"The thing I find very exciting is waiting for the subway train and sometimes you'll get a glorious one that arrives decorated like a birthday cake!" Watching My Name Go By is a short 1976 BBC documentary about graffiti, artists, and graffiti artists in New York City. The film is based on Norman Mailer's 1974 essay for Esquire magazine, "The Faith of Grafitti." [via]
The Delian Mode (Kara Blake, 2009) - A 25-minute documentary about composer and pioneering electronic musician Delia Derbyshire, perhaps most familiar to Mefites for writing the theme song for "Doctor Who".
Grayson Perry's lectures on art: "Art is very popular but I think many people are still quite insecure around galleries, particularly commercial galleries which are quite intimidating. I want to answer a few of the very basic questions that perhaps people even in the art world think that it’s almost too gauche to ask. They might think they’re irrelevant or even that they’ve all been answered now and everybody knows the answer. I’m starting with this lecture called Democracy Has Bad Taste, because I want to talk about the issue of quality because I think this is one of the most burning issues around – how do we tell if something is good? Who tells us that it’s good? And of course does it really matter? And I want to talk about what are the criteria by which we judge art made today." [more inside]
Georges Cziffra warms up for the BBC, mixing improvisation with a bit of the first Chopin étude. [more inside]
Shock of the New is a 1980 documentary television series by Robert Hughes produced by the BBC in association with Time-Life Films and RM Productions. ... It addressed the development of modern art since the Impressionists and was accompanied by a book of the same name; its combination of insight, wit and accessibility are still widely praised. - Wikipedia [more inside]
"Ornette in '59" - a BBC documentary segment about Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come. [more inside]
Your Paintings a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation and participating collections and museums from across the UK, is a website which aims to show the entire UK national collection of oil paintings, the stories behind the paintings, and where to see them for real. It is made up of paintings from thousands of museums and other public institutions around the country. Currently the archive contains 63,000 of the approximately 200,000 publically-owned artworks that make up the national collection. [more inside]
A throne of weapons. An armchair built from a Russian seamine. A dress made of bullets. [more inside]
Johnny Selman: "I will design a poster a day for 365 days in reaction to a headline on the BBC news website and update this website everyday with the poster and the accompanying news story."
Ways of Seeing, the BBC documentary written and hosted by novelist and art critic John Berger, is back up on YouTube. (scroll down for direct links to all four half-hour episodes) "I actually find it rather disturbing that -- despite our claims to be a culture that's increasing freedom of choice all the time -- we haven't come up with anything quite as astute, subversive or beautiful as Ways of Seeing since. Not on the BBC, and not even -- especially not -- on the internet. Download it while you still can."
This seems quite a positive thing. Weird what some people have to say about it though.
The trade in stolen Asian relics is booming. TIME reports on how cultural sites are being looted and precious artifacts smuggled overseas. Sometimes they're returned, but much of Asia's cultural heritage is being lost.
The Art of Terror. Damien Hirst, one of Britain's most celebrated artists, told the BBC last month that the Sept. 11 attacks were "visually stunning" artworks and that the perpetrators "need congratulating." A stomach-turning account of how the art-dingbat world views the September 11 attacks.