April 25, 2005

built by community

Originally uploaded by Amelia 11211.

The Gates were a quintessentially public work of art built by the public for the public. The following articles give a brief glimpse into the life and experience of Gatesworkers.

Hello all from the Gates Project by
Maja Klüver

A Day in the Life of Gate 8430
By ADAM NICHOLS, Daily News Staff Writer
We meet the people passing through one portal

Central Park Makeover: Reality Show, in a Way
By CAROL VOGEL, New York Times, Feb. 10, 2005
The paid volunteers installing Christo's "Gates" in Central Park share a common bond: a resolve to be a part of the city's biggest public-art happening ever.

Art Project Pilgrims Prepare to Install 'The Gates'
By CAROL VOGEL New York Times, Feb. 5, 2005
Hundreds of workers put their lives on hold to install "The Gates."

Posted by kim white at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2005

The Collective Collects

The Gates Memory project is working in collaboration with Flickr to collect and archive photos of the Gates. We are also relying on the internet community to help us connect to stories, conversations, blog posts and articles that have emerged in response to the Gates installation. Sites like Furl,, and technorati do for blog posts what Flickr does for photos. Technorati, for example, has 59 posts from 23 blogs tagged with "the Gates."

Several blogs have taken up the task of archiving (by copying and pasting) all the articles they can find about the Gates., 1 Central Park Forum, and wired new just to list a few.

Most interesting are the blogs that really try to understand all of these points of view. Ann Althouse's February 13, 2005 blog post "Is anyone saying anything interesting about "The Gates"? tries to find conversations and critiques that look "beyond the basic facts (Christo and Jeanne-Claude spent $21 million of their own money and accepted no grants), the obvious starter question "Is it art," and the snap judgments (from "I love it" to "Get this out of my park").

Posted by kim white at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

April 5, 2005

The Process

In an article in
Art a Go Go,
Kathleen Lang writes about the length of time it takes Christo and Jeanne-Claude to realize their art works. "Sometimes it can take years for the artists to obtain the required permits to carry out their plans. The permit process often requires extensive environmental studies, costing millions of dollars. Avoiding words like "red tape" or "bureaucracy," Christo and Jeanne-Claude simply call their quest to get a project approved as "process."

Interesting to note that this is exactly how we are proceeding with the documentation of the Gates. We are interested in the process as much as the end-result. How will the experience of the Gates be unpacked, discussed, and re-assembled by a large and diverse group of observers? To follow are a few examples.

A film documentary by Antonio Ferrera and Albert Maysles is currently in production. The filmmakers have been following the Gates project throughout its 25-year life-span. Both Leslie Camhi and Kathryn Shattuck, mention the Maysles documentary in their respective articles on February 8th.

During their brief stay, Justin Ferate, an award winning tour guide offered historical background to go with the direct experience in his walking tour of Central Park and the Gates described as follows on his website: discover the interrelationships between the billowing saffron-colored Gates and Vaux and Olmsted's magnificent Central Park. Learn of Christo's career and of his artworks around the world. Experience the tremendous transformations of Central Park and the most recent visions for its future.

There are a wealth of creative approaches to understanding the artistic value the Gates. The New Criterion published a quiz-style art review that compared Christo and Thomas Kinkade. This article was followed up by post on the blog StepNewz Christo vs. Thomas Kinkade: Reloaded

A blog called "the Sheila Variations," offers this hilarious collaborative art review, poking fun at the cliches of art criticism.

Several other blogs stage rich discussions/debates over the artistic value of the Gates. Two good examples are: The Charlie Rose Show's: Tell us what you think discussion board A river the color of saffron IS art and Republican Professor's glowing review of the Gates with contentious discussion to follow.

Posted by kim white at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2005

The Gates in the News

This is the first in a series of posts summarizing news stories about the Gates. So far, they seem to be breaking down into three catagories: money (how much they cost and how many tourist dollars they brought in), their value as artwork and their "meaning", and the community response to the Gates.

Religious Leaders Draw Spiritual Meaning from 'The Gates'
By Adam Phillips, Voice of America, 11 March 2005
Details about the interfaith event titled, "Spirit of the Gates," which took place in Central Park on February 21, 2005 and drew religious leaders and worshippers from a variety of faiths.

Christo's Gates: A Little Creaky
By Blake Gopnik, Washington Post, Sunday, February 13, 2005; Page D01
Blake Gopnik contemplates the meaning of the Gates.

Christo's Gates in Central Park
By Carolyn Weaver, News VOA Com, New York City, 15 February 2005.

Embedded in Christo's "Gates"
by Deborah Ripley, artnet
Deborah Ripley, a NY art dealer, writes about the Gates from the perspective of a Central Park Conservancy volunteer.

Christo's Gates: Big $ for Big Apple:
Artist's central park project brought in $254 million in economic activity for the city: mayor.
March 3, 2005: 3:58 PM EST
CNN Money reports on the financial windfall created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "free" art display.

Christo's 'Gates': Lots of green for the orange
By Mike McIntire, The New York Times (as seen on the International Herald Tribune online), Saturday, March 5, 2005

Christo's 'Gates' Open in Central Park
this page gives you a listing of the stories NPR ran on the Christo project and an opportunity to listen to them. Stories include:
Christo's 'Gates:' Preparing for a Short Stay by Margot Adler, All Things Considered, January 28, 2005
Miles-Long Christo Art Exhibit to Open in Central Park by Neda Ulaby, Morning Edition, February 9, 2005
Central Park's Bright New Clothes Talk of the Nation, February 10, 2005, with guests Adam Sternbergh and Robert Storr.
Christo's 'Gates' Finally Open by Robert Smith, All Things Considered, February 12, 2005
Christo Does Central Park by Margot Adler, Weekend Edition - Saturday, February 12, 2005

Awe, disdain for Christo's 'Gates' Reuters article, seen on Fairfax Digital (an Australian News Organization), February 14, 2005
Reports on the various reactions to the Gates.

New York buzzing over Christo's 'Gates' CBC Arts, Tue, 15 Feb 2005 13:14:28 EST
A Canadian news service reports on the Gates

Posted by kim white at 8:29 AM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2005

Their Stories

The truly wonderful thing about the web is the opportunities it creates for networks and connections. Stories culled from personal blogs--those glorious online self-portraits that offer interesting "peeks" into the blogger's thought-life, home-life, and work-life--will be a textual counterpart to our Flickr image bank. What makes this "chapter" particularly interesting, is that we plan to leave the stories in their original context (for now at least). You can access them through links to the personal weblogs themselves.

If you have a story, please post the url in our comment section.

Three wonderful essays from Lorianne DiSabato's blog "Hoarded Ordinaries"

Mr. Hell's Kitchen

"and i quote" (favorite quotes collected by Mr. Hell's Kitchen)

Korijane about a wedding she witnessed beneath the Gates

The Gothamist


Satan's Laundromat


And the detractors:
Chris Dykstra

B After the Fact

I'll be starting another thread tomorrow archiving News Articles about the Gates. Here's a sneak peek:
WNYC transcript of a story about a procession of Buddhist Monks through the Gates

Posted by kim white at 2:03 PM | Comments (0)