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Who it is I am

I'm a libertine with a conscience who refuses to acknowledge a distinction between work and play, who believes that you don't get the days back and therefore aspires to embrace the eternally messy present for what it is; a gift. And all gifts should be shared.

Within this framework I'm also a dad, an angel investor, a business owner, deeply passionate about the visual arts, music, literature, technology and politics (the degrees of interest aren't equal and what's posted here is a fair barometer of what captures my attention), and a dedicated philanthropist.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

robert@fastorbit.com

212-671-2030

Affiliations

Updated 09/19/2012

Board Member: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center "Whenever someone asks me where I studied art, I always say it was at Hallwalls." - Cindy Sherman

Former Board Member: No Longer Empty: No Longer Empty redefines public art through temporary site -specific exhibitions that draw together the vitality of the contemporary art world and the values of building community.

Owner: Fast Orbit, LLC

Owner/Partner: ParkSleepFly.com

Owner/Partner: AirportParkingReservations.com

Owner/Investor: Wireless-NRG: Innovative consumer, commerical and industrial applications using unique solar technology.  Stay tuned for the imminent introduction of the Lillypad (Kudocase) for IPad, IPad2, IPad3.

Owner/InvestorVeenome - a video enabling platform translating video content into machine-readable data for superior organization, publishing, searching and monetization.

Owner/InvestorSocial Prize: Social Prize is a new way of sharing that makes it easy for you to share what you like with your friends and win. For the everyday business owner, Social Prize evens the odds by making it a snap for you to use social sweepstakes as a cost-effective means to get the word out about your business and grow your customer base.

Owner/Investor: uKnow.com:
Smart Tools.  Safer Kids
Keep your kids safe from bad guys and bullies online and on the mobile phone.

Projects & Participation

Updated 09/19/2012

Loan: Oded Hirsch's 50 Blue to Art Miami's curatorial project CONTEXT, December 2012 (curated by Julia Draganovic)

Collector-level Member - Issue Project Room 

Sponsor of Hallwalls
Fall 2012 Music Program

Nora Ligorano/Marshall Reese: Morning In America Ice Sculpture at the RNC/DNC Conventions

Composer Poul Ruders: New Symphonic Music (including a solo piano commission)

Channeling Coltrane: A concert video of "Electric Ascension"

Grammar: A documentary film about Jason Moran

Even Though the Whole World is Burning: A film about the life and work of Poet Laureate, two-time Pulitzer winner, and environmental activist W.S. Merwin.

George: A feature length documentary on George Maciunas, the founder and impresario of Fluxus, the radical international art movement.

Electronic Arts Intermix Benefactor
Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is a nonprofit arts organization that is a leading international resource for video and media art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical video works by artists. For 40 years, EAI has fostered the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of video art, and more recently, digital art projects. 

Sponsor: Kreppa: A Symphonic Poem about the Financial Situation in Iceland
By: Örn Alexander Ámundason, Performed by Metropolis Ensemble, Andrew Cyr, Artistic Director/Conductor
The Armory Show 03/07/2012 The Wall Street Journal Media Lounge

Sponsor of Hallwalls
Winter 2012 Music Program

Sponsor of Hallwalls
Fall 2011 Music Program

Richard Garet (refer to post)
Espacios No-Euclídeos
Curated by Laura Bardier
11 August - 30 October 2011
EAC – Espacio Arte Contemporáneo
Montevideo, Uruguay  http://www.eac.gub.uy

Steve Swell's Nation of We Recording: "The Business of Here"

Producer (one of thousands) of the upcoming 2011 film: Lemonade: Detroit

Contributor: +Pool: A Floating Pool in the River For Everyone

Challenge grant to the Metropolis Ensemble for the recording of composer Timothy Andres on Nonesuch Records Fall 2011.  (Supporting contemporary composition is critical to the health of the culture and visionary Director Andrew Cyr is a living, breathing exemplar of leadership.)

Sponsor: No Longer Empty's About Face art exhibition May/June 2011

Sponsor: Hallwalls Artists & Models 2011 - RAPTURE/RUPTURE May 2011

Principal Benefactor NMC Recordings

Donor of artist Kate Gilmore's (a tireless, fearless creator with a limitless imagination) "Blood From a Stone" to the Brooklyn Museum 2010.

Bedrock financial support for the Cecil Taylor / Tony Oxley 2LP limited edition recording "AILANTHUS / ALTISSIMA bilateral dimensions of 2 root songs" on Triple Point Records.

Sponsor of composer Mayke Nas and artist Joe Diebbes at the 2010 Liverpool Bienniel.

Sponsor of numerous Hallwalls concerts including: Cecil Taylor's 80th birthday performance, Evan Parker & Ned Rothenberg, Henry Grimes solo, Chicago Underground duo, etc.

Commissioned Composer Frederic Rzweski's "Peace Dances" as part of pianist Sarah Cahill's project "A Sweeter Music."

Causes & Contributions

Updated 08/03/2012

UnPac

The Woodshed at the Jazz Gallery

World Food Programme

Jazz Foundation of America

Wordplay: Celebrating Buffalo's Youngest Writers

Join My Village: a click-to-commit social change initiative that gives you the power to inspire charitable donations from companies to women and girls in Malawi through CARE.

Hallwalls

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

It Gets Better

Catalog Choice

Village Enterprise Fund

This Week in Tech's (TWIT) new studio

CMH Counseling, Buffalo, NY

Worldreader

Mercy Corp

Food Bank of Western New York

Monday
Sep192011

Public Service Announcement: Male Cancer Awareness Campaign

Hey, cancer's no joke fellas.

Saturday
Sep172011

East 71st street WTF?!?

 

Saturday
Sep172011

The season of di Suvero ends September 25th

1) Read the previous Mark di Suvero post

2) If you're in the NYC area get yer ass out to Governors Island. Opportunity knocks for only one more week to marvel at sculptor Mark di Suvero's sky meets steel meets earth contraptions.

Saturday
Sep172011

Let the bidding begin!

The fall contemporary art auction season begins this week.
Sotheby's Contemporary Art, September 22, 2011 

Dan Attoe, Forgiveness, 2007

Saturday
Sep172011

Man of the hour? I hope so.

Iconic new music presenter Roulette is thirty three years young and celebrating their grand re-opening in Brooklyn this week. Yup, Brooklyn. Founder and improvising trombonist Jim Staley helped define the 'downtown' new music ethos at it's birth. First out of his loft and years later at a different location on Greene St.

He's modest to the point of absurdity. His support of innumerable musicians through many fallow financial years is legendary. He's universally respected and he's earned it, putting every last ounce of his tireless energy towards ensuring season after season of creative music even when the audience was thin.

And therein lies the rub. Although opening night in the new location - which holds 400+ - was packed to the rafters and had a typically stellar line up including Kaija Saariaho, Margaret Leng Tan, Mark Feldman/ Sylvie Courvoisier and Henry Threadgill's Zooid, too many Roulette gigs I've attended over the years had only a few more people in the seats than musicians on the stage; I'm talking a baker's dozen. Intimate? Yes. Good for the musicians and the organization? Not so much.

The new space at 509 Atlantic Avenue looks great and the sound while not perfect will improve with adjustments. It's a hell of an ambitious undertaking in the best of economic times.

Here's hoping that a new, Brooklyn based audience flowers, the old Manhattan gang crosses the river and the grants keep flowing.

Congrats and good luck Jim. I think you'll need it.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz (left) and Jim Staley

Thursday
Sep152011

Center of the universe

Conductor Steven Schick (left) embracing composer James Dillon

In often unexpected fleeting moments, you know - as sure as you know your own heartbeat - you're in the center of the universe, in exactly the right location and entirely present. Everything else is peripheral, secondary, even non-existent. Some place or person, some sight or sound has blissfully isolated your attention. Your thoughts cease to wander, distraction pursues a different victim and focus - ease of focus - becomes the natural order.

That's the transcendent power of art. That was the force of the first evening of composer James Dillon's Nine Rivers at Columbia University's Miller Theater last night.

Part two is Friday 09/16. The third and final part is Saturday 9/17.

Details, including an interview with percussionist and conductor Steven Schick.

Read an in-depth analysis of Nine Rivers.

I can't promise a spiritual experience. I can promise immersion in an utterly original sound world. Oh, and the chances of hearing this over 200 minute work again? Slim. Don't allow your absence from last night's performance to prevent you from hearing the remainder. This Olympian work holds up in whole and in part.

Tuesday
Sep132011

Johnny Cash...the legend continues

The Johnny Cash Project

Ain't No Grave, a haunting, timeless Johnny Cash tune rendered visually in a heartfelt, imaginative video through the talents of over 250,000 fans from 172 countries using a specially designed, super cool Google/Chrome interface. 

The best of Cash's music transcends genre, is beyond category and doesn't adhere to our typical myopic definitions of "taste." Google - in this instance anyway - proves that technology can have soul too.  Cool.

Monday
Sep122011

Pre-autumn annual ritual

Almost every year for the past ten, I've headed north to the small, idyllic college town of Guelph, Ontario for the Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquim. The folks who run it are a committed, progressive goup with big ears and open minds.  Musicians, their admirers and the smartly curious from across the globe intermingle to converse, question, challenge and listen, listen, listen.

(L to R) Craig Taborn, Lotte Anker & Gerald Cleaver

 Henry Threadgill's Zooid

 

 

Thursday
Sep082011

20 bucks to stop Malaria

Seth Godin is a hero of mine.  He's one of the sharpest, most forward thinking people of our zeitgeist.  Below is one of his latest posts, verbatim.  

End Malaria Day was yesterday.  In fact, End Malaria Day is every day until it's defeated.

The original source (copied below) from Seth's blog is here.

I bought the book yesterday.

--------------------

Six weeks ago, at midnight, I found myself awake but wiped out from jet lag. I was in a lumpy bed, in the dark, in an obscure, $20 a night, John-Waters'-esque former country club. I was in Kitale, Kenya, near the Ugandan border.

A mosquito was buzzing in my ear. (Why do they buzz in your ear?). I had meds, of course, but what if I didn't? What if, like so many who live here, I had kids and no money for medicine?

Try to imagine that for a second before you click onto the next thing you've got on your agenda for today.

Today is End Malaria Day.

Right this minute, right now, please do three things:

  1. Buy two copies of End Malaria, an astonishing new book by more thansixty of your favorite authors. In a minute, I will explain why this might be the most important book you buy this year (not the best book, of course, just the most important one). You should buy one in paperback too so you can evangelize a copy to a colleague.
  2. Tweet or like this post, or email it to ten friends (It only takes a second.)
  3. And, visit the End Malaria Day website and share it as well.

What would happen if you did that? What would happen if you stepped up and spent a few dollars?

Here's what would happen: someone wouldn't die.

A child wouldn't die from malaria, a disease that causes more childhood death than HIV/AIDS.

It's that direct. Malaria bednets are simple nets that hang over a window or a bed. They're treated with a chemical that mosquitos hate. The mosquitos fly away, they don't bite, people don't get malaria.

Every single penny spent on the Kindle edition goes to Malaria No More, giving them enough money to buy one or two bednets and to deliver them and be sure they're used properly. Low overhead, no graft, no waste. Just effectiveness. And if you buy the beautiful paperback edition, you can easily give it away when you're done and the same $20 donation gets made. None of the authors or anyone at the Domino Project sees your money, there's no ulterior motive, just the fact that a kid won't die.

Wait, there is one ulterior motive: You might be inspired. One of the sixty plus contributors might share a gem or spark an idea.

And I guess there's a second motive: Stepping up feels right. It's a few clicks to buy a book, one you might be able to afford. And for the rest of the day, or even a week, you'll remember how it felt to save someone's life.

Please.

EM_Jacket_Front2DETAIL

And if you could, after you buy a copy, please tweet or post or email your friends. It matters. Thanks.

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Wednesday
Sep072011

Steve Reich WTC 9/11

The good folks at Nonesuch Records in conjunction with NPR are streaming the entirety of Steve Reich's new recording WTC 9/11 on NPR's First Listen.  As you'd expect, the long awaited title track is extremely well constructed and Reich's vocal sampling from a diverse group of people impacted by the attack interwoven with the string writing for Kronos Quartet creates a tense and unsettling narrative thread.

The remainder of the album, Mallet Quartet and Dance Patterns provide a welcome sonic and emotional counterbalance.

The full recording is being released 09/26/2011.  A digital EP of just WTC 9/11 is available for purchase now.

Listen to an interview with Steve Reich on WTC 9/11. 

It's a shame so much attention has been paid to the cover which has now been changed.  It suited the context of WTC 9/11.  Judge for yourself.

 WTC 9/11 original

WTC 9/11 new