N: Narrator P: Professor
M Male Student F: Female Student
N: Listen to part of a lecture In an art history class.
P: OK, now let’s move on to Pop Art, This movement started In the late 1950s in the U.S. and England, it was about the age of plastic, mass production, mass media. Think about what was happening in the ‘50s. What was going on?
M: Well, the world was getting over World War II and enjoying peace … at least In Europe and the Americas.
P: Alright …so we’ve got a decade of reconstruction, technological and Industrial advance, a marriage between Industry and media, the likes of which the world had never seen before. OK, what else? Think about the art world. What movement dominated the ’50s?
F: It was Abstract Expressionism, wasn’t it?
P: Right! And what was Abstract Expressionism about? F Um, well, It was pretty Intellectual, conceptual.
P: Good. Nonrepresentational, theoretical… abstract, right? So-called high art. OK. So along comes Pop Art. Some say that It was an attack on Abstract Expressionism, a rebellion against intellectualism, a celebration of the common experience in mass media and consumerism. Some say it was a cautionary commentary about mass-produced culture. Either way, the Pop movement blurred Ihe line between high art and low art and ushered out the intellectually challenging and—to some-aestnetlcaliy incomprehensible Abstract Expressionism. Pop Art was a breath of fresh air for those who felt oppressed by high culture. With its familiar subjects and commercial visual style, Pop Art was not unlike watching TV. strolling through the supermarket, or … or reading the Sunday comic strips. Everyday experience was the inspiration; everyone in the developed world knew and understood the elements with which the Pop artists were working.
Pop Art is generally flat, visually uncomplicated, packaged and presented to the viewer as If to the camera for a magazine ad or TV commercial. The works suggested an industrial, Impersonal mode of production. Repetition, mass production was a central element In Andy Warhol’s work, for example. Everyone has seen his silk screens of replicated soup cans and celebrities. His colors were simple, fiat, and often applied outside the lines, suggesting an Industrial process—not the painstaking hand of the artisan. You can almost see some machines stamping the Image-one of milllons-churning out millions of them.
So here’s the question. If we have depictions of ordinary subjects from everyday life-movies, TV commercials, magazines, comics, so-called low art or popular culture—what makes them art?
M: Uh, well, the act of presenting something as art, no matter how ordinary it Is, transforms the thing. I mean, artists have done that before, right? If you take, for example, a pair of shoes and put them In a glass case on a pedestal, they’re not Just shoes anymore, right?
P: OK, we’re on the right track. You’re right. Artists have taken ordinary objects and transformed them into art, but there’s something more at work here. Let’s take Roy Uchtensteln, another well-known Pop artist. He Is known for large-scale reproductions of comic book panels. He used the same basic process of image making as, ah, comic books and newspapers use. Arrays of colored dots from a distance gave the Impression of a printed image—the paintings looked just like comic book panels. But they were so big that the viewer could get a good look at the process, uh, could see up close that there was a certain technology in operation.
Now Lichtenstein presented comic book panels. They were, for the most part, fairly typical of comic book art and did not seem to convey any political messages or social commentary. But was he simply taking something ordinary and turning it Into something extraordinary? Why would he just blow up Images like that?
F: You mentioned earlier that Pop Art marked the end of Abstract Expressionism and in a way attacked high art. Um, was the Pop movement trying to redefine what art is? I mean, was it trying to say that all this intellectual stuff hasn’t helped us, but here’s something we can understand?
P: Good, good. I think you’ve got it. OK, let’s look at Lichtenstein’s work again. Yes, in a sense, he was putting a pair of shoes in a glass case. After all, on the face of It, his work didn’t seem to be depicting anything revolutionary. But what he and a tot of the Pop artists were doing Is spotlighting the industrial process, the process of mass production, the process of mass media, and the process of consumer experience. The Pop artists presented ordinary culture through … ah, techniques of reproduction that pointed to the fact of reproduction, of Image for its own sake.
These are pretty postmodern ideas. Critics. In fact, have suggested that Pop Art ended modernism and gave rise to postmodernism, which holds that the grand old theories don’t necessarily work here. No single doctrine, philosophy, or point of view will explan the postmodern world. A may be true, but B may be true also. Pop artists were saying, “Let’s look at the reality around ue. We don’t have to live up to any highbrow standard. The subject of art is all around us. We are in it.”
On the one hand, you have artists like Andy Warhol, who was fascinated by commercial success, and much of his work touched on the Ideas of industry, media, and advertising. He even became an actor and endorsed products In ads. He … you could say, embraced the popular commercial reality as the only meaningful reality, On the other hand, some Pop artists used popular Images and reproduction techniques to criticize commerce, mass media, and Wind consumerism. And then you have a tot of Pop Art, Including Warhol’s, that Is ambiguous, seeming to gforify and mock modern life at the same time. This is perhaps Pop Art’s essential postmodern statement.
N: Narrator P: Professor
M Male Student F: Female Student
N: Listen to a discussion on communal behavior.
P: Today, we are going to continue our discussion on crime, what makes a neighborhood more prone to crime. This time we are focusing on the design of a community and how it can encourage or discourage crime. Just to whet your appetite, let me tell you about an award-winning high-rise housing project in St. Louis and a low-rise housing project just across from it. Well, even while they were building the high rises, the place was beset with crime … and not being able to find tenants to fill the vacancies In spite of the fact that the housing was being offered free to poor people, the buildings were eventually destroyed in 1972. On the other hand, the low-rise housing continued to be fully occupied and did not experience the same trouble. So … why do some communities experience breakdown while others are relatively free from crime? This Is what Sara and Danny will discuss today.
F: Um … okay, we’re going to report on two different opinions about how space use can encourage or discourage crime. Weli, these two planners Al Zellnka and Dean Brennan wrote in their book “Safe-Scape: Creating Safer, More Livable Communities through Planning and Design” that people need community, and that If they had this then there would be less crime.
M: Right. But Oscar Newman held a different opinion.
P: OK, hold on. What did Zellnka and Brennan mean by peop’e need community?
F: Oh. They meant that common areas had to be maximized to give people a sense of community. Um, this meant there should be more shops, pedestrian paths, parks, community gardens.
P: OK. Can you tell me what they based their ideas on?
F: Weil, they got their ideas from the New Urbanists. This was a group which had the aim of eliminating fear of crime In communities. So what the New Urbanists did was to incorporate two movements into their urban planning. So the first movement was neo-traditionalism, The aim of this movement was to give people a sense of community. And the other movement had to do with the relationship between land use and transportation, People depended on their cars too much. So what this movement wanted to accomplish was, was to make high-density compact cities that mixed housing with retail and commercial uses. They thought people would be happy If they could just walk to the grocery store or to work.
M: Yeah, but this other guy I was talking about, Oscar Newman, a university professor who taught urban design, he took the opposite point of view. He said that if many people got together In a communal space, It would be hard for the people to identify with each other because they couldn’t control the activity that was, uh, taking place In that communal space, He said people needed to have their own space, the r own private areas to use and control.
P: OK, two questions. Have these different plans been implemented, and, if they have, what have been the results?
M: Well, that high-rise housing project you talked about was based on New Urbanist planning. It had mixed land use—you know, residential, commercial… and as you pointed out, professor, it didn’t turn out to be a safer community. On the other hand, the low- rise housing project was successful, And Newman said that that housing project was safer because space can only be defended if the residents can control what takes place. The more public a place, the more anyone has a right to be there, so there’s less control over what takes place. Criminals can mix In … no one would ever know that they were criminals.
P: OK, good. Is there anything else to prove that Newman is right?
F: Yeah … Newman’s study of the two building projects that you introduced at the start of the class … what he saw was the low-rise housing project had what he called minimal permeability, meaning, it, It minimized entry and exit Into the neighborhood. The easier It is to get Into a neighborhood, the easier It is to commit a crime. And vice versa.
M: Right. So this is why Newman didn’t like alleys. The New Urbanists thought alleys were good because they could park their cars there away from view, but Newman sad that alleys are good access and escape routes for burglars … and they weren’t very safe for pedestrians. Plus, residents can’t really see very well Into alleys, so they cant be monitored. Well, the US Department of Justice actually published a report saying that alleys should be closed or blocked off so that burglars can’t escape. So Newman was right again.
P: So Zelinka and Brennan were all for streets laid out like grids, but Newman was all for cul-de-sacs.
F: Yeah. A passage that has only one opening or outlet actually deters crime whereas houses on main roads had double the risk of being burgled. Because It’s harder to escape from a house in a cul-de-sac.
P: OK, let’s open the floor for questions.