Posted inOpinion

Let the e-Artist-Book Revolution Begin!

More and more these days, as Kindles, Nooks, and iPads abound, the path of e-books toward ubiquity and the decline of old-fashioned, hard-copy printing seem confirmed. But there is one area where paper and glue still dominate: the world of zines and artists’ and art books. A walk through the annual New York Art Book Fair or this year’s inaugural mirror event in LA, or a trip to Chelsea bookstore Printed Matter, speaks to this: electronic offerings are rare in these places. In fact, e-publishing may even be seen as incompatible with the mission of promoting and celebrating grassroots, alternative, DIY creativity.

Posted inOpinion

Kickstarter Raised $274M Last Year

Here and there in recent months, there have been grumblings about Kickstarter burnout. There have also been Kickstarter indecision crises — how do you know when to pledge, and how much? — and Kickstarter skepticism. But to all the naysayers, nonbelievers, and doubters, Kickstarter might now present this: stats from 2012, which show that the crowd-funding platform raised the impressive sum of $274.4 million last year. And that’s just the money raised — some $319.8 million was pledged, which I feel compelled to point out is more than double the National Endowment of the Arts’s fiscal year 2012 budget ($146 million).

Posted inOpinion

Filmmaker Hopes to Tell the Story of New York’s Bike Messengers

For some mystifying reason, a lot of New Yorkers are still having a hard time accepting that bikes (and accompanying bike lanes) are a good thing for the city — an efficient, healthy and environmentally friendly form of transportation. And yet, despite the resistance, it’s clear from just walking and looking around Brooklyn — and increasingly, Manhattan — that bikes are an undeniable part of New York’s urban landscape. From hipsters on colorfully painted frames to hardcore bike messengers navigating midtown traffic, bikes are here to stay.

Posted inNews

UK Plans New Digital Arts Funding Platform

Jeremy Hunt, the UK’s Secretary for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, announced plans last week for an intriguing-sounding program called the National Funding Scheme. The scheme will be a digital, primarily mobile, arts philanthropy platform — basically a nation-wide effort to get more people to donate to cultural institutions by streamlining that process onto cellphones and tablets. It will include options for giving via text message, apps, near field communication and pre-stored credit cards.