And we thought Fox News had cornered the market on extreme opinions.

February 21, 2008 · Print This Article

A debate between an Iraqi “Researcher on Astronomy” and a physicist on Iraqi television. This is not the only case of a debate of this nature, and you thought America could fill the 24/7 news cycle with some really odd debates.

Japan High Court Thinks Long & Hard About Mapplethorpe Book

February 19, 2008 · Print This Article

Mapplethorpe vs Japan
Japan’s Supreme Court has issued a landmark decision opening the way for the sale of a book of collected erotic photographs by the late Robert Mapplethorpe.

This would over rule a 2003 decision by the Tokyo High Court that banned the book’s sale because it was deemed indecent. Tuesday’s ruling is believed to be the first time the top court has overturned a lower court decision on obscenity.

Publisher Takashi Asai called it “groundbreaking” and predicted the ruling might “change [Japan’s] obscenity standard.”

Justice Kohei Nasu said the black-and-white portraits were from an “artistic point of view” and led the majority opinion of the five-judge panel that Mapplethorpe was “a leading figure in contemporary art.”

The justices did, however, throw out Asai’s demand for government compensation of arround $20,000 US.

Japan’s domestic obscenity laws were relaxed in the 1990s but imported publications are handled by customs and the laws still ban images of genitals.

Asai, of Uplink publishers, had argued that the import ban was obsolete, pointing out the Mapplethorpe book was in the Japanese parliament’s library and that copies were offered for sale on the internet.

His company had been selling the Japanese version of Mapplethorpe’s 384-page book since 1994. The book, entitled “Robert Mapplethorpe”, contains 20 close-up photos of male genitalia.

Everything changed in 1999 when airport customs officials in Japan confiscated a copy of the book that Asai had been carrying.

Then Tokyo police visited him and gave him a warning, causing Asai to voluntarily suspend sales of the book in 2000.

Asai decided to go to court and in 2002, he won a case in Tokyo District Court. The government was ordered to give back his book and to pay $6,480 US in damages. But a year later, a higher court overturned that ruling. At that point, Asai took the case to the highest court in the land. Leading to today’s ruling.

Episode 129: Hou Hanru

February 16, 2008 · Print This Article

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Hou Hanru
This week Brian, Marc, and Patrica sit down with Hou Hanru for a conversation over wine and olives.

Currently the Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at SFAI, Hanru has curated a number of major international exhibitions including the Istanbul Biennale, Guangzhou Triennale, and 50th Venice Biennale.

The interview spans from Hanru’s education in china after the cultural revolution, globalism, principles of self organization, and what its like to curate both internationally and locally.
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Colorful artspace breaks from moorings, kills two

February 15, 2008 · Print This Article

Dreamspace by Agis
“Dreamspace” the explorable artspace with connected cells of color and shape broke away from it’s moorings in July of 2006 and the company that made it [Brouhaha International] and it’s Artist Maurice Agis, 76, are being charged with gross negligence manslaughter by Durham [British] police.

After slipping it’s moorings and rearing up vertically visitors Claire Furmedge, 38, from Chester-le-Street, and Elizabeth Collings, 38, from Seaham were killed, another 13 injured.

Both parties will all appear at Peterlee magistrates’ court on February 26. Read more here

Happy Valentines Day to our readers

February 14, 2008 · Print This Article

Yea we’re late and the virtual equivalent of knocking on your door late at night to remind you that we care and haven’t forgotten this special holiday.

Thats why you love us, we’re goofy that way. Well in the spirit of St. Valentines Day and the preoccupation art has with science since the 90’s here are some cards telling you how much we all care for you.

From everyone at BaS we wish you all a happy Valentines day and promise not to drunk dial you anymore.
Loving it beagle style
Our love never SaganFalling for you is easy cause your beautiful
I glow with love for youI dont play dice with our love
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