Peter Sutherland, Nick Thurston, Richard Tuttle, John Waters, Lawrence Weiner, and Peter Wegner.
Printed Matter has revitalized its publishing efforts through its Emerging Artist Publication Series, which gives young artists the opportunity to produce a new publication.
Since its inception, this series has distinguished itself through innovative and forward-looking publications by artists such as Angelblood, Erin Cosgrove Reverend Jen, Terence Koh, J. Meejin Yoon, LTTR, Adam Shecter, John Simon, and Scott Treleaven.
Current works-in-progress include a project on the ecology of the Chelsea Highline is underway with Mark Dion, a pop-up book project with Tauba Auerbach is currently in production and due to arrive in October, and a re-print project with the Guerrilla Art Activist Group has just arrived at the store.
Printed Matter also occasionally publishes prints, multiples, and photographic portfolios as fundraising editions. In November 2004, we published Untitled/Nudes, a portfolio curated by Larry Clark that features the work of Donald Baechler, Cecily Brown, Larry Clark, Ralph Gibson, Terence Koh, Zoe Leonard, Paul McCarthy, Albert Oehlen, Thomas Ruff, and Betty Tompkins.
Other artists who have produced editions with Printed Matter in the past include Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Barbara Bloom, Sophie Calle, Francesco Clemente, Gregory Crewdson, Stan Douglas, Eric Fischl, René Green, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Dan Graham, Mona Hatoum, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, Martin Kippenberger, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, David Levinthal, The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, Jonas Mekas, Yasumasa Morimura, Claes Oldenburg, Gabriel Orozco, Jack Pierson, Richard Prince, Jason Rhoades, Faith Ringgold, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Laurie Simmons, Nancy Spero, Kiki Smith, Diana Thater, Richard Tuttle, John Waters, Carrie Mae Weems, Lawrence Weiner, and Christopher Wool.
The NY Art Book Fair
The NY Art Book Fair was initiated in 2006 by Printed Matter in an effort to re-establish New York City as a global center for artists’ books. The first annual fair, held November 17 – 19, 2006, was a runaway success that presented some 70 international exhibitors to over 6,000 people and inspired The New York Times’ Holland Cotter to declare “the NY Art Book Fair…is evidence that alternative is still vital, sexy, and free.” The Fair also featured three days of events including book launches and performances organized by Creative Time and Performa, as well as daily book signings that included Tom Sachs and John Lurie, a bookmaking workshop, and the panel discussion Can you trust an organization over 30? in relation to Printed Matter’s 30th Anniversary. In addition, the Fair featured the retrospective exhibition Replication: The Books of Sol LeWitt.
The second annual NY Art Book Fair took place from September 28 – 30, 2007, bringing in over 8,000 guests and featuring 123 exhibitors with the return of the popular Friendly Fire zone. Artists Ed Ruscha, Josephine Meckseper, and David Shrigley created new limited editions to benefit Printed Matter on the opening night. The full schedule of events—book signings, readings, bookmaking workshops, and performances throughout the Fair’s three days—included a signing by Marilyn Minter, and music performances hosted by ANP Quarterly and Lovely Daze in conjunction with new issue releases. The retrospective exhibition Re-title, Release: the Books of Martin Kippenberger, curated by Phil Aarons and AA Bronson, presented over 150 books by the artist.
The 2009 NY Art Book Fair, hosted at MoMA PS1, was a runaway success, with 205 exhibitors from 22 countries showing their publications to a record-breaking audience of 12,500—an increase of 50% over previous years in both exhibitors and audience. The three-day Fair was combined with the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference which Printed Matter organized together with the Art Libraries Society of New York: some 150 art librarians from across North America attended six sessions over two days.
The 2010 NY Art Book Fair, expanded the event yet again. Over 16,000 visitors spent four days with 280 exhibitors from 24 countries, celebrating the field of artists’ books and spirit of independent publishing. The fair hosted more than fifty programs, performances, artist talks and book signings, including another iteration of the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference, and The Classroom, a series of informal conversations between artists, workshops, readings and other artist-led events, with continuous enrollment for all fair-goers throughout the weekend. Featured artists included the collective Sumi Ink Club, Olaf Nicolai, Raquel Welch, and Marshal Weber. The fair also featured the special exhibitions “You Are Her”, a collection of more than one thousand Riot Grrl zines organized by Goteblüd (San Francisco), and “Ten Years of PPP Editions”, a retrospective of photography and book art organized by Andrew Roth (New York).
Printed Matter’s website features a fully searchable catalogue of our entire inventory as well as diverse resources on the history of artists’ publications. Archived press releases document the history of Printed Matter”s exhibitions and public programs, and commissioned essays and curated on-line exhibitions of artists” books present ideas and opinions about trends in the field. The website currently receives 600,000 visits a year, and Printed Matter distributes publications to over 40 countries throughout the world.
Since its launch in 2002, www.printedmattter.org has come to be valued as a vital educational tool and is required reading for university courses on artists’ publications and contemporary art. Any publication Printed Matter has ever carried or currently carries is accessible on the site, complete with bibliographic documentation, content description, and a color image. Printed Matter’s online catalogue now details over 20,000 titles and enables us to promote a huge range of artists to audiences who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study their work.
In February of 2007, Printed Matter added the Research Room to our website to aid students and scholars who utilize www.printedmatter.org differently than a customer visiting the site to purchase a title. The Research Room allows users to search a database of some 10,000 titles within four primary categories (Artist, Title, Publisher, and Keyword) according to 22 sub-categories, such as Book, Periodical, Posters, Emphemera, DVD, PM Edition, etc. Search results include optional images and a bibliographic overview, which can be elaborated by clicking on “more information.” Search results can also be stored and added to so that the user can create a master research document to be viewed or printed later in a session.
Printed Matter has always included essays by artists and scholars on the medium of artists’ publications in our catalogues. The website now features many of these essays in the “Critical Essays” section. Likewise, we began publishing curated lists of artists’ publications on the website. These lists bring together thematically related books and present them along with short explanatory essays.
My interview with Mark Katz, author of Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip Hop DJ was broadcast on October 21, 2012. Click below to listen through the Flash player or for the non-flash link:
About Mark Katz:
Mark Katz is Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Capturing Sound: How Technology has Changed Music and editor of the Journal of the Society for American Music. He is a violinist, a radio DJ, and an amateur turntablist.
About the book (from Oxford University Press’ website):
It’s all about the scratch in Groove Music, award-winning music historian Mark Katz’s groundbreaking book about the figure that defined hip-hop: the DJ.
Today hip-hop is a global phenomenon, and the sight and sound of DJs mixing and scratching is familiar in every corner of the world. But hip-hop was born in the streets of New York in the 1970s when a handful of teenagers started experimenting with spinning vinyl records on turntables in new ways. Although rapping has become the face of hip-hop, for nearly 40 years the DJ has proven the backbone of the culture. In Groove Music, Katz (an amateur DJ himself) delves into the fascinating world of the DJ, tracing the art of the turntable from its humble beginnings in the Bronx in the 1970s to its meteoric rise to global phenomenon today. Based on extensive interviews with practicing DJs, historical research, and his own personal experience, Katz presents a history of hip-hop from the point of view of the people who invented the genre. Here, DJs step up to discuss a wide range of topics, including the transformation of the turntable from a playback device to an instrument in its own right, the highly charged competitive DJ battles, the game-changing introduction of digital technology, and the complex politics of race and gender in the DJ scene.
Exhaustively researched and written with all the verve and energy of hip-hop itself, Groove Music will delight experienced and aspiring DJs, hip-hop fans, and all students or scholars of popular music and culture.
* Chronicles the nearly 40-year history of the hip-hop DJ in the United States
* Argues for an understanding of the hip-hop DJ as a full-fledged musician and the turntable as one of the crucial musical instruments of modern times
* Draws upon new interviews with dozens of DJs from the Bronx pioneers to the hottest new turntablists, including Afrika Bambaataa, Cash Money, GrandWizzard Theodore, Grandmixer DXT, Kid Koala, Qbert, DJ Shadow, and Rob Swift
* Comes with a companion website featuring audio and visual clips of DJs in action
“If there was one book I had to get on DJ culture, it would be this one! There are so many DJ books out there … but this one on hip-hop is my cup o’ tea! “-DJ QBert
“Groove Music is an extensive look at the DJ, the heartbeat of hip-hop culture. Mark Katz successfully documents the art form that has defined me as an artist and human being. Props to him for exposing the world to what we do with turntables.” –Rob Swift, turntablist
“Katz brings to life the vivid art and social worlds of hip-hop’s most important and understudied pioneers: the DJs.” –Tricia Rose, author of Black Noise and Hip Hop Wars
“Groove Music is an essential resource, a lucid combination of history and how-to. The
writing is excellent, the research is thorough, and Katz’s affection for the topic is contagious. It’s certainly a seminal contribution to musicology, as well as a good read for any music fan.” –Albin Zak, Professor of Music, State University of New York, Albany
“A ridiculously rich goldmine of information…as authoritative as it gets.” –DJWorx.com
“Katz’s exhaustive research and attention to detail have produced a gripping study that goes a long way towards filling the knowledge gap. Groove Music is strongly recommended to anyone with an interest in popular music and culture formations.” –Times Higher Education
Aired on October 8, 2012. Click below for Flash or non-flash audio player:
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I conducted a few interviews at Art Platform Los Angeles:
• Rachel Lee Hovnonian, Artist, on our synthetic existence. I also have live audio from her performance piece, a virtual cafe called Mud Pie.
• Laura Blereau, Director of Bitforms Gallery (NY), about Bitforms, The Kitchen, Issue Project Room and on several of their artists: Daniel Canogar, Erwin Redl, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and R. Luke DuBois.
• Jason Ramos – Director of RAID Projects (LA) and one of the curators from ARTRA Curatorial about Co-Lab, a collection of non-profit galleries and collectives. He introduces these groups and artists: Gallery Lara from (Tokyo) and Jaus Gallery (Los Angeles) and their artist Satoshi Saegusa and Mitsuko Ikeno; Weekend Gallery (Los Feliz, Los Angeles) and their artist Carlson Hatton; Durden and Ray and their artists John Flack, Emily Counts and Max Presneill; PS (Amsterdam); Tilt-Export (Portland, Oregon) with director Jenene Nagy and their artists Ben Buswell and Lauren Clay; Felt Space (Adelaide, Australia); Neter Proyectos (Mexico City) and their artists Axel Velasquez, Alejandro Garcia, Jimenez Lefer, Marcos Castro, Ramiro Chávez, Alex Volio, Mariana Magdaleno, Greta Gamboa, Carlos Olvera, and Christian Castaneda; RAID Projects (Los Angeles) and directors Jason Ramos and Max Presneill and their artists Stephen Parise (Sweden) and Tom Dunn (Australia).
• I also play a Steve Roden composition that was commissioned by XOjet that was played in a Challenger 300 jet during opening night.
My Review of Art Platform Los Angeles:
I found Art Platform Los Angeles to be just the right mix of likability balanced with novelty. It was just the right size. I was able to experience it over two days. On opening day, my simple goal was to hear the Steve Roden pieces in the Challenger 300 jet they had on site. The interior of the jet functioned like a giant speaker with every surface vibrating slightly with sound. Roden had composed four 8-minute pieces specifically for this unique surround-sound environment. I was lucky to arrive after the first wave of people and had the jet mostly to myself.
Next, I was curious to experience Rachel Lee Hovnanian’s Cafe, what she calls a “dream-awake state” performed by two actresses behind a diner counter built in one of the booths. I was pleasantly surprised by the sunniness projected by the waitresses, by the synthetic food that was served, and the commentary on our growing synthetic existence, one filled with twitter and balance bars.
I was pulled in by Bitforms Gallery out of Chelsea in New York. I watched as the Rafael Lozano-Hemmer piece drew crowds of people around an LCD “mirror” that replaced your eyes with plumes of smoke ala Saint Lucy.
On my second day, I was able to appreciate the curation of the Co-lab section of the fair and had the opportunity to meet many of the non-profits who had been given space. Jason Ramos of RAID Projects and ARTRA Curatorial gave me a walk through.
Images from the fair (click on thumbnail for full image):
Aired on September 23, 2012. Click below for Flash or non-flash audio player:
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About Adam Gross (1):
A native Angeleno, Adam Gross exceeds the expectations of his position as Executive Director of Art Platform — Los Angeles to champion the greater civic-commerce benefits the art fair can have on the Los Angeles community. “The arts are a part of a potent and personal way to provide transformative moments to the community,” says Gross “From art students to established and emerging gallerists and esteemed collectors, Los Angeles possess a range and Art Platform — Los Angeles provides access to that broad audience.” Through the presentation of special programs, the Open Platform speaker series, an exceptional selection of international galleries and non-profits, and an esteemed VIP program, Gross is at the helm of a fair that serves as a bridge between the local Los Angeles community and the national and international art worlds.
“Los Angeles possesses immense cultural diversity, from its museums and alternative art spaces to the diverse demographics of individuals who visit Los Angeles or call it home,” says Gross. “Art Platform 2012 will continue to bring the international art world to Los Angeles, and the residents of Los Angeles into the international art world.”
Prior to his Directorship of Art Platform — Los Angeles, Gross spent five years on the Development team at Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles where he established strong relationships to donors, collectors and philanthropists in his position overseeing individual giving. Extending this philanthropic spirit of patronage, Gross lives in service to the goal of working toward greater public engagement in the arts and advocating for Art Platform — Los Angeles to contribute to the recognition of Los Angeles as an international art capital. Since joining the fair in 2011, Gross has traveled the globe developing cross-national relationships with artists, galleries and fairs in an effort to bring an international focus to Art Platform — Los Angeles that reflects a depth and breadth of contemporary perspectives. Addressing this global experience, and through his current ties to the contemporary artists and galleries that comprise the local art community, Gross is able to contextualize the influence Los Angeles has on the larger art world and how the ideas of these local artists are being championed in contribution to a global discourse.
Adam Gross is the Executive Director of Art Platform—Los Angeles, the contemporary and modern art fair for Los Angeles. Prior to his Directorship, Adam was integral to the Development team at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, where he helped MOCA navigate one of the most challenging periods in its history through his work developing patrons and major gifts for the institution. Prior to his post at MOCA, Gross was a private art dealer and consultant, working with corporations and individuals on collection building and management, curating exhibitions, and supporting arts-related marketing initiatives. With undergraduate and graduate degrees in contemporary art history from UCLA, and over 15 years in the arts in Los Angeles working with galleries, auction houses, private and corporate collections, and non-profit arts organizations, Gross brings a unique local perspective to the Art Platform institute.
About Art Platform (1):
Art Platform – Los Angeles art fair demonstrates the rich and diverse cultural landscape of Southern California and underscores Los Angeles’ influential position within the contemporary art world.
Bringing together both local and international artists, dealers, collectors, museums and art enthusiasts that play important roles in the vibrant Southern California art community, Art Platform – Los Angeles emphasizes the increased recognition of greater Los Angeles as an international art capital. In pursuit of such emphasis, Art Platform – Los Angeles 2012 will both continue to provide unprecedented access to the art, galleries, institutions and collections that define the Los Angeles art scene, and to contextualize them within a broader, international framework.
Art Platform – Los Angeles will serve as a platform to encourage and deepen the dialogue between the talent of greater Los Angeles and that of the international art community around the globe.
1. from Art Platform LA press release
Aired on May 20, 2012. Click below for Flash player or non-flash audio player:
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To get involved in the political process that allocates money to the Arts and to Arts Education, sign up – for FREE – to Arts Action Fund (link–>www.artsactionfund.org) and you will be notified anytime there is legislation coming up that impacts Arts funding. There is also a tally of which representatives support the Arts.
To get more involved in this issue in the upcoming 2012 elections, you can also check out Arts Vote (link–>www.artsvote.org).
About Robert Lynch:
From the American for the Arts website:
Robert Lynch is the president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, the national organization dedicated to advancing the arts and arts education in people’s lives, schools, and communities. He was executive director of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies for 12 years, and managed the successful merger of that organization with the American Council for the Arts to form Americans for the Arts in 1996. In 2005, Mr. Lynch oversaw the merger of the Arts and Business Council, Inc. into Americans for the Arts. In the same year he also created the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and its connected political action committee to engage citizens in advocating for the arts and arts education to ensure arts-friendly public policies. With more than 30 years of experience in the arts industry, Mr. Lynch is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance arts and arts appreciation in society. Under his 25 years of leadership, the services and membership of Americans for the Arts has grown to more than 50 times its original size in 1985. He has personally reached audiences in 49 states and 12 countries, ranging from Native American tribal gatherings to the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe and the President of the United States. Mr. Lynch currently serves on the board of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, the Arts Extension Institute, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts Board. He is a member of the Executive Committee for United Voices for Education and is on the Advisory Council of the National Museum for Children in the Arts. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Mr. Lynch plays the piano, mandolin, and guitar, and lives in Washington, DC.
About Americans for the Arts:
From the Americans for the Arts website (http://www.americansforthearts.org):
Americans for the Arts’ mission is to serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.
Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. From offices in Washington, DC and New York City, we provide a rich array of programs that meet the needs of over 150,000 members and stakeholders. We are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and to creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.
What We Believe:
We work hard to realize a vision for the arts and arts education. That vision is informed by our belief in the following core values:
* The arts are fundamental to humanity and have the power to transform lives.
* Arts education develops well-rounded children and citizens.
* Artistic expression connects people from around the globe.
* The arts, broadly defined, are essential to a thriving community, creating a sense of place and fueling social and economic growth.
* In order to thrive, the arts in America—and broad access to them—need an investment of a mix of public, private and consumer resources.
What We Do:
Policy & Advocacy
We provide the tools necessary to empower people to make a difference in their communities. As the nation’s leading advocate for the arts and arts education, we work to secure increased resources for the arts and arts education at the local, state, and federal level to influence public and private policy. Our programs include:
* Arts Advocacy Day
* The National Arts Policy Roundtable, Seminar for Leadership in the Arts, and other policy convenings
* The Arts Action Fund, our 501(c)(4) organization
* The pARTnership Movement
National Arts Index
Research & Information
We champion a research-based understanding to how the arts are being used to address social, educational, and economic development issues in communities across the country. Ongoing initiatives include:
* Arts & Economic Prosperity IV
* Creative Industries
* Ready to Innovate [PDF]
* National Arts Index
We create opportunities for experienced and emerging arts leaders to learn, dialogue, and network with colleagues throughout the year. Our professional development programs include:
* The Americans for the Arts Annual Convention
* National Arts Marketing Project Conference and regional training workshops
* Specialized peer-to-peer networks such as the Arts Education Network, Emerging Leaders Network, Private Sector Network, Public Art Network and State Arts Action Network
Aired on March 25, 2012. Click below for Flash or non-flash audio player:
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About Joel Arquillos:
Joel Arquillos is the Executive Director at 826LA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Before that, he was Director of National Programs for 826 National (the umbrella organization for 826LA and its sister chapters). From 1998 to 2006, Joel taught social studies in the San Francisco Unified School District at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology.
From their website (link):
826LA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.
Our services are structured around our understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.
With this in mind, we provide after-school tutoring, evening and weekend workshops, in-school tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications.
All of our programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice.
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This information is from their website:
INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES
The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, supporting emerging filmmakers, recognizing the leadership of entertainment industry performers and business executives, and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.
Each year the Festival is held at the ArcLight Hollywood and features a rich mix of film programs designed to build and support the growing interest in the Indian entertainment industry. This includes programming that cultivates an audience for Indian films while supporting filmmakers of Indian descent in career development as they navigate the larger studio system in Hollywood. IFFLA’s creative and business programs include the newly launched IFFLA Film Fund that helps emerging filmmakers realize their feature-length narrative and non-narrative film projects; the Industry Leadership Awards created to recognize the achievements of industry executives who have contributed considerably towards the entertainment and media industry in India; the One-on-One program where industry professionals from major and independent production and distribution companies are invited to participate in meetings with the participating filmmakers; and the panel discussions with speakers from film industry professionals.
The 10th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) will take place April 10-15, 2012 at ArcLight Hollywood, the elegant, state-of-the-art facility at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood.
IFFLA showcases a combination of features, shorts and documentaries. The Festival provides programming and activities that no other film festival in Los Angeles offers and serves a community of Indian and international filmmakers that has the potential of reaching a crossover audience. IFFLA offers the Los Angeles community a unique opportunity to learn about India’s multi-faceted culture and long history of filmmaking.
BOLLYWOOD BY NIGHT
Our exciting and highly anticipated Bollywood By Night program includes late night 21+ screenings of classic, new, fresh and noteworthy Bollywood films. Chill out, have a drink and enter a world that’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced!
QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS
Directors, producers and cast are invited to present their films and share their experiences with the audiences.
IFFLA offers jury awards for Best Feature, Best Documentary and Best Short. Audience Choice Awards in the same categories give the audience the opportunity to vote for their favorite film while offering the filmmakers valuable feedback from the public.
INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP AWARDS
The IFFLA Industry Leadership Award was co-created by the leading entertainment law boutique Peter Law Group to recognize the achievements of industry executives who have had a substantial and personal impact on the creation and distribution of Indian themed content globally and have led the expansion of the entertainment and media industry in India. The annual event is a Gala Luncheon that takes place at the world famous House of Blues. The Industry Leadership Awards are celebrating their fifth year anniversary in 2012.
The 10th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) will host a series of panels at ArcLight Hollywood. The panels are a snapshot into the issues that impact Hollywood and Bolllywood, the two largest industries in the world. Past seminars included speakers from Disney, SAG, WGA, Fox Searchlight, Hyde Park Entertainment, ITVS, NFDC, and celebrities such as Anil Kapoor among others.
Industry professionals from major and independent production and distribution companies are invited to participate in one-on-one 10-minute meetings with the participating filmmakers. The objective of this program is to offer a new generation of talented filmmakers the opportunity to meet with players of the North American film industry and provide them with a unique opportunity to advance their careers.
The Opening and Closing Night Galas begin with a screening of a feature film followed by receptions that include Indian culinary delights, music and dance performances. In addition, the Festival presents Tributes and Retrospectives to acclaimed Indian filmmakers.
Decorated with a distinctly Indian influence, the IFFLA Lounge offers a wide range of information and activities. Festival attendees are able to obtain information about Indian and Los Angeles-based organizations while networking in between screenings and during daily and nightly receptions.
IFFLA RHYTHM VILLAGE
Festival and ArcLight Hollywood guests have the unique opportunity to experience free live dance and music performances at the ArcLight Courtyard throughout the 6-day Festival. Rhythm Village is celebrating it’s fifth year anniversary in 2012.
My interview with Holly Crawford is now up:
• Click here to listen to non-flash version.
I attended Capital Offense: The End(s) of Capitalism, on January 28th. Highlights of the show include Holly Crawford’s installation titled “Economic Crisis Observatory,” which included a DOW-index divination dartboard, a video with voice over from experts regarding the impact of the economic crisis on retirees, a reading table, hanging kaleidescopes, a wall with New Jersey house listings which gave median incomes for the cities whose streets are mentioned in the board game Monopoly, and a chalkboard wall of economic math. There was a performative aspect to the installation where Ms. Crawford interacted with the audience and performed calculations on the chalkboard.
I was also pleased to see two of Alex Schaffer’s bank or financial buildings-on-fire paintings. The back story is interesting. While he was working on his plein air panting, someone complained to the authorities that they felt threatened by his painting. He was visited by two police officers who questioned him and took down his information. The next week he was then visited by two detectives who also questioned his intentions to figure out if he was a potential terrorist. In an LA Times article (link), Schaffer says, “The flames symbolize bringing the system down,” he said. “Some might say that the banks are the terrorists.”
From the Capital Offenses Press Release:
Beacon Arts presents Capital Offense: The End(s) of Capitalism, curated by Jennifer Gradecki and Renée Fox, which presents a selection of artwork and writing chosen for its clarity in questioning, exposing and reflecting upon various aspects of the current global economic crisis and neoliberal global capitalism.
Capital Offense: The End(s) of Capitalism
Since the global economic crisis began in 2008, our economic situation has become all the more urgent to understand and discuss. Social unrest is on the rise as time passes and nothing changes.
Artists, intellectuals, and non-specialists alike are growing increasingly concerned with aspects of the global economic order, including: the destruction of the planet as a means to profit, the exploitation of artists and other workers as a means to economic and cultural capital, the deception of the populous (through fear tactics and disinformation) to maintain the status quo, the impact of gentrification and an unregulated housing market on affordable housing, the increasing power of corporations over people, and the effects of the recession on everyday life, to name just a few.
Artists, intellectuals, and concerned citizens of the world are engaging in various tactics to initiate social and economic change: analyzing the financial sector, illustrating the consequences of economic policies, illuminating relationships between the art world and the world of economic power, democratizing knowledge from specialized spheres, revealing the impact of the economy of fear, questioning capitalist systems of value, and organizing to find solidarity after years of atomization, again, to name a few.
As the disparity in wealth continues to grow, so does public interest in understanding and changing the social order that allowed for it. It is necessary to consider our own complicities in the impact that global capitalism is having on the world and its inhabitants.
Holly Crawford Bio:
Holly Crawford is cross media artist, behavioral scientist, economist and art historian. Her art and poetry give new meanings and draws categories themselves into question through transformative juxtapositions. She examines mass media and pop culture and it’s relationship to art. She has exhibited internationally. 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird site specific installations in Florence, Valencia, Berlin, London, New York City and Southern California. Offerings project was a participating .net project at Ars Electronica & Found Punctuation was screened at the Tate Modern in 2007. Sound Art Limo and Critical Conversations in a Limo were part of Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2007. She has written and edited books and papers that include: Attached to the Mouse, 2006 and catalogue essay, “Disney and Pop” in Once Upon a Time Walt Disney Studio; Artistic Bedfellows, edited, 2008. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Essex in Art History and Theory, B.A and M.A. in Economics and M.S. in Behavioral Science from UCLA. From 2004-2006, she was a non-clinical Fellow at NYU Medical School Psychoanalytic Center. She has taught at UCLA in the Art Department and SVA. She founded and is the director of AC Institute, a non-profit space for experimental work in NYC (Chelsea). She is President of the American Friends of the University of Essex. She was born in California and now lives in New York City.
Photos from Capital Offenses show at the Beacon Arts Building (click on image for larger):
My interview with Johnathan Bickart about the state of sculpture in Los Angeles and his eleven tips for how to make it as an artist can now be heard here:
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About Jonathan Bickart from his website:
Jonathan Bickart, Sculptor, born 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona moved to Los Angeles, California in 1985. At the age of fourteen-figure drawing, portraits and sculpture cultivated Jonathan to a level of recognized scholastic achievement. After attending several art colleges, including Art Center of Design, Jonathan worked with Venice sculptor, Robert Graham. It was at that point that Jonathan committed exclusively to figurative bronze sculpture as a life long pursuit.
Bickart’s figurative bronze sculptures hold an enigmatic impression, both surreal and futuristic. His philosophy is based on random surreal experiences. “The indefinable moments in the human condition provide more imagery than bourgeois poses.”
Asexuality, apathy, anxiety are 20th century images. “I try to incorporate those symbolically with figurative surrealism through optical illusion, distortion, and a expressionist style.” Bickart attempts to fuse our subconscious visuals with our aesthetic art sensibilities. “My work is often mistaken as being dark or sinister, yet I don’t view those parts (surrealism and alienation) as being negative, it’s just a description of the unusual sides of life that aren’t traditionally portrayed in art, which I find just as enjoyable as the beautiful.
In addition to surrealism, Bickart’s work includes the use of high-tech futuristic materials, such as graphite, hair, neon and lasers. His inspirations come from Gustav Vigelands, Houdon, Zuniga, Robert Graham, Francis Bacon, and Messerschmidt.
Jonathan Bickart headed the sculpture department at the Brentwood Art Center for fifteen years prior to opening his own SCULPTURE STUDIO in Santa Monica, California. Bickart’s commissions include many notable portraits, including a bust of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as monumental bronze sculptures. Bickart completed a 14-foot Centennial Statue of Colonel Griffith Jenkins Griffith on behalf of the Griffith Family Trust, which was installed at the entrance of Griffith Park on November 23, 1996. was awarded the “Mayor’s Certificate of Commendation” for this outstanding work of art that “will touch the lives of many visitors to Griffith Park and is truly worthy of praise and recognition”.
Bickart designed and sculpted the Hope Award at the request of Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Inter City Games Foundation. The award was first presented to former Mayor Bradley and Whoppi Goldberg for their support of the Foundation and is annually awarded to new recipients. Two bronze busts of Schwarzenegger were commissioned, one as a gift to Arnold.
His clients include: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Kenny G; Peter Guber; Marcie Carsie; Larry Cohen; Ted Kocheff; Fred Ward; Inter City Games Foundation; Good Samaritan Hospital; Griffith Park Trust; Rivera County Club, Mandalay Bay Hotel, National Congressional Honor Monument, City of Los Angeles, City of Balboa, and numerous private collectors.
My interview with Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz-Starus is now up:
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About The Myths of Rape performance on the opening night of The LA Art Show from their press release:
This special LA Art Show opening night performance of Myths of Rape by artists Elana Mann and Audrey Chan, working with Leslie Labowitz-Starus and Suzanne Lacy, recreates a 1977 performance by Labowitz-Starus, originally performed as part of Three Weeks in May. The 2012 re-invention of Myths of Rape transforms the original piece to raise contemporary concerns around rape, sexual assault, and activism. Thirty diverse performers, including women and men, will enact compelling tableaux and spatial interventions, wearing presentation boards featuring current myths and facts about rape. The performers will enact a series of movements (created in collaboration with choreographer Mecca Vazie Andrews) that create both intimate moments and bold statements, which will activate the site of the LA Convention Center. Drawing inspiration from traditions of feminist agit-prop, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Arab Spring, this performance reinforces how activism and performance art are as relevant today as in the past.
About Three Weeks in January from http://threeweeksinjanuary.org/ :
Three Weeks In January: End Rape in Los Angeles, a new work of public performance art by artist Suzanne Lacy in partnership with Los Angeles student and arts groups, political organizations and civic institutions. Re-creating key aspects of an original 1977 artwork titled Three Weeks in May, the new project focuses on where Los Angeles is now – forty years into the anti-rape movement – and how to end violence against women.
A hallmark of Three Weeks in January is the Los Angeles Rape Map, installed at Deaton Auditorium, in front of the Los Angeles Police Department in downtown Los Angeles. Each day for three weeks the map will be marked with the prior day’s police reports. Surrounding this activity there will be a press conference at the site of the map, a series of critical conversations and multi-vocal events, and a Candlelight Ceremony. As in the original work, art is the platform to organize a series of presentations that collectively bring renewed focus to the effort to end rape.
The form and structure of this work engages activism, education, media, city politics, and art with participants from all of these areas. Explore the schedule of 30+ events, organized across the Los Angeles metropolitan region here.
Three Weeks in January is part of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival. Organized by the Getty Research Institute and LAXART with support provided by the Getty Foundation.
Additional support has been generously provided by the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, the Los Angeles Police Department, Peace Over Violence, CODEPINK, the Rape Treatment Center, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Otis College of Art and Design and ForYourArt.
My interview with Chris Kraus is now up:
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About Chris Kraus from Wikipedia:
Chris Kraus is a writer, filmmaker, and professor of film at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Her books include I Love Dick, Aliens & Anorexia, and Torpor. Video Green, Kraus’ first non-fiction book examines the explosion of late 1990s art by high-profile graduate programs that catapulted Los Angeles into the epicenter of the international art world. Her films include Gravity & Grace, How To Shoot A Crime, and The Golden Bowl, or, Repression.
My Interview with Tim Fleming, owner and director of Art Los Angeles Contemporary, is now up:
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About Art Los Angeles Contemporary from their website:
Art Los Angeles Contemporary, now in its third year, is the International Contemporary Art fair of the West Coast, held January 19–22, 2012.
After a successful 2011 edition, the art fair returns to the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, a known arts venue with 40,000 square feet of exhibition space and soaring 40 foot ceilings. The fair presents 70 top international blue chip and emerging galleries from around the world, with a strong focus on Los Angeles galleries. Participants present some of the most dynamic recent works from their roster of represented artists, offering an informed cross section of what is happening now in contemporary art making. The fair provides a sophisticated yet accessible environment for art collectors, curators, and patrons of the arts alike to enjoy.
In addition, the fair hosts a comprehensive programming series, including world class artist talks, museum curator led panel discussions, and film screening and performance series. Special events are staged on site at the art fair as well as throughout the city in satellite locations.
Home to internationally renowned museums, leading art schools, hundreds of contemporary galleries, and a prodigious number of practicing artists, Los Angeles serves as the perfect landscape for a progressive, international contemporary art fair.
My interview with Kim Martingdale, Executive Producer of the LA Art Show is now up:
or click here for non-flash player!
About the LA Art Show:
The annual Los Angeles Art Show, created by FADA more than 17 years ago, is one the longest running venues for contemporary, modern, and traditional art in the West. The 2011 Show hosted more than 110 prominent galleries and drew more than 50,000 visitors. It is the West Coast’s largest art fair!
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Christine interviews Claudia James Bartlett and Wayne Fernandez, co-producers and co-founders of Photo LA.
From the Photo LA website:
photo l.a. returns to the historic Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for its 21st edition January 12 – 16, 2012. Continuing the discourse on photography’s place in the fine arts, photo l.a. provides galleries from around the globe a platform for the exhibition of vintage masterworks and contemporary photography, as well as video and multimedia installations. This exciting juxtaposition creates the unique environment that characterizes photo l.a.
The opening Gala Reception, which will be held January 12, 2012 from 6 pm – 9 pm, benefits the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography. Our special host of the evening will be Moby, with guest DJ Aaron Byrd (KCRW).
Over the past twenty-one years, photo l.a. has exhibited more than three hundred galleries, private dealers and publishers and has presented more than one hundred and fifty lectures and collecting seminars to the public. Our continued efforts to create a dynamic experience for our patrons has not only increased our loyal fan base, but has attracted over eleven thousand interested collectors, curators and dealers of photography each year.
As the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945 – 1980 initiative continues into January, photo l.a. will include installations focusing on post-WWII art created in Southern California. January is also LA Arts Month, a collective effort by the city and its arts organizations to attract enthusiasts and collectors to Los Angeles.
Beloved Los Angeles Poet Scott Wannberg died at 58 in Florence, Oregon from a heart attack. He influenced the reading and buying habits of those who crossed his path during the time he worked for the late Dutton’s Books in Brentwood as their book buyer and employee for 23 years. Besides being a widely published and formidable poet in his own right, he was a member of “The Carma Bums,” a traveling poetry troupe made up of Wannberg, S.A. Griffin, Michael Lane Bruner, Doug Knott and Mike Mollet.
Originally started as simple inquiry into the life of Wannberg, in the end I devoted three hours over three programs to Scott Wannberg which can be heard here.
• Program 1 – Friends of Scott Wannberg remember him and read his work.
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• Program 2 – Fellow Carmabum poets Michael Lane Bruner, Doug Knott and Mike Mollett, as well as, Ellyn Maybe and Mona Jean Cedar on Scott Wannberg
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• Program 3 – S.A. Griffin on Scott Wannberg
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I interview Anne Bray of Freewaves, Mike Blockstein of Public Matters, and Paolo Davanzo of Echo Park Film Center about their “Out the Window” project, a project that encompasses over 50 artists’ videos and which airs on MTA buses throughout Los Angeles County.
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My interview with Javier Stauring is now up:
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Javier Stauring gives a recap of the Juvenile Justice Week of Faith. He also talks about the problems within the Juvenile Justice System and the initiatives for reform.
Click here to view PDF invitation to Debate 4 at LACE on October 28, 2011!
Debating through the Arts – Interview with Jerri Ally, Inez Bush, Linda Kunick; Excerpt from Last Debate; Broadcast on July 24, 2011 (one hour):
Debating through the Arts is based on a United Nations model of debate, with caucusing and referendums, followed by reflection on the issues. This project has an artistic twist where instead of just straight debate there is a performative aspect. In this broadcast, I interview Jerri Allyn, Inez Bush and Linda Kunick abut their vision for this ongoing project and for the last 20 minutes we have a lively excerpt from a previous debate.
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Debating through the Arts – Planning Salon on June 26, 2011 (one hour):
In this program, specifically, we have a salon, one in a series of discussion groups and art events that will culminate in debates that take place on July 30th at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica and on October 29that LACE – LA Contemporary Exhibitions – in Hollywood.
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Artists are trained to look at things from various perspectives, they are often more tolerant and empathetic. Due to these enhanced skills and perspectives, both Inez Bush and Jerri Allyn believe that artists should play a significant role in resolving issues societies are facing locally and globally.
Debating through the Arts is unique. It falls within the recent phenomenon of Public Practice Art. “Public practice – also called participatory art, community art, public art, situational art or social sculpture – can consist of a variety of media including video, performance, drawing, photography, sculpture and web-based projects.”1 “Its focus is on developing projects that ask the question ‘who and what is art created for?’ With community building, and political action in mind, what can art accomplish?”2
Debating through the Arts is based on a United Nations model of debate, with caucausing and referendums, followed by reflection on the issues. This project has an artistic twist where instead of just straight debate there is a performative aspect.
The co-creators of the project are Jerry Allyn and Inez Bush.
Jerri creates site-oriented, interactive installations and performance art events that become a part of public life, and builds connections between various communities. Internationally exhibited, Jerri is a co-founding member of The Waitresses and Sisters of Survival, 1970s/80s performance art groups that were part of the burgeoning Feminist Art and New Genre movements. Grant funded for over 20 years, Allyn is part of the arts “legacy” in the City of Angels, the 2011 theme at 18th Street. Recently, she has focused on resolving conflicts creatively with A Chair Is… (2001-2005), and Debating Through the Arts(2009-2011), projects.
Because of Allyn’s inclination toward service, she brings the “process of creativity” to bear equally on her work as an artist, educator and administrator in cultural organizations. She produces interdisciplinary initiatives that reflect an understanding of the complex territories of collaboration, diversity and issues of social concern.
Inez Bush holds an M.A. in Education, Leadership, Change with a focus on sustaining arts integration into educational practices from Antioch University LA and a BFA in Graphic Design from SUNY Purchase. Bush is co-founder, CEO and Creative Director of Gramercy Partners, an award-winning communications design firm. She is a consultant to districts and schools in implementing arts education and a trained strategic planning facilitator and coach to non-profit, business, education and arts education.
Trained as a fine artist and graphic designer, Bush’s recent scholarship focuses on identifying what is preventing the sustainability of arts integrative methods into educational practices. Bush’s research is based on the premise that the arts are a conduit to a healthy society. Research indicates that individuals who study the arts develop heightened critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration skills – currently labeled “21st century skills.” And because artists are trained to look at things from various perspectives, they are often more tolerant and empathetic. Due to these enhanced skills and perspectives, both Bush and Allyn believe that artists should play a significant role in resolving issues societies are facing locally and globally.
1. “Graduate Public Practice,” Otis College of Art and Design, accessed June 30, 2011 http://www.otis.edu/academics/graduate_public_practice/index.html
2. “Metabolic Studio Public Salon Public Practice, Otis College of Art and Design,” Farm Lab, accessed June 30, 2011 http://www.farmlab.org/2008/09/farmlab-public-salon-public-practice-at.html
Unfortunately, I could only attend the LA Art Show for a few hours to grab this interview and have a quick look around on one of the days that this was here.
My radio interview with Kim Martingdale (click here for his bio) and others is now up:
My first stop was the live “graffiti” art in the entranceway. Three artists were simultaneously working on three large murals brought to the LA Art Show by the LA Art Machine Gallery curated by Bryson Strauss. World reknown artists El Mac and Retna collaborated on a monochromatic portrait of a Latina done in aerosol with text. Mear One was working on a deconstructed cityscape with LA’s Watts Towers in the background and a figure of a boy in the foreground with butterflies flying from his chest. Coffee was painting a cubist monochromatic piece.
Next I visited what was probably my favorite exhibit at the LA Art Show, a show called “Signs” (click here to read press release). Sundaram Tagore Gallery curated a grouping of Islamic artists. The paintings were heavily text-based because depictions of the figure are prohibited in that culture. What you have then is text used as a textural element in most of the pieces, text abstracted to symbols. Text sources could be anything from poetry to holy books. The alphabet and its forms was also emphasized.
I then stopped off at the Uruguay exhibit. This year’s LA Art show debuted their guest country program featuring Uruguay. Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America, but it boasts a healthy democratic government, high economic development with a high GDP per capita and the 47th highest quality of life in the world. It sits nestled between Brazil and Argentina and its art scene is world class. They did not have anyone English speaking at the booth so I was not able to interview them, but the artwork shown consisted of contemporary painting and installation work, with a video exhibit as well.
Sister Cities had an collection of artists work from sister cities of Los Angeles. Pete Sterns of London had a very calming color field piece which he rendered as both a richly pigmented painting and as a computer animation. Nori, an artist from Japan, had two paintings representative of “every city.” His work is heavily influenced by jazz.
The Luce Foundation, a photography incubator, curated the Group LA exhibit. The main video element was a series of slideshows from different artist of their neighborhoods.
Finally, I found myself at the cluster of Korean art galleries. My favorite Korean artist is Yong Deok Lee who is known for his concave sculptures. The images are carved into a flat plane.
(YouTube turned up a few examples which gives an idea of the visual illusion created of 3-dimensionality when the viewer walks around his pieces:
I was happy to see a new piece, an aerial view of a swimmer underwater.
I didn’t have much time to appreciate the artwork this year, but this is a small sampling:
My interview with emergency room doctor Matt Hendrickson about Single Payer Healthcare is now up:
Single-payer health care is the financing of health care from a single insurance pool, which in all existing and proposed cases are government run. Under a single-payer system, universal health care for an entire population is financed from a pool to which many parties–employees, employers, the state–have contributed. Single-payer is a market in which one buyer faces many sellers.
CHRISTINE: I’m with Doris Isolini Nelson. How did you get involved with this issue and what is your background?
DORIS: In the 1980s, I had Blue Cross and my son needed care and I found that I really had a hard time getting the care for him. I didn’t know what they already covered and then I argued with them about what I thought he really needed and so forth. And so I started really looking at this question of health systems. I personally chose Kaiser because I decided that I didn’t want to organize my own healthcare system when I needed it.
But that led me into working with the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles to study the healthcare system of the United States. We studied Healthcare for three years. In 1992, we had a position nationally. By 1994, there was a state initiative, Proposition 186 that would have in fact brought about a universal single payer system in California. And it failed miserably.
That led to the development of Healthcare for all California. I am a founding member of Healthcare for all of California. That was in 1995. We decided that we needed an organization that was focused solely on bringing about a Single Payer healthcare system for everyone in the state of California.
We have been working and we are in fact the reason that there is a Single Payer bill in California for many years now. Senator Kuehl was the author at that time, it was Senate Bill 921, and then the number changed to 840. She’s termed out, but Senator Mark Leno will be the author of the new bill, SB 810 that will start working in 2010.
I was very involved and still am very involved with the League of Women Voters. I’m now a member of the National Task Force on Health Education. And we’re preparing various papers for the National League website. So I’ve been both a student and an activist on healthcare issues for a very long time.
CHRISTINE: Why do you think SB 186 failed miserably in the 80s?
DORIS: Well a couple reasons, but I think the major one – there wasn’t enough pain. People in general were better covered and not so insecure about losing their jobs.
I also found out that people didn’t realize what coverage they had. You see, very often you need to start using something before you know how it really works. And if you don’t have to use your insurance, you may think it’s wonderful and will cover everything you need. And in that time there was much more coverage. Doctors and hospitals were getting better coverage. Fewer people were uninsured. There wasn’t the pressure then. Although the pressure was growing in terms of the costs going up. But those in terms of the question, I’d say are the two things.
Then of course the insurance companies came barreling out with their ads. And the organization supporting Single Payer proposition didn’t have the money to fight.
CHRISTINE: I’ll give out a statistic: 45.7 million people are uninsured and that doesn’t count the people who are under-insured. Can you go ahead and define what Single Payer Healthcare is on the Federal level?
DORIS: Yes, it’s actually very simple. A Single Payer system whether at the state level or the federal level requires setting up a fund which will collect all of the money and pay all of the bills. That’s why it’s called Single Payer. And we now have a Single Payer, but only for the seniors; Medicare is a Single Payer Bill for seniors. And that’s essentially what it is. Multi-payer means there are many payers; there are many insurance companies; there are many plans.
Secondly, everyone is in the risk pool. Now basic insurance is a way to spread the risk. The larger the pool, the better the risk is spread. When you don’t need it, you are paying in. When you need it, it is there for you.
Right now with our multipayer system, we have multiple risk pools. We have the seniors who are one of the highest users, and the poor, which are also higher users with Medicaid. And then in the middle you have multiple risk pools because you have the people who are employed in various places. And then you have people who are not in risk pools at all, which are the individuals. People who are just individually trying to buy insurance; they are in the worst position possible. So the big risk pool is another very important element of a Single Payer system.
It is also important because once you’re in you’re always in. Why is that important in terms of cost control, in terms of administrative expense? Because much of the administrative expense for both private for-profit insurance and public plans like Medicaid and Healthy Families…
Let’s take the private first. Private insurance plans have what they call underwriting; they’re trying to figure out who they can get who isn’t going to need it very much. They spend a lot of money trying to do that.
And then if you’re in and you get big bills, there’s such a thing as rescission. And that means, suppose you need a kidney transplant, well they’ll immediately send it to their rescission department which will look at your application and if they can find anything in your application that they can say was not accurate and that they can somehow connect up with your need for a kidney transplant, they will rescind your insurance, whether you’ve paid in for years or not. And you won’t get a penny, nor will your doctors get a penny. So there’s a lot of administrative expense in underwriting.
Let’s take the public plans, such as Medicaid. That depends upon where your income is at, and whether or not you are male or not, because sometimes males have a hard time getting covered in Medicaid. And Healthy Families, it’s the same thing. It’s your income level. And it’s only for the children and not for the adults.
So all of these things when you have a changing circumstance like that, you have to keep track of that. The administration of the insurance itself has to keep track of who is in and who is out. And secondly, the doctors and the hospitals taking care of the patients taken care of these insurances, have to keep track of whether you’re in or you’re out.
So it makes a very big difference to be in one risk pool that you’re in and never ever out. And that’s one of the reasons Medicare has such a low administrative cost. Because once you’re in, you’re never going to be out.
The other thing about coverage. Coverage in order to be effective in terms of providing people with the kind of care that they need, needs to be comprehensive.
You know there are certain perversities in this system that we have. Some insurance will pay for the amputation of a foot because of diabetes, but won’t pay for preventing diabetes or for the care of diabetes which is a chronic disease and which needs a constant kind of care. Insurance companies, private insurance companies, don’t want to deal with chronic care because those are continuing costly. So those are the things that make a difference in terms of the comprehensiveness of your care.
Does it take care of preventive care? Primary care includes preventive care. And is very critical in terms of keeping (the patient) from getting worse and also in terms of quality of cost and we’ll get to that also. So it needs to be comprehensive, all right.
This Healthcare for All Bill HR 676 that is called the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All that covers many more things than Medicare does, that’s why it’s called expanded and improved. It includes long-term care.
Now this is a very big thing. The only public program we now have that covers long-term care is Medicaid and a lot of Medicaid’s costs come from long-term care. This is long term care for the middle class that has spent down and then becomes eligible for long term care. Because no one these days, other than the very wealthy, can long afford long-term care. So HR 676 covers long-term care.
It covers vision and dental. Perhaps people have seen what’s happening at the Inglewood Forum in August where people who are uninsured are lining up by the thousands to get care. One of the things most requested is dental care.
Many insurances do not cover dental care. You need a separate insurance for dental care. This is more critical than perhaps you’re lucky enough to have your own teeth and good health and have a dentist that takes care of you, don’t realize that people who don’t get their teeth taken care of loose their teeth.
If they loose their teeth, they certainly aren’t going to be able to afford new teeth put in. They loose their ability to eat. They loose their ability because of their way of looking and of even speaking, their ability to hold most jobs. I’m reminded of this little ditty: For lack of a nail, the shoe was lost, for lack of a shoe the horse was lost, for lack of a horse, the war was lost. Well for lack of a tooth, our whole life can be lost in that sense.
So Dental very important, Vision, and then durable medical equipment, that means anything from crutches to wheel chairs, and hearing aids and so forth. So it’s very comprehensive because our needs are comprehensive.
I often joke that if you look at the human body in terms of what most insurance covers, you’d leave out eyes and teeth, sometimes even feet. So it’s very important to be comprehensive, because we need it.
And we need different things at different at different times. We need it before we are born. So many women who do not have insurance do not get proper prenatal care. And that very often results in babies not in the very best of health. Which from the point of view of cost control is amazing. It cost a lot of money to take care of an infant, of a newborn baby, that cannot survive on it’s own.
The technology is there at the beginning of life and at the end of life where we’re increasing the technology to keep people both at the beginning and at the end. At the beginning at least you have the sense that you’re perhaps that you’re trying to have a viable human being even though they might have very difficult problems, but these are part of the costs that are going on.
CHRISTINE: It’s a visionary bill.
DORIS: It’s a bill that’s does what it’s supposed to do.
The question I like to ask is what is the goal of a health system, of a national health system or a state health system? What is the goal?
Is the goal just in terms of saving money? Because that’s what a lot of times we hear. “We have to control costs.” And we do have to control costs. But is that the goal?
No. The goal is to provide needed care when it’s needed through the whole lifetime of everyone. So that they have the opportunity then to lead good healthy productive lives. Because we can all say we’re all for opportunity in this country, right? “Opportunity!” But it really doesn’t matter if you have that opportunity in that abstract way if you don’t have the hearing or the eyesight.
Even children not having eyeglasses or being healthy, being taken care of, right, all the way through. You need a healthy body and a healthy mind.
And that’s another thing, mental healthcare, that’s also covered. And drugs, prescription drugs. These are all necessary. There’s nothing esoteric about it.
CHRISTINE: And it would take care of some other problems, like homelessness.
DORIS: Well, it would be part of it. Part of it. So many who are homeless are mentally ill. Many many things are going on there.
CHRISTINE: And the jail population, many of them are mentally ill as well.
DORIS: Absolutely. One of the biggest areas of mental illness is in the jails.
CHRISTINE: Do other countries that offer Single Payer offer long-term care?
DORIS: Yes, they do. Germany in particular has been active in the advance of both how to fund this and (in finding a) different way to do this. They were in the forefront of developing different levels for different needs.
So a nursing home is the last level really. But there are many different levels like home care is one of the ways. We, by the way, have home care. HR 676 has home care.
So you have most of the time people being able to stay in their homes which is for the best usually for a person because they are surrounded by their things; their friends are able to be near. But there are different levels.
The next level is where you don’t need a lot of nursing, but need someone there all of the time and more of a professional care and so forth. So different levels of care.
I know Germany particularly and I haven’t looked much further than that. National coverage provides for that. Because one of the good things that we have (that comes from) good care and perhaps better eating and a higher standard of living is that we live longer.
CHRISTINE: Let’s take a step back. You said it’s an expanded Medicare. A lot of people don’t know what Medicare is. Can we just give a basic of what Medicare is?
DORIS: Sure. Medicare began in 1965. It was specifically a Single Payer insurance for seniors beginning at age 65. It covers both hospital and doctors.
It’s paid for by people who are working and in fact you have to work a certain number of quarters in order to be eligible or you are married to somebody who has worked a certain number of quarters and is eligible and you are eligible through your marriage.
It’s paid for by taxes. Taxes are deducted during employment when Social Security and Medicare are deducted from your pay and they go into a fund that goes to pay for the current expenses.
Now many people think there is a special pot, like a special pot for Doris Nelson, and so forth. But no, it doesn’t work that way. What it does is that the current employment pays more or less for the current expenses with some left over. But that’s an important aspect of Medicare. So it’s taxes.
CHRISTINE: It seems to make sense, to me at least, that you would look to other countries and see who is successful. So what other countries are successful with a Single Payer. Who is closest to what we are trying to do?
DORIS: England. Japan. Taiwan. I think it’s safe to say that Taiwan, which has just changed its system to a Single Payer system, studied Medicare and decided that Medicare was the best approach. So I would say that Taiwan has the closest thing to our Medicare.
And in some ways, Medicare is a prototype of HR 676 because HR 676 builds on Medicare. It expands on what it covers, it expands, but it’s basically collecting the money, paying the bills. Right.
CHRISTINE: So is nationalized health insurance socialized medicine?
DORIS: That word seems to cause a tremendous amount of concern if not fear among some people. I would like to say that HR 676 would not be socialized medicine because all it does is socialize the financial aspects of it.
In England, you do have what is generally called socialized medicine because the government not only pays for healthcare, but the doctors and hospitals are employed by the government and that in its entirety is what socialized medicine really means. Both the financing and the provision of services.
So it’s kind of like the fire department or the police department right now that’s a socialized kind of thing. We pay through our taxes for the firefighters and the policemen and they are paid for by the city government. So we can call it socialized fire protection or socialized police. And in fact in the city of Los Angeles we have socialized Water and Power.
And if we think about how a little while ago people think, “Oh, the government can’t be very efficient, and all that…” A little while ago when Enron was charging those people who didn’t have socialized water and power huge amounts of money, the people of Los Angeles did not have to pay those inflated costs.
But to be clear, the kind of Single Payer idea is to provide the financing and some of the administration, but not the provisioning of healthcare. Except for where it’s like a private hospital then of course that remains. But right now…
(This has) a great deal of potential and will be fought tooth and nail. Has a great deal of potential especially since our economy is going from an industrial production economy to a more service and technological economy.
The financial part of our economy is huge. So that’s another possibility. So there are different ways of funding it, but in one-way or another it’s going to come from the public where else? It comes now from the public.
CHRISTINE: What will happen to costs as the population ages?
DORIS: There is of course, not only for the United States but also all over, we’re living longer. When Social Security was first put into effect people weren’t living so long. So it’s like a pension system, right. So those kinds of cost depend on how long people live generally. So it has to be changed in terms of how it’s funded.
Social Security is an amazingly successful program. Before Social Security and Medicare, seniors were impoverished. And don’t try to get any health insurance because that’s out. You’re 60, 50, try getting it at 40.
The problem we have as a society is how to fund it in a progressive way. And that’s a continuing kind of a thing. The same thing with Medicare. Medicare is sitting all by its lonesome with the most costly pool of people.
There are two kinds of formulas. One formula says that in any given year, 80% of the services will be used by 20% of the people. Now of course we don’t know when we’ll be in that 20%. I might be in a car accident and I’ll be in that 20%.
There’s another formula that says that, I don’t know if it’s 80% or not, in the last year of life a lot of money is spent on seniors in the last year of life. And again, that’s part of the technology we have. And those questions will increasingly be with us as a society and as individuals.
And I think that’s one of the reasons people should know that they should think about these things. End of life wills. Sit down with your family think about this because you don’t want something done to you that you have no say and you don’t want your children to have to make these very difficult decisions. So you should think about what kind of care you want and specify it so that everyone knows what you want. So that’s the psychological and individual difficulties.
This question of caring and the type of care and how much money we put into increasing technology in a certain direction. Those are important decisions that get involved with what do you use your money for. Do you use it more for specialized technology for keeping people alive, or do you spend it more on primary care.
One other thing that I should mention with this HR 676 includes the requirement to develop a national health information technology.
CHRISTINE: What is that?
DORIS: Basically healthcare, generally speaking, has not made use of the kind of digital information that is currently available.
I’ll give you an example. Kaiser several years ago decided it would spend a great deal of money to investigate how to create for itself a health informational technology that works. That means digitizing all of the records.
CHRISTINE: I think that’s in the stimulus package.
DORIS: It is supportive. Some of that money is provided to hospitals in support for that.
I want to go back to Kaiser because that’s one organization. It covers a whole range of services and so forth. And it has lots of hospitals and doctors . And it decided what software and what system it was going to use. Important, because it spent the money to put that system into effect.
Very important next step, training the people who are going to use it. People don’t’ think of the training that’s required and then the second thing is to maintain it. So if I go to my Kaiser doctor and he brings up my record, right away like that, he sees what drugs I’m taking, what care I’ve been given and so forth, my history. And when he prescribes and whatever it is I’ve come there for and whatever it is that he’s said, he types that in and that goes in as part of the record and then that gets typed out and given to me.
I can connect with my doctor by email. I can ask him questions by email and he can reply. So it is very efficient, but it requires a lot of thought about what system to use and the training of the people and so it requires a great deal of money.
I do want to mention that the administration for HR 676 which is the Federal (bill) would be decentralized into regions. This is a big country.
CHRISTINE: Why would we do that?
DORIS: We need to be closer to the areas that you are administrating in order to understand what’s going on. And you need that to have a closer connection with the providers and what’s going on in general. Those regional areas will probably be doing the first level of negotiations.
CHRISTINE: If that’s the case, why not state by state.
DORIS: Well I don’t know what the regions are. I think that some states, California is so big it could be one region. The way it’s written now is seven regions, but it doesn’t have to be seven regions. It might be better in some places to combine states because some of them are small in population, have similar problems. I was doing another paper; rural healthcare is very very poor.
That’s another thing, how your resources are used. Because if you are only leaving it up to the private market, the private market doesn’t go where it isn’t profitable.
Years ago, when electricity was being generated and used it was private companies who put up the transmission lines. But they only connected the big cities. That’s where the population was. That’s where the money was. In the rural areas, they wouldn’t even connect a home to the transmission wire even if a home was a hundred feet from the poles. It was the federal government that created rural electrification in the United States.
CHRISTINE: Hopefully, there will be a public push for Single Payer.
CHRISTINE: So what happens to physicians’ incomes? Do they go up, do they go down? We were talking about primary care doctors not being compensated properly and that should go up.
DORIS: Certainly should go up. So I would hope certainly that the primary care doctor’s fees should go up. It’s hard to know. I think you know…
CHRISTINE: It’s conjecture.
DORIS: Given that you have a particular pot of money, how do you use it best? Certainly from the point of view of taking care of people, providing quality and cost control. You’ve got to establish your primary care and that will reduce the amount that can be spent for the specialty care.
Physicians for a National Health Program, PNHP. I urge everyone to go to the website, www.PNHP.org.
That website is the national physicians group that has been working for Single Payer for a very long time will give people all the information about the Single Payer, if you want to know more about it and what’s happening in congress, keeping you up to date, how to write to congressperson, if you don’t know your representative, how to find out.
In fact if you don’t know your representative, you can go to your LA County Registrars website and they’ll tell you who your representative is. So it’s a way of learning how to do things, they’ll even help you write your letter. Give you ideas. Because there has been such a movement nationally for Single Payer that has been tried to be kept off the table. Under the table out of the room, but because of the push, there will be in the house a Single Payer 676, whatever the number will be, there will be a debate and a vote in the house on a Single Payer bill. Sometime in September or October.
CHRISTINE: That soon.
DORIS: Oh yes, because things are coming to the full. Once they get back, Congress is in the different districts, when they come back I think soon after Labor Day.
The deadline I understand, the Senate hasn’t come out with its bill yet. The only bill we have out is from the House and September 15th is the deadline for a bill to come out of the Senate.
And there has to be a reconciliation. It has to be voted on in the Senate and there has to be a vote in the House. There’s a whole process that’s going to take some time, but the point is, we don’t know when it’s going to come up for debate. That is representative Pelosi who is the Speaker of the House who determines that.
The point is, this gives everyone time to learn about this. It’s happening. It’s going to happen.
CHRISTINE: You have your ear to the ground, what’s happening with this grassroots movement for Single Payer.
DORIS: Oh Lord, lots of things are happening nationwide and locally. Healthcare for All California, is working with CAPA, the local chapter of PNHP. So we’re working together in Los Angeles. We’re working together with the Labor Taskforce, which is also for Single Payer, working so that more and more unions get aboard on this
CHRISTINE: Are they getting on board?
DORIS: Yes, they are. Yes, they are. Even the ones with trust funds.
For example the Union for Markets, which represents all the markets like Ralph’s, pays into this trust fund that the union has and then they negotiate for their employees wherever they are for their insurance. Well that’s going up and up and up and up. And so they are having more problems and they are seeing the light.
When this passes, it will be a blessing for employees, unions and employers. Because healthcare is one of the reason there have been so many strikes and will continue. And when we have this, there will no longer (be) any strikes for that reason anyway.
When we have this, also, when you lose your job or want to change your job, you’re not going to lose your insurance; you’re not going to lose your coverage. Or if you lose your job, you’re not also going to lose your health insurance
If you’re in a small group, a small business for instance, and they have insurance and one person, let’s say has AIDS. Big expenses. That little pool, immediately their premium will go up enormously. Some insurances have said, “Look, we can’t afford you.” So they leave just when they need it.
CHRISTINE: So you’re finding that small business is getting on board as well?
DORIS: One business, Rhythm and Hues….
CHRISTINE: An animation and special effects company.
DORIS: Right. They provide very good health insurance, but they are finding how difficult it is to compete with other companies, in other countries that have national health insurance, and they do compete internationally, with the cost that they have for their employees which is so much having to do with healthcare. John Hues, who is the owner, is supporting this.
Many small business would like to, but until something requires them that they have to, they feel that they can’t because of expenses. And they feel, “I can’t pass this on, I’m in competition with this other organization that isn’t providing it,” and so… So you have to have a level playing field.
CHRISTINE: So it’s really the every day person versus insurance companies. What’s going to happen to insurance companies?
DORIS: Well insurance companies will still sell insurance, but not necessarily health insurance. Except for those things that are not covered once this goes into effect.
They can certainly be used to sub-contract for various parts of the system that needs to be done. Medicare uses Blue Cross to administer certain aspects of Medicare so that might happen.
By the way, HR 676 has a fund for retraining, for people who will lose job. Of course clerical won’t be needed as much. Retraining. And then, they will have the first call on any of the new jobs that are available. And also it calls for two years eligibility on employment insurance. So it’s acknowledged that there will be dislocation, but it’s acknowledged that they will be taken care of. Unlike, I might add, private companies, who when they go overseas or go from one part of the country to the other because it’s lower cost for labor, or they move to Mexico, if they are reasonable will give them something to tide them over. But nothing like this.
CHRISTINE: What about medical malpractice cases?
DORIS: That’s not being dealt with. That’s the whole question of tort reform. That’s separate, and tort reform is probably Federal.
CHRISTINE: So what is your call to actions?
DORIS: My call to action is to first of all to get connected with organizations that are working for Single Payer both in California and elsewhere.
Of course Healthcare for All of California is one of them working particularly in California. Also we are working at the Federal level. Come 2010 we will be working on SB 810. And we have a website www.healthcareforall.org
But right now in terms of the Federal, I think one of the best websites is this Physicians for a National Health Plan, www.PNHP.org. And on that website it gives you all kinds of information on the bill and what’s happening in Congress right now, so that you can keep track. And it also helps with speaking points, writing points.
Clearly what is needed is people connecting with their representatives both by phone, writing, email, to support Single Payer legislation when it comes up in September or October. And it’s not too early now to call and keep calling. It’s not too early now because they need to hear from their people, the people they represent.
They’re hearing from a lot of organizations. They’re hearing from a lot of groups that are being pushed that don’t want anything to happen. Literally don’t want anything to happen. I’m afraid it goes beyond the healthcare. They want to undermine President Obama’s administration from doing anything. And they’ve already said it publicly. “If we can do away with his healthcare, we’ll undermine whatever else he does.”
CHRISTINE: Has Single Payer been coming up during these town halls?
DORIS: Yes, yes, they have! And in some ways the effort to create this group of people who are not just questioning what’s in the bill, questioning, but trying to keep any discussion and any information that’s transmitted. That is un-American, that is demagogic.
And what’s happening is the word is going out to everybody who is not only supporting Single Payer, but also supporting the right of American citizens to talk with their legislators, to speak to their representatives and have their representatives speak to them.
CHRISTINE: Has the media been covering this adequately? How’s that?
DORIS: The media has not been covering Single Payer at all adequately, almost at all. Gradually, because of the push, there are some media, for example MSNBC’s Keith Obberman and Maddow and Ed Schultz. They’re actually saying the words, Single Payer. Talking about the disruption that’s being caused and who’s behind it, that sort of thing. Talking about the drug company and insurance company money that is influencing the kind of legislation that is being passed.
People need to realize that even though there are powerful forces there, because they have a lot of money, the people in the end are the most powerful if they have their voice speak up and if they vote. If you don’t vote why do the legislators have to pay any attention to you. So it’s very important now to speak up. It’s something that will affect everyone, themselves, their parents, their children, and their children’s children. So it’s not something that is far off.
CHRISTINE: So it’s something that needs to happen all at once. Single payer needs to happen, rather than incremental reform.
DORIS: Well having studied this for a long time, I understand the argument that says well let’s get there step by step, we’ll make this step and cover a number of people and well cover another number of people and so forth, and step-by-step we’ll get there. But I am doubtful that that will happen.
First of all whenever you have another group, that’s covered by another plan, you have another bureaucracy. You have another administrative entity that increases costs to begin with and doesn’t really do much in containing costs because it doesn’t look at the whole. And then what I’ve seen is that it can also become a barrier to change.
Every time there is a new system, it creates, in my mind, further barriers for that real health reform which yes, must cover everyone, but must also find the resources to cover those areas that are not well funded now, like primary care and the rural areas. That’s the way I look at it.
Incremental might be politically easier, but if your goal is to provide necessary care to the people of the United States in the most efficient and cost effective way possible, incremental isn’t the way to go.
CHRISTINE: Thank you very much.
DORIS: You’re very welcome.
My friend’s brother Jason drove us down to the San Diego Convention Center and paid for parking. He was also nice enough to take many of the photos. All-in-all, I think it was worth the effort of going and being packed in tight with people everywhere. It has turned into such a flashy event with Hollywood and the videogame companies vying for space.
It was also like a giant swap meet of people trying to sell things and there was a strong commercial element. I didn’t buy anything, so it was not so much fun in that way.
My favorite part was browsing through the several tables of independent artists’ work and the creativity that goes into what amounts to creating your own reality or separate world on the page, from the storytelling to the illustration. I left Comic-con inspired by some of the work I saw there.
Fat Mitch & Zuda Comics
Alain V Arts
Art Toy Manufacturer
Harold and Kumar
Girls of Gaming
ISSUE: The Nature of Evil
WE RAN THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM TO ADDRESS IT:
Jordan Peterson Lecture on the Nature of Evil
DATE: Saturday, January 17, 2008
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM:
His name is Jordan Peterson and he’s a University of Toronto Professor of Psychology and he discusses the nature of evil and its distinction from tragedy in this lecture presented at the 2008 Conference on Personal Meaning.
If you missed any part of it – I had to cut it off ten minutes before the end – you can catch it again with video -
He also wrote a book out on Routlege called "Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief""
He has a 14-part television series on Maps of Meaning at:
And here is some biographical information I found on him. He’s a clinical psychologist by background -
I am a clinical psychologist, licensed in Massachusetts and Ontario, and see clients on a relatively regular basis. I am a professor at the University of Toronto, and have been since 1998. Before that, I was a professor at Harvard University, from 1993-1998. I completed my graduate and post-doctoral work at McGill University, under the supervision of Dr. Robert O. Pihl, studying alcoholism and aggression. I am currently interested in the formal assessment and theoretical nature of self-deception, construing it as voluntary failure of exploration rather than as repression (although both mechanisms appear to obtain), and also do experimental work on creativity, achievement, personality, narrative and motivation. I published a book, Maps of Meaning, in 1999.
Air Date: Saturday, June 03, 2006
Time of Day: 2000 to 2100
Program Title: Robert Hass Reading
Misc.: From the Lunch Poems series at UC Berkeley.
Robert Hass Bio from http://clinton2.nara.gov/Initiatives/Millennium/hass.html
ROBERT HASS is a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley and served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress from 1995 to 1997. During his tenure as Poet Laureate, Professor Hass battled illiteracy by putting into action his belief that, “Imagination makes communities.” Of his passion for promoting iteracy, he explains that, “when I got the (Laureate) job I did a lot of reading about literacy…One of the things that struck me was just how powerful a presence poetry has been in our culture when we were, as a people, teaching ourselves to read. At the beginning of the 19th century, less than 60% of American males could write their name, and that was far higher than in most of Europe. If you were black, you could get killed for reading. But we made literacy a civic religion from the idea that you couldn’t have a democracy without it, and we taught a whole people to read. It’s one of the great achievements of the American democratic experiment — and one of the indicators of the hunger for literacy, was a taste for poetry.”
As Poet Laureate, he also sponsored a weeklong celebration of American nature writing called “Watershed.” His commitment to environmental issues led him to found the River of Words poetry contest which is run through the International Rivers Network.
Born in San Francisco in 1941, Professor Hass remembers as a child happening on a poem which, “made me understand what the word `swoon’ meant…It was the first physical sensation of the truthfulness of a thing that I had ever felt.” He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. While beginning his teaching career, he entered the Yale Younger Poets competition and won it for his first book, Field Guide. He has also published Praise (1979) for which he won the William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America, Human Wishes (1989) which won the Commonwealth Club of California Medal for Poetry, and Sun Under Wood (1996) for which he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry.
Professor Hass has also won acclaim for his work in translation and editing, including his work with poet Czeslaw Milosz which won two PEN/BABRA Translation Awards. He edited and translated The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa and wrote a collection of essays, Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984) which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among his many honors, one which is especially meaningful is having been named Educator of the Year by the North American Association for Environmental Education in 1996 for his work on the River of Words project. Thousands of schoolchildren participate in the program which helps students learn their watershed and their ecological address.
Mr. Hass lives in the Bay Area with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman. They have four children.