The Diana Looks Slightly Less Like A Hospital Now

photo 1

This morning, a small crowd came out to observe the unveiling of the Diana Center’s new mural, the brainchild of SGA arts and culture representative Adrienne Nel, BC ’16, in order to bring more public art to campus. Attendees included Debora Spar (although Bwog cannot confirm any of her dance/zumba moves) and the Columbia Clefhangers, who performed.

Check out the mural for yourself, it’s on the third floor.

From The Issue: Bluenotes
Illustration by Angel Jiang, CC '15

Illustration by Angel Jiang, CC ’15

Each issue of The Blue and White has three short pieces that depict some interesting tidbit of campus or New York life, in 300 words or less. This issue, Senior Editor Luca Marzorati, CC ’15, brings you the story of pirate radio in the city, contributor Nia Brown, CC ’17, presents the history of the Croton Reservoir Aqueduct, and contributor Alex Warrick, BC ’17, unwraps the mystery of the controversial “STUPID PEOPLE SHOULN’T BREED” bench on Barnard’s quad. The issue is on campus now, pick up a copy!

Who owns the air? This philosophical question is painfully real for some, including DJ Fresh Kid (AKA Sean Bruce, age 40) who was arrested last July in Brooklyn for operating a pirate radio station. The Fresh Kid was a regular DJ on the Fire Station (104.7 FM), which broadcasted Caribbean music in the outer regions of Brooklyn without a license. Because of a change in New York state law that designated unlicensing broadcasting as a class A misdemeanor, both the Fresh Kid and Solomon Malka, a Fire Station employee, could face jail time.

Fire Station’s collapse marked a shift in the decades-long battle between pirate radio and its legal competitors. Supporters of “big radio” and the Federal Communications Commission claim that unlicensed stations interfere with broadcasts, while pirate radio backers counter that they provide an essential service in underserved communities: only 51 percent of New Yorkers speak English at home, yet 86 percent of FM stations are in English. And besides, they argue, the air should be free. But the threat of jail time has forced many pirate radio operators into hiding, or online streaming.

A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that WKCR, Columbia’s radio station at 89.9 FM, is not spared from the interference of pirate operators. In the northern reaches of Manhattan and pockets of Brooklyn, some hopeful WKCR listeners instead hear “Quisqueya FM”—a station aimed at Dominican listeners broadcasting from the Bronx at 89.7 FM—or “Love Gospel Radio”—a Caribbean gospel station run by Grace Assembly Deliverance Temple on Boston Road. Attempts to contact these operators were unsuccessful; perhaps many fear becoming the next DJ Fresh Kid.

Nonetheless, pirate radio remains a presence on the New York soundscape. Turn the dial just past the static, and a world of eclectic music awaits. Walking around New York with a portable radio reveals the depth of unlicensed transmissions: the drone of Hebrew prayers in outer Brooklyn; the mellifluent tone of a French Creole talk show in upper Manhattan; the sticky urgency of patois on the streets of the Bronx. In a city of a hundred tongues, the pirate beat goes on.

- Luca Marzorati

What about that Croton Reservoir Aquaduct?

At Two Swords’ Length: Is That Art?
Illustration by Zane Bhansali, CC '17

Illustration by Zane Bhansali, CC ’17

Ever honoring our amorous affair with our mother magazine, The Blue and White, we hereby present this month’s ATSL, in which Senior Editor Hallie Nell Swanson, CC ’16, and staff writer Virginia Fu, CC ’17, take on the issue of whether or not Lerner is, in fact, art. Look for the magazine to be on campus sometime soon.

Affirmative by Hallie Nell Swanson

Of course Lerner is art: I took Art Hum. And some more Art History after that. It’s art because it’s useless. If it weren’t art, it would have to be design like how a really arty Swedish toaster is “design”—in the sense of having a function or a purpose. I spend a lot of time here—sketching, contemplating existence. I’ve come to know it. I’m an observer here. I’ve observed that beyond certain stylistic and formal elements, there’s very little of the toaster at play. This building is truly, I want to say, ideologically useless. Form over function. Art for art’s sake.

Freshman year I came here to get my mail for the first time. As I was sent around the building’s irrelevant periphery, I gazed, perplexed, at its useless empty core. What was it all for? I ascended the ramps, disorientated by the random, purposeless changes in gradient. Across the room, I thought I glimpsed stairs, rising from the void like a mirage I could never reach. Finally, I found my mailbox. Empty.

It was an artistic moment, a conceptual moment. All my hopes of finding a purpose to my journey were subverted, the exchange rendered devoid of utility. I gazed at the other mailboxes—all identical, all presumably empty. In that moment, I saw mail services for the farce it truly is. The mailboxes appeared stacked before me as visions of student existence—lined up in institutionalized order, identified by a meaningless number. We only have them for four years. And then it hit me. Aren’t we all just trying to fit into the same identical box? And aren’t we all empty inside?

Shit, I thought. This is some arty shit.

Core Reflections Deadline Pushed Back One Week
We look to the core of understanding to find the answers to life and something about dialectic

We look to the core of understanding to find the answers to life and shit

Have you been feeling reflective about the Core? Feel like some work of humanities has inspired you so deeply that you’re willing to submit a piece of work for the chance at $200? Were you really busy recently but aren’t anymore? Then you should be partying like it’s 1999 because the deadline for Core Reflections just got pushed back. The deadline is now April 8. Rejoice, people!

Find out more about the Core Scholars program.

Core issues via Shutterstock

SPOTTED: Possible Banksy At Ding Dong Lounge?

Observant art-watcher Alexandra Martinez, CC’14, found what looks suspiciously like a Banksy piece right at our very own Ding Dong Lounge.  Check out the picture, join us in excited speculation, and let us know if this is new or not:

or are we just getting banksy-trigger-happy here?

Could it be…?

“Arts For Art’s Sake” – A Great Opportunity For Both Art Creators and Enthusiasts

Clio Maudlin, connoisseur of fine arts and supporter of using 4 in place of “for,” has an announcement to make about a good cause, so listen(read?) up!

Art 4 Art’s Sake

This month, Postcrypt will be hosting a public event at St. Anthony’s Hall that will not only be an exciting opportunity for art creators and enthusiasts, but will also be making a positive change for visiting children at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Organized by Clémence White, Gabby Barsocchini, Mausi Goess, and Marianne Barthélemy (representatives from Postcrypt and St. A’s) and in collaboration with RxArt, “Arts for Art’s Sake,” presents an exciting and social art experience. The event will be an auction of not just student work, but also pieces made by alumni and working artists who have generously donated their art to be auctioned off to whomever bids at the event. Not only will students be able to feature their own creations and have them seen by other members of the artist community, but many generally unaffordable pieces will be available for auction at college-student-budget costs.  The proceeds will go to help fund an interactive art installation by Rob Pruitt in the children’s wing at St. Luke’s hospital, which will allow kids to entertain themselves by drawing on the wall rather than anxiously waiting around.

For those of us who want our work shown outside of our dorm room walls, this is a great opportunity to present and network your skills to other passionate artists. Or, if you aren’t a creator and are more of a collector (or even just want something to put on your walls besides some cute party pics), this is a fantastic chance to get your hands on some fabulous art at an affordable price. Not to mention all the proceeds are going to help Pruitt’s large scale dry erase board be installed at St. Luke’s, which can really help make the St. Luke’s environment (which let’s be honest, is nothing to look forward to) a little bit better.

The event is being held at St. Anthony’s Hall on April 19th from 7 pm - 10 pm and tickets are currently on sale ($10 for students, $20 for non-students). Until April 8th Postcrypt is still looking for submissions! So if you have some awesome artwork you want to be seen/sold, and would also like to get into the event for ~*~*free*~*~, e-mail postcryptartgallery@gmail.com. And for those of us just looking for a Friday night activity, come enjoy some art, perhaps pick up a couple pieces for yourself, dip into some finger food and mingle with on and off campus artists. But if that isn’t enough to convince you to attend, there will also be a raffle on the most prominent piece AND live music!  (band is TBD). The event in sponsored by Veev, as well as Skate’s Art Market Research, which has generously donated books to be sold at the auction.

Tickets can be bought at http://www.cuarts.com/calendar/view/type/4/event_id/16092

Submit your work to postcryptartgallery@gmail.com

For more information/announcements check out the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/360555477388776/

Pat Blute on SPEARS

Earlier today, Bwog sat down with Pat Blute. Blute, of BwogWeather and HardCore fame, has been of late consumed by the production of his new rock-opera, SPEARS: The Gospel According to Britney. Tickets go on sale at 5 pm today, and will sell out fast. Blute, director and creator, is pretty excited. Bwog sat down with him on the Steps to hash it out.

Blute: This is the interview for SPEARS: The Gospel According to Britney, the story of Jesus Christ, told to the music of Britney Spears, “The Greatest Story Ever Told, the Greatest Music Ever Written.”

Bwog: That’s such a great tagline. How did it come to you?

Blute: It’s an extremely self-explanatory tagline that tells you exactly what you are going to see. No surprises, no gimmicks, beyond that. There’s no dialogue and none of the lyrics are changed.

Bwog: That does sound wonderful. So how did you come up with the idea?

Blute: That’s a great question. So, I don’t remember how I really came up with the idea, but I can share some of its iterations. High school Spanish class, we did modismos, we had to come up with two things which contrasted, but which were similar. So I did Britney Spears and Jesus, and it worked out, and everyone gave a laugh. That was 12th grade. It then just became this running party joke, where I would tell people certain select scenes, and always get a laugh, or a “That works.”

Bwog: So when did it become serious?

Blute: It became serious when I talked to some people with certain connections, and they said, “You have to try this.” It was originally going to be a staged reading, but I didn’t like the idea of outside dialogue, so it literally is the Gospel according to Britney, and Britney alone. Her discography allows her to play both friend and foe, villain and hero, and in many ways it captures the motifs of the gospels.

Tactfulness, the concept, and the project, after the jump.

Free Food: Gettin’ Your Draw On

That's some artistic intensity

The Arts Initiative is sponsoring a free five hour (!!!) Drawathon tonight in 501 Dodge from 6 to 11 pm featuring various snacks included but not limited to: cookies, chips, pretzels, cheese, and dips. Prepare for artistic adventure as seven student figure models pose for your drawing pleasure. There will be art supplies there, so don’t worry about appearing unarmed! The event will also feature musical performances from the Columbia Classical Performers, Bluegrass Band, and more. Admission with a valid CUID.


Venus in Heels via Wikimedia Commons

Bwoglines: Advice From Unlikely Places Edition

This version: not cool

Not only can Jeremy Lin rule the world, occupy half our posts, and inspire dozens of memes, he can also teach us how to have better sex. (The Daily Beast)

Perhaps the Kardashians’ quotes are so…memorable for a reason: they’re pioneering social linguistic change. Turns out that creaky frog-sound of female reality stars everywhere actually has a name. (NYT)

Sometimes your food fantasies are more than just food fantasies. (Gothamist)

Cindy Sherman teaches you how to hide in plain sight in her long-anticipated MoMA retrospective, which opened this past Sunday. (Capital)

It’s that magical midterm time, which is probably reminding you of all those participation points you have yet to accumulate. Here’s a handy guide on how to raise your hand as trendily as possible when the time comes. (NYT)

Untrendiness via Wikimedia 

Miller Pop-Up: JACK Quartet

This is what they mean by atonal, right?

Tonight, Miller Theatre digs deep and offers us the first of its brand new series of Popup Concerts. In exchange for free beer, intimate musical times, and communitarian bonding, all we must do is sit through an hour of atonal music. Punters will be encouraged to grab a bevvie and join the instrumentalists on stage. Such egalitarianism is, to be sure, a little offensive, but we cannot complain since the price is free.

Bwog spoke to Ari Streisfield, violinist with the JACK Quartet, about how modern music is weird but also good. Full interview after the jump.

Musical Experiments: Popup Concert. Tuesday, February 7th, 5.30pm, Miller Theatre. Free.

Bwog: Contemporary classical music often repels people. You suddenly hear two bars of that and you say, I don’t know this, I don’t understand. How do you listen to something like the stuff you’re playing on Tuesday?

Ari: We’ve played that piece for audiences that have never heard anything like this before, all over the country, and they usually respond to it immediately, just because of the physicality of it…if you let your mind go and all expectations gone, just allow yourself open to a new experience, it definitely opens new doors in your mind of what’s possible. It does make sense, the way [composers] weave the material together, things come back, memory is used….a lot of [the great Western composers] talk about the idea of memory, or it’s apparent in their music.


Where Art Thou?

Get cultured.

Your goal for the semester was to really get out there and explore more of New York City. Well, now those readings have kicked in and you’ve got a little less time to spare. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a look at our second installment of  Where Art Thou, a listing of enthralling arts events that will take you on and around campus, and are sure to entertain. If you would like to see your cultural event here, please let us know about it at events@bwog.com.


Ethnographic Exhibitionism, 6 pm in 930 Schermerhorn.
A talk with Alys George of NYU, focusing on performance culture, body history, and dance: The Body as Spectacle and Science in Vienna 1900. Free.

Bach and the Romantics, 8 pm in Miller Theatre.
Best known for her inspired recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Brooklyn-based pianist Simone Dinnerstein offers selections from her forthcoming CD in this first solo recital at Miller, again breathing fresh air into the music of Bach. Tickets $7 from the TIC, more details.


Introducing: The Hive

We have a new concept space on campus, hot on the heels of the Zen Garden. A recent email from DSpar on Barnard’s renovations included the following message:

“Thanks to the faculty and students in the Architecture Department, Altschul Atrium is newly reconfigured as The Hive. It’s an innovative space divided into lounge, meeting, and gallery areas with modular furniture that can be arranged in a multitude of ways.”

This has literally been realized in a series of bee-related installations, and was officially opened on Tuesday. Behold:

Wine & Cheese Cookies

Searching requires settings

The opening reception for Search Settings is today from 3-4 pm in the Leroy Neiman Gallery on the ground level of Dodge Hall. Come by for free wine and cookies, not to mention some fine undergraduate artwork.

Greenish blob via Wikimedia Commons


Oh Yeah, the Wallach Art Gallery!

On a recent gray, midterm-y Wednesday, intrepid Bwoggers Helen Bao and Allie Curry  visited “Sightlines,” the first exhibition of the season at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery (that’s the 8th floor of Schermerhorn.) Here, they tell us about it.

First of all: Schermerhorn is confusing. To get there from the stairs: Enter on the fourth floor (yes, the ground floor) and make your way up to floor six. Then climb one more sets of stairs to reach floor eight. (We don’t know either.) From the elevator: Enter on the fourth floor (ground floor) and press the up button to the elevator. Exit on the 9th floor to reach the 8th floor.

“Sightlines” features the work of Nancy Holt, a contemporary American artist famous for environmental and land art. A movement that emerged in the 1960s, land art draws attention to the negative impact humans can have on the environment. Her most famous works are her large-scale permanent works Sun Tunnels and Dark Star Park, which combine sculpture and architecture to form live, experiential landscapes. (more…)

Bwoglines: 1, 2, 3, 4 Loko Edition

St. Peter's Denial /wikimedia

Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ has banned the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko. Let’s hope this disturbing trend stays in Jersey. Or not. (CBS New York)

Princeton’s endowment posted a mere 14.7% gain last year, to Columbia’s 17%. (NYT)

The New Museum’s latest exhibit contains a newspaper on the end of newspapers. (Capital NY)

This guy can teach you how to ride a bike in the city, even where there’s no bike lane. (NYT)

The Feds busted a 45-member New York-based marijuana ring yesterday which included Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Kareem ‘Biggs’ Burke. Bwog sincerely hopes this doesn’t affect Memphis Bleek’s habits. (WSJ)