Karoke as art? Dan Kois, senior editor at Slate and a contributing writer to New Yorker magazine consider this in How Good Does Karaoke Have to Be to Qualify as Art?. Is this just another paean to Portland. Yes, but something more, and along the way he does capture why Portland is a special place for artisans.
Portland isn’t just the capital of karaoke, I was realizing. The Japanese influence, the small-business climate and the abundance of bands don’t really matter. Portland is the capital of America’s small ponds. It’s a city devoted to chasing that feeling — the feeling of doing something you love, just for a moment, and being recognized for it, no matter how obscure or unnecessary or ludicrous it might seem to the straight world. It is the capital of taking frivolity seriously, of being silly as if it’s your job.
Note: This is a second post from Darren Hoad, Senior Lecturer, Edge Hill University, UK. Check out his beautifulbizz blog
My Trip to New York was intended as research but there was a point where work and pleasure became indistinguishable. As a consumer of chocolate, my visit to Mast Brothers Chocolatiers in Williamsburg in New York was a long anticipated indulgence (for research purposes you understand). I had used the case of the Mast Brothers during teaching sessions in the UK, examining the nature of consumption, production, localism, arts and craftsmanship. I have to admit to being a lover of chocolate. I tend to eat most types, most brands, milk or dark, it doesn’t matter. I consume but don’t think too much about where it comes from and how it is made. I eat chocolate therefore I am. However, industrially produced and mass manufactured chocolate is changing. The chocolate doesn’t taste as nice as it once did, and the bars are getting smaller! Continue reading
Surprisingly, the economic turnaround of the US economy has been led by manufacturing. Its a complicated story that includes the resurgence of innovative companies that develop small run, highly engineered products that require more skilled artisan-like workers. A second part of the growth of manufacturing has been around insourcing. No longer considered a trend, large companies like GE are placing big bets on US manufacturing facilities. Why? Again the story is complicated but one explanation is to protect intellectual property from knockoffs developed by outsourcing firms. Another is the changing role of labor. In advanced manufacturing, the walls between production and design are being broken down (in ways similar to what I described in Brew to Bikes:Portland’s Artisan Economy) For more on insourcing, check out two recent media stories, NPR’s Not Just Patriotic, US Manufacturing May be Smart and the Atlantic Magazine’s The Insourcing Boom.
Found this among the many comments on the Atlantic article, The Insourcing Boom. Check out the Reshoring Initiative. Not just a booster blog, it is doing a better than average job highlighting cases and estimating job impacts.
Hard not to love this Portland artisan. Check out Ryan Whites Oregonian article on Ear Trumpet Labs
Philip Graham didn’t set out to make the perfect Portland microphone — but he might be making the perfect Portland microphone.
full story here
The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy: Global Perspectives (Routledge) Edited by Carl Grodach and Daniel Silver
The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy brings together a range of international experts to critically analyze the ways that governmental actors and non-governmental entities attempt to influence the production and implementation of urban policies directed at the arts, culture, and creative activity. Presenting a global set of case studies that span five continents and 22 cities, the essays in this book advance our understanding of how the dynamic interplay between economic and political context, institutional arrangements, and social networks affect urban cultural policy-making and the ways that these policies impact urban development and influence urban governance. The volume comparatively studies urban cultural policy-making in a diverse set of contexts, analyzes the positive and negative outcomes of policy for different constituencies, and identifies the most effective policy directions, emerging political challenges, and most promising opportunities for building effective cultural policy coalitions.