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20/10/2010

Laurie Anderson says museums losing cachet to Web

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Laurie Anderson sees a new online trend in the art world that has galleries and museums in a tailspin: the power of the Web to distribute art.

The performance artist and voice of America's cultural fringe says websites such as YouTube are now recognized as a means to put art in front of mass audiences, challenging traditional routes such as physical museums, art galleries and theaters.

"If you want to make a movie or work of art, you don't need to get past that curator...you just make it, put it up and there it is, in the world, just as if it were hanging on the wall at MoMA," she told Reuters, referencing New York City's Museum of Modern Art.

Anderson, whose new show "Delusion" opened in New York City last week, recently helped judge a competition mounted by the Guggenheim museum and YouTube for creative online videos.

Cultural institutions are "now kind of panicking," she said. "They are going to be in the situation of record companies."

But Anderson was unsure if free distribution offered online is a positive or negative for fine arts, music or film -- creative arenas she has mixed skillfully into her shows.

"Do we really need those people (institutions) to tell us what is good? I don't know," she said. "In some ways it's this wilder system of good things being sorted out by the market...but it's probably in the long run pretty hellish."

"DELUSION"

Her new 90-minute show "Delusion," which is playing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music after appearing at Vancouver's Winter Olympics, addresses numerous topics -- from contradictory thoughts on her mother's death to a tale of an Icelandic farmer's dreams of a dance hall to the inadequacies of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"'Delusion' is the 'yes and no' of a lot of things, and I try and reflect some complexity" of life, said Anderson. "I try to represent the mental drift of how your mind is roving from topic to topic."

The show is compiled of 20 stories that mix Anderson's experimental spoken word, music and video projections. She said the idea of addressing dreams came to her when she realized on her 63rd birthday she had been asleep for roughly two decades.

"I thought, what have I been doing for 20 years?" she said. "Where my mind goes when it's awake and where it goes when asleep are sort of similar places, I don't make this big distinction."

Reviews have been mixed. The New York Times said Anderson's score brought "color and shape" to the production, which includes a segment of "raucous, thick-textured techno," while the New York Post said it marked "the evolution of Anderson from high-tech musician to high-tech spoken-word artist."

Meanwhile, the performance artist, who has been married to veteran rocker Lou Reed for about two years, said the pair have no new plans to record together.

(Additional reporting by Edith Honan, editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

19/10/2010

Carrie Ann Inaba adds game show to TV dance card

LOS ANGELES – Carrie Ann Inaba is adding a game show to her TV dance card.

The "Dancing With the Stars" judge will host a new version of "1 vs. 100," scheduled to debut next month on the GSN channel.

"I never would have thought of myself as a game show host, but when I saw the show I fell in love with it," Inaba said Thursday, the first day of production.

The show has gone high-tech with such elements as web cams, which Inaba said appeals to the "tech savvy" side of her.

"1 vs. 100" pits one player against a group of 100 people tagged "the Mob." The player's task is to correctly answer a series of multiple-choice trivia question, while mob members do the same thing. At stake is a top prize of $50,000.

"1 vs. 100," which originally aired on NBC with host Bob Saget, is a change of pace for Inaba. The dancer-choreographer was a Fly Girl on "In Living Color," toured with Madonna and hosts red-carpet coverage for ceremonies that have included the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.

She'll continue to work on ABC's "Dancing With Stars" on Monday and Tuesday and then tape the game show on the other three weekdays. It's an "incredibly intense" schedule but one she can manage by relaxing at home with her boyfriend and his daughter, and through yoga, Inaba said.

"And I sleep a lot," she added, laughing.

Her new GSN game show will air at 7 p.m. EST weekdays starting Nov. 15, the channel said.

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Online:

Job touts Apple TV sales figures

Apple's efforts to revamp its Apple TV product line could be paying off. The company says its sold more than 250,000 units since unveiling a new version of the device last month.

Those numbers come directly from Steve Jobs, who made a rare appearance during , when one analyst asked Apple's CEO to comment on customer response to the new Apple TV:

I can report that in just a short amount of time, we've already sold over 250,000, and we're thrilled with that. I think it's a great product, and its $99 price point is very enticing. And I think when we get AirPlay in place it'll give people another reason to buy it.

A quarter of a million Apple TVs is impressive in its own right, but the most interesting aspect of the number is that Apple gave it out at all. From the very beginning of the product's life in 2007, Apple hasunder its numbers for "Related Products and Services," and as such has never shared the number of Apple TVs sold in a quarter-or during any time period, for that matter.

Back in January 2009, on another earnings call, Apple COO Tim Cook said that , citing the addition of movie rentals to the iTunes Store, but didn't give people any idea of what the actual sales were.

Similarly, at a Goldman Sachs technology conference in February 2010, Cook said , but again gave no hint as to specific unit sales.

Now, it's not clear what the exact time period Jobs was referring to was (pre-orders beginning September 1 until the end of the quarter? Until Monday's call?) or if all those units have been shipped or if some are backorders waiting to be filled. But what is clear is that if Steve Jobs is finally comfortable throwing out a sales number for the Apple TV, Apple is confident that the product's status as a 'hobby' may be coming to an end.