Spring Cellist, Spring!

With more to come about performances in Berlin in February and April, 2011, in Seattle/Tacoma in March and May 2011, and the anticipated Berlin/Beijing!!/Chengdu tour coming up in July 2011. Here’s a little preview of the cadenza that begins Gao Ping‘s Cello Sonata No. 1, a composition which I premiered in Berlin last April and have every intention to champion until my death (timely or … Continue reading Spring Cellist, Spring!

Huanqiu Shibao on Ai Weiwei

[Update: A rather comprehensive analysis of Huanqiu’s Ai Weiwei coverage, as of April 8, can be found here via the scrupulous work of JustRecently.] Imagine my surprise, when, today, I opened my friendly neighborhood Huanqiu Shibao website only to find an article about detained artist Ai Weiwei right there in a very prominent position.  This latest one describes how German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been … Continue reading Huanqiu Shibao on Ai Weiwei

Analysing the Limits of Soft Power in the Case of Ai Weiwei: Der Tagesspiegel

As promised, I am working my way through some of the prolix torrent of analysis and concern levied upon the case of Ai Weiwei by authors in Germany, and by German authors in China. In general, the confrontation between Germany and China over cultural matters and human rights seems now primed to grow exponentially.  Museum directors are now musing openly about bringing the Enlightenment exhibition … Continue reading Analysing the Limits of Soft Power in the Case of Ai Weiwei: Der Tagesspiegel

Enlightenment, Cell, Studio: Beijing, Berlin, and Ai Weiwei

In its typically understated fashion of reasserting totalitarian facts, the Chinese government appears to have arrested the dissident provocateur Ai Weiwei in Beijing.  (Hat tip to Evan Osnos in Beijing for the full story.) The timing of the arrest is a bit curious.  What serves as a trigger for such an arrest, after all, particularly given that this action seemed to be the work of … Continue reading Enlightenment, Cell, Studio: Beijing, Berlin, and Ai Weiwei

Tremors on the Periphery: Sinuiju Unrest

Yesterday I got a message from one of my favorite North Korea specialists, Owen Miller at the School of Oriental and African Sciences in London, concening a recent disturbance in Sinuiju, the northwesternmost city in the DPRK and a bellwether when it comes to regime intentions and popular resistance. More information about the protests is available via Chosun Ilbo (Korean version here), as well as … Continue reading Tremors on the Periphery: Sinuiju Unrest

Transmediale Infusion

One of the beauties of living in an existence torn between the 19th century (hemmed by Prussian systems, Schumannian aufschwungen, the epistolary desire) and the 21st century (all the while examining the positive wreckage of the 20th century) is that occasionally you can show up in the 21st century — in the present! — and just be there.  And, perchance, to dream about the future…to … Continue reading Transmediale Infusion

Drop That: Cruising the Xinhua Bookstores in Lhasa

About forty minutes before I was due to vacate downtown Lhasa, I scampered across town over to the largest Xinhua bookstore (naturally, it was right across from the Tibet Autonomous Region Party Committee Headquarters, the nerve center of political power in Tibet).  There I found a few things: collections of Mao’s writings about Tibet, a new text based on reminiscences of an old Guomindang cadre … Continue reading Drop That: Cruising the Xinhua Bookstores in Lhasa