DO NEW MEDIA move more quickly? The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s media arts curator, Benjamin Weil, will officially resign Sept. 3. Starting at the museum in 1999 at the zenith of the dot-com boom, Weil was responsible for commissioning well-regarded pieces by Christian Marclay and Pipilotti Rist, whose work is on view until August. He also reinstated the film program and presented numerous sound projects at the museum. He’ll see through upcoming shows featuring Jeremy Blake’s Winchester Trilogy and six works by Gary Hill, which open in February and March 2005, respectively. But Weil will devote most of his time to Eyebeam, a think tank-like art space in New York City where he’s served part-time as curatorial chair since 2003. The serious multitasker is also curating Villette Num&ea cute;rique 2004, a Paris-based new media festival that opens this fall.
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I was lucky enough to go on a recent hard-hat tour of the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, and I have to report that the building will be a breathtaking surprise when it opens next fall. Architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron’s vision melds with the park location, not to mention the northern California landscape – the copper surface suits the atmosphere, while the inset windows and courtyards allow for the park to be almost omnipresent. And the view from the much-contested tower? A stunning 360 degrees! The larger interior does raise an important question, though: can the de Young’s curating choices live up to this new and improved structure? Stay tuned.