Culture is only about the numbers?

This article recently published in Time magazine is a good example of the basic misunderstanding between the European and American comprehension of culture.
The term "culture" is here simply confused with the term "entertainment".
One could almost believe, on reading this article, that for Americans the culture is ONLY the entertainment and one of consumers good.

The Death of French Culture

TIME magazine, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007


The days grow short. A cold wind stirs the fallen leaves, and some mornings the vineyards are daubed with frost.

Yet all across France, life has begun anew: the 2007 harvest is in. And what a harvest it has been. At least 727 new novels, up from 683 for last autumn's literary rentrée. Hundreds of new music albums and dozens of new films. Blockbuster art exhibitions at all the big museums. Fresh programs of concerts, operas and plays in the elegant halls and salles that grace French cities. Autumn means many things in many countries, but in France it signals the dawn of a new cultural year.

And nobody takes culture more seriously than the French.

They subsidize it generously; they cosset it with quotas and tax breaks. French media give it vast amounts of airtime and column inches.

Even fashion magazines carry serious book reviews, and the Nov. 5 announcement of the Prix Goncourt — one of more than 900 French literary prizes — was front-page news across the country. (It went to Gilles Leroy's novel Alabama Song.)

Every French town of any size has its annual opera or theater festival, nearly every church its weekend organ or chamber-music recital.

There is one problem. All of these mighty oaks being felled in France's cultural forest make barely a sound in the wider world. Once admired for the dominating excellence of its writers, artists and musicians, France today is a wilting power in the global cultural marketplace.

That is an especially sensitive issue right now, as a forceful new President, Nicolas Sarkozy, sets out to restore French standing in the world. When it comes to culture, he will have his work cut out for him.


Only a handful of the season's new novels will find a publisher outside France. Fewer than a dozen make it to the U.S. in a typical year, while about 30% of all fiction sold in France is translated from English.

That's about the same percentage as in Germany, but there the total number of English translations has nearly halved in the past decade, while it's still growing in France. Earlier generations of French writers — from Molière, Hugo, Balzac and Flaubert to Proust, Sartre, Camus and Malraux — did not lack for an audience abroad.

Indeed, France claims a dozen Nobel literature laureates — more than any other country — though the last one, Gao Xingjian in 2000, writes in Chinese.


France's movie industry, the world's largest a century ago, has yet to recapture its New Wave eminence of the 1960s, when directors like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard were rewriting cinematic rules.

France still churns out about 200 films a year, more than any other country in Europe. But most French films are amiable, low-budget trifles for the domestic market. American films account for nearly half the tickets sold in French cinemas. Though homegrown films have been catching up in recent years, the only vaguely French film to win U.S. box-office glory this year was the animated Ratatouille — oops, that was made in the U.S. by Pixar.

The Paris art scene, birthplace of Impressionism, Surrealism and other major -isms, has been supplanted, at least in commercial terms, by New York City and London.

Auction houses in France today account for only about 8% of all public sales of contemporary art, calculates Alain Quemin, a researcher at France's University of Marne-La-Vallée, compared with 50% in the U.S. and 30% in Britain.

In an annual calculation by the German magazine Capital, the U.S. and Germany each have four of the world's 10 most widely exposed artists; France has none. (sic!)

An ArtPrice study of the 2006 contemporary-art market found that works by the leading European figure — Britain's Damien Hirst — sold for an average of $180,000. The top French artist on the list, Robert Combas, commanded $7,500 per work.


France does have composers and conductors of international repute, but no equivalents of such 20th century giants as Debussy, Satie, Ravel and Milhaud.

In popular music, French chanteurs and chanteuses such as Charles Trenet, Charles Aznavour and Edith Piaf were once heard the world over.

Today, Americans and Brits dominate the pop scene. Though the French music industry sold $1.7 billion worth of recordings and downloads last year, few performers are famous outside the country. Quick: name a French pop star who isn't Johnny Hallyday.

France's diminished cultural profile would be just another interesting national crotchet — like Italy's low birthrate, or Russia's fondness for vodka — if France weren't France. This is a country where promoting cultural influence has been national policy for centuries, where controversial philosophers and showy new museums are symbols of pride and patriotism.

Moreover, France has led the charge for a "cultural exception" that would allow governments to keep out foreign entertainment products while subsidizing their own.

French officials, who believe such protectionism is essential for saving cultural diversity from the Hollywood juggernaut, once condemned Steven Spielberg's 1993 Jurassic Park as a "threat to French identity."

They succeeded in enshrining the "cultural exception" concept in a 2005 UNESCO agreement, and regularly fight for it in international trade negotiations.

Accentuate the positive In addition, France has long assigned itself a "civilizing mission" to improve allies and colonies alike. In 2005, the government even ordered high schools in France to teach "the positive role" of French colonialism, i.e. uplifting the natives. (The decree was later rescinded.)

Like a certain other nation whose founding principles sprang from the 18th century Enlightenment, France is not shy about its values. As Sarkozy recently observed: "In the United States and France, we think our ideas are destined to illuminate the world."

Sarkozy is eager to pursue that destiny. The new President has pledged to bolster not just France's economy, work ethic and diplomatic standing — he has also promised to "modernize and deepen the cultural activity of France."

Details are sketchy, but the government has already proposed an end to admission charges at museums and, while cutting budgets elsewhere, hiked the Culture Ministry's by 3.2%, to $11 billion.

Whether such efforts will have much impact on foreign perception is another matter. In a September poll of 1,310 Americans for Le Figaro magazine, only 20% considered culture to be a domain in which France excels, far behind cuisine.

Domestic expectations are low as well. Many French believe the country and its culture have been in decline since — pick a date: 1940 and the humiliating German occupation; 1954, the start of the divisive Algerian conflict; or 1968, the revolutionary year which conservatives like Sarkozy say brought France under the sway of a new, more casual generation that has undermined standards of education and deportment.

For French of all political colors, déclinisme has been a hot topic in recent years. Bookstores are full of jeremiads like France is Falling, The Great Waste, The War of the Two Frances and The Middle Class Adrift.

Talk-show guests and opinion columnists decry France's fading fortunes, and even the French rugby team's failure at the World Cup — held in France this year — was chewed over as an index of national decay. But most of those laments involve the economy, and Sarkozy's ascension was due largely to his promise to attend to them.

Cultural decline is a more difficult failing to assess — and address. Traditionally a province of the right, it speaks to the nostalgia of some French for the more rigorous, hierarchical society of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Paradoxically, that starchy era inspired much of France's subsequent cultural vitality.
"A lot of French artists were created in opposition to the education system," says Christophe Boïcos, a Paris art lecturer and gallery owner. "Romantics, Impressionists, Modernists — they were rebels against the academic standards of their day. But those standards were quite high and contributed to the impressive quality of the artists who rebelled against them."

The taint of talkiness Quality, of course, is in the eye of the beholder — as is the very meaning of culture. The term originally referred to the growing of things, as in agriculture. Eventually it came to embrace the cultivation of art, music, poetry and other "high-culture" pursuits of a high-minded élite.
In modern times, anthropologists and sociologists have broadened the term to embrace the "low-culture" enthusiasms of the masses, as well as caste systems, burial customs and other behavior.

The French like to have it all ways. Their government spends 1.5% of GDP supporting a wide array of cultural and recreational activities (vs. only 0.7% for Germany, 0.5% for the U.K. and 0.3% for the U.S.). The Culture Ministry, with its 11,200 employees, lavishes money on such "high-culture" mainstays as museums, opera houses and theater festivals.

But the ministry also appointed a Minister for Rock 'n' Roll in the 1980s to help France compete against the Anglo-Saxons (unsuccessfully). Likewise, parliament in 2005 voted to designate foie gras as a protection-worthy part of the nation's cultural heritage.

Cultural subsidies in France are ubiquitous. Producers of just about any nonpornographic movie can get an advance from the government against box-office receipts (most loans are never fully repaid).
Proceeds from an 11% tax on cinema tickets are plowed back into subsidies. Canal Plus, the country's leading pay-TV channel, must spend 20% of its revenues buying rights to French movies.

By law, 40% of shows on TV and music on radio must be French. Separate quotas govern prime-time hours to ensure that French programming is not relegated to the middle of the night.
The government provides special tax breaks for freelance workers in the performing arts. Painters and sculptors can get subsidized studio space.
The state also runs a shadow program out of the Foreign Ministry that goes far beyond the cultural efforts of other major countries.
France sends planeloads of artists, performers and their works abroad, and it subsidizes 148 cultural groups, 26 research centers and 176 archaeological digs overseas.

With all those advantages, why don't French cultural offerings fare better abroad?

One problem is that many of them are in French, now merely the world's 12th most widely spoken language (Chinese is first, English second).
Worse still, the major organs of cultural criticism and publicity — the global buzz machine — are increasingly based in the U.S. and Britain. "In the '40s and '50s, everybody knew France was the center of the art scene, and you had to come here to get noticed," says Quemin. "Now you have to go to New York."

Another problem may be the subsidies, which critics say ensure mediocrity. In his widely discussed 2006 book On Culture in America, former French cultural attaché Frédéric Martel marvels at how the U.S. can produce so much "high" culture of lofty quality with hardly any government support. He concludes that subsidy policies like France's discourage private participants — and money — from entering the cultural space. Martel observes: "If the Culture Ministry is nowhere to be found, cultural life is everywhere."

Other critics warn that protecting cultural industries narrows their appeal. With a domestic market sheltered by quotas and a language barrier, French producers can thrive without selling overseas. Only about 1 in 5 French films gets exported to the U.S., 1 in 3 to Germany. "If France were the only nation that could decide what is art and what is not, then French artists would do very well," says Quemin. "But we're not the only player, so our artists have to learn to look outside."

Certain aspects of national character may also play a role.
Abstraction and theory have long been prized in France's intellectual life and emphasized in its schools.
Nowhere is that tendency more apparent than in French fiction, which still suffers from the introspective 1950s nouveau roman (new novel) movement.

Many of today's most critically revered French novelists write spare, elegant fiction that doesn't travel well. Others practice what the French call autofiction — thinly veiled memoirs that make no bones about being conceived in deep self-absorption. Christine Angot received the 2006 Prix de Flore for her latest work, Rendez-vous, an exhaustively introspective dissection of her love affairs. One of the few contemporary French writers widely published abroad, Michel Houellebecq, is known chiefly for misogyny, misanthropy and an obsession with sex. "In America, a writer wants to work hard and be successful," says François Busnel, editorial director of Lire, a popular magazine about books (only in France!). "French writers think they have to be intellectuals."

Conversely, foreign fiction — especially topical, realistic novels — sells well in France. Such story-driven Anglo-Saxon authors as William Boyd, John le Carré and Ian McEwan are over-represented on French best-seller lists, while Americans such as Paul Auster and Douglas Kennedy are considered adopted sons.

"This is a place where literature is still taken seriously," says Kennedy, whose The Woman in the Fifth was a recent best seller in French translation. "But if you look at American fiction, it deals with the American condition, one way or another. French novelists produce interesting stuff, but what they are not doing is looking at France."

French cinema has also suffered from a nouveau roman complex. "The typical French film of the '80s and '90s had a bunch of people sitting at lunch and disagreeing with each other," quips Marc Levy, one of France's best-selling novelists. (His Et si c'Etait Vrai... , published in English as If Only It Were True, became the 2005 Hollywood film Just Like Heaven starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo.) "An hour and a half later, they are sitting at dinner, and some are agreeing while others are disagreeing." France today can make slick, highly commercial movies — Amélie, Brotherhood of the Wolf — but for many foreigners the taint of talkiness lingers.

The next act How to make France a cultural giant again? One place to start is the education system, where a series of reforms over the years has crowded the arts out of the curriculum. "One learns to read at school, one doesn't learn to see," complains Pierre Rosenberg, a former director of the Louvre museum.

To that end, Sarkozy has proposed an expansion of art-history courses for high schoolers. He has also promised measures to entice more of them to pursue the literature baccalaureate program. Once the most popular course of study, it is now far outstripped by the science and economics-sociology options. "We need literary people, pupils who can master speech and reason," says Education Minister Xavier Darcos. "They are always in demand."

Sarkozy sent a chill through the French intelligentsia last summer by calling for the "democratization" of culture.
Many took this to mean that cultural policy should be based on market forces, not on professional judgments about quality. With more important adversaries to confront — notably the pampered civil-service unions — Sarkozy is unlikely to pick a fight over cultural subsidies, which remain vastly popular.

But the government may well try to foster private participation by tinkering with the tax system. "In the U.S. you can donate a painting to a museum and take a full deduction," says art expert Boïcos. "Here it's limited. Here the government makes the important decisions. But if the private sector got more involved and cultural institutions got more autonomy, France could undergo a major artistic revival."

Sarkozy's appointment of Christine Albanel as Culture Minister looks like a vote for individual initiative: as director of Versailles, she has cultivated private donations and partnerships with businesses. The Louvre has gone one step further by effectively licensing its name to offshoots in Atlanta and Abu Dhabi.

A more difficult task will be to change French thinking. Though it is perilous to generalize about 60 million people, there is a strain in the national mind-set that distrusts commercial success.
Opinion polls show that more young French aspire to government jobs than to careers in business.

"Americans think that if artists are successful, they must be good," says Quemin.
"We think that if they're successful, they're too commercial. Success is considered bad taste."

At the same time, other countries' thinking could use an update. Britain, Germany and the U.S. in particular are so focused on their own enormous cultural output that they tend to ignore France. Says Guy Walter, director of the Villa Gillet cultural center in Lyon: "When I point out a great new French novel to a New York publisher, I am told it's 'too Frenchy.' But Americans don't read French, so they don't really know."

What those foreigners are missing is that French culture is surprisingly lively. Its movies are getting more imaginative and accessible. Just look at the Taxi films of Luc Besson and Gérard Krawczyk, a rollicking series of Hong Kong-style action comedies; or at such intelligent yet crowd-pleasing works as Cédric Klapisch's L'Auberge Espagnole and Jacques Audiard's The Beat That My Heart Skipped, both hits on the foreign art-house circuit.

French novelists are focusing increasingly on the here and now: one of the big books of this year's literary rentrée, Yasmina Reza's L'Aube le Soir ou la Nuit (Dawn Dusk or Night) is about Sarkozy's recent electoral campaign.
Another standout, Olivier Adam's A l'Abri de Rien (In the Shelter of Nothing), concerns immigrants at the notorious Sangatte refugee camp. France's Japan-influenced bandes dessinées (comic-strip) artists have made their country a leader in one of literature's hottest genres: the graphic novel.

Singers like Camille, Benjamin Biolay and Vincent Delerm have revived the chanson. Hip-hop artists like Senegal-born MC Solaar, Cyprus-born Diam's and Abd al Malik, a son of Congolese immigrants, have taken the verlan of the streets and turned it into a sharper, more poetic version of American rap.

Therein may lie France's return to global glory. The country's angry, ambitious minorities are committing culture all over the place. France has become a multiethnic bazaar of art, music and writing from the banlieues and disparate corners of the nonwhite world. African, Asian and Latin American music get more retail space in France than perhaps any other country.

Movies from Afghanistan, Argentina, Hungary and other distant lands fill the cinemas. Authors of all nations are translated into French and, inevitably, will influence the next generation of French writers.

Despite all its quotas and subsidies, France is a paradise for connoisseurs of foreign cultures. "France has always been a country where people could come from any country and immediately start painting or writing in French — or even not in French," says Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian whose movie based on her graphic novel Persepolis is France's 2008 Oscar entry in the Best Foreign Film category. "The richness of French culture is based on that quality."

And what keeps a nation great if not the infusion of new energy from the margins? Expand the definition of culture a bit, and you'll find three fields in which France excels by absorbing outside influences.

First, France is arguably the world leader in fashion, thanks to the sharp antennae of its cosmopolitan designers.

Second, French cuisine — built on the foundation of Italian and, increasingly, Asian traditions — remains the global standard.

Third, French winemakers are using techniques developed abroad to retain their reputation for excellence in the face of competition from newer wine-growing regions.

Tellingly, many French vines were long ago grafted onto disease-resistant rootstocks from, of all places, the U.S. "We have to take the risk of globalization," says Villa Gillet's Guy Walter. "We must welcome the outside world."

Jean-Paul Sartre, the giant of postwar French letters, wrote in 1946 to thank the U.S. for Hemingway, Faulkner and other writers who were then influencing French fiction — but whom Americans were starting to take for granted. "We shall give back to you these techniques which you have lent us," he promised. "We shall return them digested, intellectualized, less effective, and less brutal — consciously adapted to French taste. Because of this incessant exchange, which makes nations rediscover in other nations what they have invented first and then rejected, perhaps you will rediscover in these new [French] books the eternal youth of that 'old' Faulkner."

Thus will the world discover the eternal youth of France, a nation whose long quest for glory has honed a fine appreciation for the art of borrowing.

And when the more conventional minds of the French cultural establishment — along with their self-occupied counterparts abroad — stop fretting about decline and start applauding the ferment on the fringes, France will reclaim its reputation as a cultural power, a land where every new season brings a harvest of genius.


With reporting by Grant Rosenberg/Paris

We live in exponential times

Karl Fisch created this presentation to start conversations with other teachers about the world their students are entering.

It is a collection of facts and figures about globalization, information age and America’s changing position in the world.

Since Karl generously shared the original presentation under a Creative Commons license, there have been several remixes, many YouTube versions, and SlideShare versions.

This is one of the video presentation of SHIFT HAPPENS

Created by Karl Fisch, and modified by Scott McLeod

The idea being that shifts in society are presenting us with some very real issues which must be addressed along with some startling facts.

The facts:

-In the next eight seconds, 32 babies will be born.

-Of the world's 2006 College graduates: 1.3 million came from the U.S., 3.1 million came from India, and 3.3 million came from China.

-Of the 3.1 million graduates from India one hundered percent of them speak English.

-It is estimated that in ten years the worlds largest population of English speakers will be from China

-One in four workers has been with their current employer for less than one full year.

-The United States Department of Labor estimates that todays students will have about 10 jobs by the time they are 38.

-Most of today's college majors did not even exist ten years ago, majors like: New media, Organicly produced Agriculture, e-buisiness, nanotechnology, and Homeland Security.

-Today's 21-year-olds have viewed 20,000 hours of television, played 10,000 hours of video games, talked 10,000 hours talking on the phone, sent 250,000 emails or instant messages, and have created more than %50 of today's internet content.

-70% of today's 4-year-olds have used the internet.

-It took 38 years for the radio to reach a market of 50 million people. It only took the TV 13 years to reach the 50 million mark. But it only took 4 years for the internet to reach the 50 million mark.

-The number of internet devices jumped frm 1000 in 1984 to 600,000,000 in 2006.

-The first commercial text message was sent in 1992, and today the number of text messages sent on any given day exceeds the population of our planet.

-The internet was first used widely in 1995, and in 2006, one in eight married couples met online.

-In this month alone there were 2.7 billion searches performed on the Google search engine.-There are curently more than 540,000 words in the English language, more than 5 times as many as Shakespeare's time.

-Today the amount of new technical information doubles every two years, and by 2010 it is predicted that the new information will double every two days.

-Currently the fiberoptic technology in use can push 10 trillion bits per second down a strand of fiber, this translates into 1,900 compact disks (CDs) or 150 million simultaneous telephone calls a second.

-There are nearly 2 billion children who live in developing countries, one in three of these children do not complete the fifth grade. The One Laptop per Child Project set out to change this by providing laptops for these children.

-It is believed that by the time the childen born in 2007 are six years of age a super computer will have more computational power than he human brain.

-It is predicted that by 2048 there will be a computer that costs $1,000 that will surpass the entire human race in computational power.

What does it all mean?


Today's student's are being trained to perform tasks that don't exist and technologies which we do not yet have, in order to solve the problems we don't know know are problems yet.

The truth of the matter WE LIVE IN EXPONENTIAL TIMES

What does that mean exactly?

It means that our society is growing in exponential leaps and bounds and there are things we must realize to prepare for the future.

Entering the zone of total transparence

This 5 minutes video produced by Italian Web Consulting Agency, Casaleggio Associati is aimed to predict the future of the Internet in 43 years.

Shortly, the Net will include and unify not only the media content but also our private lifes.

And the big winner will be Google. On 2051 we will live an overall Second Life named Prometeus. You will ONLY present your avatar and you will not exist out of Prometeus.

Devices that replicate the five senses will be available in the virtual worlds. We will really feel and live in the Second Life (ooops, Prometeus controlled by Google). BTW, even this blog is owned by Google and probably its collecting more information about me than I'm able to do for myself.

New providence or sharp viral ad? Should we regret that we will not be alive on 2051 when our lifes will be so restrained by overall Google control that the only way to become what you want is not by living your own life but only by living the (marketable!) life of your avatar in the Second Life ?

But on the other hand, it's the only sure wager of our eternity - maybe we will be still alive on 2051 only thanks to Google who are collecting everything about us right now (watch the video on the end of this post).

But first, read the complete text of the video above:

"Man is God. He is everywhere, he is anybody, he knows everything.

This is the Prometeus new world. All started with the Media Revolution, with Internet, at the end of the last century.

Everything related to the old media vanished: Gutenberg, thecopyright, the radio, the television, the publicity.

The old world reacts: more restrictions for the copyright, new laws against non authorized copies. Napster, the music peer to peer company is sued.

At the same time, free internet radio appears; TIVO, the internet television, allows to avoid publicity; the Wall Street Journal goes on line; Google launches Google news.

Millions of people read daily the biggest on line newspaper.

OhMyNews written by thousands of journalists;

Flickr becomes the biggest repository in the history of photos, YouTube for movies.

The power of the masses.

A new figure emerges: the prosumer, a producer and a consumer of information. Anyone can be a prosumer.

The news channels become available on Internet. The blogs become more influential than the old media. The newspapers are released for free.

Wikipedia is the most complete encyclopedia ever.

In 2007 Life magazine closes (sic!) The NYT sells its television and declares that the future is digital. BBC follows. In the main cities of the world people are connected for free. At the corners of the streets totems print pages from blogs and digital magazines.

The virtual worlds are common places on the Internet for millions of people.A person can have multiple on line identities. Second Life launches the vocal avatar.

The old media fight back. A tax is added on any screen; newspapers, radios and televisions are financed by the State; illegal download from the web is punished with years of jail.

Around 2011 the tipping point is reached: the publicity investments are done on the Net. The electronic paper is a mass product: anyone can read anything on plastic paper.

In 2015 newspapers and broadcasting television disappear, digital terrestrial is abandoned, the radio goes on the Internet. The media arena is less and less populated. Only the Tyrannosaurus Rex survives.

The Net includes and unifies all the content.

Google buys Microsoft. Amazon buys Yahoo! and become the world universal content leaders with BBC, CNN and CCTV.

The concept of static information - books, articles, images - changes and is transformed into knowledge flow.

The publicity is chosen by the content creators, by the authors and becomes information, comparison, experience.

In 2020 Lawrence Lessig, the author of 'Free Culture', is the new US Secretary of Justice and declares the copyright illegal.

Devices that replicate the five senses are available in the virtual worlds. The reality could be replicated in Second Life.

Any one has an Agav (agent-avatar) that finds information, people, places in the virtual worlds.

In 2022 Google launches Prometeus, the Agav standard interface.

Amazon creates Place, a company that replicates reality.

You can be on Mars, at the battle of Waterloo, at the Super Bowl as a person. It's real.

In 2027 Second Life evolves into Spirit. People become who they want. And share the memory. The experiences. The feelings. Memory selling becomes a normal trading.

In 2050 Prometeus buys Place and Spirit. Virtual life is the biggest market on the planet. Prometeus finances all the space missions to find new worlds for its customers: the terrestrial avatar.

Experience is the new reality."

Voice: Philip K. Dick Avatar !

Watch This Short Movie About The Power Of Google

3 Winners of 2 Major Modern Art Awards During the Modern Art Week in Paris

Video: FIAC 2007 [Paris International Contemporary Art Fair] opening

As usual, two major French modern art awards: Duchamp Award and the Ricard Company Foundation Award were dedicated during the October "Modern Art Week" in Paris when lots of modern art fairs and events are taking a place.

The seventh Duchamp Award designed by modern art collectors association, ADIAF (Association for Intl. Distribution of French Art), in partnership with the Pompidou Center and the FIAC, has been dedicated to Tatiana Trouvé, born on 1968 in Italy and living in Paris (represented by Galerie Almine Rech).

The awards include 35,000 euros, publication of a catalog by the Pompidou Center and privilege to expose her works for two months in L'Espace 315 in the Beaubourg on Spring 2008.

The Ricard Company Foundation Award is dedicated by a collectors panel to two artists from Marseille, Christophe Berdaguer (born on 1968) and Mary Péjus (born on 1969) (represented by Galerie Martine Aboucaya) for their installation Dreamland / Disappear Here (2007).

Purchased for 15,000 euros, it will be offered to the Pompidou Center, which will exhibit this sculpture in its permanent collection. Until November 17, 2007, this piece will be exposed at the Foundation Ricard, 12, rue Boissy d'Anglas as part of the exhibition "Drift" (designed by Mathieu Mercier).

FIAC You, 46 years ago in Paris

Claudia Cardinale and late Jean-Claude Brialy in the movie The Lions Are Loose [Les lions sont lâchés, 1961] directed by Henri Verneuil

FIAC 2007 Opened Last Night at the Cour Carée of the Louvre Museum

A day before nationwide strikes, the Paris International Contemporary Art Fair, 34th FIAC opened with the Minister of Culture of the right-wing Sarkozy's government, Madame Christine Albanel (picture above)....

and works by artist from all over the world...

Nicolas Sarkozy by Martin Le Chevallier presented by Maisonneuve gallery

The FIAC 2007 exposing galleries at the COUR CARRÉE DU LOUVRE are:
Martine Aboucaya Paris • Aidan Moscou • Aliceday Bruxelles • Annex14 Bern • Art : concept Paris • Atelier Cardenas Bellanger Paris • Anne Barrault Paris • Isabella Bortolozzi Berlin • ChemouldPrescott Road Mumbai • ColletPark Paris • John Connelly Presents New York • Cortex Athletico Bordeaux • Cosmic Paris • Dvir Tel-Aviv • Frank Elbaz Paris • F A Projects Londres • Dominique Fiat Paris • Enrico Fornello Prato • Foxy Production New York • Galerie de Multiples Paris • Gb agency Paris • Frédéric Giroux Paris • Laurent Godin Paris • Marat Guelman Moscou • Alain Gutharc Paris • Eva Hober Paris • Hollybush Gardens Londres • I-20 Gallery New York • Galerie Grita Insam Vienne • In SITU Fabienne Leclerc Paris • Juliette Jongma Amsterdam • Jousse Entreprise Paris • Iris Kadel Karlsruhe • KBK Mexico • Johann König Berlin • Nicolas Krupp Bâle • La B.A.N.K Paris • La Blanchisserie Boulogne-Billancourt • Layr Wuestenhagen Contemporary Vienne • Florence Loewy Paris • Loevenbruck Paris • Lumen Travo Amsterdam • Maisonneuve Paris • Martinethibaultdelachâtre Paris • Kamel Mennour Paris • Francesca Minini Milan • Gabrielle Maubrie Paris • Motive Amsterdam • Nature Morte/Bose Pacia New Delhi/ New York • NoguerasBlanchard Barcelone • Nosbaum & Reding Luxembourg • Parker’s Box New York • Polaris Paris • ProjectSD Barcelone • Raster Varsovie • Almine Rech Paris • Michel Rein Paris • Re:voir / The Film Gallery Paris • Ronmandos Amsterdam • Schleicher+Lange Paris • Shanghart Shanghai • Nils Staerk Copenhague • Diana Stigter Amsterdam • T293 Naples • Suzanne Tarasiève Paris • The Breeder Athènes • Aline Vidal Paris • Nadja Vilenne Liège • Nicola Von Senger Zürich • Max Wigram Londres • Jocelyn Wolff Paris • Hiromi Yoshii Tokyo • Zero Milan • Zinger Presents Amsterdam • Martin van Zomeren Amsterdam
FIAC 2007 : OCTOBER 18th – OCTOBER 22th 2007

Absolutely Fabulous Paris Fashion Week Frenzy

The highest priest of French fashion TV shows from Canal + , Mademoiselle Agnès (L) and moi(R)

Entrance to the Petit Palais today, before the runway presentation by Requiem

The Fashion (same as Aquagym, for instance), seems to be an exclusive woman's religion : you should see today those worried and deadly-serious faces of young anorexic fashionistas, freelance fashion journalists and frantic garment buyers in love with their jobs, before the runway presentation by Requiem (a label by Raffaele Boriello and Julien Desselle) !
Are they gonna manage, after an hour of waiting and all that humiliation from the security guards, to finally enter the temple of the immortal frivolity and bubble consumerism ?
I was amused like being on an Absolutely Fabulous set and curious about the outcome like an atheist in a crowed of the fanatical believers.
Watch a part of an Absolutely Fabulous episode below, you will LOL :/
"You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something.
Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don't need.
Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don't really need.
We have to show these men and women freedom by enslaving them, and show their courage by frightening them." Chuck Palahniuk , FIGHT CLUB

The Court - Circuit Fashion, Design & Art Fair in Marais

Yesterday at Court - Circuit, "the fair of the creation" at l'Espace des Blancs Manteaux, (September 28 - 30,2007), I've found several interesting objects:

Interactive Lightning Wall Pictures a.k.a. Creadocs by Made In HL

Various accessories by ChinArt

B/W photographies and printed In Dog We Trust dollars by Egor All

Lamps made from computer chips by Alain Vilatou (AVLumen)

The coat by unknown designer (forgot to ask her name)

Lots of Tibetan Events This Weekend

Today, Sunday, 23 September 2007, is the second day of 8th Tibet Culture Festival
at Grande Pagode du Bois de Vincennes, 40 route circulaire du Lac Daumesnil 75012 Paris , Metro Porte Dorée See the map and complete schedule here

Out of this festival, on Friday I was on the concert of sublime Tibetan singer Namgyal Lhamo at l'Archipel (my video from this concert is coming soon) and on the same evening on 8th Tibet Culture Festival , another great Tibetan artist, Loten Namling was performing on the other side of the town, at Grande Pagode du Bois de Vincennes. Here is one of his recent videos:

To stay updated with Tibetan events in Paris and help Tibetan people go to France Tibet Association and Tibet Info


If you speak French and missed yesterday my favorite daily talk show on France 3 TV, "Ce soir ou jamais" (Tonight Or Never) hosted by Frederic Tadei with a topic "What does it mean to be a boss?" (hint on the ubiquitous new French president) with a rare and precious appearance of the philosopher Regis Debray, don't forget to watch whole show on line here: (video above is a part of this talk show).

Read the article from Le Monde (also in French) about the new book by Regis Debray "The Democratic Obscenity".

Take a look at Régis Debray's website and subscribe to his quarterly magazine MEDIUM which is a part of the MEDIOLOGIE

Video Interview with Armand Hadida

Video: My interview with Armand Hadida in the bar of his newest L'Eclaireur at 8-10 rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008 Paris.

More at:

Pierre René-Worms photo exhibit tribute to Ian Curtis tomorrow at Agnes B. stores

Just few weeks before the long awaited Paris release of Ian Curtis biopic Control by Anton Corbijn (watch the video trailer below), Agnés B. launches tomorrow (September, 12) the Joy Division photo exhibit at her store in the Les Halles district where the pictures were actually taken 28 years ago by Pierre René-Worms (see the invitation above).

This was on December 18, 1979, the day of the Joy Division concert in the Bains-Douches (CD of this concert was released on 2001) which was performed in almost empty auditorium.
It was Ian Curtis' first and last visit to Paris. Five months later, on May 18, 1980, at age 24, he committed suicide.

Joy Division photo exhibit at Agnes B. store, 3 and 6 rue du Jour 75001 Paris, Metro: Les Halles until October 6, 2007.
See these exposed pictures by Pierre René-Worms at

video: Ian Curtis biopic Control by Anton Corbijn (trailer)

Visiting New l'Eclaireur's 600 m2 space in the 8ème yesterday

I took this photo of the l'Eclaireur's black van with printed Fornasetti patterns, yesterday in the front of the super sharp and sophisticated store, bar and restaurant L'Eclaireur at 8-10 rue Boissy d’Anglas (next door to the Buddha Bar).

Go to the Rue Boissy d’Anglas and have a dinner in this brand new Fornasetti temple owned by Armand & Martine Hadida, you won't regret it - everything here is breathtaking and so ultra holychic. The only other time I had this feeling was in Venice.
Soon: Video-interview with Mr. Hadida at

New Hotel by Lacroix: Hôtel le Bellechasse

Upside: Ultra cool artsy ambiance. Finally a new Parisian hot-spot de luxe which is not designed with 90's minimalistic codes or by smothered "Plastic-Surgeon-From-16ème" flat decoration mold. Lacroix is here so over the top that you might find yourself searching for a White Rabbit after visiting the third room of the hotel.

Downside: Some rooms are so small. Lack of daylight. Does an old-fashioned bathtub in the middle of the tiny room with a low ceiling represent the playful imagination of the couturier or it's just prosaic result of space lacking? Read more at:

Hôtel le Bellechasse

Opening date: July 25, 2007

Watch the Video of the Hotel Bellechasse with the coments in French

by VG

Buddhism and Quantum Physics

"I try to show the common ground between Buddhist philosophy and quantum physics. There is a surprising parallelism between the philosophical concept of reality articulated by Nagarjuna and the physical concept of reality implied by quantum physics.

***Photo by courtesy of Christian Thomas Kohl (Nagarjuna statue at Samye Ling Monastery)***

For neither is there a fundamental core to reality; rather, reality consists of systems of interacting objects. Such concepts of reality cannot be reconciled with the substantial, subjective, holistic or instrumentalistic concepts of reality that underlie modern modes of thought. " Read more in English : Buddhism and Quantum Physics: A Strange Parallelism of Two Concepts of Reality by Christian Thomas Kohl (Published in: Contemporary Buddhism, Volume 8, Issue 1 May 2007)

" Il y a un parallélisme surprenant entre le concept philosophique de la réalité de Nagarjuna et le concept physique de la réalité de la physique quantique.
Pour les deux la réalité fondamentale ne repose pas sur un noyau dur mais sur des systèmes d’éléments mutuels et interdépendants.
Ces concepts de réalité sont incompatibles avec les concepts substantiels, subjectifs, holistes et instrumentalistes qui sont le fondement des manières de pensée du monde moderne. " Lire article complete en français : Bouddhisme et Physique quantique, Un étrange parallélisme entre deux concepts de la réalité par Christian Thomas Kohl

Video: Quantum Mechanics for Dummies

Paris In a Bike Frenzy

What? Living in Paris and still don't have your own bike?! Then take a ride on Velib, catch the Urban Cab bicycle, watch the Tour de France or go to see the exhibit Joy Ride at & watch more at

Photo: by Denis T