From today’s Times, a new story about proposals to turn Roosevelt Island into the hub of a new science and technology campus. The photo for the article is a bit futuristic. The postmodern architectural style is common today, but I wonder if it looks out of place here?
One of the themes of Delirious New York is the transition over time from an authentic human relationship to nature, to an immersion in fake, electronic reproductions of nature which arise in part because the natural world has been crowded out. Koolhaas characterizes these technological reproductions of nature as “the Irresistible Synthetic.” Instead of the ability to ride real horses on Brooklyn land once horses have been removed from the area, you can ride fake horses at Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park.
Immersive computer and console games are a 21st century version of the Irresistible Synthetic. As a sign of their irresistability, there’s news this week of the profits generated by the most recent Call of Duty game – 3/4 of a billion dollars in under a week. As reported by deadline.com:
Activision’s first-person shooter multiplayer game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has grossed more than $775 million in its first five days of sales, the company reported Wednesday. In just its first day on the market, Activision sold more than 6.5 million units in North America and the United Kingdom for an estimated sell-through rate of more than $400 million. Activision claimed the new edition in its debut — for about $60 a pop — has surpassed the openings of all movies, books and videogames. It even surpassed last year’s release of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which grossed $650 million, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which sold $550 million.
Here is a link to a YouTube clip of Ferruccio Furlanetto, generally regarded as one of the best Leporello’s, performing the catalog aria at the Met a few years ago. Furlanetto may not be a buffo, but his comedic roles, especially Leporello, make him one of the best Italian bass singers.
From today’s New York Times, a write-up on a 24-hour art exhibit which reflects the interests and goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’ve been primed to see Fluxus in almost everything these days, but the ephemerality of the exhibit, its serious jokiness, and its political motivations do make it seem very Fluxus-like.
The Arts in New York City? Why, New York City is Art!
The “Arts” aren’t dead relics that simply reside in quiet museums throughout the city – it’s the city itself. It’s a city which continues to thrive culturally and aesthetically despite the sterile, systematic and pragmatic “collection of blocks” which were superimposed across it’s virgin soil countless generations ago. The City is an art work in itself, it’s implicit personalities, and explicit aesthetics breathing life into land that was designed to generate cold, hard cash. It takes new meaning through the eyes of each of it’s visitors, inspires it’s admirers and gives a narrative of the past and even predictions of the future for those who study it.
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