"Some tragedies never end. Ask people to name a nuclear disaster and most will probably point to Fukushima in Japan three years ago. The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl in Ukraine was 30 years ago, but the crisis is still with us today. That's because radiation virtually never dies. After the explosion in 1986, the Soviets built a primitive sarcophagus, a tomb to cover the stricken reactor. But it wasn't meant to last very long and it hasn't. Engineers say there is still enough radioactive material in there to cause widespread contamination. For the last five years a massive project has been underway to seal the reactor permanently. But the undertaking is three quarters of a billion dollars short and the completion date has been delayed repeatedly. Thirty years later, Chernobyl's crippled reactor still has the power to kill."
(Bob Simon, 23 November 2014, CBS News)
"We aim to provide answers to the most pressing concerns that creators have about copyright. To find out what was most confusing to users, we took two approaches. First, we analysed the 200 most frequently asked questions about copyright posted online by creators and consumers, and we filtered those down to the most important 20 which you can find answered in the 'FAQs' section. Second, we spoke to creators themselves. For each of the main artistic mediums we produced a video which contains interviews with creators about their artistic process, thoughts and questions about copyright."
(27 March 2014)
"The New Museum is accepting requests from the public for digital preservation of artist–produced moving image and born–digital content. Appointments for transfer and recovery are available from July 17 through September 8, 2013, transfers occur as part of the exhibition/lab 'XFR STN' ...
All moving image materials that are digitized as part of the exhibition will be made publicly available by the New Museum on the Internet Archive, a nonprofit institution whose mission includes offering 'free and open access to all the world's knowledge' and to provide permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to cultural heritage collections. All artists submitting moving image materials will be able to download preservation–grade digital versions of their materials from the Internet Archive. Born–digital materials that are digitized as part of the exhibition can be made available by the New Museum on the Internet Archive at the artist's discretion. As part of 'XFR STN,' selections from the digitized content posted on the Internet Archive will be informally screened in the exhibition galleries."
Fig.1 Matthew Geller answering phones during the live call–in segment of Cara Perlman's End of the World show, produced for Potato Wolf, a project of Colab TV, ca. 1978
"This week the minaret of one of Syria's most beautiful mosques was destroyed in the northern city of Aleppo. The Ummayad mosque established in 715 was rebuilt in 1159 after being damaged by a fire and then built again a century later after the Mongol invasion. The oldest surviving part was the minaret and both the State forces and the rebels accuse each other of its destruction. Lying in the Old City, the mosque is a Unesco world heritage site but has become part of the wider devastation of Syria's rich cultural heritage; a Crusader castle and Roman ruins in the ancient city of Palmyra have also been damaged.
However sad this physical destruction of history and art is, it should matter less to us than the recent reports that some 70,000 lives have been lost in this terrible civil war with hundreds of thousands more displaced. This is a war which is gradually ripping the country apart but about which the rest of the world doesn't seem to know what to do. Yet there is a different poignancy to the loss of a country's artistic and cultural past. It is these visual artifacts, building and ruins which speak to us of a country's history, its collective memory, the love and passion of the people who make a piece of land into a nation state. That so many Syrians are now killing each other and destroying ruins and religious sites poses the disturbing question, what exactly is still held sacred in so many part of the Muslim world?
A couple of weeks ago I returned from a short break to Istanbul. The area surrounding the majestic Hagia Sophia and the Blue mosque is also a Unesco world heritage site, tourists wander freely, the buildings stand sublime, the contested past of the place breathing its religious spirit into a refashioned, modern and vibrant city. But I wonder whether the preservation of history is only meaningful in countries where there is the preservation of peace, where people can enjoy the ordinariness of life, where there is order and purpose and we have the luxury of self reflection.
Earlier this week the former Met commissioner sir Ian Blair said societies choose what kind of violence they will tolerate. Looking across to so many part of the Islamic world where there is civil war, state violence and individual acts of terror, I wonder how and when Muslim societies will move away from seeing violence as a resolution to human conflict. When God is great is uttered as people and buildings are blown up what kind of God have so many created in their hearts and minds? The destruction of the minaret is not just a physical destruction but a tragic metaphor for a nation's soul."
(Mona Siddiqui, 26 April 2013, BBC Radio 4: Thought for the Day)
Fig.1 At left, the damaged Umayyad mosque in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria, on Wednesday 24 April 2013; at right, the view of the mosque with the minaret intact on 6 March 2013. (AP) [http://www.wbur.org/npr/178906558/minaret–of–iconic–syrian–mosque–destroyed–in–fighting].
"Beginning next year , Pono will release a line of portable players, a music–download service and digital–to–analog conversion technology intended to present songs as they first sound during studio recording sessions. In his book out this week, Waging Heavy Peace, Young writes that Pono will help unite record companies with cloud storage 'to save the sound of music.' As Flea raves to Rolling Stone, 'It's not like some vague thing that you need dogs' ears to hear. It's a drastic difference.'
Pono's preservation of the fuller, analog sound already has the ear of the Big Three record labels: Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music. WMG – home to artists including Muse, the Black Keys, Common and Jill Scott – has converted its library of 8,000 album titles to high–resolution, 192kHz/24–bit sound. It was a process completed prior to the company's partnership with Young's Pono project last year, said Craig Kallman, chairman and chief executive of Atlantic Records.'"
(Patrick Flanary, 27 September 2012, Rolling Stone)