October 11, 2013We received these wonderful photos from architect Jim Horecka, who has visited Arcosanti many times over the years. Thank you so much, Jim![Photo credit for all of the photos in this report: 2013 James Horecka, AIA, Architect]On the last day of the Paolo Soleri Memorial Cosanti and Arcosanti alumni, and friends supportive of Paolo Soleri’s efforts, gathered at the Paolo Soleri Scottsdale Bridge and Plaza.[photo: Paul from Flam Chen waiting with a large lense for the exact Solar Noon].Text of Jeff Steins speech at the Soleri Bridge on Sunday, September 22. 2013.“Thank you Donna Isaac, Mayor Jim Lane, and welcome.Thank you all for being here on a beautiful Sunday in Scottsdale, Arizona, home for 66 years to the architect, philosopher, writer, lecturer, EXPLORER – and our neighbor – the late Paolo Soleri. We are gathered today at his Soleri Bridge and plaza to celebrate Paolo. We are here at this public place, designed by an individual, funded by a government – the city of Scottsdale – for the enjoyment of its citizens. We are those citizens.This bridge represents decades of thought and the ideals of its architect Paolo Soleri; his wish to connect us in this desert city to the sun and seasons, to earth and it’s ecology, his wish to use architecture to help connect us all to each other. That wish to define new relations and ways to celebrate them continues in this place today.The GREAT WORK of our generation: the transformative and radical effort to change human-Earth relations from disruptive and destructive to naturally enhancing and beneficial was first modeled for us by Paolo Soleri. His legacy of writing, of building, of BRIDGE-building, really, is what we celebrate today.[photos are of the FLAM CHEN performance during the event].A bridge is a way to cross over, a way to make a transition to the other side of something. A bridge marks the end of one thing, the beginning of another. At this bridging moment in the history of our culture, we hope our presence here today will serve as a bridge for us to continue the work Paolo Soleri began to make a transition to a better, a more coherent way to be, on the land, in the world.The writer E.B.White said, “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” Paolo Soleri had this same issue. But his life’s work, at Cosanti, at the enduring urban laboratory Arcosanti, including the Soleri Bridge and the new bas relief murals at the Arcosanti Interchange on I-17, all allow us new places and new ways to do both those things at once. Paolo Soleri created ways to connect and enjoy living, human connections, he modeled ways to bring together mind and heart and hand to develop a new consciousness of how the earth works, a new framework for the practice of architecture and urban design.Paolo Soleri’s work of cultivating awareness and attention entails a commitment to tend to and take responsibility for our communities. A clearer awareness of who we are in relation to the larger whole of earth’s ecology, rooted in respect and reverence for the whole, requires of us both a response and a responsibility. Paolo Soleri, who we honor here today, who lived and created in our midst for nearly 94 years, made a real effort to leave the world a little better than he found it. And we gathered here today intend to continue to create a reasonable alternative equal to the needs of our age. This is our time, our responsibility, and I congratulate you here today for recognizing this with your presence. I urge you to go forth from this place today with a renewed spirit, a new sense of what is possible based on the life and work of Paolo Soleri. Thank you in advance for doing it.”
The BBC has begun rolling out the new version of its BBC iPlayer catch-up TV platform to a wider group of smart TV platforms.Executive product manager Marcus Parnwell said in a blog posting that the new version of iPlayer is now being rolled out to smart TV platforms including 2014 Bush, Digihom, Finlux, Hitachi, JVC, LG, Linstar, Luxor, Panasonic, Philips, Polariod, Sharp TVs, 2012 Cello TVs, 2010, 2011 and 2014 Samsung TVs, 2011 and 2014 Sony TVs, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Toshiba TVs and 2012 Vestel models.The latest version of iPlayer is also being deployed on a wider range of Blu-ray players from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba, as well as set-top boxes from Bush, Hitachi, LG, Tesco-Technika and Western Digital.Parnwell said the migration means that the BBC has taken the decision to retire the ‘Bigscreen’ version of iPlayer that was rolled out five years ago but which is currently only used by about 0.1% of iPlayer users.He said that the BBC is continuing to work with YouView, Virgin Media and BT to bring the new version of iPlayer to these plaforms, while it will be launched on the Microsoft Xbox One platform by the end of this year.
Amazon has pulled off a coup by signing up director Woody Allen’s first ever television series.Allen will write and create the series with Amazon Studios, with on-demand service Amazon Prime Instant Video acting as the distribution platform.“I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I’m not sure where to begin,” said Allen, who is best known for films such as Annie Hall, Blue Jasmine and Vicky Christina Barcelona. “My guess is that [Amazon Studios’ VP] Roy Price will regret this.”The series has received a full season order, which separates it from most other original Amazon series in that they are usually put through an online pilot process that takes into account customer feedback.The show will debut concurrently in the US, UK and Germany at an unspecified date.“Woody Allen is a visionary creator who has made some of the greatest films of all-time, and it’s an honour to be working with him on his first television series,” said Price.“From Annie Hall to Blue Jasmine, Woody has been at the creative forefront of American cinema and we couldn’t be more excited to premiere his first TV series exclusively on Prime Instant Video next year.”Amazon Studios counts series such as Mozart in the Jungle and Golden Globe-winning Transparent among its biggest TV efforts to date.
Tim DavieProfit and revenue have declined at BBC Worldwide in the wake of the sale of a chunk of the BBC America cable channel.The absence of a chunk of revenue from BBC America, 49.9% of which was sold to AMC for US$200 million (€180 million) earlier this year, caused the year-on-year revenue and profit reverses the commercial arm of the BBC said this morning.Headline 2014/15 revenues of £1 billion (€1.4 billion) were down 3.9% and headline profit decreased 11.9%, taking the annual total to £138.6 million. Worldwide said the declines were caused by the absence of BBC America revenues for most of the second half of the year.Comparing like for like revenues across its ongoing operations, it said there was a 0.4% increase in the £948 million recorded, and a 4.1% hike in profit of £127.1 million. Digital sales, advertising revenue across its channels and the contribution of UKTV were cited as key drivers.BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie said the AMC-BBC America deal “significantly enhanced future prospects for our BBC America channel, while also enabling us to boost shareholder returns for the year”.The proceeds of the AMC deal helped Worldwide generate a record amount of cash for the BBC, with an annual increase of 30.3%, taking the return to the Corporation to £226.5 million. Worldwide also contributed a greater amount in commissioning spend, becoming a production or distribution partner on various BBC shows, and in turn funding, or deficit-funding, a chunk of their budget.Reacting to the 2014/15 annual report, which was published today, BBC director general Tony Hall (pictured left, above) said it was a year of “positive progress at BBC Worldwide” against a “backdrop of market transformation that presented some challenges”.Hailing Worldwide the most successful commercial arm of any pubcaster in the world, he added that the Corporation wants it to return a cumulative £1 billion across the next five years.“Although commercial returns are a small part of the BBC’s funding mix, we are nonetheless determined to maximise their impact,” Hall said. “Therefore, looking ahead to the next phase of the BBC’s development, and a new charter period, it is the board’s aim to sustain annual financial returns at around this new level, even without the one-off benefit of BBC America proceeds.“We are therefore looking to BBC Worldwide to generate around £1 billion in returns for the Corporation in the five years starting from 2014/15 – an increase of almost one quarter on the previous half-decade.”Tim Davie (right) said that the business had “taken steps to drive innovation and underpin the sustainability” in the 2014/15 reporting period including investing in indies and relaunching its channel offering. “This is essential work in the context of a global media market undergoing structural and systemic changes, some of which constrain our trading and outlook in certain areas,” he said.In its last report, Worldwide reported a downturn in US sales. In its latest annual update said digital sales eclipsed linear for the first time in North America. Overall regional sales were £299.9 million compared to £342.5 million a year earlier. Profit was £32.9 million against £44.3 million across the same period.In the UK, headline 2014/2015 sales were £361.8 million compared with £362.2 million a year earlier and profit was £52.7 million against £56.2 million.There was growth in terms of Worldwide’s Australia and New Zealand business with 2014/15 revenues of £81.9 million compared to £76 million in 2013/14. Profit was £16.3 million against £13.3 million a year earlier.