In the film Never Cry Wolf, a morally outraged research biologist rages against developers who are happily plotting the exploitation of a remote Alaskan wilderness. He soon has an unpleasant epiphany: He realizes that he himself represents the first line of Westernized attack on that wilderness and must therefore share the blame for its impending destruction. I hope both artists and media people like (but not limited to) Nina Shapiro realize that, with regard to our own old-growth local landscape and culture, they ARE that biologist.
According to "Saving spaces" [1/18], we can be sure now that Georgetown and Tacoma have been virtually slated for ruination by their growing art scene hyperbole. In fact, articles like these have proven more foreboding than a "Notice of Proposed Land Use" sign.
Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, Belltown, Ballard, and Fremont were all tamed for ongoing yuppie-style development by their overpublicized art scenes. Is it any wonder that Tacoma's city fathers and mothers would want to recruit artists (with press releases!) to cutesy up their edgy areas and make them more attractive to developers? That's the "value of an arts community" they're talking about. Once the funky galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and condos come in, rents will rise just like Seattle's, and the scene-hungry artists will be PLOWED OUT. Ironically, it will be the same artists and media people who are showcasing these areas who will be the first to decry and bemoan their dreaded "gentrification" a few years from now.
Here's a tip for artists: If you happen to love the place you're in, then for God's sake DON'T TALK TO REPORTERS!
Nick, working for you
Regarding Nina Shapiro's recent article, "Saving spaces" [1/18], is there really anyone left in Seattle who doesn't know about artists' space problems? Short of armed revolution, artists today can either buy property or look for better deals. Nevertheless, Nina's critique omitted some of the better deals in affordable artists' spaces made possible through the City of Seattle, the county, the state, and the feds.
Pioneer Square's Harbor Lofts and Tashiro Kaplan Building, the Central District's Hiawatha Place Arts & Lofts, Wallingford's Good Shepherd Center artists' lofts, and Sand Point's Fire House Studios represent about 100 new and affordable artists' spaces that are now or will soon be available. I'm working to ensure the redevelopment of the City's Alaska Building into affordable artists' spaces when it's sold. All of these spaces are for working artists, not artist posers.
Hopefully, Tacoma's eagerness to get artists to rent cheap spaces now won't end up repeating that tired old cycle of artists first, gentrification later. Our own Department of Construction and Land Use changed zoning so artists can live in industrial areas. Our Office of Housing provides technical support and money to develop artists' spaces. Our Department of Neighborhoods supports the artist housing priorities neighborhoods say they want. And the Seattle Arts Commission, developers, and artist housing champions, like the Minneapolis-based ArtSpace and Seattle's own Kurt Feichtmeir and Cathryn Vandenbrink, are working together to bring about affordable new artists' spaces in the midst of sky-high property values. Before artists leave, I urge them to look more closely for better deals right here in Seattle.
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER
CHAIR, CULTURE, ARTS & PARKS COMMITTEE
Only a 189% increase
I would like to point out a significant inaccuracy in Nina Shapiro's otherwise excellent article on where artists are going to find new affordable space ["Saving spaces," 1/18]. The increase in rent calculated for Roger Carnie at Rainier Cold Storage is dramatically overstated. While it is true that his rent has increased over the 10 years he has been a tenant to nearly $6,000/month (actually $5,580), the area he is leasing has also changed considerably. The rent on his original space, for which he paid $700/month (as quoted) has actually increased to $1,320 month, so the comparable increase is 189 percent, not 800 percent.
While Rainier Cold Storage is definitely a for-profit business, we cannot be fairly characterized as increasing our rents at anything like the rate that you have calculated.
Finally, for an answer to Nina's rhetorical question about what a city looks like if all the artists are gone, try looking across the lake at Bellevue.
INNERMOUNTAIN REALTY, SEATTLE
Space for art
I agree with much of Nina Shapiro's assessment of the artists' housing situation in Seattle ["Saving spaces," 1/18], but before any of you artists out there grab your bags and head for Tacoma, there are a few options left here at home. ArtSpace Seattle has joined with the Delridge Development Association to explore the building of artists' housing in the Delridge neighborhood of West Seattle. Only 10 minutes from downtown, it is a lot closer to the action than Tacoma (or Ballard for that matter), and if we can get more proactive artists involved we could create more PERMANENT artist housing, rather than short-term rental solutions to a long-term problem.
MEMBER OF ARTSPACE
Cover art cop
Nice to see Blair Wilson's cop art on the cover of the January 18th issue ["Saving space"], but it would have been nice if you'd mentioned the artist in your cover description on the contents page; people might think Blair's work was created by this McCoy guy. Come to think of it, Blair Wilson wasn't mentioned at all in the entire issue.
Hear, hear ["Free and clear plan," 1/18]. I'm not anti-computer. I've been making my living on the machines since 1984; the basement was wired in 1991, the front bedroom in 1999.
However, when I'm at home, the only time the machine gets juice is when I decide I want to do some work on it. No instant messaging, no reminders that I've got mail. Our phones still plug into the walls. Our message machine is local and we record our own messages back at you. Yes, one of us has a AAA cell phone; it's for car emergencies—works very well for it, thank you.
I work to provide the wherewithal with which to pursue my hobbies; if I let my work invade my private space, I won't have time for those hobbies. If I'm sitting in front of the computer, I'm not out in the sunshine. If I'm punching keys in my laptop or PDA, I'm not digging in the garden or wrist-deep in tamale dough or playing with the dogs.
As a culture, we've enslaved ourselves to money and now seem bent on doubling the pain by subletting our souls to our tools.
I can see the writing on the wall regarding this research into implanting microchips in the body ["Virtual sex is coming," 1/18], and it is disturbing to me. What has been lost in the focus of developing technology is our own abilities than have lain dormant for thousands of years. Instead of developing our own ability for telepathy, we have externalized that into telephones. We use MRIs instead of developing the abilities of inner sight that could allow us to see into any part of the body, see its state of health, and initiate healing through our own Intention through the intimate mind/body connection that is part of being a Conscious human.
Granted this hasn't gotten much emphasis in our world over recorded history, so it isn't something that we consider part of our heritage as Humans. Only a small percentage of us have exhibited such capacities. However, the time for our own evolution to become center stage is now, as my own life is demonstrating. My own abilities in these areas are growing and a whole new way of relating to all life is being offered that far surpasses the vacuum of a meaningful life that most people live in.
On top of that, the use of such technology is not necessarily benign in intention. Again from my own research, this technology is used to control and manipulate those who are unconscious in this world of their own Sovereignty as a Spiritual Being in ways that are hard to believe. The "New World Order" is one of many names for the puppeteers who are "pulling the strings" in slowly eroding personal sovereignty and rights to be replaced by someone else's ideas of how we are to live our lives. This has been going on for thousands and thousands of years and is so well hidden that it is easy to dismiss it outright as one of those crazy "Conspiracy theories."
If your publication is truly aligned to reporting the truth, then it seems to me this is also your responsibility to at least research such claims. The likelihood is that you are also "owned" by the NWO groups, as are most news media, so I doubt whether you will take this very seriously. I challenge you to do thorough research and then try to publish it. It might prove to be quite the eye-opener.
One week an "astrology university" ["Surfing for the stars," 1/11], now robo-guru Kevin Warwick ["Virtual sex is coming," 1/18]? What's next, flat earth? Magnuson Park obelisk planted by aliens? Just because Warwick's laughable PR campaign has made it into Wired, the magazine for people who think owning a cell phone makes them "techy," doesn't mean you have to fall for it. Couldn't the supposedly awesome Angela Gunn have caught this? Doesn't anyone at your increasingly third-rate magazine subscribe to www.ntk.net or the Kevin Warwick Watch at www.kevinwarwick.org.uk?The guy's a publicity hound of the first degree and a total fraud. His "team of 20" doesn't exist; his famous arm-implanted chip was about as impressive (though less functional) as my elevator keycard; and none of his robots actually work. He's the laughingstock of the real robotics and computing communities. You're turning into the Weekly World News with junk like this.
The term "Black rock?" [1/4] is an oxymoron. Rock is black, you racist bastards. Rock came from rock 'n' roll, which came from black culture. You should be saying "white rock" to describe white people playing what was originally black music. Does the word "culture thief" mean anything to you?
Letter o' the week
I am shocked that Tim Eyman has learned from his mistakes ["Eyman wises up," 1/18]. I am sick of him. He is nothing but a self-centered a**hole. His initiatives are for the rich. There are people like me that care about the environment and don't mind taking Metro. I don't believe in violence but it would be funny if he got hit by a bus.
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