Cleveland Uber Alles

Untimely Dispatches from the Neighborhood of the Unrepresented & Inarticulate; Anecdotes that Pedal and Coast Through the Boot-Print of 20th Century American Urbanism

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Open Source Projects for Cleveland Artists The Open Source Movement has already generated a decent amount of attention in tech circles, via the Windows/Linux conflict. Meanwhile, former Clevelander Trent Reznor polished his cred among musicians (most of whom traditionally disdain copyright law, until it affects their own bottom line) by releasing an Open Source GarageBand version of a track from his latest album. The basic idea is this: technology (and art) can innovate and progress more rapidly in an environment of free sharing of ideas and lack of legal constraints. Linux is more stable because its had a large team of people actively helping debug its code; Reznor's music will become more sophisticated (and more "fan interactive") if anyone interested can remix his songs or turn them into songs of their own. While it is hardly such a high tech or sophisticated undertaking, Cleveland Uber Alles would like to contribute to the free distribution of ideas for creative types and cranks here in our fair city. So: Attention Cleveland Institute of Art students! Attention suburban kids ready to bankrupt their parents via the cost of of educational travel and art supplies! Attention Tremont hipsters who long for something to do when they're not dreaming up stickers for their next band or hanging around drunk, looking all arty-like! You know who you are. Occasionally, Cleveland Uber Alles will be your unreliable source for real ideas that work, for the gauzy, post-sturcturalist thinking stuff that belongs in the language of an Ohio Arts Council grant proposal or in a senior thesis. Link to it on your MySpace page and check back often, because you never know when you'll see a project that you might execute yourself as you do your part to make our city creative capital of the rustbelt. Grab your cameras and consider this one: The Rise and Fall of Rust Belt Retail Recently, the prefabricated arty interior of a Starbucks was erected in a long vacant University Circle retail space? Was their anyone to document the "This I believe" cups being pulled from their plastic sleeves? Anyone to capture the workers putting in the Ikea styled lamps and the mermaid sign? Of course not. While the real (and therefore secret) history of our city's occupation by outside powers went on, its artists were, well, drawing cubes and what-not in classrooms. A good photographer or a painter could capture the very process of building these places, thereby demystifing them, and revealing them as the constructs that they are--i.e. as the marketing ideas that add at least a dollar to a cup of coffee. Apparently, too, Starbucks has so saturated other markets that it is finally bothering to put one in next to our major research university (where surely the kids need their caffeine); so no doubt we can expect there to be other NEO locations to photograph. And think of the irony you can generate, capturing how the locals react to the big national brands' arrival here in the provinces! Meanwhile, as if to play counter point to the development at U-Circle, up the hill, the Medic Drug on Coventry closed. Was anyone there to document the "Everything Must Go" sale? Did anyone chronicle for posterity the flush faces of our suburban girls piling skin products and shampoos into their arms, like fat little christ-children? Sadly, no. But businesses go bust here in NEO every day, and a skills visual artist might capture this, too, and therefore make this economy of ours a little more concrete to us. Think of how less baffling the idle smokestacks of the flats might be if someone had bothered to capture, for all time, the very process of that old way of life ending. Then again, maybe the stores should sit silent, empty, our sad little post-modern versions of the Sphinx.


At 2:07 AM, Anonymous Frances said...

What you read from the internet and books regarding real estate might not be enough. You could fill in the gap by enrolling for a real estate investing course at an accredited school.


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