BUSKERS

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25/05/2011


ISYS100 video Report
In this assignment, we aim to shoot a short film which needs to be edited in a complete way. Although the video does not last long, the work we did is more than what it looks like.

We indeed confronted several challenges during the process of the assignment. First of all, we had a big problem on the choices of locations. Initially, we intended to look for some places which are central to street arts; however it turns out to be more difficult than what we imagined. A multitude of street walls which are covered by gorgeous painting are scattered into different locations. As a consequence, it brings us a physical burden on scrabbling about street arts.

Secondly, for the sake of diversity, we determined to provide various types of street arts in our video, such as acrobatics, buskers, etc. In fact, the day we shoot the video was not weekend which means we had fewer opportunities to capture different types of street artists. In spite of that, we try our best to enrich our content of video.

The last but not least, along with the progress of creating the video, the conflict of editing tools’ selection among our group members is increasingly apparent. Some of them supported to apply ulead video studio as it is more popular recently. Some suggested using window movie maker since it is most common. Imovie is followed by apple mania. Ultimately, we utilized two sorts of tools (window movie maker and Imovie) in order to compare the different effects and select the better version.

As to the process of creating the video, as I mentioned before, we went to a vast of places which are across almost entire city area in order to collect video material. For instance, we found aborigines and acrobatics shows in Circular quay and darling harbor respectively. Amazing hip hop show is sought in QVB to add fashionable elements into the video. In townhall station, a guitar street singer was playing a fetching song which was captured by our camera as well. At last, graffiti was founded in the rocks and north Sydney.

During the editing process, comparing with two editing tools we found that Imovie was relative ease of use, since we merely need to add our video source into the software, and then selected one title from the module board.
By dragging the segments to finish the cutting and combining. In addition, as the Imovie version looks impressive and vivid, most of group members voted for this version rather than the movie maker version.
At last, we inserted background music and words to display the video perfectly. Due to our video is concentrated on the street arts; we simply added a picture of our group members to meet the requirements of assignment.

Refer to the topic of group assignment the blog created mainly focus on the post of street busckers and graffitis. Some pictures and articles which were posted on the blog are attracting the general public‘s resonance.

Similarly, the content of our video is interactive with the blog. The essence of the blog is to present the interest findings in our daily life. Therefore, the video assignment is compliance with the goal of blog.

On the basis of the vivid examples which are presented in video, the blog becomes more convincible and attractive. Additionally, it firmly highlights the theme of the blog by collecting the performances of streets arts.
To sum up, although the process of shooting video is not simple, all problems have been tackled. The process of editing video is much smoother compared with shooting process. The short video can be considered as a complement to blog.




3/05/2011

Tuba Man: Seattle's Famous Street Musician, Ed McMichael (1955-2008)

With a brassy "street name" like that of some improbable superhero, Ed "Tuba Man" McMichael, made a remarkable impact on his fellow townsfolk during a two-decade-long career as a Seattle musician who supported himself by earning tips from passersby who often made requests and tossed coins into the big horn. 
Known for his silly hats, funny quips, friendly mien, odd manner, and basso profundo musicality, Tuba Man became a popular fixture within the community. Performing regularly wherever crowds gathered -- from game days outside big sports venues, to film openings at various theaters, to concert and ballet nights outside the Seattle Center Opera House -- he (like the Beerman, Peanut Man, and Spoonman before him) became a Northwest icon.
Musical Beginnings
Born on March 15, 1955, and raised in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, Edward Scott McMichael began playing music on his family's piano but then, as a rebellious teen, he switched to tuba -- at least in part, according to his sister, Joyce Baker -- "to get back at my mother ... because she didn't like it particularly." An understandable perspective considering that when her son practiced down in the basement, "the house shook" (The New York Times).
After graduating from the Shoreline neighborhood's King's Garden High School in 1973, McMichael -- who was blessed with perfect pitch -- went on to join the music department's band while attending North Seattle Community College. From there he performed with the Seattle Youth Symphony, the Cascade Symphony of Edmonds, and for a decade as the principal tubist with the Bellevue Philharmonic orchestra.

Tubby the Tuba
McMichael's chosen instrument -- a contrabass tuba that he'd nicknamed "Tubby" -- is the lowest-pitched member of the family of brass wind instruments. Perhaps the most unlikely of instruments one might ever witness being played on a street corner, the XXL-sized tuba (Latin for "trumpet") is not an ancient invention. Its design was first patented in 1835 in Germany and after gaining initial favor in British brass bands later that century, the tuba eventually crossed the Atlantic Ocean where the instrument ended up serving a key role in the early jazz bands of New Orleans.
Along the way, tubas won a fan-base of people and players who loved the lowdown instrument. Indeed, every year since 1979 the first Friday in May has been celebrated in an increasing number of American states and foreign countries as International Tuba Day. A website promoting the cause notes that many people "think of the tuba as just being one of those big, loud instruments that go 'oompah' in the back of parades -- having no real importance and being easy to play -- they're just there to look nice. As for tuba players, many people view them in the old stereotyped way: they have no real musical talent, no personality, just big, fat bodies with puffy cheeks and powerful lungs" (tubaday.com).
Now, certainly Tuba Man was a "big" fellow with "puffy cheeks and powerful lungs" -- but no one could ever fairly claim that he was a personality-free no-talent.

Tuba Man the Super Fan
McMichael began his career of performing outdoors -- rain or shine -- at the suggestion of a friend. His long run of sidewalk gigs at the Kingdome kicked-off on December 23, 1989, the final game-day for Seahawk Hall-of-Fame wide receiver, Steve Largent. And to Tuba Man's great surprise, he was rewarded with donations from sports fans who appreciated the efforts to entertain them while waiting in entry lines.
Like a merry musical migrant worker, McMichael soon developed his seasonal busking routes: fall was for football, winter saw him lugging his horn toward the Seattle Coliseum (today's Key Arena) for Sonics games, summer's Mariners games brought him to Safeco Field. Other times he and Tubby could be found outside of Thunderbirds, Sounders, and Storm games. Tuba Man became such a dependable presence -- and one that became associated in peoples' minds with such events -- that Sports Illustrated once acknowledged him as a "super fan."
And a devoted fan he was: whenever possible McMichael attended games – occasionally via the generosity of his own fans who slipped their Tuba Man a free ticket.  Similar gestures of appreciation also occurred when staffers at the Pacific Northwest Ballet made sure McMichael gained free entry to see shows whose audiences he had just entertained outdoors at the Opera House (today's McCaw Hall).
Tuba Tunes
One reason that McMichael gained such a broad swath of friends and admirers was his sense of musical humor.  This character -- who already looked bemusing with his wacky hardhat (or Uncle Sam hat, or striped Dr. Suessian "Cat in the Hat" headgear) -- was known for selecting thematically relevant songs for every situation. Game day would often find him blatting "Take Me Out To The Ballgame." A rainy day would bring out "Itsy Bitsy Spider." A home team victory could dependably spark the giddy "If You're Happy and You Know It" -- while a loss would merit the anthemic "Chariots of Fire." A patriotic vibe led to the "The Star Spangled Banner," while a jazzy spirit brought on "When The Saints Come Marching In."
In addition, Tuba Man used music as a sort of shorthand greeting for old friends and acquaintances. Upon spotting someone he knew, he might signal them from afar with a snippet from a tune he associated with them -- even such off-the-wall selections as the "Flintstones Theme" or the "Adams Family Theme." He also happily took requests -- which rarely stumped him -- and he could rock-out with tunes ranging from the Champs' "Tequila," to the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie," to Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," to Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4."

Urbanity & Humanity
Around midnight on October 25, 2008, McMichael was assaulted, beaten, and robbed of his wallet and ring by six teenaged thugs near a bus-stop at 5th Avenue and Mercer Street. Luckily, the attack was witnessed by a police officer who happened to drive up to the scene. Two 15-year old assailants were arrested on the spot -- the stolen ring was recovered -- and police began searching for the four who fled (one of whom would be arrested on November 5th for suspicion of homicide).
McMichael was transported to Harborview Medical Center for treatment -- upon being struck down he had reportedly hit his head on the pavement. After being released, the musician returned to his apartment at the Vermont Inn (2721 4th Avenue) to recover, and though shaken by the incident, he was healing up. But when his brother, Kelsey, arrived on the morning on November 3rd to take him to another doctor's appointment, McMichael was discovered dead in his bed -- presumably due to his head injury.
Seattle was shocked by the senseless attack and by Tuba Man's sudden passing. Sports blogs raged against the violent crime. Editorialists saluted the man. Friends posted messages both grieving and vengeful on various online forums. Within the week, a tribute event featuring a gathering of musicians performing tunes from McMichael's eclectic canon occurred outside the McCaw Hall. It was on Saturday, November 8, that KOMO news coverage quoted one participating musician, John Bigelow, stating that "He's part of the community you hate to see go. This is what makes urban living urbane. He was a real nice thing we had going on ... so we will miss him."
Talk had already begun -- and initial funds raised -- for a statue to honor Tuba Man and his esteemed place in the area's pop culture. One attendee guided the crowd across the Seattle Center grounds and over toward the Children's Museum in order to point out that among the many paver tiles (customized with donors' names and/or messages) imbedded there is one that McMichael had purchased (probably with tips funds), etched with his own message of gratefulness. It reads:
THANK YOU EVERYONE
FOR ALL THE TIPS. THE
MONEY ALWAYS PAID
THE BILLS, REDUCED
THE DEBTS AND FED
THE TUBA MAN. EDWARD
SCOTT MCMICHAEL.
Blowing in the Wind
On Wednesday, November 12, 2008, a second memorial was held at Qwest Field Event Center, and before a crowd of 1,500 people KOMO television commentator, Ken Schram, bemoaned that "This city -- this world -- was a lot better place with Ed McMichael in it." News of Tuba Man's fate headlined articles from Boston to San Diego, Chicago to Miami. The New York Times eulogized the man: "Some people say ... he was a martyr, a victim of urban violence that must be stopped," noting also of his diminished hometown, "And some say Tuba Man represented the increasingly smothered soul of this city, more substantial and strange than its clichéd sheen of coffee and computers."
One sorrowful Seattle Times discussion-board contributor chimed in on that same notion of Seattle rapidly losing its old eccentric quirkiness: "Today's Seattle is richer and smoother and slicker than it once was. Ed McMichael did his best to prevent that" -- while another wrote (at the Seattle Weekly) of the dearly departed musician: "i can still hear him so clear, his familiar voice, the notes ascending from his brass. his notes will hum forever thru the breeze..."

A Famous Street Artists-- Banksy

Banksy is an anonymous English graffiti artist,political activist, film director and painter. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.
Banksy's work was born out of the Bristol underground scene which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. According to author and graphic designer Tristan Manco, Banksy "was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s." Observers have noted that his style is similar toBlek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris and members of the anarcho-punk band Crass who maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube System in the late 1970s and early 1980s and is active today.
Known for his contempt for the government in labelling graffiti as vandalism, Banksy displays his art on public surfaces such as walls and even going as far as to build physical prop pieces. Banksy does not sell photos of street graffiti directly himself; however, art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder. Banksy's first film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie", made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festivel. The film was released in the UK on 5 March 2010. In January 2011, he was nominated for the Acedemy Award for Best Documentary for the film.


How Does Street Art Help Cities?

What’s the draw?

Rose explained the blossoming of graffiti art. “I think it has to do a lot with a generational shift. We grew up with it as our daily cereal in the morning. The ’60s had flower power and the next generation had punk and graffiti and that sort of permeated the culture,” he said.

Rose came to street art from a place of playfulness; the subversive elements and fun were part of his attraction. “To me it is a game,” he said. But for Man One and Retna, it was their outlet from gang life and violence. “It’s what saved me,” Man One confessed, recalling having guns and knives pulled on him when he was younger. “There’s an innate need for us to voice who we are…and to me, that’s serious.”

As a curator, Polk’s draw to street art came from the visceral, transcendent moments it can spark for anyone wandering through a city. A week or so earlier, Polk recalled that he and his wife had driven down a street they frequented. Something had caught his eye: a spray-painted face on a white fence. His wife hurried him along to their engagement, but he returned to the spot later. He examined the art closer and saw not only the face, but candles, shattered glass, and a dented tree nearby. It was clear to Polk that a person had died there. “For me, it’s a space that has had no meaning suddenly becoming a place of mourning of grieving,” he said. “And now for the rest of my life, that will never be just a white fence.”

Retna agreed that street art isn’t only about artists, but also about the people who pass each piece every day. He said his work — from “ego-based” pieces with “the crew” to murals for the homeless on Skid Row — is always been about the people. “I always felt the work was community-related regardless,” he said. “Something that makes you smile for 20 seconds out of your day.”

Community and the code of ethics

Man One was quick to set up the distinction between street art, which he believed to be an “all-encompassing kind of thing”, and graffiti, which he described as an art that took a lot of years of “practice and dedication.” Graffiti has a set of rules and even a culture, almost a code of ethics, he explained.
Moderator Finkel noted this sense of community, salient among street artists, defies our sense of the lonely, starving artist. Rose, however, saw this unity as a recurring historical pattern for artistic counterculture. “Avante-garde artists are ostracized from the main art world,” he explained, “and every major movement was collaborative.”



Man One described the broad street art community as his go-to: “I can travel half way around the world and have a place to stay and a place to paint and have a tour guide that may not even speak my language, but we have a commonality.”

During Q&A, an audience member asked whether women have a place in the street art world. Retna explained that women have always been there but, “It’s a difficult sport to play. There’s a lot of pain, there’s a lot of struggle. You got to get dirty.” He did note that more and more women were joining the ranks and receiving recognition.

Going corporate

Rose noted that street artists are often torn between two worlds: mainstream America and “street America.” The issue is finding a common language. “I’m not talking about English and Spanish, I’m talking about a different way of thinking,” he said. As he put it, every profession has its own language, and the art world is no exception. The artists who are the most successful, he claimed, are the ones who can speak both “street talk” and fluent corporate American.
Man One recalled his early years as a painter in the ’90s and the difficulty of finding venues and income for his work. At a certain point, he said, companies started approaching him for design work. He described the transition from being anonymous to going public as something like when a celebrity realizes he or she can profit off a sex tape. And whether it was for T-shirts or shoes, he explained, he never lost sight of what it was: “It’s a gig.” In the end, he conceded, echoing Rose’s playful comments, “I know how the game works and it’s a game.”

Retna noted that companies were starting to come around and understand that game a little better as well, meaning more resources and opportunities for artists. Though he admitted that there were negative aspects to commercialization, he also said, “From a graffiti standpoint, you feel most upset when a graphic designer copies someone instead of just hiring an artist.” Retna cautioned that companies could face a backlash for such a move.

Man One summed up the fusion of the commercial and the cultural at the end of the Q&A in a comment on the role of street art in Los Angeles: “L.A. is different because there’s surf culture, skate culture, street culture…and there’s Disneyland. And it works.”

2/05/2011

BUSKING AS A WAY OF LIFE

It takes patience, grit and talent to make a living as a busker in the London Underground--and a collection of 20 disposable mobile phones might come in handy. Gary Moskowitz reveals the quirks of the profession ...
Special to MORE INTELLIGENT LIFE
“’Organised busking’ is sort of an oxymoron, really,” says Mike “Bucky” Muttel, as he taps and plucks his way through Pat Metheny covers on his amplified Chapman Stick deep inside London’s vast Waterloo Tube station. But to busk--the practice of performing in public spaces for tips--inside the London Underground, musicians have to play by the rules if they want to play at all. And Muttel is no exception.
 
Muttel's official busking license, good for one year, hangs visibly from a lanyard around his neck. It took six months of rigmarole to obtain that license, in which time he applied, auditioned for a panel of four or five London Underground staff members and agreed to a mandatory police background check. The process didn't cost anything, but took talent, patience and a little luck (audition judges are not required to have backgrounds in music). Still, of the 400 buskers that audition each year, 80% pass. Now that he’s in the system, Muttel is not required to re-audition; he just re-applies for his permit every year. He has been busking for almost three years.
A sticker, stating that he has checked in with a London Underground supervisor, is also clearly displayed on his tattered T-shirt (he will also have to check out). “Busking isn’t meant to be organised, but at the same time, this is a chance for me to book eight hours a day of serious playing. And I’m an obsessed performer. I record every busking session to see if I’m improving or not. I’m not really here for the money,” Muttel says. “I’m like a tunnel mole.”
A busker’s performance spot is a “pitch”. To reserve a pitch in London’s Underground, buskers must call in to an automated phone service on Tuesday mornings up to two weeks in advance. The process can be gruelling. On a good day, performers may be in a queue for about an hour and a half, hitting redial over and over again. But the task can take up to a day or two. Some buskers own multiple phones--Muttel knows guys with as many as 20 disposable ones--to maximise their efforts to secure a good pitch.
Of the 28 or so total pitches at 21 Tube stops throughout central London, some argue there are really only half a dozen ideal spots: two at Green Park, two at Tottenham Court Road, one at Piccadilly Circus and one at Leicester Square. If a busker shows up late for a spot, the previous busker is entitled to stay for the next two-hour time slot. Unsurprisingly, this can get messy. “I’ve seen guys call each other ‘bastard’ and ‘you son of a bitch'," Muttel says." It can get ridiculous.”
You won’t see such antics from Phillipa Leigh. A demure 25-year-old, she can be heard crooning jazz standards such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “Fly Me to the Moon” into a microphone that connects to a lightweight amp. Though her six-month permit took her nearly as long to obtain, she’s genuinely happy to be performing. She plays the occasional private-party concert around town, but busking in London’s labyrinthine Tube system is her primary gig. She’s been at it for four months. “Rehearsal space is expensive and there's no better practice than performing live in front of people going about their day,” Leigh says. “But even here, I have to be careful. If I sing too loud or too fast, it doesn’t go over as well. People want to go about their day and not be bothered.”
If Leigh wanted to change her act in any way, she’d have to re-audition, something she intends to avoid. For now she’s happy to simply be singing. “I also work a few days a week in a shop but singing is my passion. I may not make a lot of money [busking], but I love it,” Leigh says. “This isn’t glamorous, but people will smile if they like it. They have no obligation to do or say anything else. I just show up and sing. There’s a real sense of freedom with that.”
The London Underground established its busking scheme in 2003 to manage what they previously considered an “illegal and unregulated activity.” Carling, the London Paper and Capital Radio all took turns sponsoring the busking programme at various times between 2003 and 2008, but the London Underground now runs the show. They claim that altercations involving buskers have dropped 300% at some stations, and that busking-related police calls are down 72%.
Roughly 250 of the 300 licensed buskers enrolled in the scheme are active, according to a London Underground official who asked not to be quoted for this story. The male-to-female ratio among buskers is about three to one.
Most buskers interviewed for this story seem to appreciate the scheme, however stringent it might be. "I can make a living doing this,” 32-year-old Ramon Fontecilla told me. He plays songs such as Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” on his keyboard five days a week. “It’s not always pleasant, but it’s better than an office job. I make more money doing this than giving piano lessons.” He’s been busking on the Underground in London for two years. Eventually, he says, he’ll stop busking and join a band that plays classic rock, “like Pink Floyd”.
Busking can feel solitary, lonely even. It can seem more like practicing than performing, given such a passive, transitory audience. By and large, customers of the Tube are hustling through the system and the lone busker is lucky to get a sideways glance. That said, it’s not uncommon for commuters to stop and smile, nod, wave, clap or snap a quick photo as they walk by. One evening, a group of women in their 20s stopped to form a circle around an accordian-playing busker, singing and dancing to his version of "La Bamba".
But occasionally passersby are more pernicious. Some have been known to grab buskers' earnings right from under their noses, according to Muttel. He regularly loops a cord through all of his gear--including his case full of coins--and attaches it to his belt, just to be safe.
Busking's unique social dynamic suits Matthew “Harmonica Matt” Griffiths, a harmonica-playing blues man. Wearing a black leather jacket with missing buttons and a crumpled black fedora, Griffiths perches on a low stool and holds an old, round microphone. A few self-recorded CDs are sprawled on the ground next to his amp. At his waist, Griffiths has a big black belt containing nearly a dozen harmonicas, each of which he has labelled with a letter indicating its key. Sometimes he taps his foot loudly to keep the beat of the song pushing forward.
Between songs, Griffiths describes getting into a knife fight, being kicked out of a hospital, and losing everything but his passport during a trip to New Orleans several years ago. Suddenly, he stares off into space and doesn’t say a word for more than a minute.
“Are you all right?” I ask. No response.
Another minute or two goes by. Finally Griffiths stutters his way back into a story about busking in Memphis, and talks about being a National Harmonica Champion of Great Britain. A minute later Griffiths jumps into a tune he wrote about governor Sarah Palin, someone drops a coin in his bucket, and he’s in his element. Busking is his business


30/04/2011

Street art in sydney


You don't need to visit a museum or art gallery to see the best of Sydney's sculpture. It's on the street and it's free
All the world may well be a stage according to Shakespeare, but in Sydney, all the city is a sculpture museum. The biggest and best known outdoor sculpture event is the annual Sculpture by the Sea. Staged along Sydney's spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk during November, the free exhibition attracts more than 450,000 visitors and has exhibits by more than 100 artists from Australia and overseas.
But there's plenty of street sculpture to be found in and around Sydney's streets, parks and gardens during the rest of the year.

Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain

The Royal Botanic Gardens in the Domain have more than 35 fountains, sculptures and memorials. Wrapped around Farm Cove at the edge of Sydney Harbour, the Royal Botanic Gardens occupy one of Sydney's most spectacular positions. Established in 1816, the land was, in colonial times, the Governor's buffer of privacy between his residence and the penal colony. Roads and paths were constructed through the Domain by 1831 to allow public access and ever since, it's been a place for the people.

There's statues of some of our early governors and politicians, famous writers such as Henry Lawson and the three-metre-high bronze statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns and even one of Shakespeare as well as memorials to police officers who have lost their lives in the course of their duty.

You can't miss Brett Whiteley's famous 'redhead' matches, one live and one burnt; the reclining bronze by English sculptor, Henry Moore, considered to be one of the greatest of all twentieth-century sculptors; and the soundscape installation by Nigel Helyer called Dual Nature, relating to the history of people and shipping in Woolloomooloo Bay with shell-like objects sitting on the seabed, held in place by crane sculptures mounted on the foreshore. The chambers create sounds from the ocean and mix with a solar-powered recording.

And of course, there's Mrs Macquarie's Chair, a huge seat carved in an outcrop of solid stone at the northern most point of Mrs Macquarie's Road in 1816, where the wife of Governor Macquarie liked to sit and watch the ships come in.

Also worth finding is Janet Laurence's Veil of Trees, a meandering line of forest red gums with glass panels embedded with seeds, ash, honey, resin, and fragments of prose and poems by Australian writers, inspired by the landscape.

In and around the city centre

Janet Laurence, in collaboration with Fiona Foley, also created The Edge of Trees in the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney, the first public artwork in Sydney to be a collaboration between a European and an Aboriginal Australian. It's a forest of 29 iron and wood pillars and symbolises the meeting of cultures that occurred on this site two centuries ago. Wander around and through the 'forest' and you'll hear fragments of early Eora language.

In Martin Place you'll find Passage, a water sculpture by Anne Graham. It consists of three bronze balls, reflection pools and fountains and an eerie mist that rises every 10 minutes from pavement grilles creating an illusion of the space once occupied by past residents, and often disrupting traffic on Macquarie Street if the wind is blowing the wrong way.
At the top of hill outside the Sydney Hospital, also on Macquarie Street, sits one of the city's favourite statues, Il Porcellino, a wild boar. People from all over the world have solemnly rubbed his nose, made a wish, dropped a coin in his basket and had a photograph taken standing near him.

The original Il Porcellino statue is estimated to be over 500 years old, and was unearthed in Rome after having stood for more than 100 years in the Uffizi Galleries in Florence. The Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital Il Porcellino, which is a copy of the original, was presented to the hospital in l968 by the Marchessa Clarissa Torrigiani in memory of her father and brother - Dr Thomas Fiaschi who died in 1928 and Dr Piero Fiaschi who died in 1948. Both had been renowned surgeons at the hospital.

In the foyer of Renzo Piano's Aurora Place in Elizabeth Street you'll find Tim Prentice's wind-driven kinetic art piece Three Wheeler and Kan Yasuda's massive marble boulder-like Touchstones.
One of the city's more controversial sculptures is on the wall of the P&O Building in Hunter Street. Tom Bass's fountain has been affectionately known as The Urinal ever since the satirists from the infamous 60s magazine Oz were photographed alongside the sculpture pretending to use it as a urinal. Bass has another sculpture at East Circular Quay which explores the role of industry and scientific research and the future of society, called Research 1959.

Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park is home to the largest collection of large-scale site-specific urban art in a single precinct in Australia, with more than 50 single pieces of public art providing a unique record of the cultural history of the Sydney Olympic Park.
This includes works relating to the early industrial uses of the site, through to the Olympic Games and the current development of the park as the home to a new creative community.

Favourites include Robert Owen's Discobulus, a seven-metre wide discus; The Sprinter, a 12-metre-high, 3.5-tonne, three-dimensional steel rendition of an elite athlete that once adorned the top of the AMP tower in the lead up to the Olympics and Games Memories, an installation of poles incorporating Olympic memorabilia, visual art, audio-video presentations and volunteer names from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

27/04/2011

History of street art

Where did it all start? Well stencils have been used as far back as the Roman times and the first known book to be printed using stencils was the Bible! Actual street art as we know it has been around since the 60’s. It has come under many names from urban art, wall art, graffiti, graffiti art, and stencil art to name a few. It has predominantly originated in New York where the spraying of ‘Ding Dong’ trains by black gangs was a nightly exercise. Graffiti sketches would be practiced and refined during the day and sprayed at night. This led to different graffiti styles being created and from simple tags came intricate shadow 3 dimensional styles, bubble, mechanical, gothic, and many more. These early urban artist are considered the crusaders of the graffiti world which up until recently has been very much an underground scene.
One of the first graffiti artists was TAKI 183 who used to tag the subway trains and walls of NYC as he worked as a foot messenger. On 21st July 1971 the New York Times ran an article on him called "Taki 183" Spawns Pen Pals. This was probably one of the single most important article every written on street art. His fame led to thousands of kids copying his tag and creating their own all over New York and across America, this in turn led to competitive tagging. Kids started to develop their own signature tags and the most prolific become heroes in their neighbourhood. Tagging and graffiti quickly became a way for people to express themselves and a way for kids to communicate. Julio 204 was another early graffiti artist but he did not get the attention that TAKI 183 got mainly because he only used to put his tag up around where he lived. These two graffiti artists are arguably the two most important and influential street artists of the early graffiti art and without them it may never of reached its height today. After TAKI 183 and Julio 204 urban art and tagging has grown and grown. Some people went out and bombed entire subway trains and lines others started doing throw-ups which consist of an outline with a single layer of fill colour. Some people dedicated more time to creating large scale paintings and images with huge amounts of detail and 3-D effects, while others developed their pieces into very intricate and usually hard to read lettering and words known as Wildstyle. All of these graffiti styles can be seen today.
It was often considered a nuisance or vandalism but in today’s world it has become much more acceptable. This is primarily due to a street artist called Banksy. Love him or hate him Banksy has managed to take graffiti street art to the masses. His political and thought provoking grafiti art has become increasingly popular and has led to thousands of graffiti prints being sold some for ridiculous sums of money. So popular is his work that buildings with ‘a Banksy original’ on it have had their value increase! So many street artists now have the recognition that they deserve. Here are sum you should know:
• Obey • Armsrock • Bast • Bigfoot • Banksy • Blu • Borf • Blek le Rat • C215 • D*Face • Espo • Fafi • Faile • Gaia • Hely • Invader • JR • Spaz Mat • Chris Stain • Swoon • ZHE155 Zevs • Sickboy • Mode2 • Mudwig • Unkown • Cyclops • Aiko • Alex One
All of these artists have amazing work and have all been influential in the graffiti world.
Today wall art, graffiti art, graffiti paintings posters and street art prints can all be bought from websites and artists all over the world. Wallbomber.co.uk has graffiti art for sale as limited edition graffiti prints and urban art canvas as well as original street art produced by artists such as unkown, ZHE155, and Hely and many more.

The Wildhearts band

The basic information about the wildhearts busker


Genre                                                        

Pop Rock, Americana

Members

Alexander Pappas
Bo Duke
Memphis Queen

Biography

"We needed Money, so we started a band."
The wildhearts band is getting welcomed , they usually performe their amazing music in darlingharbour or somewhere else in sydney.

24/04/2011

Street art is an amorphous beast encompassing art which is found in or inspired by the urban environment. With anti-capitalist and rebellious undertones, it is a democratic form of popular public art probably best understood by seeing it in situ. It is not limited to the gallery nor easily collected or possessed by those who may turn art into a trophy.
Some people argued that street art is illegal, but generally legal distinction between permanent graffiti and art is permission. This topic becomes even more complex regarding impermanent, nondestructive forms of graffiti .

With permission, traditional painted graffiti is technically considered public art. Without permission, painters of public and private property are committing vandalism and are, by definition, criminals. However, it still stands that most street art is unsanctioned, and many artists who have painted without permission, have been glorified as legitimate and socially conscious artists.
There are a lot forms of street art, for example: traditional, stencil, sticker and video projection.
Traditional: painting on the surfaces of public or private property that is visible to the public, commonly with a can of spray paint or roll-on paint. It may be comprised of just simple words or be more artful and elaborate, covering a surface with a mural image.
Stencil: Painting with the use of a homemade stencil, usually a paper or cardboard cutout, to create an image that can be easily reproduced. The desired design is cut out of a selected medium, and the image is transferred to a surface through the use of spray paint or roll-on paint.
Sticker-Propagates an image or message in public spaces using homemade stickers. These stickers commonly promote a political agenda, comment on a policy or issue, or comprise an avantgarde art campaign. Sticker art is considered a subcategory of postmodern art.

Video Projection- Digitally projecting a computer-manipulated image onto a surface via a light and projection system.
Personally, i think we should try to find different forms of street art in sydney, take some photos and make a video for our next assignment. Here is a video i found from internet, think it is a good example.

20/04/2011

what is street arts?


Street art is any art developed in public space — that is, "in the streets" — though the term usually refers to unsanctioned art, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives. The term can include traditional graffiti artwork,stencil graffiti,sticker art, wheatpasting and street poster art, video projection,art intervention, guerrilla art,flash mobbing and street installations. Typically, the term street art or the more specific post-graffiti is used to distinguish contemporary public-space artwork from territorial graffiti, vandalism, and corporate art.
Artists have challenged art by situating it in non-art contexts. ‘Street’ artists do not aspire to change the definition of an artwork, but rather to question the existing environment with its own language. They attempt to have their work communicate with everyday people about socially relevant themes in ways that are informed by esthetic values without being imprisoned by them.John Fekener defines street art as “all art on the street that’s not graffiti.”

18/04/2011

Chinese 3D Street Artist Hailed As "Chalk God"

Yesterday, many photographs of 3D chalk art spread on Sina Weibo [a Chinese microblog service like Twitter], with the talented person who created these artworks being nicknamed “Chalk God” by netizens. One netizen said: “Is he an architect like in ‘Inception‘?” There were even netizens shouting one after another: “This isn’t chalk, this isn’t chalk.” Through a search, Nanjing media discovered that the 3D chalk art first appeared on a post in the Henan section of Tianya [a popular Chinese internet BBS forum], with the poster called “tntu3d“. A phone call confirmed that he is the “Chalk God”, but we can call him Mr. Hou.

At the center of this experiment is NeochaEdge, the first and only creative agency of its type in China. It was started in 2008 by two Americans, Sean Leow and Adam Schokora, to showcase the work of illustrators, graphic designers, animators, sound designers and musicians from across China. It now has 200 member-artists; NeochaEdge pays them per project to work on campaigns and product designs for brands like Nike, Absolut vodka and Sprite. [...] Members of NeochaEdge are a far cry from Ai Weiwei, the 53-year-old Chinese artist and dissident who was recently detained by the government. These graphic designers, sound artists and animators have other motivations.


With regards to his own creative ideas, Mr. Hou said: “I think these 3D artworks actually aren’t that rare/surprising, but the idea is very key, and only with the idea can you move people. For example, I once went to a tourist sight/attraction, and there was a sculpture at this intersection. Below the sculpture, on all four sides, were a bunch of advertisements for counterfeit official documents. I felt this was so representative of China today, so I started drawing, never expecting to become so popular.” Mr. Hou expressed that the piece that he is most satisfied with was “drawing ‘happy birthday’ for my son’, and the vegetable planting piece was created last year when stealing vegetable games were really popular.

Defne Ayas, an art history instructor at New York University in Shanghai, put it this way in an e-mail: “For some artists in this younger generation, the new political has become the ‘market.’ They tend to be curious and friendly to the market; they don’t want to miss out on its opportunities.”


17/04/2011