Archive for April, 2010

Post-its – those handy little sticky notes – turn 30 this year.  To celebrate the milestone, 3M is inviting young people aged 11 – 18 to create Post-it art.  The winner will work with an artist to create the world’s largest billboard made entirely of Post-it notes.  It will be displayed in Vanderbilt Hall at New York’s Grand Central Station in August 2010.

Both contest and prize seem appropriate; Post-its have often been used as a medium to channel artistic expression…

Here Post-its are arranged on a four-story canvas to recreate a classic Nintendo game.

This mural is actually a mosaic of individual, community-generated to-do notes.

In a pinch, you can also use them to redecorate your home.

The deadline for the contest is June 4, 2010.

And if you feel like you might need some background for your Post-It art, check out Studio 360’s post-it sized profile of the Post-It, provided by Paola Antonelli, design curator at the Museum of Modern Art.

-Michael Guerriero

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Spring has officially arrived in New York City and that means getting out of the apartment–at last!–and into the parks and playgrounds.

This foot-long block of blue foam reflects this happy change: it’s a miniature, pop-out playground sent to us by the Rockwell Group,  designers of Imagination Playground. They describe their creation as a playspace that will “enable unstructured, child-initiated free play with a variety of loose parts — blue foam blocks, found objects, sand and water — that allow children to play, dream, build and explore endless possibilities.”

(The real one looks like a lot more fun.)

There’s a playground under construction at Lower Manhattan’s South Street Seaport.  And if you’re not in the neighborhood, you can watch it come together via webcam.

– Cary Barbor

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The Pen/Faulkner Foundation announced its annual PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story on Monday. The prize, which in recent years has be shared between an established writer and an emerging one, went to Edward P. Jones (Lost in the City and All Aunt Hagar’s Children) and Nam Le (The Boat).

In addition to the award, they have something else in common: both have stopped by Studio 360.

In 2008, Le read from his debut short story collection. And he explained to Kurt how he came to fiction writing, by way of corporate law:


Jones spent his days writing for “Tax Notes” while working on his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Known World. He talked with Kurt at Studio 360’s 2007 live show in Aspen:

– Jess Jiang

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A couple weeks ago, Studio 360 featured the good works of David Ellis Dickerson – former Hallmark greeting card employee gone solo.  He takes commissions at his blog, Greeting Card Emergency.  He has a real gift for making greeting cards for sticky situations: like for when you go to your friend’s house for a party and then break their toilet.

Little did we realize we were sitting on a situation of our own:

Dear David,

We’re hoping you can help us out with another emergency.  In the credits of that very same episode of our show, we forgot to list Erin Calabria, our super hard-working Production Assistant.  She hasn’t mentioned it, because she’s a mensch like that. And we wish we could say this is the first time we’ve made a dumb oversight — hopefully, it’s the last.  We’d like to give Erin (and others) a card that shows we noticed the gaffe and we’re sorry and we appreciate them.

He came to our rescue:

[Youtube = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKx6mKHDdRM%5D

Thank you, David.  And thank you, Erin, for sharing your greatness with us.

– Jess Jiang and Jenny Lawton

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The Book of Jokes
A Novel by Momus

Momus (a Scotsman born Nick Currie) has a reputation as music’s darkest singer-songwriter, but his novel takes dark to another level.  In The Book of Jokes, all jokes — obscene, cruel, etc. — actually happen, and they happen to one poor family.  The beleaguered narrator, escaping his sexually predatory father, ends up on a picaresque accompanied by the Murderer and the Molester.  This book is not for everyone, and it’s not even funny.  But you’ve never read anything like it, and you might find yourself wondering at some of the jokes you’ve laughed at yourself.

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We’ve heard how contentious the process of confirming judges has become.  So how exactly did Denny Chin get appointed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by a 98 to 0 vote?  Perhaps the senators took into account his extracurriculars.  Chin has led an unusual project in which lawyers create documentary theater based on historical trials such as Lizzie Borden’s, for murder, and the espionage case against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Studio 360’s Julie Burstein reported on the project last year, when Chin was sentencing Bernie Madoff to 150 years.

– David Krasnow

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Last month artist Jeremy Dean drove a horse-drawn carriage through New York City.  The horses were two White Percherons – standard draft horses for Central Park.  And the carriage was a Hummer H2.

Dean’s trip was equal parts performance art and sculpture.  He bought a used Hummer, sliced off most of the front end, and turned it into a modern version of the Hoover Cart – a modified horse-drawn car that Depression-era drivers resorted to when they could no longer afford gasoline.  Titled “Back to the Futurama,” the project is at once a reminder of our recent economic history and a cautionary tale of what may come.

[Youtube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJk16YDjsMw%5D

Dean explains, “I began to wonder what we would do with all this stuff if it became, through crisis, impossible to use as originally intended.  I had grand images of Hoovervilles made out of plasma TV’s…destitute people being surrounded by marketing images of things never to be afforded.”

The work may be more prescient – and practical – than Dean intended.  On April 7, GM announced it would discontinue the Hummer; it seems not enough people could afford nine miles per gallon.  Then again, Dean’s model requires ample stores of hay and oats, and an occasional reshoeing.

-Michael Guerriero

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In this week’s show, Ricky Gervais drops by Studio 360. And listening back to the tape, my stomach muscles are aching.

We couldn’t wait until the weekend to share a piece of the interview. In this straight-from-the-studio preview, Gervais declares his love for Karl Pilkington, the “secret” behind both the podcast and new HBO show. Plus Gervais’s impression of Anthony Hopkins in “The Elephant Man“:

Kurt’s full interview with Gervais will be available Friday at http://studio360.org.

– Jess Jiang

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It’s been three years since we’ve heard something new from Merle Haggard, but it’s clear that he’s been hard at work.  He’s just released I Am What I Am, his first album for his new label Vanguard. His longtime band The Strangers backs him up. The album features ballads about love as well as some of the protest songs we’ve come to expect from the so-called “poet of the common man.”

Haggard stopped by Studio 360 in 2005 to talk with Kurt about music, patriotism, and the war in Iraq.

– Cary Barbor

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The New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association announced the finalists for its television and radio news awards yesterday, and we were happy to see that Studio 360 made the list – not just once, but three times.  The show garnered nominations for Best Radio Interview, Best Radio Feature, and General Excellence in Use of Medium (Radio).  Winners will be announced on June 5, but you can listen to the nominated stories right now.

Best Interview – “Kurt Andersen interviews Patti Smith”

Producer: Leital Molad

Kurt Andersen talks with Patti Smith about the sense of loss that’s informed her work since the deaths of her husband and brother, and the healing process that was captured in the 2009 documentary “Patti Smith Dream of Life.”

Best Feature – “August Wilson’s Come and Gone”

Producer: Jenny Lawton

Kurt Andersen examines the controversy surrounding Lincoln Center’s hiring of a white director for its production of August Wilson’s play about the black experience of Pittsburgh, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.”

General Excellence in Use of Medium – “Waiting for Godot in New Jersey”

Producer: Pejk Malinovski with Lu Olkowski

We visit with some experienced actors in a New Jersey retirement home who haven’t lost their love for performing.

-Michael Guerriero

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