Thu, 25 June 2009
James Howard Kunstler takes a look at various types of public artwork on display in Troy NY, a small American city. Kunstler notes that many public murals in America attempt to put a human face in places where people are noticeably absent. He notices that 20th century commercial advertisements painted on building exteriors exhibit more skill than most 21st century "art." He analyzes a painted steel, corporate sculpture that adorns the public face of glass box corporate building. He also discusses the role that formal statues play in adorning public squares. Visit http://KunstlerCast.com to view photographs.
Direct download: KunstlerCast_70.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:19am EDT
Thu, 18 June 2009
James Howard Kunstler discusses public art in our cities and towns. Modern public art often lacks artistry and is an ironic representation of our 21st century junk empire. But Kunstler says we don't need any more irony. We need a dignified public realm. Instead of engaging amateurs and children to splash paint on the blank walls of publicly facing buildings, we need to stop creating blank walls in the first place. Even the skilled work of professional muralists often results in little more than a neurotic attempt to give our deactivated streets the appearance of life, when the real problem is that our streets are dead. Kunstler relates these issues to Potemkin villages, trips to Disneyland and do-it-yourself home improvement kits.
Direct download: KunstlerCast_69.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:48pm EDT
Thu, 11 June 2009
James Howard Kunstler addresses some issues regarding historic preservation. Kunstler supports historic preservation, because adaptive reuse is part of what makes the great European cities so rewarding to be in. According to Kunstler, the historic preservation movement really ramped up in the U.S. after the destruction of Penn Station in New York City. At times the historic preservation movement has gotten hysterical to save any scrap of anything built before WWII. But Kunstler believes that hysteria is understandable when one considers that modern Americans do not create buildings that are as good as the old buildings we are losing. Other topics include facade preservation, cheap cladding, a return of traditional building materials, passive heating, cooling and energy conservation.
Direct download: KunstlerCast_68.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT
Thu, 4 June 2009
New Urbanist Planner and Author Jaime Correa speaks about urban planning in the peak oil era. KunstlerCast Host Duncan Crary recorded Correa's talk on May 28 at the Albany Roundtable in Albany, N.Y. Correa speaks about how the end of cheap oil will affect communities in the future. He describes his peak oil action plan, which he calls The 40 Percent Plan. As urban communities begin to contract in the future, Correa has some ideas about what people need to do to successfully prepare for the future. James Howard Kunstler introduces Correa and chats with Crary about the role that Correa has played in the New Urbanism. Kunstler also responds to a question posed to him by Correa about his preparations for peak oil.
Direct download: KunstlerCast_67.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:17am EDT