Weekly Alibi
 Aug 12 - 18, 2004 
Contracts with America
On the bright side, outsourced government jobs are generating huge profits in the private sector. On the dark side, no-bid contracts routinely come with padded invoices, lax oversight and a hefty bill to the taxpayer.
NEWS/OPINION
Blowing the Whistle on the Bureau
A recent spate of whistle-blowing ex-Feds charge the FBI with dangerous mismanagement.
MUSIC
Blue Note
Monk in Paris: Live at the Olympia is a "wondrous" collaboration between a legendary jazz hound and the son of a Monk.
FOOD
Dining In
Guess the secret ingredient in "truckstop steaks" and win a new patch of chest hair, a confederate flag bandana and an incurable case of coffee breath.
FILM & TV
Idiot Box: Olympic Fever Could Cause Greece Fire
NBC's prime-time Olympic coverage guarantees lots of ass-kicking action in sports categories we invented. Let's just hope the USA basketball team doesn't absorb another Italian stompin' before they abscond with the gold.
ARTS/LIT
Art Festival Preview
The spirit of YardFest is alive and well in OFFCenter's We Art the People: Folk Arts Festival. You and your kin definitely won't want to miss this one.
Author Interview
Left-wing rabble-rouser Jim Hightower squares off againtst another famous Texan in his new book, Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush!

RSSRaw posts and updates from our writers with info too timely or uncategorizable for print. What, we said something stupid? Chime in, buddy.
Arts

A Peek Into Process

Christo gives a talk about innovation and invention

“Mein Kölner Dom, Wrapped” by Christo and Jeanne-Claude
courtesy of the Tom Golden Collection, Sonoma County Museum
“Mein Kölner Dom, Wrapped” by Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Most artists have a specific medium, a way of rendering the world around them to be something more than what's already there. Whether it's painting, drawing, collage or something else, most artists are lucky to master one aesthetic. Bulgarian artist Christo, on the other hand, is a master of invention.

An artist in every sense of the word, Christo (and his late wife Jeanne-Claude) started with ideas, put them on sketches, collages and diagrams, then made these flat images into three dimensional installations that took over large plots of land. One need only see photos of Little Bay on the Australian coast with its cliffside entirely covered in fabric to grasp the magnitude of their work.

Christo answering questions
Mark Lopez
Christo answering questions
But the process is the interesting part, which is what Christo highlighted in a lecture at the Albuquerque Museum (2000 Mountain NW) on Friday, Aug. 22. Addressing a packed house, Christo detailed the many ideas that prompted his most famous works. He also discussed projects still in the making, including “The Mastaba,” a vast trapezoidal structure made up of oil barrels. If completed, it will stand near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Why are such projects still not completed? As Christo explained, “The difficult part is getting permission. Everywhere in the world belongs to somebody.”

What's impressive about these artworks is the time and planning that go into bringing them to fruition. Years are spent diagramming, speaking with engineers, getting permission from the people in power, and each detail is documented so as to make the outcome not only a structure for visible consumption, but a collaborative piece that invites viewers to become a part of it.

Then there’s the money side. Christo pointed out that for “The Gates” in Central Park, New York, they had to pay the city $3 million for three months of planning and building gates hung with saffron fabric in one of New York City's landmarks. That’s why his projects are funded by the ideas themselves, with Christo selling sketches of the structure's plans and earlier artworks to finance the new piece. If that's not ingenuity, I don't know what is.

The lecture provided fans and viewers with a deeper insight into these works. While it may seem arbitrary to see entire islands in Miami's Biscayne Bay surrounded by pink fabric or a mass of blue and yellow umbrellas inhabiting sections of Japan and Southern California, the ideas that prompt these works are not only visionary, but stand as testaments to the power of man to conceive, design and build something great. And hearing Christo talk so humbly about the process was a pleasure and a treat. Not to mention a privilege.

Christo & Jeanne-Claude: The Tom Golden Collection

Showing until Sept. 14
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
2000 Mountain NW
Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 9am-5pm
Cost: $2-$4, FREE Sundays from 9am-1pm
news

The Daily Word in Inhabitants of Burque on Gawker in Ferguson, an APS social media policy and Tim King Burger Horton's

The Daily Word

Gawker (and the rest of America) is trying to figure out the who/what/where&whys of local "Inhabitants of Burque" Facebook magnate Leo York and his being in Ferguson, MO.

APD is hiring a professor at UNM's Institute for Social Research to find out what the hell is up with those lapel cams that rarely seem to work.

The US Defense Department's "1033" program, which unloads military surplus to police departments around the country, is under scrutiny as citizens wake up to the fact that local police departments are extremely militarized.

APS has instituted a social media policy in the wake of superintendent Brooks' resignation.

Burning Man was rained out, man.

Burger King and Canadian doughnut institution Tim Horton's are merging and some Canadians are kind of upset about it.

This non-Swede has been living as an artist in Sweden, unable to be deported for nearly 10 years because he has amnesia and no can figure out his nationality.

The Emmys were last night and people are surprised that comedian and babe Sarah Silverman was probably high. No, really.

There's a device for sale that will prevent the airline seat in front of you from reclining and also can start fights.

Check out this extensive list of booking rates for bands and celebrities.

The Chinese government made a weird cartoon film called "Fragrant Concubine" intended to quell Uighur unrest in northwestern China but which will likely just piss off Uighurs even more.

Someone in Maine caught a rare blue lobster.

news

The Daily Word in earthquakes, butter knives and rattlesnakes

The Daily Word

California’s latest earthquake spilled a lot of fancy wine.

Rest in peace, Richard Attenborough.

Fugitives should think twice about taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Suge Knight was shot at Chris Brown’s pre-VMA party. And then there was a video awards thing.

A new butter knife can spread hard butter.

Finally, there’s a USB cable that plugs in either way.

China is developing a super-sonic submarine.

New Mexico extends its luke-warm welcome to the uninvited Mojave rattler.

Two suspects were arrested in connection with shots fired at the Cottages.

An APD standoff at Bank of America near Nob Hill ended peacefully.

Happy birthday, Billy Ray Cyrus.

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