First Friday: Alison Owings, Helen Rubinstein, Minnesota Orchestra 90th Anniversary , Vickie Abrahamson, International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), Robert Alden Rubin

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On this First Friday program, MPR’s Kathy Wurzer presents a story collection that includes: Alison Owings on German women during Third Reich; Helen Rubinstein on family and the Holocaust; Minnesota Orchestra celebrates its 90th birthday; Vickie Abrahamson on trends; MPR’s Euan Kerr report on international Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA); and Robert Alden Rubin on poetry to read out loud.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

It's the 5th of November and its first Friday, Minnesota public radio's monthly magazine of the Arts and popular culture. I'm Cathy wurzer sitting in for best friend in the next hour. We'll revisit Nazi Germany and hear wind German women did not speak out against the Third Reich will also hear about one who did the Minnesota Orchestra celebrates its 90th birthday electronic art catches on in this high-tech age are three for you and care will have that story salsa in your fridge astrology in your office and poetry to read out loud anywhere. That's all coming up during first Friday.On a dark November night 55 years ago German army officers join mobs of ordinary people to Rampage through the streets of Germany destroying Jewish homes stores and synagogues. The event was a turning point in the escalation of violence against Europe's Jews when Germans awoke the next morning there neighbor shops in temples were in Ruins or in flames and 30,000 Jewish men had been deported to concentration camps November 9th became known as kristallnacht the night of shattered glass kristallnacht made clear early on the Nazis potential for organizing violence on a wide scale yet events, like these generated little protest from ordinary Germans. The question historians have asked since the Holocaust how could this have happened is at the root of a new book by journalist, Alison OwingsOwens set out to interview the women of Germany who were adults during the Third Reich her book Frau in German women recall. The Third Reich is a chilling. Look at how very ordinary women understood their society and their place in it is neither German nor Jewish. She said she felt compelled to hear from these women before they died the document what they did or did not do in Nazi Germany I cast about trying to find a book similar to the one I wrote hoping in a way that I didn't have to write it but it seemed to me important that the voices of these women be heard because they were after all half the Third ReichAnd then when I went to Germany, it turned out really that it was a help that I was neither German or Jewish but I was simply interested. I guess from the Viewpoint of being a woman myself and being a journalist. Why do you think it was a help to not be German or Jewish do they open up to you more as a journalist? I think so, I as far as I could tell with many of the women they had had lots of problems with her children who often had asked them in different ways. How could you have let something like this happen and had I been a German and one that won the age of their children? I think they would have found me just a little too close. And also I probably would not have asked the sometimes stupid questions. I asked that got quite extraordinary answers.Very naive questions at first like did you suggest that your husband dessert and they all they all looked at me as if I were crazy but a German would not have asked those questions. So I probably got more information that I might have otherwise and as for not being Jewish only one woman asked me if I were she asked it kind of matter-of-factly but I think the others felt a little less self-conscious than they might have had. I been Jewish and I'm sure I got I heard a lot more anti-Semitism that I would have had. I been a Jew it was certainly a mixed blessing. I'm a say considering what I had to listen to when you began the research for this book and all the many interviews that you did for it. Would you expecting a specific female response to the Third Reich? I had expected that to be the case in a in some degree. I really want to hear the women stories to hear what they had to say so that their testimony wouldn't be lost forever. But I did expect that the women would would be somewhat of a homogeneous Lee Noble group and they were not bad at all the first woman. I spoke with spoke of the idealism of national socialism and I think the second woman talked about joining the Nazi party before it was even legal or before they Nazis have been elected. So I realized that these women were not lining up in this Noble Uber referral line that I had to stake out for them, but that they were indeed as one might have expected individual human beings and they were very very different from one another. Among the many women that you spoke to who stands out in your mind whose story will you always take with you? well, there are several but I think probably The one who is my heroin and that's not necessarily the only one that I'll keep in mind, but the heroine is a woman named Flo dubnyk who hit her Jewish girlfriend for two years and her partner in her apartment next door to not see Neighbors and they met on a beach in Berlin when fraud dubnyk went over to her because she said, oh she looks so Jewish. That's probably why she was alone. So she went over to her and said, oh, why don't you join us her and her friends and comes go swimming with us and they became friends and she just as a matter, of course extended herself to this woman after her own sister, the Jewish woman sister was deported and said, oh you can stay with me. And she hit her for two years and her. In her apartment were also her young son from dude knocks young son 5 to 7 during this time was life. She also endangered by hiding her friend. And in one of the typical contradictions of the Third Reich and there's so many one way. She helped feed the friend. Is that her husband? Who is a soldier in the German Army sent them both back food, and he knew his wife was hiding her. Were there any commonalities among the women who intervened in some way such as fraud dubna women who hid Jews who resisted where did they find their bravery through that time? Well, I really don't know where they found their bravery but bravery seemed irrelevant to them. It certainly was seemed irrelevant to fry duveneck hilden Elm on the woman. She had she said was just her good friends. There was no question of Bravery, but I think the commonality among these women sometimes called righteous Gentiles and proud of that was certainly an exception. I must say but of those who opposed the Nazis and try to do something about it. Was that there they had at least one role model at home. Who showed them what was wrong and right I think who developed and them a sense of seeing people as individuals. What do you think then prevented some of the women from noticing from not noticing what was going on war from not for not standing up to the Nazis? Well, I think they're released at least two things at play here for one some did in fact many did talk of trying to see the best of what was going on one woman specifically said I wanted to believe all that they were propagandizing that things were going to be good and better and that we were all working for world. Peace. And she said she felt like seeing that she wanted to be idealistic that word came up frequently. And other women talked of the German word is footlong on which is repression. They said well, maybe I could length what happened and some of them indicated they kind of did that all along they they put on blinders which I sometimes think is not typically necessarily German trade at all. But something maybe anyone would do if something horrible is going on around them and they don't want to see it. I sometimes feel I do that with the homeless for instance. Not that there's a comparison but just that if you feel that you want to get on with your life and the feel overwhelmed by something else going on you you make your accommodation perhaps what about some specific women that you talked to along these lines women who knew what was going on, but we're swept away and it all and didn't respond in the way that you know, we would like to think that they should have responded. I think there's a difference between a woman who was Swept Away in a woman who knew everything that was going on. Because the strictures against the Jews there were a lot of them at first and then there were more gradual and some of them were kind of hidden. It wasn't as if every citizen was informed about the what was going on at the concentration camps, which of course in great measure started later. I'm fine, but specifically about the annihilation camps, but women who were swept along I think wanted to be swept along and they also were influenced by the antisemitism that had been in Germany as well as other countries before the Third Reich and certainly was was well-used and in a diabolic away during the Third Reich and they did begin to see in their view that the propaganda was right one woman who was a Nazi party member said, well, she has some nice Jewish neighbors, but then they were saying look around all these stores are owned by Jews and she said yes, we looked around and these were owned by Jews in those run by Jews and we thought yes. Time for us us to to get ahead 2 and not just the effortless ones is the phrase was and I think they truly believed the anti-semitic propaganda. I think as I wrote Somewhere it was Somewhat like tossing mushroom spores into a damp and expected Forest. It was just ready to Blossom cuz it had it had been there as throughout much of Europe other places for quite a while. Did you find Allison during the interviews the women talked about their own individual experiences, but did they really address the complexity in the horror of the Third Reich in an in an overall sense in a cultural sense? Well, some of them were so focused on their own stories that what they recalled didn't always go beyond what they themselves had seen but I think of one woman who is Hmong the youngest in the book and I almost infected interview because I thought she was too young. She was born in 1926. She spoke a lot about the complexities in the contradictions of the third rice. I'll give you two examples. She said it was It was like a spiderweb. I think she's been in this was her expression. And if something happened in one part of the web the rest of the web vibrated and it was all terribly interconnected for instance in just in trying to do something against the Nazis her her father within a business trip in Zurich and saw I saw a movie and it was preceded by an English newsreel, which was for voting for Germans when he got back to Berlin after the trip. He was immediately called to the Nazi headquarters to say, why did you see this forbidden movie and he was able to talk himself out of it, but that's one small example of just how people work were tracked. What did you think of these women who did not look at the overall picture that only looked at their own little small corner of the world in their overall experience, but it didn't seem to want to Branch out and look at the ramifications of what actually occurred Well, some women, of course did did Branch out and became much more Vigilant. I think after the third rice those who didn't I think didn't in part because it was too horrendous for their psychological beings perhaps I have this feeling that they kind of fogged up their mirrors with exhalations of Alibis that they didn't want to see too much more because out of the corners of their eyes, they they say Auschwitz so they could concentrate in a way on what they went through on being raped by by the Russians or by being bombed out or by losing their husband in the war because It's simply easier to figure that out when it just has to do with you. They also had not been encouraged to think in a wider view because after the war there was such a scramble to stay alive because there was no more rayshun system. There was so little food people are starving to death in Berlin in 46. For instance that that they had something else to occupy their minds with him gladly occupy their minds with that and maybe even got used to thinking more about But how to stay alive then about all those millions and millions and millions of people who had been killed in part because they had not themselves done anything earlier, but then you get to the question of what what could they have done? And that's a whole other issue? What could what could anyone risk and also Risk at a time early on when they weren't sure. It was good or bad some of them I think. and they also As time went on knew that to risk anything was essentially to risk arrest and arrest could lead to death. So it's it's a very complicated situation. I don't really know. Why they all did not think beyond their own lives. I imagine. It's imagine it's in part self-protection and in part they were doing what others were doing. And I sometimes think you know, the Witnesses were gone the Jews were gone. So they didn't have eyes following them. They didn't have fingers pointing at them anymore. I mean they felt the They felt the the shame that the world cried at them. But with each other they could say well what could I have done? And that wasn't always an irrelevant question. Journalist Alison Owens. Her new book is Frau in German women recall. The Third Reich is published by Rutgers University. Press is Owings was in the Twin Cities earlier this week to discuss her book with local Jewish groups. Weir commentator Helen rubinstein's family the Holocaust meant the loss of memories as well as loved ones in 1967. My mother traveled from New York to Brazil to visit her uncle Aaron. She had not seen him since he left Poland 40 years earlier when she was only six years old among the mementos he gave her before she returned home was the only existing picture of her mother my grandmother who had been killed in the Holocaust. I was 13 years old at the time and very curious about the picture of this young woman for whom I have been named I would take a photo out once in a while to look at her face at once familiar and strange and then one day I opened our album and found that the photo of my grandmother had disappeared. I looked in all the hiding places that my parents didn't know I knew about no picture when I asked my mother where the picture was she told me she couldn't find it. And then last year my 18 year old nephew eras came to New York for a month-long visit. We had a wonderful time together you really is a delightful kid, and I was not looking forward to his going home to Israel on the last day of his visit. There is mention that stuff. Which means grandma in Hebrew. I told him that he look just like the picture of her mother the picture of her mother my grandmother and he's seen it. No, she hadn't shown it to him. But apparently there was this picture in which he look just like his great-grandmother's hiya that could mean only one thing I called my mother. Mom, do you have that picture of your mother that you brought home from Brazil? Yes, very calmly I asked where is it? So it's somewhere I have to look for it. Will you bring it when you come over tomorrow? I have to look for it. Will you look for it? I'll try the next day no picture. She hadn't looked for it by the following week when my husband and I came to visit nor by the week. After that at this point. I was obsessed with seeing the picture that had disappeared so long ago finally a month after Sarah's casually told me that stuff to head refer to the Lost photograph my mother brought out of manila envelope from which you remove the original picture and some copies. She had made later. I would think that maybe my mother's Joy at seeing her own mother brought to life in the face of her 18 year old grandson had broken some kind of spell only now could she bring high as photo Out Among the living Now we could talk about her and I could ask the questions. I hadn't gotten to as a child was my grandmother religious had her marriage been arranged. Did she ever talk about her girlhood? Sushi close to her siblings. Did she ever go to the movies? Maybe we would even get to talk about my grandfather about whom I knew almost nothing and whose likeness I will never see for the moment. However, I stared trying to memorize my grandmother's face though. I now had my own copy of the photo. My mother was right the photo of her mother at age 24 showed a feminine version of air has the same straight eyebrows long narrow nose and most touchingly the same overbite eras has his great-grandmother's buck teeth feel strange to think of this young matron in her modest dress with a delicate crochet color as a great grandmother or even a grandmother. So I just think of her as higher for whom I am named somehow call. Her by her name seems more light-hearted more informal as one would be with someone in their twenties i gaze at the photograph trying to find something anything that will make her more real to me. Of course. It's the buck teeth. What a little orthodonture could have done for Kaya. So here are the facts. Granny Kaya is 24 years old in this picture. She will bear a total of 10 children and lose two of them to illness. She will raise the remaining eight with her husband Itzhak procal in the town of Star Trek and later in Warsaw during the war. She will encourage her children to flee in all different directions so that there will be a greater chance of at least some of them surviving the Nazi murder machine two of them did she will then be murdered in Treblinka in the winter of 1942? As I look at her face mirrored so exactly in her great-grandsons teenaged features. I'm grateful that hire decided to pose for a portrait in the year 1910 and that this photo traveled. It's lucky way from Warsaw to Brazil to New York a few months after his visit to the US Air is also post report Reddit when he was drafted into the Israeli Army. He looks very handsome in his uniform with his hair cropped to within half an inch of his scalp. He smiles shyly this Photograph to has made its way to Brazil and to New York, Helena Rubinstein. You're listening to first Friday on Minnesota Public Radio. A waltz Aria composed by Johann Strauss was one of the selections 90 years ago at the first concert of the Venn Minneapolis Symphony. Now the Minnesota Orchestra The Voice belonged to Marcella sembrich a world-renowned soprano. She was hired by Symphony boosters for the first concert back in 1903 for $1,800 a lavish amount at that time Saturday night at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Orchestra will recreate that first concert as part of its 90th anniversary observance. Minnesota public radio's Dan Olson reports on the direction. The Minnesota Orchestra is headed as a tries to build an audience for the future. During was a big part of the orchestra's audience building strategy in the first half of this Century record sales were buoyed when audience members heard the symphony the Minneapolis Symphony Criss-Cross North America playing in gymnasium and Cow Palace has Cliff Johnson remembers the stop at the Edmonton Cow Palace still relevant with fumes from the previous night's livestock exhibition. And with the leftover Lonesome dogie backstage by the last base case was a cow and a Carson the soft movement. It went and which broke up everybody Cliff Johnson has been a bass player with the Minnesota Orchestra for 46 years. The Cow Palace was packed for the Symphony concert. It was the same virtually everywhere Johnson recalls. Big audiences gave the Minneapolis Symphony a warm reception. Even when we played above the ice in Calgary in the in the hockey rink with overcoats on some wearing gloves. It was it was Grim, but they fill the place 40 years ago the symphony was on the road for up to two months out of it 6 months season. Rising cost to put a lid on touring years ago these days audience building for Symphonies including the Minnesota Orchestra is done at home. This season is 12 months long and the schedule is filled with pops classic coffee subscription another concert series. One of the most popular is the young people's concert every morning for a week thousands of school children from around Minnesota are bus to Orchestra Hall to hear a 1-hour session about the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven. Two actors portraying Beethoven's neighbors stand in front of the Minnesota Orchestra. The name of the Beethoven piece being played is Flash on a large screen above the players associate conductor Bill Eddins conducts from the podium and the piano has the actors talk over some of the music edin says the decline of music education in schools and the rise of the video culture means orchestras cannot afford to be bashful about techniques were attracting young people to Symphony music. The first time they've heard of Beethoven as a couple weeks ago and you have to at least get them interested somehow. I like I don't have much pride at a bar being a classical musician and I just I don't care how I get my audience. I just want people from a young age to start thinking. Hey, you know, this could be a very interesting thing for me to at least and I'll keep my ears open and not just disregard it completely the audience of 2205 to 12 year olds is wrapped as they listen to passages from Beethoven's Greatest Hits and Snippets of his personal life. Pressure to adapt to the short attention span of popular culture troubles Orchestra violinist Herman's truck. He remembers as a child attending two and a half hour long Minneapolis symphony concerts with his older brother when there was no question that everyone would sit still and listen those students at their as quiet as you can be and they didn't didn't eat any props whatsoever was this Jascha Heifetz and Tchaikovsky that did the trick so I don't think children are any different today, but maybe I may be wrong about that. I don't know. Student reaction to the Beethoven production allowing for the Euphoria of a morning's escape from the classroom was positive. Oh good. What did you like about it the music piano? Going to come back to Orchestra Hall. Maybe to hear another concert. How to get a ticket even with the rave reviews and Ernest intentions of young listeners the Minnesota Orchestra has with others is trying to broaden its appeal to adult audiences 90 years after the orchestra's founding by the white business people prospered after the native people have been killed off or chased out. Your kiss was staged this month will feature Native American flute player Jay Red Hawk and the cola singers later in November when the king's singers perform with the orchestra, they'll be music of Ellington Paul Simon and the Beatles on the program conductor. Bill Adams says popular music was common in orchestral programs before the turn of the century Boston Pops music was just regular. Is he the whole basis of it was the music here is entertain you It's not here to involve you with great social issues that are going to immediately relevant to everything that you were doing. The music that is is there to entertain you use entertainment is the outcome the goal for most major American Symphonies including the Minnesota Orchestra has been survival the collective deficit of symphony orchestras in this country is in the tens of millions of dollars. The Minnesota Orchestra deficit at 1.2 million is considered manageable Luella Goldberg the first woman to chair the board says the Minnesota Orchestra earlier than most cost but kept its commitment to building an audience in the late 1970s and early 80s. We were making some exceptional efforts at that point to get into inner-city schools to get at particular programs master classes with kids who have particular talents in a variety of ways extending ourselves beyond what some of the ordinary programs were in other places the risk of trying to attract a broader audience is that the well-heeled boosters who contribute huge sums of money to support the orchestra will be put off by some Music selected or by the changed appearance of the crowd current board chairwoman. Nikki Carpenter says influence of other cultures on the orchestra is inevitable and desirable need to learn from them, but we must make it an inviting environment Tails, Texas. Three piece suits are very difficult for many people and even some of our old Symphony goers will say well, I'm not quite sure. I enjoyed having the gentleman sat next to me in his Levi's in Hard Rock t-shirt maybe but I do believe generally they'll respond that we respond. Well in the Years Around World War II the Minneapolis Symphony tried to attract ticket buyers with events that included baton twirlers programs with Big Ten college songs and concerts which included polka music and beer a newspaper critic of the time sniffed the orchestra reach rather low to win new friends and draw in the non-musical winning new friends is virtually the top priority these days as Symphonies cope with strained budgets and compete with other forms of entertainment on Dan, Olson, Minnesota Public Radio. It's first Friday. I'm Cathy wurzer. Okay, all the snow and cold means winter has had a head start in our region and I'm a heat up our Spirits with something new at the iconoculture newsletter. Vicki Abramson has been busy tracking Trends her pics for what's hot this month begin with the body and some unusual ways to cleanse it. We're going into cold season now and so I think got to clear your sinuses out in LA in Beverly Hills. They're doing an ancient Egyptian cleansing which is called koning ear coning. What you do is just like Cleopatra must have done I many years ago you lie your head on a pillow Touch of small end of a 10-inch cone of beeswax and cheese cloth to your ear opening and light the large end with a match and I guess it's simple physics where the hot air Rising pulls the mucus from your ear and nose Canal up into the cone while I Uber. The easier and the bacteria is cleansed from the canals. Do I can't see good Scandinavians in Minnesota during this started when I asked could I get on their mailing list? And she said of course for Fort Collins of $35 buys Fort Collins from the total health Connection in Beverly Hills, but I don't suggest doing it by yourself cuz you might set your head on fire. What other methods are hot when it comes to Cleansing the body talking hot. Everything seems to do with heat hear a cupping is what we're also seeing and you may remember from an old Zorba the Greek movie. He was csorba was capped. It's a Greek method where you take a shot into shot glass and heated over candle place the shot glass on the sore or as they say stagnant part of your body and the heat cups the skin pulling the tissue and Flash apart and it releases a built-up bad. Bacteria, that's what's happening in healthcare. You're counting and cupping still a little new age for some folks. So we'll try to keep in this this theme of new age by talking about another turn. This happening is astrology in the workplace. What's this about astrology has we're seeing it on Wall Street and international Commodities Trader named Americans future group has created an official position called the astrological research director. This is kind of the first position to be officially acknowledged on Wall Street and we think maybe a trimmed. Do you know if it works? I don't know. I don't know if I'd bet my money added in Chicago. Also, I was picked up on Astro Finance seminars where for 3-day seminar you pay $4,000 and they'll charge your finances in the Stars. New Age software coming around Church your own horoscope with mature scope. There's a software called psychic rewards, which I love that's it helps you develop your paranormal skills show you how to predict the future and best of all helps you manipulate matter. I guess you'll be moving the spoons around the kitchen table. There's also Visionary mindset which delivers inspirational messages and affirmations on disc and there's a really neat software name out there called synchronicity the bass all on the mystical teachings of the itching. I've heard that death is it hot topic to sounds a little my cob to say this but death is is a pretty heart marketing tool according to what you found out we found that on there some really hot new products using the death name in The Brand to new cigarettes death cigarettes and black deaths. Are in Venice California and we've also found Black Death vodka. It seems that these brands are so popular. They just can't keep them in the stores and people are tired of being told they can't smoke because it's bad for their health. So they're confronting it upfront with death. We're also seeing this is just really wacko. I think I'm hot holiday gift catalog is coming out of the LA coroner's office. They have a catalog called skeletons in the closet and it features toe tags and beach towels with Body Lines on them and t-shirts Corner baseball hats mugs and watches and all of this. I think they've sold over $15,000 worth of product already and it's been being marketed by the LA coroner's office to help fund a program to keep kids from drinking and driving. Totex put your a personalized Auto Tags another hot Trend and I use hot or not app on here is some salsa Salsas are hot sauces are very hot right now. Salsa is surpassing ketchup is America's number one condiment in the names alone. Make your tongue quiver Mad Dog salsa. Emerald salsa. Kick your ass hot salsa. Snake bite pistol packin piccante and my favorite suicide salsa. I guess we're getting back to death of Jennifer go down to the farmer's market and you will see salsa makers Minnesota salsa makers, Minnesota, Minnesota salsa, Vicky abrahamson watches trends for the iconoculture newsletter. Vinny Papa changa Is it art or is it a video game? This is just one of the many questions that will be asked as the Minneapolis College of Art and Design hosts the 4th International Symposium on electronic art participants from all over the world are expected to discuss the ways artists use computers to break new ground and challenge long-held definitions definitions of artistic Endeavor alongside. The Symposium is an exhibit of the work that is being produced. And for this weekend only there will be a special show of interactive art where the viewer can have an effect on what is displayed Minnesota public radio's you and care who is always had a Fascination for things that beep and work went along for look. This isn't what you think on a screen on the second floor of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design a couple of geometric figures are flying around above a beautiful rural landscape is called she was his 3D a click of The Mouse and the scene changes to a bar in outer space. It's all very interesting. But is it art the idea of electronic art brings visions of white coated pointy-headed nerds squinting at machines encrusted with flashing lights, but as computers become more powerful and accessible the image should probably be changed to include someone in a paint splash Smog and I would say bye through the end of this decade and into the next Century computer generated art will probably be among the primary art forms in contemporary visual art. He is very excited by the opportunity by hosting the Symposium. This is the first time the event has been held in the US and the first time it's actually being held it's a nod to college. So it says this is a lot of the college to develop the focus of the event surprisingly that there's been a longer history of computer art than one may assume and we felt he has a college that now is the time to begin begin discussing it in the context of Art instead of in the context of Technology plus the gallery is hung with a selection of work showing the combination of computer-generated images with more traditional artistic techniques, but upstairs the fun really begins. This is the Brain Wave Rider a system using a person's brain wave to decide how fast images of a computer-generated landscape flyby on a screen the writer sits in the chair that vibrates from The Sound wearing goggles embedded with flashing lights when first shown in Japan people waited in line for 3 hours to try it. So is it. Scott Sarah's the curator of what is being called the interactive Gallery? He says it's up to visitors to decide. I'm sure they're going to be asking these questions. I think that there's a large a spectrum of work here that if if you're opening if you can open your mind to accept any electronic art as being true art that you probably find a piece of it here because we have full spectrum of of things from Mom very clean and well-dressed installations to very very crude. I'm kind of hacker are in another dog groom. See pictures of similar plants displayed on a large-screen TV artist Crystal Sommer are explains the real plants are connected to the computer by sensors and the computer-generated images can be made to grow through caressing the real plans of your body is transmitted to the plants to the real plans. They capture distention. They compared with the intention and distention different electrical potential difference is 10 a triggering the artificial cross. So what you can do as a visitor is to first initial eyes and to start the cross of these plans to modify time to change the color to change the size of them to change the rotation and to decide on which places that will grow is also being explored down the hall at the Exquisite fax Invitational curator, Craig Eid is gathering works from around the world starting with 64 specially invited individuals. Collaborating on 1/8 by 6 foot drawing one fax at a time each artist links to the artist immediately before them on this grid. So they get a piece to the left of them a piece of bubblegum in a piece of until after you take those three pieces and they add on another piece. They then send it back to me. I use that piece to send out to the next person and we Cascade from the upper right to the lower left. Or I'm sorry, I'm flexible arthritis. The resulting image is a melange of intertwined figures and shapes ranging from The DaVinci ask to comic book on the other wall. There are only a couple of sheets but he hopes that in time this will change we've invited people from all the world to send us what they consider bee facts are that they've made and we're just where to fax machines are we have a plain paper fax in a roll machine. So if somebody wants to send a scroll piece, it might be four feet long and I can do that and we're just gonna put up whatever we get like the interactive art exhibition. The facts Invitational will only last through the weekend. The other pieces of the MCAT Gallery will be on this plane through mid-December. However, some of it almost didn't get their Gallery director Brian. So it says just as the Symposium set out to try to Define art the u.s. Customs became involved in the debate the u.s. Customs has a fairly traditional definition of art meaning it has to be made by and and doesn't consist of manufactured goods, and so when you're bringing in computers, you're bringing in machine made objects common everyday objects in the creation of this work Customs was really quite skeptical of whether this was indeed art and SOL at while they were very Cooperative this not only our Patron definition of art. We had to push the u.s. Customs definition of art as well. Try and sort Gallery director at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I'm you and care Minnesota Public Radio, by the way, if you'd like to contribute to the Exquisite facts Invitational, the numbers are for regular faxes, 612-874-3797 for longer faxes are Roll paper fax is available at 612-874-3748. You're listening to first Friday on Minnesota Public Radio. Think back now to your high school English class. Did you have to memorize classic poems like the Raven or The Rime of the Ancient Mariner for many of us memorizing and reciting a well-known poem was a typical class assignment. But have you ever spoken that poem out loud again for author and editor Robert room, Robert Rubin poetry is meant to be heard out loud is on habit of reciting poems around the office got on the nerves of his colleagues until they finally convinced him to put some of his favorites in a book. The result is poetry to read out loud a quirky the volume chock-full of poems that trip off the tongue. It's got funny margin notes and eclectic choice of poems and beautiful Matisse like illustrations. It's just the kind of book you find yourself dipping into at actually reading out loud. We asked at a Robert Rubin to share some of the poems and some tips for not being intimidated by poetry. I think they figure gosh. I have to have gone to college for 4 years and maybe graduate school and then a lot of reading before I can really enjoy at night. I think that that's the wrong approach take. I mean, I think that's you're setting yourself up to be intimidated by Poets and that I think a lot of poetry is very accessible. Sure. There are hard poems and their bombs that you need to know a lot to read but you can In a way, you can teach yourself to what you need to know by reading the poems that are accessible instead of working up in my own case. Once I stop studying Padres when I really started enjoying reading it but that's what the pressure to learn it came off and just I could just enjoy it. You mentioned that you try to make connections between poems in your book. I like to give listeners a little taste of what you've done. You paired Classics with some Modern poems and it like you do if you would please set up a couple of poems that might serve as a real good example of what the book is all about for us poets talk to each other of the century. So you'll have one part in the 1700 writing a poem and then the 20th century. Somebody will write a poem that sort of answers. It poems pain to come back to the same subjects in an example might be a poem that we all probably heard as children one of the poems from Robert Louis Stevenson's Child's Garden of verses not included some children's Palms in this because I think it's a place where almost all of us. Like Audrey got started was listening to a children's poem some children's Rhymes and then you can see how in that poem it's a simple sort of celebration of riding a railway car and then a modern poet taking a airplane ride. You can see somehow somebody who's not quite so excited about the trip might feel and so here's the Stevenson poem which is from a railway carriage. faster than fairies faster than witches Bridges and houses Hedges and ditches and charging along like the troops in a battle All Through The Meadows the horses and cattle all of the sites of the hill in the plane fly as thick as driving rain and ever again in the wink of an eye painted stations Whistle by Here is a child who clambers and scrambles all by himself and Gathering brambles here is a tramp who stands and gazes and there is the green for stringing the daisies here is a cart run away in the road bumping along with man and load and here is a Mill and there is a river each a glimpse and gone forever. He's just celebrating the joy of flying along a railway training at the excitement of doing that and that's the childish Joy of traveling. Well a modern poet dealing with a similar subject, which is traveling find it not quite so innocent. This is Mona van duyn who was the poet laureate year or two ago part of her poem which is called views. I fly all the time and still I'm afraid to fly. I need to keep both feet on the ground the Earth Within Reach of my eyes. In airports. I comfort Myself by assessing others that handsome necktie The Weave of that suit the portfolio people of words are going to be on this plane the pearled on that shelf of expensive busam the hairdressers art. All this tells my shuddering spirit that God wouldn't tip my seatmates all these important people from site. Once the stewardess passed the word that Liz would be joined in Rome by Richard Burton who was up in first class. I have never felt so safe on a flight. Let's part of the Palm is a longer Palm. You can see how in a way it's that same sort of childish. Does that little child is in that poet to in this case? It's a scared child rather than one who's excited by flying along through the countryside, but it's so you can see that there's the phones have something in common, even though their written many years apart and with completely different intense the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson from a railway Carriage. Why does that work? So well faster than fairies faster than witches Bridges and houses Hedges and ditches off the tongue. So well, listen to the rhythm of that. It's like the the sound of the rails and crossties under the train go faster than fairies faster than witches got the bouncing excited Rhythm to it. It creates an impression. I feeling in the reading of it. That's like the feeling you get riding along in the train. What makes a poem work out loud. What makes a good poem to read out loud? Well, I don't always know but sometimes it is wrong, but sometimes it's just us something that has a very strong rhetorical for something when you read it out loud has a real memorable line or two in episode of sticks in the memory. The crane poem I think is interesting is not rhymed. That's a very short poem and you may even have heard a few lines from it. This is one of the cases where Stephen Crane's poem The Heart comes across very well when read out loud In the desert. I saw a creature naked bestial who squatting upon the ground held his heart in his hands and ate of it. I said is it good friend? It is bitter. bitter he answered but I like it because it is bitter and because it is my heart. Well, is that really a poem? I don't know if he called it a lot. He called them lines. But it I think it's one of these things that you hear it and it sticks with you. I asked you what makes a poem work out loud. But what do you need to know when it comes to reading a poem out loud? I mean you have to wear a beret and being a smoky cafe or can you is there would you have liked it any steps you can pass along the listeners as to how best to read a poem out loud to friends and family well-being make you loosen up. I think that's fine. I think I think that's the first thing I would not worry so much about being self-conscious. I often find myself reading Palms out loud or at least reciting them cuz I don't take the book in with me but in the shower, so it's up and I think that you have to be willing to almost do like the people do at the karaoke bars and I'll get up there and have some fun with Aiden and goof around with it and not be so so critical. I think you have to after having done that you have to be willing to try to understand the Palm a little bit. Take the time to find out what the parts really trying to say and innocent put it in your own words. Make it your own language understand what the point of it is and try to imagine what this person was saying when they wrote the palm and then set yourself make the language your own. It seems to be such an increase in interest surrounding poetry. I mean we have here in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. There are open poetry readings at several cafes and coffee houses and it's really taking off in this area. And of course my Angelou with her poem is at the Clinton inauguration also helped fuel that interest you think that would also translate the interest translate into folks actually sitting down pain in hand or at the computer keyboard and try to write their own poems to I hope so, I mean, it's one of the things that I hope will happen. I think I was just delighted to see all the attention that my I actually got and that's going to have an effect. Not that all poets are going to be all that happy about that. I was at a conference about A month ago and what should I let a discussion with free pallets and I was the moderator and they are all quite critical of Maya Angelou. Well, they didn't think it was a very good poem and so they were they were all eager to show saying which way the ways in which they didn't like that poem they went on essentially to say that they don't write poetry hoot to be read out loud and I'll write it for people to experience out loud. They write it for themselves what I think in the sense that that's poetry can if we're not careful become just the province of The Poets and it shouldn't cuz it wasn't that way in the beginning. It was for all of us and buy reading it out loud. I think that we bring it back to its roots poetry I think is is a way that we speak to one another and when I was going through your book, I did come across a poem that spoke to me when you listen to The place names in this it it's it's a very American type of poem is called American names by Stephen Vincent Benet, and I'm wondering if you can try to set this up for us a little bit talk about this poem and how it relates to this this thought of of speaking to one another on a little more of a Grassroots level should have been to academic, you know, and maybe set it up for us because I hear it's quite controversial as well. Well, I think it would be I guess the phrase would be politically incorrect these days when he wrote it the racial attitudes were different than they are now and it was perfectly acceptable for a poet to condescend to other races in other cultures in writing for the the white bread. American audience some public poetry. We had talked about my Angeles earlier. Is a long tradition and I think this is an example of a public poem poem that supposed to try to get people make people think about where they come from in the names of the towns and the places they come from beneath somebody who is both French and American ex and English extraction. His poem is about America as opposed to France and England. He calls them Henry and John and raping France and John being England. I think it's a very interesting, because it's about The sound and feeling of this place where we live the fact that some of these words have such power today in this sort of politically correct atmosphere. I think just is a communication that he was really touching on something. Here's the Paul. I have fallen in love with American names the sharp names that never get fat the snakeskin titles of mining claims the plumed warbonnet of Medicine Hat Tucson and Deadwood and lost mule flat. Sin, and piave are silver spoons, but the spoon Bowl metal is thin and worn there English counties, like hunting Tunes played on keys of a post boys horn. But I will remember where I was born. I will remember carquinez Straits little French Lick and Lundy's Lane the Yankee ships and the Yankee dates and a bullet towns of Calamity Jane. I will remember skunktown plain. I will fall in love with a Salem tree and a rawhide Court from Santa Cruz. I will get me a bottle of Boston c and a Blue Gum Niger to sing me Blues. I'm tired of loving a foreign Muse. Le metier and bleeding heart yard, soundly Pisa and Blind Man's almost it is a magic ghost you guard, but I am sick for a newer ghost Harrisburg Spartanburg Painted Post. Henry and John were never so and Henry and John were always right. Granted but when it was time to go and the tea and The Laurels had stood all night. Did they never watch for Nantucket light? I shall not rest quiet in Mount Parnassus. I shall not lie easy and when Chelsea. You may bury my body and Sussex grass. You may bury my tongue at shomidie. I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, that's American names by Stephen Vincent Benet, Robert Ruben's book poetry to read out loud is published by Algonquin books of Chapel Hill. Well, that's first Friday for the month of November best friend will be back in this seat and just a few more months. We had help this month from poetry readers Nathaniel Fuller and Brenda we land from you and care in our Newsroom. If you want more information about anything you heard today, including our music, you can call her listen or comment line at 2901 191. You don't call in the comment line is a good way to let folks know you support Arts coverage on Minnesota Public Radio. So fire away your question suggestions comments, and yes even poems are welcome. Call us at 612-290-1191 First Friday is produced by the hard-working Kitty Isley. Our technical director is Randy Johnson. I'm Kathy. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.


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