art worlds, caught on tape

cities, culture, reading

Artist Jill Miller trained herself as a licensed private investigator to then do undercover surveillance of the everyday lives of private art collectors. Odd, but true. I like how, in her description of the project, she “estimates she did surveillance on ten houses, focusing on five in depth.” Um, ‘estimates’ ten? I question her competency already. For something a little more scientific, check out Howie Becker’s Art Worlds. He has a smashing website as well, filled with many of his more interesting essays. I am fond of the ones on Calvino and Perec. Why wouldn’t I be pleased when a sociologist uses two of my top books of all time, Invisible Cities and Life, A User’s Manual? And he includes a link about my hometown of Buffalo. What more could a man want? I’ve been thinking a lot about Calvino’s book (check out the old cover, the nautilus shell and, are those mirrorballs?) in relation to my walking tour guide project since it circles around Marco Polo’s storytelling to Kublai Khan of all the cities he’s been to. In the book one starts to wonder whether or not all of these ‘cities with eyes,’ ‘continuous cities,’ ‘thin cities,’ aren’t all just Polo’s hometown of Venice told and retold again.


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