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Beverly Pepper
Sentinels, 1996
Photo: Sylvie Ball




the endless 
column 
compiled by 
Walter Robinson
6/13/96
CONGRESS CAN'T CENSOR CYBERSPACE 
A Philadelphia appeals court has 
unanimously overturned the Communications 
Decency Act, which conservatives had 
designed to protect minors from the horrors 
of "indecent" and "patently offensive" 
material on the Internet. The three-judge 
panel called the law "unconstitutional on 
its face" and "profoundly repugnant" to the 
First Amendment. "Just as the strength of 
the Internet is chaos, so the strength of 
our liberty depends upon the chaos and 
cacophony of the unfettered speech the 
First Amendment protects," wrote Judge 
Stewart R. Dalzell in the decision. 
Signed into law by President Clinton in 
February, the Communications Decency Act 
made it a felony, punishable by two years 
in prison and a $250,000 fine, to transmit 
on the Internet "indecent" or "patently 
offensive" words or images that children 
could see. The law was challenged in court 
by a group of plaintiffs that included the 
American Civil Liberties Union, the 
American Library Association, the American 
Society of Newspaper Editors, major online 
companies, publishers and other groups 
dedicated to providing information on 
medical, cultural and political issues. 
Civil Libertarians claimed that the law 
would fail to protect children, since much 
material on the Internet originates 
overseas beyond the reach of U.S. law; in 
addition, obscenity and child pornography 
are already against the law, on the 
Internet or off. 
The government could appeal today's 
decision to the Supreme Court. 
A full text of the decision is available at 
http://www.cdt.org/ciec/
6/6/96
LOFTY GOSSIP 
Veteran art-gossip monger Deborah Gimelson, 
seeing her column in the peachy weekly New 
York Observer newspaper cut back to once a 
month, has gone into the real estate 
business. "All my clients are artists," she 
says. "It's amazing." The notably well-
informed scribe is now working the phones 
at Orsid Realty, 156 W. 56th St., NYC 
10019. Call her at 245-3929 if you're a 
buyer or seller. But don't ask her how much 
Jeff Koons and Ciccolina paid for their 
loft downtown when they moved in together 
those many years ago.
FEDERAL PLAZAPALOOZA 
One of the most-watched spots for public 
art is Federal Plaza at Broadway and Worth 
Streets in Lower Manhattan, former site of 
Richard Serra's now-destroyed Tilted Arc. 
When they took that one down the General 
Service Administration promised some new 
art, and now has installed two. Around the 
back by Chinatown, on the plaza in where 
they do Tai Chi front of the new 
courthouse, is a sculpture of four 
Norwegian granite blocks by Maya Lin called 
Sounding Stones, just dedicated on June 4. 
Around in front on Broadway is a pair of 
pocket parks designed by Beverly Pepper and 
featuring her trademark cast-iron 
"sentinels," three on one end and one on 
the other. Walk up and take a close look--
the massive plinths are hand-made and cast-
-something they just don't do anymore on 
that scale. The plazas are specially 
designed by the artist with low walls and 
high curbing that double as seating for 
lunchtime officeworkers. Meanwhile, we're 
all waiting for the completion of the new 
work for the former Tilted Arc site itself, 
around on Worth, a plazapalooza by 
landscape architect Martha Schwartz 
featuring serpentine lines of park benches 
and grassy mounds emitting a fine spray of 
water.
DIGITAL REVOLUTION AT UCLA
UCLA has set up a new Center for the 
Digital Arts with funding and powerful 
high-end equipment from computer-chip giant 
Intel Corp. Directors of the center, 
headquartered in UCAL's School of the Arts 
and Architecture, are music professor 
Robert Winter, whose CD-ROM Scrutiny in the 
Great Round won the Milia d'Or Grand Prix, 
and visiting design professor Rebecca 
Allen, 3-D visionary at Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment. The new digital lab will 
occupy the space of the former Wight Art 
Gallery and Grunwald Center (recently moved 
to the Hammer Museum). Intel, based in 
Santa Clara, has provided $350,000 to get 
everything started. The center opened for 
the spring semester and is 
interdisciplinary, working with students in 
design, architecture, music and the visual 
arts. For more info go to 
www.research.ucla.edu.
ARCHIVE OF FELLOWSHIP
Now that budget cuts have forced the 
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to 
eliminate its fellowships to artists, the 
arts agency has decided to form an archive 
of all those lucky winners who received 
visual artists fellowships over the years--
about 5,000 since 1967. The goal is to post 
the archive on the Internet--but in order 
to do that they need to get permission from 
all the artists who ever got grants! Whoo-
eee, that's a job. So NEA has contracted 
with Art Resources International in 
Washington, D.C., headed by Don Russell, 
former head of D.C. alternative space WPA, 
in the massive effort to contact all the 
artists and obtain Web-posting rights. Are 
you one? Then call (202) 363-6806 and leave 
your name, address and telephone number to 
get permission slips to use your slides on 
the Internet. Otherwise the slides will be 
kept in the archive at the National Museum 
of American Art (NMMA, or "enema" to its 
friends).
MORE...