WBEZ | art http://www.wbez.org/tags/art Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Afternoon Shift: What is the artist’s responsibility to address social issues? http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-05-07/afternoon-shift-what-artist%E2%80%99s-responsibility-address-social <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Flickr%20Todd%20Ehlers.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="(Photo: Flickr/Todd Ehlers)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204423139&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">The relationship between art and social commentary</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb">Theater has a history of making political and social statements. From Shakespeare, to Tennessee Williams and August Wilson, playwrights have used the stage to address issues of public importance. Now, with events in Ferguson, New York and most recently Baltimore - many local theaters are reacting by creating opportunities for audiences to explore issues of race and inequality. </span>Isaac Gomez, Bobby Bierdrzycki, John Conroy and, Anthony Moseley are all involved in the arts and have personal experience crafting social commentary into theater. We bring you this conversation in two parts.<br /><br /><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul dir="ltr"><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb"><a href="https://twitter.com/isoteric8">Isaac Gomez</a></span> is literary manager for the Victory Gardens Theater.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb"><a href="https://twitter.com/bobbyfloats">Bobby Bierdrzycki</a></span> is the curriculum and instruction associate for the Goodman Theatre.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb"><a href="http://www.john-conroy.com/">John Conroy</a></span> is a former investigative journalist and playwright.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb">Anthony Moseley is </span>Executive Artistic Director at <a href="https://twitter.com/Collaboraction">Collaboraction Theater</a>.</em></li></ul><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204423141&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Want to know where to find art in Chicago?</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3063-77e0-41e0-5f4e7759a3c3">A few weeks ago we talked to the </span>General Admission guys about why people DON&rsquo;T see art. We invited our listeners to join in with their own reasons for not seeing artistic events, and many of you said part of it was you just didn&rsquo;t know about them. So we had our General Admission podcasters do some research to bring you some great resources for finding art in the city.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><a href="https://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-how-do-you-find-out-about-artistic">You can check out some of the resources we listed, by going to the Storify page linked in this sentence.</a></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3063-77e0-41e0-5f4e7759a3c3">Guests:</span></strong></p><ul dir="ltr"><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3063-77e0-41e0-5f4e7759a3c3"><a href="https://twitter.com/storyproducer">Tyler Greene</a></span> is co-host of WBEZ&rsquo;s General Admission podcast.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3063-77e0-41e0-5f4e7759a3c3"><a href="https://twitter.com/thejoypowers">Joy Powers</a></span> is a WBEZ producer.</em></li></ul><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204423550&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Chicago business with a focus on fair trade apparel</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">On April 29 - &nbsp;to very little fanfare - the Cook County Board passed an ordinance which ensures that no county offices would purchase uniforms or other items from garment vendors that employ sweatshop labor. And, in the Chicago, May 7 is the second day of World Fair Trade Day Festival celebrations. Harish Patel is the owner of Chicago-based, ishi vest - a company that specializes in organic and fair trade clothing. He joins us for this installment in our week long series of conversations with local small business owners in honor of Small Business Week.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3066-d555-fa29-a7b107b8e0f8">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/harishibrahim">Harish Patel</a> is owner of ishi vest.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203497427&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Englewood residents negotiate the role Whole Foods will play in the community</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">It&rsquo;s going to be more than a year before Whole Foods opens a new store in Chicago&rsquo;s Englewood neighborhood. The company announced it&rsquo;s plans for Englewood a year-and-a-half ago. The lengthy timeline doesn&rsquo;t mean the community is sitting idly by. Residents are actively engaging with Whole Foods about the role of an organic grocery store in a food desert. WBEZ&rsquo;s Natalie Moore gives us an update.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3068-a3a7-ff69-54f156abd289">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204422239&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Has summertime finally arrived in Chicago?</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">It feels like the short but beautiful Chicago summer has finally arrived--but we all know it could feel like winter again in an instant. Joining us to explain this crazy late-spring weather is Gilbert Sebenste, meteorologist at Northern Illinois University.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-306a-3a2c-5ea6-12e0e4764a54">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Gilbert_S">Gilbert Sebentse</a> is a meteorologist at Northern Illinois University.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204422796&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Tech Shift: What thunder looks like</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Lightning storms look cool - a brilliant flash of light in the dark, a massive bolt suddenly streaks across the sky. For the most part, we understand lightning. But what about thunder? Scientists from Southwest Research Institute have been conducting experiments to literally get a better picture of how thunder works. Dr. Maher Dayeh is a Space Physicist in the Space Science &amp; Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute and he joins us with details on the team&rsquo;s experiment.</p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-306b-8b7e-8edc-c6492a50abb2"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em>Maher Dayeh is a space physicist in the Space Science &amp; Engineering Division at </em></span><em><a href="http://www.swri.org/">Southwest Research Institute</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204422415&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Chicago&#39;s Jimmy Butler wins Most Improved Player</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The NBA has announced that the Bulls&rsquo; Jimmy Butler has been voted the league&#39;s Most Improved Player. Not only did Butler win that accolade but it was a landslide! WBEZ sports contributor and Bulls aficionado Cheryl Raye-Stout joins us from the Bulls practice at the Advocate Center.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-306e-b758-5378-d4297076942c">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">Cheryl Raye-Stout</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s sports contributor.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204249224&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Curious City: What does the Lincoln Park Zoo do with all of its poo?</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">In this excerpt from our <em>Fecal Matters!</em> live event, experts explain how studying poo can keep zoo animals happy and healthy.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204422619&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Cook County chiefs discuss criminal justice issues</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The top officials from Cook County&rsquo;s criminal justice system convened on May 7 for a panel discussion. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Sheriff Tom Dart, State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez, and Chief Judge Timothy Evans all sat together politely. But they&rsquo;ve been known to butt heads and assign each other blame in the past. WBEZ&rsquo;s Patrick Smith was there and he joins us with a recap.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3072-4564-2794-6fbb3f2f3d9a">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">Patrick Smith</a> is a WBEZ reporter.</em></p></p> Thu, 07 May 2015 16:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-05-07/afternoon-shift-what-artist%E2%80%99s-responsibility-address-social The art and science behind the glow of Chicago's skyline http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/art-and-science-behind-glow-chicagos-skyline-111928 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/202093663&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>On a clear night in the summer of 2014, Mike Mesterharm hopped in his car and hit a southbound expressway toward downtown Chicago. He was happy to be back home; he&rsquo;d left the city at 18, for college and some other shenanigans. During that drive, eight years later, he was gazing at the Chicago skyline &mdash; his skyline. And he was thinking it looked different somehow. Brighter.</p><p>After careful consideration of whether something in him had changed, Mike decided, No, it&rsquo;s not just that he had been looking on the bright side lately &mdash; it must be something with the lights. So he sent Curious City this question:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>How has energy efficient lighting affected the view of the Chicago skyline?</em></p><p>We found an answer for Mike, but the &ldquo;green energy angle&rdquo; is just a part of it. Expert after expert suggested that that story would not do justice to the big picture: Chicago&rsquo;s skyline&rsquo;s evolved over the years, and that Mike&rsquo;s question is born from a short snippet of that fascinating history, one that has affected how we see &mdash; and feel &mdash; one evening to the next. We&rsquo;ll run through the highlights of how that&rsquo;s been captured in art, of all places, and deal with Mike&rsquo;s question in the most recent timeframe.</p><p>And at the end of it all, we arrive at a crossroads that illuminates a big decision we&rsquo;ll soon have to make: What does Chicago <em>want </em>its skyline to look like?</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">A brief history of Chicago&rsquo;s skyline palette</span></p><p>The impact of city lights on city dwellers has affected Chicago&rsquo;s culture, too; to get the broad picture of change in the skyline, you can survey the city&rsquo;s literature and visual art.</p><p>Note the skyline&rsquo;s yellow tinge in this excerpt from &lsquo;<a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.poetryfoundation.org%2Fpoem%2F239566&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHiSA3B9-DNGydvoEkEKVs8tK-62g" target="_blank">The Windy City</a>&rsquo; [sections 1 and 6], penned by Chicago poet Carl Sandburg in 1916.</p><blockquote><p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-size:12px;">So between the Great Lakes, &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-size:12px;">The Grand De Tour, and the Grand Prairie, &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-size:12px;">The living lighted skyscrapers stand,</span></p><p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Spotting the blue dusk with checkers of yellow,</span></p><p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-size:12px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;streamers of smoke and silver, &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-size:12px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;parallelograms of night-gray watchmen, &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Singing a soft moaning song: I am a child, a belonging. &nbsp;</span></p></blockquote><div><span style="line-height: 1.38;">Compare that to the light-polluted sky found in this excerpt from &lsquo;<a href="http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/239566" target="_blank">The Waste Land&rsquo;</a> (2010) by John Beer.</span></div><blockquote><p><span style="font-size:12px;">Orpheus walked down Milwaukee Avenue toward the Flatiron Building. He passed bodegas, taquerias, vintage stores. He met a hustler with a gas can. He walked past the anarchist kids. And he walked, and he walked, and he walked past the cabdrivers trading insults in Urdu, and he walked past convenience stores, and he walked past Latin Kings, and he walked past waitresses getting off night shifts, and he walked past jazz stars that nobody recognized, he walked past the students, the teachers, the cops. And the sky was the color of eggplant and tire fires, the sky was the field that resisted exhaustion.</span></p></blockquote><p>Lynne Warren, a curator at Chicago&rsquo;s Museum of Contemporary Art, says you can track Chicago&rsquo;s changing city lights in paintings, too.</p><p>In<em> Bronzeville At Night</em> (1949), Chicago artist Archibald Motley depicted the yellow incandescent street lights used across the city at the time. The lamps were sparse and dim enough that on clear nights, you could make out stars across the skyline.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bronzeville%20at%20night%20archibald%20motley.png" style="height: 494px; width: 620px;" title="A painting by Archibald J. Motley Jr. of Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood lit by moonlight and incandescent street lights." /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Warren notes, too, that the warmth of incandescent light enhanced the &ldquo;natural&rdquo; colors of Chicago&rsquo;s nightscapes. For example, the red of the classic, Chicago brick on the building in the background is actually drawn out by the light. The tops of the cars on the left also reflect the &ldquo;truer blue&rdquo; of the Chicago night sky.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/richard-florsheim-jet-landings.jpg" style="float: right; height: 262px; width: 350px;" title="Richard Florsheim's 'Jet Landings' pictures the blue-green glow of Chicago street lights in the 1960s (Courtesy artnet.com)" />A decade or so after Motley&rsquo;s Bronzeville painting was complete, though, the city swapped out incandescents for brighter bulbs that gave off a green cast. The 1960s were the era of mercury vapor lights, and, <a href="https://chicagohistorytoday.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/old-street-lights/" target="_blank">by some accounts</a>, they cast a sci-fi feel across the city.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">By the end of the 1970s, just about all of Chicago&rsquo;s streetlights were replaced yet again, but this time with sodium vapor lights, which glow with a deep orange. Or, like orbs the color of tire fires, if you will.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Chicago&rsquo;s still got a lot of these lamps, and they dominated the city during the &#39;90s, when our question-asker, Mike Mesterharm, was a kid.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Warren says that gold glow repeats over and over in depictions of Chicago&rsquo;s skyline by Roger Brown, an influential painter during the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Imagists" target="_blank">Chicago Imagists movement</a>. His piece <em>Entry of Christ into Chicago in 1976</em> (1976) depicts the Hancock Tower, the Aon Center and the Sears Tower (today&rsquo;s Willis Tower) being set against a light-polluted, sodium vapor sky.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brown-jesus.jpg" style="height: 347px; width: 620px;" title="Chicago Imagists painter Roger Brown's depiction of the Chicago skyline, titled 'The Entry of Christ into Chicago in 1976.' (Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art)" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><p>All that&rsquo;s to say, Mike Mesterharm&rsquo;s question comes at a bit of a well-lit crossroads; recent changes to Chicago&rsquo;s lit environment are again affecting its color palette. Warren says she&rsquo;s beginning to consider Brown&rsquo;s work as historical &mdash; like she would <a href="http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/111628" target="_blank">Edward Hopper&rsquo;s <em>Nighthawks</em></a> or Motley&rsquo;s <em>Bronzeville At Night</em> &mdash; because, like Mike, she&rsquo;s noticed the gradual visual exodus of the sodium vapor light.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Out with the gold, in with the blue</span></p><p>George Malek, director of ComEd&rsquo;s energy efficiency program, confirms sodium vapor lighting &mdash; and its tell-tale gold glow &mdash; is on its way out. And, he says, the transformation is driven by a city-wide movement toward efficient lighting, something that Mike had suspected when he pitched us his question.</p><p>Malek says during the &lsquo;90s, manufacturers and engineers developed ways to wring the same amount of light (if not more of it) from the same amount of power. The improvements, he says, came with indoor fluorescent lights used in office buildings and commercial businesses. Previously, fluorescents ran on magnetic ballasts (the things that make a lamp turn on), but newer, electronic ballasts could run on 60 percent of the energy previously needed. Over time, Malek says, the standard width of fluorescent tubes got thinner and thinner, but they emitted more and more light.</p><p>With these successes in hand, Malek says, companies like ComEd saw potential for energy efficiency on a larger scale.</p><p>In 2008 ComEd launched <a href="https://www.comed.com/business-savings/programs-incentives/Pages/lighting.aspx" target="_blank">a series of initiatives</a> to help businesses and residents cut their energy consumption &mdash; and costs &mdash; across the board. Malek says the vast majority of requests from commercial businesses were for replacing lighting systems. He says that&rsquo;s still the case.</p><p>Malek thinks our question-asker, Mike Mesterharm, is on to something when it comes to the Chicago skyline getting brighter.</p><p>&ldquo;I bet you there&rsquo;s more lumens at this point in the skyline,&rdquo; Malek says. &ldquo;I would think it&rsquo;s brighter.&rdquo;</p><p>Malek points out, though, that while the skyline&rsquo;s getting brighter in terms of lumens (a measurement of visible light), it&rsquo;s also getting brighter where you actually <em>need</em> it to be bright. That&rsquo;s because of the increasing accessibility of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), a lighting technology that&rsquo;s more directional and brighter than their sodium vapor predecessors.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/19ejvmq0elq8gjpg%20led%20lights%20hoover%20street%20courtesy.jpg" style="height: 352px; width: 620px;" title="An example of the color differences in sodium vapor lighting, left, versus LED lighting, right, on a residential street in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting) " /></div><p>LEDs are also &ldquo;cooler&rdquo; on the color spectrum &nbsp;than sodium vapor lights, so they give off a bluer hue, unless they&rsquo;re somehow manipulated. <a href="http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/why-blue-led-worth-nobel-prize" target="_blank">Advancements in LED color rendering</a> are happening quickly, though, Malek points out. So while the skyline may be brighter overall because of them, it&rsquo;s hard to predict long-term changes in the skyline&rsquo;s color.</p><p>Malek says ComEd&rsquo;s already experimenting with 800 LED streetlights in the Chicago suburbs of Lombard and Bensenville. The lights are not only more energy efficient, he says, but they&rsquo;re also equipped with &ldquo;smart technology.&rdquo; Applications could include dimming lights in sync with sunrise and sunset, or turning them off completely when people want to better appreciate Fourth of July fireworks displays. In emergency situations, they could be isolated to flash in areas that need attention by police or medics. (For better or for worse, it&rsquo;s possible that in the near future, your alderman or other local rep could control your neighborhood&rsquo;s street lights from an iPad.)</p><p>Malek can&rsquo;t say for sure whether Chicago will adopt the same fixture technology, but he predicts it will arrive someday, regardless of energy savings.</p><p>And if you think that&rsquo;s going to change the view of a skyline, we&rsquo;ve only scratched the surface.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">New creative powers</span></p><p>Light as a utility is one thing, but light as an aesthetic or artistic choice is another. And as LED technology swarms the light market, Chicago, like other cities, will have more choices about what kind of lights to buy and how to use them. That&rsquo;s true for your home, your neighborhood, and the entire Chicago skyline.</p><p>Changes in the skyline could be hard to ignore.</p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/62936054?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="620"></iframe><p>Take what&rsquo;s happened at the Intercontinental Miami. In 2013 the hotel installed a 19-story LED installation of a silhouetted woman dancing on the side of its building (and then offered <a href="http://miami.curbed.com/archives/2013/01/11/intercontinental-hotel.php" target="_blank">this explanation</a>). The 47-floor iconic Miami Tower in the heart of downtown is now also a <a href="http://www.ledsource.com/project/miami-tower/" target="_blank">slate for light displays that look like neon fish</a> &mdash; with the capability of 16 million color combinations.</p><p>In 2014 Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel<a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/dps/ContractAdministration/Specs/2014/Spec124831Exhibit1_Part1.pdf" target="_blank"> launched an international call for proposals</a> to have designers rethink the city&rsquo;s &ldquo;Lighting Framework Plan.&rdquo; According to the invitation, the city wants &ldquo;unique and revolutionary&rdquo; lighting concepts to decorate some of the most &ldquo;important and visible public places in Chicago.&rdquo; An invitation for proposals provides designers with suggestions, including photo displays cast onto the Merchandise Mart:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/dps/ContractAdministration/Specs/2014/Spec124831Exhibit1_Part1.pdf" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/proposal screenshot.PNG" style="height: 401px; width: 620px;" title="(Source: City of Chicago.)" /></a></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.schulershook.com/" target="_blank">Schuler Shook</a> lighting designer Jim Baney points out that LEDs can be used in subtle ways, but he&rsquo;s seen projects get carried away, too. From his vantage, lighting in Chicago should accompany presentation of architecture.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&ldquo;Just because we have the ability with LEDs to select from any number of different colors and to mix those colors to make other colors, doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean that we should all the time do that,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I think with control comes responsibility and comes the need for somebody to really have knowledge.&rdquo;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:22px;">Another choice: The case to be made for stars</span></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/audrey.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Audrey Fischer, President of Chicago's Astronomical Society. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">With this much power in our hands to light &nbsp;the world as much as we want (and however we want), there is a case to made for a different strategy for Chicago&rsquo;s future skyline: restraint.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Audrey Fischer, President of Chicago&rsquo;s Astronomical Society and an advocate for dark skies, wants the city to invest in light fixtures that only shine downward, and bulbs that don&rsquo;t burn quite so bright, or so blue.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&ldquo;In my mind a &lsquo;green&rsquo; city like Chicago ... ought to have a midnight blue sky, star-studded with the milky way,&rdquo; she says.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">If the case for starlight&rsquo;s natural beauty doesn&rsquo;t move you, Fischer points to a litany of problems associated with irresponsible lighting (aka, light pollution). For starters, it <a href="http://www.birdmonitors.net/LightsOut.php" target="_blank">screws up bird migratory paths</a> and <a href="http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/bats_and_lighting.html" target="_blank">disrupts roosting by local bat populations</a>. Even the eco-friendliest of lights can <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side" target="_blank">screw up our own internal clocks</a> as well. And that&rsquo;s apart from evidence that the wrong lighting can <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002207/" target="_blank">increase the risk of breast cancer</a>, <a href="http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/05/29/aje.kwu117.short" target="_blank">obesity</a>, and <a href="http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep" target="_blank">sleep disorders</a>. (For an extensive look on issues regarding blue-rich, white outdoor lighting, see <a href="http://www.darksky.org/assets/documents/Reports/IDA-Blue-Rich-Light-White-Paper.pdf" target="_blank">this report by the International Dark-Sky Association</a>).</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Fischer says Chicago is the most light-polluted city in the world, referencing <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/ngeo_1300_NOV11_auproof2.pdf" target="_blank">a study by researcher Harald Stark at the University of Colorado</a>. This is kind of ironic, given that in the early 20th century Edwin Hubble (of Hubble telescope fame) made some of <a href="https://cosmology.carnegiescience.edu/timeline/1929" target="_blank">his most important scientific discoveries</a> (like the fact that the universe is expanding) with a degree in mathematics and astronomy from the University of Chicago. Now, you can hardly even see starlight if you&#39;re gazing within the city limits.</div><div><p><a href="http://www.nps.gov/grba/learn/nature/lightscape.htm" target="_blank">A study by the National Park Service estimates</a> that by 2025, dark skies will be an &ldquo;extinct phenomena&rdquo; in the continental United States due to light pollution.</p><p>To people like Fischer, that&rsquo;s a pretty high cost.</p><p>&ldquo;Starlight is the one thing that connects all nationalities across this planet,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Theres a chance that we&rsquo;re going to lose that forever.&rdquo;</p><p>Here&rsquo;s a taste of what we&rsquo;re missing.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Chi1h5.jpg" style="height: 207px; width: 620px;" title="The Chicago sky as it could be without light pollution showing the Milky Way and numerous stars. (Composite image by Adler photographer, Craig Stillwell, and Adler astronomer, Larry Ciupik, based on images by Craig Stillwell and Wei-Hao Wang)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/mike_0.jpg" style="float: right; height: 213px; width: 300px;" title="(WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /><span style="font-size:22px;">About our question-asker</span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Mike Mesterharm is from Chicago, but he left the city at 18 to attend college. He says he didn&rsquo;t pay much attention to things like street lights or skyline changes. But come to think of it, he says, he didn&rsquo;t pay much attention to <em>anything</em> at 18.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Now, at 28, Mike says he&rsquo;s a bit more observant about his environment. In fact, he says his whole concept of the environment has expanded.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&ldquo;Our environment isn&rsquo;t simply the hard matter,&rdquo; Mike says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the things that exist around that. It&rsquo;s the light, it&rsquo;s the sound.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&ldquo;You know, I wouldn&rsquo;t have asked this question at 18. If anything, I find it reassuring that maybe if the skyline&rsquo;s changed and I&rsquo;m noticing it, that&rsquo;s a good thing. And if it hasn&rsquo;t changed &hellip; now I&rsquo;m paying attention.&rdquo;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Logan Jaffe is Curious City&rsquo;s multimedia producer. Follow her on twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/loganjaffe" target="_blank">@loganjaffe</a>.</em></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 17:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/art-and-science-behind-glow-chicagos-skyline-111928 EcoMyths: We can experience nature and art together http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-we-can-experience-nature-and-art-together-110675 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ecomyths.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/">EcoMyths Alliance</a> says: &ldquo;Too often, we think of nature and art as unrelated experiences. One is outside, the other is inside. But the way humans experience nature and art has been powerfully linked throughout history...And when that art speaks to us, it in turn deepens our connection with the world around us.&rdquo; For our regular <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths"><em>EcoMyths</em></a> segment, <a href="https://www.fieldmuseum.org/about/staff/profile/416">Alaka Wali</a>, anthropology curator at <a href="https://www.fieldmuseum.org/">The Field Museum</a>, joins Kate Sackman and Jerome McDonnell to share why she believes, &ldquo;engaging with art, whether viewing or making it yourself, gives you a visceral experience. This aesthetic, emotional experience [can be a] great way to engage with nature.&quot;<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160840481&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-92fe108d-f057-a90e-069f-fd6c5c486bf9"><strong>Key ways art and nature influence each other:</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em>&middot; Scientifically grounded art brings natural science to life:</em> Many people find science simply over their heads. Art can bridge the gap by enabling us to visualize what otherwise may seem remote or irrelevant. Audubon did this with detailed renderings of birds, just as the Field Museum does with artistic dioramas, which evoke a sense of the habitat and behavior of any given species, as well as its<a href="http://restoringearth.fieldmuseum.org/"> Restoring Earth</a> exhibit, which brings conservation science to life with mini-collections created by visitors. Wali also cites the example of the international<a href="http://crochetcoralreef.org/"> Crochet Coral Reef</a>, which raises awareness about coral reef destruction using an intricate crochet technique (get the full scoop in<a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_wertheim_crochets_the_coral_reef"> this TED Talk</a>).</p><p dir="ltr"><em>&middot; Nature-themed art opens doors to other worlds &ndash; including the one outside:</em> Museums can inspire us to head outside, whether it&#39;s the urban kid who doesn&#39;t realize how much nature is all around us until he sees an exhibit on local wildlife, or the art afficionado, inspired to book a trip to the gardens at Giverny and see the famed water lilies for themselves.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>&middot; Nature-inspired art inspires us to make a difference: </em>Because environmental topics can be overwhelmingly complicated, sometimes a single image is most effective in inspiring action. For example: To<a href="http://www.rare.org/history"> save an endangered parrot</a> native to St. Lucia, international conservation group<a href="http://www.rare.org/"> Rare</a> worked with schools to develop artwork, which eventually became a postage stamp, generating major community support for active protection of the bird. Another example: National Geo photographer Joel Sartore&#39;s<a href="http://photoark.com/galleries/"> Photo Ark</a> documents vulnerable species like the Carolina Grasshopper sparrow, which now has a real<a href="http://photoark.com/measurable-success-for-photo-ark/"> chance for comeback from decline</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">Stories like these abound: An artful interpretation of nature can, and has, inspired some of our noblest actions.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>EcoMyths Outcome</strong></p><p dir="ltr">Is getting outdoors the only way to experience nature? Nope! Is going to the museum the only way to experience art? Not a chance. Art can provide a meaningful portal into understanding and connecting with nature&mdash;and vice versa.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>One Green Thing: Let the great outdoors inspire your own art</strong></p><p dir="ltr">Whether it&rsquo;s<a href="http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-tips/nature-landscape-photos/"> snapping an artful shot</a> with your phone,<a href="http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-a-haiku.html"> writing a haiku</a> about the crazy shapes of the clouds, or<a href="http://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/01/incredible-balancing-stones-by-michael.html"> balancing river rocks</a>, getting creative in the great outdoors is a powerful way to commune with nature.</p></p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-we-can-experience-nature-and-art-together-110675 A fresh look at Freedom Wall http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fresh-look-freedom-wall-109771 <p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136868066&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>(Editor&#39;s note: The current episode of Curious City&#39;s podcast includes the interview portion of this story about Freedom Wall. That interview begins at 4 minutes, 55 seconds. Also, we&#39;re <a href="#form">taking your suggestions</a> about who should be included in a contemporary, digital Freedom Wall.)</em></p><p>If you ride the Brown Line or the Purple Line through Chicago&rsquo;s River North neighborhood, you&rsquo;ve probably seen this <a href="#list">list of names</a>. It&rsquo;s on the side of a brick building on Huron Street, where the Nacional 27 restaurant is located. The black banner stretches 72 feet high. Martin Luther King is at the top. Farther down, you&rsquo;ll see Harriet Tubman, the Dalai Lama, Frank Zappa, Ayn Rand and more.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/question%20asker%20and%20artist%20FOR%20WEB.jpg" style="height: 180px; width: 250px; float: right;" title="Dominique Lewis asked about the large banner of names on the city's Near North Side. Artist Adam Brooks, right, explained what's behind the piece called Freedom Wall. (WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" />Dominique Lewis caught glimpses of those 69 names in white letters &mdash; as well as one mysterious blank line &mdash; as she rode the Purple Line to work every day. &ldquo;I thought, &lsquo;That&rsquo;s weird. Why is Rush Limbaugh on a list with Martin Luther King Jr.?&rsquo;&rdquo; she says. So <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/questions/1189" target="_blank">she asked Curious City to investigate</a> the list&#39;s history and whether there&#39;s a common theme that connects those names.</p><p>Well, it&rsquo;s called <em>Freedom Wall</em>, and all of the names represent freedom ... or someone&rsquo;s idea of freedom, anyway. The artist who created it &nbsp;&mdash; Adam Brooks, a <a href="http://www.colum.edu/Academics/Art_and_Design/Faculty_Staff/FT_Faculty/Adam_Brook.php">Columbia College professor</a> who grew up in London &mdash; says he didn&rsquo;t have a partisan political agenda when he put up the list 20 years ago this August. In fact, he went out of his way to include conservative as well as liberal opinions about who represents freedom. And he avoided spelling out the word &ldquo;freedom&rdquo; on the banner because he wanted to make people think. He certainly got Lewis thinking.</p><p>Brooks acknowledges that <em>Freedom Wall</em> prompts some people to ask, &ldquo;Wait, that&rsquo;s supposed to be art?&rdquo; But he appears to have very little ego about his artwork, not even bothering to sign it. Brooks is trying to engage the public with his public art, not to dazzle people with his artistic prowess.</p><p>We invited Brooks to the WBEZ studios to discuss <em>Freedom Wall</em>. Lewis joined us for the conversation and added some questions of her own. Here&rsquo;s an edited transcript of our discussion.</p><p><strong>Why did you create <em>Freedom Wall</em>?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks:</strong> In 1992 and the lead-up to the presidential election that year, I heard the candidates really ramping up the idea of freedom. Of course, who&rsquo;s going to be against freedom? America is the land of the free. I was interested in exploring that word a little bit further.</p><p><strong>Why did you seek other people&rsquo;s opinions?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>It would&rsquo;ve been very easy for me to sit down and draw up a list of names of people that I felt embodied the idea of freedom, but that would&rsquo;ve been rather boring. And so what I did was essentially ask the question, &ldquo;Give me the names of up to three people that you feel embody the concept of freedom, whatever that means to you.&rdquo;</p><p>The Internet was really in its infancy then as a communicative medium. I posted this question on America Online, and in relatively short order, people started responding &mdash; particularly teachers, who were early adopters of the technology in their classrooms. The rank of the names on the list is essentially reflective of the frequency of nomination of those names. So Martin Luther King received the most votes.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>Did you have favorite names on the list, people who stood out for you for exemplifying freedom?</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/freedom%20wall%20vertical%20for%20WEB%20cred%20robert%20loerzel.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 330px; width: 220px;" title="The names listed on Freedom Wall were hand-lettered by a single craftsman from northern Indiana. (WBEZ/Robert Loerzel)" /><strong>Brooks:</strong> As far as I&rsquo;m concerned, that question is not pertinent to the project. Undoubtedly, personally I do, but because of the way that I work I don&rsquo;t take an ideological or other particular stance. I&rsquo;m interested in asking questions, and not posing answers. That, to me, is what art making is about &mdash; is to ask questions. And so, while certainly there are some people that I feel affinity with on the list more than others, I don&rsquo;t feel that it&rsquo;s really important for me to give you a specific answer.</p><p>I consciously did a search for conservatives and sent out hundreds of email requests to those people that themselves identified as conservatives. Because one of the things that I didn&rsquo;t want to end up happening was for someone like Rush Limbaugh to look at a project like this, and say, &ldquo;Oh, it&rsquo;s just another piece of liberal claptrap.&rdquo;</p><p>It was very important to me that there was no alteration, omission or any other kind of tampering with the results on my part. The only thing that I had to make decisions about was when specific names got the same number of nominations &mdash; how to rank them next to each other. So putting Anita Hill and Rush Limbaugh together, because they did get the same number of nominations, was quite delicious to me. Other than that, it&rsquo;s completely straight.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>Did any of the names you received shape or change your ideas of freedom?</p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>There was one set of answers from a German artist who was living in Chicago at that point in time, who was always a bit of a jokester. His three names were Stalin, Louis XIV and Hitler. And his rationale was that those three individuals created worlds in which they had absolute freedom to do whatever they wanted to do. And while that&rsquo;s an extreme response, I think that it&rsquo;s just as valid as any of the other responses that I received.<a name="list"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="http://cf.datawrapper.de/VaCQr/1/" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="200"></iframe><br /><a href="https://docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ai7E2pZ6aCZtdF9xNXo4RlNZbFZuV3JTbDNWWUNkX1E&amp;usp=drive_web#gid=0" target="_blank">(view / download list)</a></p><p><strong>Why is there a blank line under Frank Zappa?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>I think six people responded saying that they really didn&rsquo;t feel that one name could sufficiently embody the idea of freedom. And in fact, one respondent actually said she didn&rsquo;t know what freedom was and seriously doubted that it existed. And so it was important to me to recognize the fact that actually some people refuse to participate. In hindsight, it also functioned as a space into which passersby could potentially, mentally, insert their own choice.</p><p><strong>How did <em>Freedom Wall</em> end up at this location on Huron Street?</strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/wide%20shot%20FOR%20WEB%20cred%20mickey%20capper.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 320px; margin: 5px; float: right;" title="Adam Brooks' Freedom Wall is set against a building that's the home of the Nacional 27 restaurant. (WBEZ/Mickey Capper)" /><strong>Brooks:</strong> The building at that time was owned by Buzz Ruttenberg, who has been a longtime supporter of the arts in Chicago. And the gallery that I was affiliated with at that time, the Rhona Hoffman Gallery, was actually in that building. Rhona and Buzz and I sat down and talked about the project, and without any hesitation, Buzz said, &ldquo;Yeah, it&rsquo;s fine, just make sure that it doesn&rsquo;t deteriorate.&rdquo; And I assured him that the technology had reached a point where it would not be peeling off &mdash; and indeed, it still looks pristine 20 years later, which is kind of amazing to me.</p><p>This was the second mooted location for the project. The original location, not too far away, was all set to go. The landlord of the building took a look at the long list, and saw Hitler on it, and said, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s gonna be crowds of people throwing bricks through my window if Hitler makes it onto the list. So unfortunately, I can&rsquo;t work with you on this project.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Lewis: Did the train [The CTA Brown Line] pass by the original site?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>No. So in the end, it worked out very well for everyone concerned. Because being able to see it from the train is a huge advantage in its visibility, and I&rsquo;ve always liked the idea that it&rsquo;s a fleeting experience.</p><p><strong>How did you choose the font?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>The font is Helvetica, which is one of the most common sans-serif fonts. Helvetica is probably the most ordinary font there is. I want people to look at the information and not think about the font at all.</p><p><strong>Why did you put this list of names up without any explanation on the wall? You don&rsquo;t have the word &ldquo;freedom&rdquo; anywhere to explain what this is all about.</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>I believe that art should not be a spoon-feeding process &mdash; that people should do some work, at least, to gain access to the kind of work that I make. Neither do I want it to be purposefully opaque or obscure, but asking passersby and viewers to do a bit of work to make connections between all of the names on that list is one of the essential components of the project for me.</p><p><strong>Lewis:</strong> I think it stood out more because it didn&rsquo;t have a title on it. I couldn&rsquo;t just Google what it was. I&rsquo;m on the train every morning, kind of staring out the window, so I have the time to think about it. There are some names I wasn&rsquo;t familiar with, so I went and looked some people up. There were some names that I thought, you know, &ldquo;These are kind of incongruent. I don&rsquo;t know what they have to do with each other.&rdquo; I&rsquo;ve talked to people about it, too. I&rsquo;ve talked to my friends, like: &ldquo;Hey, you&rsquo;ve seen that sign, right? What&rsquo;s the deal with that? What&rsquo;s going on?&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>And that&rsquo;s all I can really ask for. And if in some small way, I can lodge a question in people&rsquo;s heads and make them think a little bit, that&rsquo;s quite sufficient for me.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>I don&rsquo;t see your name anywhere on there. Was that on purpose &mdash; is it somewhere hidden?</p><p><strong>Brooks: </strong>It&rsquo;s not hidden. It&rsquo;s not there. The idea of signing one&rsquo;s work is a modernist conceit, and I&rsquo;ve never signed my work &mdash; except maybe when I was in college 30-plus years ago, because that&rsquo;s what I was told I needed to do. But in pretty short order, I realized that that wasn&rsquo;t important, that the work itself was the signature. And if people are interested enough, they will find out who made the work.</p><p><strong>Lewis: </strong>That&rsquo;s what I did.</p><p><strong>Brooks:</strong> For me, one of the most fascinating things about this whole project was going to northern Indiana, into a huge sign-painting warehouse and spending a day watching the one late-middle-aged man hand-letter each one of these names with a 3-inch-wide brush. Because he had been making these letters on billboards for 30 years, it was amazing watching him do it &mdash; absolutely precise and really fast. He did six names an hour. This painter&rsquo;s name was Bob Morales.</p><p><strong>How does <em>Freedom Wall</em> relate to the art you&rsquo;ve done recently with <a href="http://www.industryoftheordinary.com">Industry of the Ordinary</a>, your collaboration with Mathew Wilson?</strong></p><p><strong>Brooks:</strong><em> Freedom Wall</em> was the first open acknowledgement that I&rsquo;m interested in reaching as wide an audience as possible &mdash; and presenting work that often does not even appear to be art. Asking questions about what art is &mdash; and whether it can function outside of the confines of the white-walled gallery.</p><p><em>Who represents freedom to you? Which names would you put on a new version of Freedom Wall? Suggest names here.<a name="form"></a>&nbsp;</em></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><div id="wufoo-rhfbmej1nd9yf0">Fill out my <a href="https://thecuriouscity.wufoo.com/forms/rhfbmej1nd9yf0">online form</a>.</div><script type="text/javascript">var rhfbmej1nd9yf0;(function(d, t) { var s = d.createElement(t), options = { 'userName':'thecuriouscity', 'formHash':'rhfbmej1nd9yf0', 'autoResize':true, 'height':'617', 'async':true, 'host':'wufoo.com', 'header':'show', 'ssl':true}; s.src = ('https:' == d.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'wufoo.com/scripts/embed/form.js'; s.onload = s.onreadystatechange = function() { var rs = this.readyState; if (rs) if (rs != 'complete') if (rs != 'loaded') return; try { rhfbmej1nd9yf0 = new WufooForm();rhfbmej1nd9yf0.initialize(options);rhfbmej1nd9yf0.display(); } catch (e) {}}; var scr = d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0], par = scr.parentNode; par.insertBefore(s, scr); })(document, 'script');</script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><br /><p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/209578749/Freedom-Wall-A-project-by-Chicago-artist-Adam-Brooks" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Freedom Wall: A project by Chicago artist Adam Brooks on Scribd">Freedom Wall: A project by Chicago artist Adam Brooks</a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><a name="pdf"></a><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_53845" scrolling="no" src="//www.scribd.com/embeds/209578749/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Robert Loerzel is a freelance journalist. You can follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/robertloerzel">@robertloerzel</a></em></p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Adam Brooks&#39; collaborator. The correct spelling is Mathew Wilson.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Additional editor&#39;s note: After reporting this story, Curious City was informed that the current owner of the building that Freedom Wall is installed upon is the Conant family. That family is the backer of the&nbsp;Doris and Howard Conant Fund for Journalism, which supports Curious City through contributions to WBEZ.</em>&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fresh-look-freedom-wall-109771 City Self exhibition attempts a portrait of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/city-self-exhibition-attempts-portrait-chicago-109394 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/mca photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicagoans do not always welcome critiques of their city by outsiders.</p><p>Take Rachel Shteir. In <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/books/review/the-third-coast-by-thomas-dyja-and-more.html?pagewanted=1&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">a now infamous essay for the <em>New York Times</em></a> last April, the DePaul University professor and New York native confessed she was &ldquo;bugged by Chicago&rsquo;s swagger,&rdquo; given its laundry list of economic and social problems. She even called out some local writers for perpetuating the &ldquo;bloviating.&rdquo;</p><p>The response, at least here, was swift, severe, and resoundingly negative. Shteir had more than touched a nerve. She started a fight.</p><p>So when Dieter Roelstraete decided to curate an exhibition about Chicago&mdash;currently running at the Museum of Contemporary Art&mdash;and include work by artists from outside the city, he was well aware he too might &ldquo;rile&rdquo; people.</p><p>&ldquo;This is a city that likes to talk about itself, and doesn&rsquo;t like other people talking about it, which is true of many cities,&rdquo; said Roelstraete, whose installation is called <a href="http://www.mcachicago.org/exhibitions/now/2013/318" target="_blank">City Self</a>. &ldquo;So this show for me is a little bit of an experiment. Because I myself go out on a limb.&rdquo;</p><p>Consisting largely of photography, Roelstraete says City Self functions as kind of a &ldquo;dialectic&rdquo; about Chicago: between the views of insiders and outsiders, from both bird&rsquo;s eye and &ldquo;from within the bowels&rdquo; points of view.</p><p>Works by local artists such as cartoonist Chris Ware and photographer Jonas Dovydenas present up-close, mainly warm, and people-centric views of Chicago&rsquo;s neighborhoods and ethnic communities. Alongside those are works that cast what Roelstraete calls a &ldquo;forensic&rdquo; eye on the city.</p><p>Ruth Thorne-Thomsen and Tom Van Eynde capture small, enigmatic scenes that convey a sense of desolation and at times disaster. Catherine Opie and Andreas Gursky&rsquo;s epic photographs of Chicago&rsquo;s economic and architectural infrastructure render the city as a dazzling, if impersonal, space. The show&rsquo;s centerpiece unfolds on a floor-to-ceiling screen housed in a long, dark, rectangular gallery. Chicago, a 2011 film by Sarah Morris, is a spectacular, almost glistening panorama of the city.</p><p>Chicago takes a very familiar and even boosterish point of view. There are long, repeating shots of well-worn tourists spots such as the John Hancock Building and Manny&rsquo;s Deli. Regular Chicagoans hang out at the beach, eat lunch, and motor down Lake Shore Drive. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley holds a press conference.</p><p>But all of it has an uncanny air. Morris&rsquo; camera wanders through spaces that are now shuttered, such as the former Ebony Jet Magazine offices. She films industry that has largely vanished (meat packing, much of local newspaper publishing). All ambient sound is stripped away. Instead, everything plays out over a minimalist (and eventually annoying) electronic beat. If the film comes across as an advertisement, it is for something nobody seems interested in buying anymore.</p><p>Roelstraete said Morris&rsquo; film inspired the show&rsquo;s theme.</p><p>&ldquo;Her obsession with surface is duplicated in quite a few of the works by outsiders who really don&rsquo;t care so much about getting to know the city,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re kind of more interested in this slightly alienated spectacle of the modern metropolis.&rdquo;</p><p>Morris is an outsider. She is British and lives in New York. But in a post-screening discussion, she revealed that her ability to make this film relied on her connection to the most insider of insiders: Penny Pritzker, the Chicago billionaire-businesswoman currently serving as U.S. secretary of Commerce.</p><p>That complicates the insider-outsider dynamic that Roelstraete is attempting to explore. And though Roelstraete too is an outsider -- he moved here from Berlin less than a year ago -- he seems less interested in Chicago as a specific locale, seeing it as the &ldquo;quintessential American city.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Just the intensity of gun violence, or the byzantine complexities of bipartisan politics in this country,&rdquo; said Roelstraete. &ldquo;So if there is a dark undertone, I guess it is the dark undertone of American society as a whole.&rdquo;</p><p>City Self is at the Museum of Contemporary Art through April.</p><p><em><a href=" http://www.wbez.org/users/acuddy-0" rel="author"> Alison Cuddy</a> is an arts and culture reporter at WBEZ. You can follow her on <a href=" https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter </a>, <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison"> Facebook</a>&nbsp;and <a href=" http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 15:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/city-self-exhibition-attempts-portrait-chicago-109394 Long live the art fair http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-09/long-live-art-fair-108764 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CAC_CodyHudson-print.jpg" style="height: 600px; width: 600px;" title="('Free Time'/Cody Hudson)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">The woman from the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chicagoartistscoalition" target="_blank">Chicago Artists Coalition</a> told me I could store my recently purchased <a href="http://struggleinc.com/" target="_blank">Cody Hudson</a> print in their space and pick it up later, away from the frenzy of the breakfast for the opening of the <a href="http://editionchicago.com/" target="_blank">EDITION Chicago</a> art fair. That probably would have been a better plan since I had to return to my office later that day.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">But I am not rich. And when given the chance to purchase a print within my limited budget, I did not hesitate. I purchased #26 in the edition of 100, an early birthday present for myself and symbol of what art collecting means for many: a chance to grow into a practice that might not be your own.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">And because it was mine then and now and (hopefully) forever, I wanted to hold it and make it true. It would only exist as a concept, an idea of my love of art, until it was mine.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">&quot;No!&quot; I said. And after a long pause, I repeated myself. &quot;No! I&#39;ll hold it now.&quot;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">I took it with me right then. Last Friday was seasonably chilly and as I missed bus after bus and train after train, I considered my decision.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">What is the state of the Chicago art fair and the Chicago art community? I can only speak from an outsider&#39;s perspective.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">Last weekend, Chicago welcomed the <a href="http://expochicago.com/" target="_blank">EXPO CHICAGO</a> art fair at Navy Pier and two satellite fairs, the above-mentioned EDITION and the <a href="http://www.fountainartfair.com/fountain-returns-to-chicago/" target="_blank">Fountain</a> art fair. For a city that once risked floundering under the departure of the local institution Art Chicago, last weekend showed no signs of worry.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">I slowly fell into the art community during my senior year of college. It was a moment of learning and a moment of appreciation. While normally surrounded by writers and musicians, I found visual artists to be especially fascinating. This was a world I did not participate in.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">I am not an artist. I am not a facilitator or coordinator or curator. I barely exist as an arts writer. Rather, I am a fan, someone who can appreciate aesthetics and grand ideas, who has an enthusiasm for what I see and what an artist wants to say. So I attend art festivals and fairs and museums and galleries to behold the things I can not produce, but that I still love. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">Chicago will never be any other city. And perhaps that is a good thing. When it comes to the art community, what others lack, Chicago has in abundance. For one, I have always found it easy to understand it, to find singular visions and projects within it, to keep a part of it. We want you here, they might be saying. You just don&#39;t know it yet.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-31435762-564f-555d-5af9-a52f3a86bb6f">Chicago is a city of communities and neighborhoods, of cliques, and gangs. We find our own and we stick with them. If you can not find your community here, you are not looking hard enough. And the Chicago art community, for all of its challenges in a city as sprawling as ours, managed to create a moment that spoke to the strength of what is already here and the possibility of what can come.&nbsp;</span></p></div><p><em>Britt Julious is the co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbezs-changing-channels" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. She also writes about race and culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 15:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-09/long-live-art-fair-108764 Expo Chicago’s sophomore outing http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-09/expo-chicago%E2%80%99s-sophomore-outing-108714 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/photo (3)_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-62cb411d-36b1-81de-bd34-6d4426f0e6ec">Musicians often face the pressure of the so-called &ldquo;sophomore curse&rdquo; with their follow-up albums, i.e., will the critics or fans adore it as much as the first record?</p><p dir="ltr">But if <a href="http://expochicago.com/">Expo Chicago</a>&rsquo;s director Tony Karman is feeling a similar pressure around the second outing of his international art fair, he&rsquo;s not saying.</p><p dir="ltr">As dealers and workmen were hustling to install the final fixtures and artworks at Navy Pier&rsquo;s Festival Hall, Karman seemed calm.</p><p dir="ltr">He says his focus this year is the same as last year&rsquo;s: the quality of the work.</p><p dir="ltr">Quality was definitely the headline of last year&rsquo;s festival, and it appears to be back with this year&rsquo;s outing: The beautiful open layout, punctuated by Jeanne Gang&rsquo;s massive airborne sculptural objects. The high-caliber art work from international and local artists.</p><p dir="ltr">Karman has put more emphasis on newer art, partnered with satellite fairs, and wrapped everything in a week-long celebration of Chicago&rsquo;s art scene.</p><p dir="ltr">But, for the moment, Karman says he&rsquo;s trying to sustain what he started.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;My interest is not to make this a mega-fair,&rdquo; Karman said. &ldquo;My interest is to make sure that the scale of this fair fits what this marketplace can sustain.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">What kind of marketplace exists for a Midwestern art fair continues to be the question.</p><p dir="ltr">Last year, lots of dealers did well, selling a lot or even everything they brought.</p><p dir="ltr">That was the case for dealer David Juda, the director of <a href="http://www.annelyjudafineart.co.uk/">Annely Juda Fine Arts</a> in London.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">He&rsquo;s back for a second year, but he&rsquo;s been coming to Chicago since the days of the first international art fair, which was also held on Navy Pier.</p><p dir="ltr">He says the quality and organization has definitely improved - <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Chicago">in those days</a> they had to wrap the paintings in plastic because the Pier was still open to the elements.</p><p dir="ltr">Jura has brought lots of historic pieces to Chicago, including early 20th century works by artists like <a href="http://www.moholy-nagy.com/">Moholy-Nage</a>. He says local collectors have a &ldquo;sophisticated&rdquo; palate influenced by European traditions, unlike the more &ldquo;Americanized&rdquo; patrons at Art Basel Miami.</p><p dir="ltr">But unlike their Miami counterparts, Jura thinks the Midwestern crowd didn&rsquo;t quite get on the buying board at last year&rsquo;s Expo.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;At Art Basel, the collectors are already thinking how much money they&rsquo;ve got to spend, what they want to buy, they&rsquo;re already sort of primed,&rdquo; said Jura. &ldquo;Hopefully last year was the priming and this year&rsquo;s the success.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Success eluded dealer <a href="http://www.ppowgallery.com/">Wendy Olsoff </a>last year, who comes from P-P-O-W Gallery in New York. Though she said it&rsquo;s &ldquo;not all about the money you make,&rdquo; Osloff said her gallery made only one significant sale.</p><p dir="ltr">Olsoff is back for a second time because she&rsquo;s already invested time and money in Chicago. And last year proved good for networking. But if her bottom line doesn&rsquo;t improve by year three, Olsoff says she&rsquo;d reconsider.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;People hope that it will work, they like Chicago, there&rsquo;s a history of art here,&rdquo; Osloff said. &ldquo;But whether that will happen, who knows.&rdquo;</p><p>Expo Chicago runs September 19-22 at Navy Pier.</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-hosts the WBEZ podcasts <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels</a> and <a href="https://soundcloud.com/strangebrews">Strange Brews</a>. Follow her on<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter</a>,<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a></em></p></p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 09:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-09/expo-chicago%E2%80%99s-sophomore-outing-108714 Morning Shift: Exploitation or art? Photographing a city's deterioration http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-12/morning-shift-exploitation-or-art-photographing-citys <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Ruins-Flickr- stormdog42.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We discuss the trend of photographing modern ruins and whether it exposes viewers to a world they may never see, or exploits a city&#39;s dissent. And, the new play Invasion! stirs up conversation about the politics of racial profiling.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-41.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-41" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Exploitation or art? Photographing a city's deterioration" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Mon, 12 Aug 2013 08:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-12/morning-shift-exploitation-or-art-photographing-citys Morning Shift: Revamping Lake Shore Drive http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-30/morning-shift-revamping-lake-shore-drive-108220 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/LSD-Flickr- guanacux.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The city is planning to revamp Lake Shore Drive to make it more accommodating to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. What will this mean for your commute? How would you change Lake Shore Drive?</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-31.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-31" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Revamping Lake Shore Drive" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-30/morning-shift-revamping-lake-shore-drive-108220 Artists turn up volume on gun violence debate http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-07/artists-turn-volume-gun-violence-debate-108080 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-703a8a48-eced-3c66-a3fb-e5fa8ca03c3d"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/just%20yell%20at%20monique%20meloche%20gallery.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Just Yell Exhibition, Cheryl Pope, 2013 (James Prinz Photography, courtesy of the artist and moniquemeloche gallery) " />One of the ideas that circulated <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/14/mark-omara-george-zimmerman-black_n_3593337.html">around</a> the recent Trayvon Martin murder trial is that African-Americans only care when white people kill black people.</p><p dir="ltr">Critics have debunked that very notion as both a <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/07/15/the-trayvon-martin-killing-and-the-myth-of-black-on-black-crime.html">myth</a> and an oversimplification, one that can obscure the way black communities <em>do</em> rally to respond to neighborhood violence, or how whites <em>do</em> sometimes resort to racist stereotypes in talking about criminality.</p><p dir="ltr">Now another reaction to this idea of black-on-black violence can be found at <a href="http://www.dusablemuseum.org/events/details/kkk-kin-killin-kin-the-arts-as-an-agent-of-change">KKK - Kin Killin&rsquo; Kin</a>, a new exhibition at <a href="http://www.dusablemuseum.org/">The DuSable Museum of African American History</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">The show is by James Pate, an artist based in Dayton, Ohio. He believes blacks may well respond more vocally when white people kill blacks, a response he attributes to a psychological state that is a &ldquo;residue&rdquo; of historical experiences like lynchings: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a sensitivity that to me is unreasonable,&rdquo; said Pate. &ldquo;But I think that&#39;s where it comes from, this imbalance in the uproar.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But the more provocative aspect of Pate&rsquo;s work may be the way he<em> himself </em>represents black people.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/K%2C%202%20Da%20K%2C%202%20Da%20K%2C%20II.jpg" style="float: left; height: 220px; width: 300px;" title="Since 2000, James Pate has been depicting gang members in Ku Klux Klan robes, out of “frustration” with ongoing gun violence. (Photo Andy Snow, courtesy EbonNia Gallery)" />In large charcoal-on-canvas drawings, full of complex layers and details so exacting they almost appear to be 3-D renderings, Pate depicts gun-toting young black men as members of the Ku Klux Klan. Clad in sports jerseys, chains and white hoods, the boys shoot indiscriminately at one another, while bystanders are caught in the crossfire, including a young child on a swing.</p><p dir="ltr">In the wake of Trayvon Martin&rsquo;s killing, to show gang members clad in the robes of white racist vigilantes is a challenge, to say the least. But Pate said he has no choice.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It is difficult for me to react any other way as an artist,&rdquo; said Pate, who&rsquo;s been making these images since 2000. &ldquo;It is extreme to me, so I decided to do something as extreme as I can imagine, within what I &nbsp;do as an artist, stylistically.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Pate said his art stems from conversations in the black community, &ldquo;about how black-on-black violence has replaced the KKK form of terrorism. I decided that to sort of curb my blues, I would illustrate that sentiment and show them going at it and some of the aftermath of these acts.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Your%20History%20II.jpg" style="float: right; height: 218px; width: 300px;" title="Your History II, James Pate, 2007 Civil rights activists as passive observers of contemporary gun violence. (Photo Andy Snow, courtesy EbonNia Gallery)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Pate&rsquo;s images also juxtapose contemporary violence with action from other historical moments. In the foreground of <em>Your History III</em>, two young men drawn in bold relief shoot each other with semi-automatic pistols. On either side of the frame, drawn in fainter tones, there are rows of young men, seated at a restaurant counter, who appear to be witnesses to the shooting.</p><p dir="ltr">Pate said his reference to the lunch counter protests of the Civil Rights Movement poses a question: &ldquo;What in the world happened between that ideal and that mentality, and that sacrifice - and this?&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Pate&rsquo;s images cite other historical figures, from black Union soldiers to Adolf Hitler to Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC. There are even allusions to the crowds who came out to watch lynchings during the height of the Klan&rsquo;s raids, depicted here as passive witnesses to violent acts.</p><p dir="ltr">That passivity comes across as a critique of community indifference or action. But Pate said his work also reflects &ldquo;a frustration that I&#39;m experiencing because I don&#39;t know what to do, and all I do know is that in art I can go there and turn my volume up a bit.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Pate said reaction to the work (which was shown previously in Ohio), ranges from recognition to anger, the latter especially from blacks who feel he&rsquo;s airing dirty laundry. In response, Pate said that laundry was hung out long ago.</p><p dir="ltr">Carol Adams, who heads the DuSable and brought the show to Chicago, agrees.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If the show offends a little bit, well, we&rsquo;ve been way too polite,&rdquo; Adams said. &ldquo;It is a madness, and it is time to scream.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Local audiences already seem to be paying attention. At the exhibition&rsquo;s entrance, visitors are invited to write the names of deceased friends and family on small manila tags and attach them to stretches of chain-link fence installed for the show. Even before the show opened, museumgoers started filling out the tags - there are already more than a hundred on display.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>&lsquo;KKK - Kin Killin&rsquo; Kin,&rsquo; The DuSable Museum of African American History, through Aug. 3. James Pate will give a gallery talk on Thursday, Aug. 1, from 6:30 - 9 p.m.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.cherylpope.net/HOME.html">Cheryl Pope</a> is another artist turning up the volume around the violence debate in her show <em>Just Yell</em>, which is at the <a href="http://moniquemeloche.com/cheryl-pope-just-yell/">moniquemeloche gallery </a>through Aug. 3.</p><p dir="ltr">The show&rsquo;s name references the first cheerleaders, known as &ldquo;yellers,&rdquo; who in the late 19th century got up in front of crowds and started to call out cheers.</p><p dir="ltr">Both the structure of Pope&rsquo;s show (which is a collaboration with students from public schools across the city) and the works she&rsquo;s created (which include a yearbook, a spirit stick, and a large wall-mounted varsity patch) are efforts to invoke the team mentality and powerful spirit of the yellers.</p><p dir="ltr">But in place of sports cheers, Pope offers what she calls &ldquo;testimonials&rdquo;: the words of students, who, in response to prompts from Pope, wrote about their reactions to violence and what that makes them want to &ldquo;yell.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/remember%20to%20remember.jpg" style="height: 227px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="'Remember to Remember' is a roster of young victims of gun violence in Chicago over an 18 month period. (James Prinz Photography, courtesy of the artist and moniquemeloche gallery)" />Those cries take different forms. In <em>Remember to Remember</em>, Pope has arranged rows of small gold plates engraved with the names of young victims of violence. &nbsp;Mixed in among those names are haikus from students past and present, including one Pope said was written <a href="http://wgntv.com/news/stories/2-teens-shot-1-dies/">by shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton</a> when she was in the third grade. Pope said the poetic phrases (one reads &ldquo;here i am/you thought i was gone/so i love&rdquo;), which are engraved on black plates, function like a visual &ldquo;moment of silence.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The schools don&rsquo;t always have the time or space or means to create opportunities for grieving or processing these losses,&rdquo; said Pope. &ldquo;I wanted students to feel empowered by the way they react so we could have those conversations.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But like Pate, Pope&rsquo;s exhibition also contains a provocation: The colors scheme she&rsquo;s used across the objects in her show are those of local gang The Latin Kings: gold, black and white. And she represents gang culture in other ways. &nbsp;In <em>Just Yell &lsquo;13: A Guidebook for Yellers</em>, pictures of both victims and gunmen are displayed in tidy, yearbook-like rows.</p><p dir="ltr">Pope said that in researching The Latin Kings, she found remarkable parallels between their &ldquo;philosophy&rdquo; (which is defined by their <a href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=latin%20kings">five-point crown</a>) and the ideals of school or team spirit, things like love or respect or community. In other words, gangs promise &ldquo;everything young people are asking for.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I wanted to be mindful and not glorify, but make visible that parallel, or that confused space, which can exist for young people,&rdquo; said Pope. &ldquo;Where gang affiliation can offer the satisfactions of being on the same team, or sharing a goal, or knowing someone has your back.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Despite their different styles, there are remarkable parallels between Pate and Pope.</p><p dir="ltr">Both use inflammatory imagery not just to provoke viewers but to reveal their own emotional connections to the issue of violence (a perspective which partly results from working closely with young people, Pate as an artist-in-residence at public schools, Pope at the <a href="http://jamesrjordan.bgcc.org/">James R. Jordan Boys and Girls Club</a> near the United Center).</p><p dir="ltr">Both are committed to a continuing exploration of violence: Pate has moved into color images and Pope&rsquo;s next project involves how people grieve for their communities.</p><p dir="ltr">But by forcing together supposedly disparate groups - draping gang members in Klan robes or decorating a school spirit stick in gang colors - each artist has created a different space to discuss violence.</p><p dir="ltr">Once you sort through that confusion of images, the space can come across as absence -- something painful and awful and empty. But it also contains potential, as a place from which it might be possible to do or say - or even yell - something new.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>&lsquo;Just Yell&rsquo; is at the moniquemeloche gallery through Aug. 3. On July 27, Pope has invited what she calls &ldquo;game players&rdquo; - those actually on the court rather than yelling from the sidelines - to the show, including aldermen, DCASE Commissioner Michelle Boone and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-host of <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels,</a> a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter</a>,<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a></em></p></p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 08:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-07/artists-turn-volume-gun-violence-debate-108080