What’s An eCurtain?
eCurtain Media exists so content creators, merchants, and service providers will put their best foot forward on the digital stage. Education and entertainment are eCurtain’s cornerstones.
eCurtain Media’s Director, John Heartfield
In 1993, I saw a friend staring at a graphic on a computer screen.
“That’s the World Wide Web,” he said. “It’s going to change everything.”
Like so many others, that moment made my world a lot wider. After I completed digital media Masters program at NYU, I received a Tisch School of Arts Award for “Pioneering Work in Interactive Media.” For years before that, I’d worked at Queens College, teaching six programming languages to computer science seniors. During those years, I had a grant to complete a machine learning program to transform one programming language into another.
If I Knew Then…
The chair of the NYU program, the legendary Red Burns, asked me if I wanted to teach courses in the program the day I finished. I was happy to accept. I spent a wild three weeks at a company as the consulting programming and design director for one of the world first interactive magazines on disk. Confident and knowledgeable, using my money from the magazine, I started my first small business r, “Electric Curtain,” a programming and website design firm in Soho, New York. I knew almost nothing about running a small business. And it cost me. It’s an important reason I’m so committed to helping small business owners to avoid the kinds of mistakes I made years ago.
New York To Tokyo
Electric Curtain’s outstanding team completed several large, complex projects for major corporations. After completing a prototype for NTT, Japan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI), The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and The Multimedia Association of Japan invited me and two distinguished professors to come to Tokyo to celebrate the Time 24 multimedia facility. While in Japan, I gave presentations to large audiences of government officials, corporate leaders, and multimedia professionals. A highlight was leading a two-week seminar for brilliant young Japanese multimedia artists.
From Electric Curtain To eCurtain Media
Electric Curtain was a successful, and for me, exhausting enterprise. It’s something I stressed to every potential small business owner when I was a SCORE volunteer. A small business can make your dreams come true. But be ready to lose a lot of sleep.
I was working sixteen hour days, seven days a week, in Soho. After years of that, I closed Electric Curtain. Rather than completing projects for big corporations, I wanted to concentrate on:
- Helping small business succeed on the Internet
- Increasing My Grandfather’s Reputation & Renown
I had more time to pursue those interests, but I still had to pay the bills. I began a long career as an Information Architect. In a nutshell, an IA’s task is website teams how and where to display content on webpages.
Rockport Publishers asked me to write a book on best practices for small business websites. While I was finishing Make Your Small Business Website Work, Easy Answers to Content, Navigation, and Design, I continued working as a fiction writer, a musician, and a songwriter. Working as a consultant rather than working twelve hour days as Electric Curtain’s CEO gave me time to write songs and complete my novel, Controlling Time.
My DNA Says Share Facts & Knowledge
Standing in front of an audience or a class, interacting with sharp minds, is one of my favorite things. Universities such as NYU, Queens College, and The College of New Jersey employed me with various visiting professor titles. I’ve designed and taught over twenty-five courses in programming languages, digital media, and web design.
My Grandfather Was Always On My Mind
At the start of the 21st century, it was becoming even clearer to me that the institution responsible for preserving my grandfather’s legacy was letting it disappear. There was no doubt in my mind, I had to accept the essential responsibility to re-acquaint the world with my grandfather’s life and work. I wasn’t an art historian or critic. It seemed like an impossible challenge.
With A Little Help
I studied my grandfather’s life and work for years. I was so fortunate to make some amazing friends, admirers of my grandfather who were brilliant art historians and scholars. The Official John Heartfield Exhibition began as a modest website. It is now hundreds of pages of code and is growing all the time. Along with my grandfather’s masterpieces and the exciting story of his cinematic life, the exhibition features the work of world-class artists who call him their greatest influence.
I Learned The Hard Way
For many years, I’ve worked behind the scenes helping small business owners and artists succeed on the Internet. I didn’t want them to make the type of mistakes I did when I started my first programming and web design company in Soho, New York in 1995. Because I was a confident award-winning programmer and sought-after university professor, I walked blindly into business and it cost me. So often, I meet small business owners and artists who are secure in their their abilities, but without a clue about how to succeed when presenting their information and services on the web.
Avoiding Pitfalls = More Profit-Wasted Costs
Launching a successful small business website requires the knowledge and experience to make informed decisions. For example, how should a website present content, build a customer base, employ correct search engine optimization, and find support companies and technologies that are a good fit. Finding smart answers to those type of questions is the only way to have an investment in a website result in a solid return. Small businesses are key to a robust economy. For that reason, eCurtain Media wants small business owners and artists to create income for themselves and jobs for others. For advice, tips, and more about what I’ve done for a select group of clients, visit eCurtain Media’s Small Business Advice Website.
You Can Talk To John Heartfield For Free
Make an appointment with John Heartfield for a free 30-minute consultation. There’s no obligation and no sales pitch. You’ll just get valuable easy-to-understand advice and no techno babble.
A Great Small Business Website Guide
The easy-to-understand advice and valuable tips in Make Your Small Business Work: Easy Answers to Content, Navigation, and Design are timeless. When I wrote the book, I concentrated on the basic principles that make a great website and the pitfalls that can sink it. I avoided technical references because, while most presentation rules are a constant, the technology to implement them constantly changes. Make Your Small Business Website Work shows how to present information so visitors will feel like they’ve entered a clean, efficient, beautiful store with helpful associates, ready to answer their questions.
“Mr. Heartfield’s broad fund of knowledge regarding this subject and his easy-to-read writing style made this book not only useful, but an enjoyable read. Lots of great ideas regarding structuring my website. Big bang for the buck. Highly recommended.”
Internet Magazine Review, Amazon.com
The John Heartfield Exhibition
A Responsibility To Honor His Legacy
I’m the curator and webmaster of The Official John Heartfield Exhibition. It’s a comprehensive, permanent, and growing Internet exhibition named for my grandfather. It tells his amazing life story and displays a selection of his groundbreaking contributions to modern art. John Heartfield was a pacifist who rose to number-five on the Gestapo’s Most Wanted List, working inside and in the shadow of the Third Reich. His only crime was his widely distributed antifascist anti-Nazi collages (photomontages). He called them “art as a weapon.”
Founder Of Anti-Fascist Art
Using the simplest of tools, scissors and paste, he create political art masterpieces with integrity and humor that revealed the fascist lies of would-be dictators. The exhibition continues to grow. It now features several of the world’s finest modern collage artists who call my grandfather their greatest influence. When you visit the exhibition I promise you’ll understand his courage and genius.
ARTISTS has more information about my work with The John Heartfield Exhibition and exceptional modern artists.
The John Heartfield Exhibition Shop offers the finest quality merchandise. The shop offer brilliant images printed using state-of-the-art technology.
Shop reviews are outstanding, prices are competitive, and free worldwide shipping is available. Profits from The Heartfield Exhibition Shop help support and expand The John Heartfield Exhibition.
Currently, The John Heartfield Exhibition Shop offers only a part of John Heartfield’s artistic legacy. Much more is coming soon, including merchandise featuring the work of the world-class artists who call John Heartfield their greatest influence. Visit the shop often to check out more great merchandise featuring stunning art.
Before I left home at an early age, my mother would say, “Get your nose out of that book and get some sun.” I started writing soon after I learn to read and I’ve never stopped. Although I deeply admire literary writers, especially Bulgakov and Nabokov, my style in my mystery and action-adventure novels is outline the plot, set up the situations, and get on with the action. On the other hand, my short stories grow out of a scene or idea that comes to me. If it makes sense, I write the story arc to bend around it.
Except for the exhibition’s extraordinary contributors, I write all the The John Heartfield Exhibition text. I also write all the Internet text for my clients and my own websites. As Ringo pointed out, “I’ve got blisters on me fingers.”
Songs, especially lyrics, have always been at the center of my life. If I’ve heard a song more than once, I can always remember the lyrics. I began writing songs in high school and I keep adding new ones to the over 200 I’ve written. Hearing a singer or band play one of my songs is a joyous experience.
Two years ago, I began writing the book and songs for One Hand! It’s about ninety percent complete. As I continue to work on it, I’m so grateful for an enormous advantage I have as a songwriter. While I can play several instruments, and I’ve performed in club and theaters in California and New York, I’m only a competent instrumentalist. However, throughout my life, I’ve work on songs with musicians I can only describe as geniuses. Listen to their amazing contributions in the “Music” section.
One Hand! is an international multimedia musical event. Through songs, stories, graphics, and innovative stage design, it entertains audiences and encourages voting. The core message of One Hand! is: “Elections are a matter of life and death.”
In the years after 2015, elections have brought us more and more full-of-lies political campaigns. Musicians, graphic artists, production artist, performers, and more contribute their talents to One Hand! to counter that propaganda. One Hand! will linger in the minds of voters in a political climate where words are flying out like endless rain and one ugly outrage replaces the other, as “personalities” try to spin them away.
The One Hand! Multimedia Event reaches audiences through humor, drama, and a conviction that bigotry, propaganda lies, and senseless war must never go unanswered. Tell everyone about One Hand!. If you’re interested in One Hand!, write to John J Heartfield.
Fascist tactics aren’t new, and they’re not going away. One Hand! will continue to prove the courage and integrity of artists such as John Heartfield will always triumph over madness and greed. His courageous “art as a weapon” attacked fascism and the Third Reich. His work saved lives.
“Truth-Will-Art” Interactive Salons
After the John Heartfield Exhibition (JohnHeartfieldExhibition.com) launched, event planners from many different venues around the world asked me to come and speak to audiences about the cinematic life and masterful political art of my famous grandfather, John Heartfield.
Wonderful Audiences In Venues Like:
- The Surrealist Festival, Canessa Gallery, San Francisco, 2019
Organizer: City Lights Bookstore
- Time Tunnel Festival, Walker Art Museum, Liverpool, 2018
Organizer: John Moores University, Liverpool
Afterwards, I took part in a panel with photographer John Walmsley.
- DADA WORLD FAIR, The Collage Museum, San Francisco, 2016
Organizer: City Lights Book Store & Swissex
I also spoke at several events during this exciting Dada event.
- Mahnmal Friedenkreuz St. Lorenz, An Inspiring Austrian Political Event, Austria, 2016
Television and print interviewed me at the event
Organizer: St. Lorenz City Government & Austrian Government
- DesignIt, New York, Simulcast in New York and San Francisco, 2016
Organizer: Corporate Event Planner
At first, I gave presentations with minimal audience participation. However, I wanted to have audiences engage with the media. So presentations evolved into “interactive salons.” These interactive salons invite audiences to journey through pivotal moments in history. As they see images and hear true stories about my grandfather, they explore the events that transformed 1920s Berlin, a cosmopolitan city steeped in all aspects of art, the center of a vibrant democracy, into the burned-out ruins of a fascist dictatorship.
The Kolaj Speakers Bureau asked me to join before Covid hit. I miss the back and forth with the audience. However, the material in these presentations is so timely and relevant, I’m working on breaking the presentation into short YouTube videos.
The John Heartfield Exhibition curator, John J Heartfield, expresses his gratitude to the artist, Martin Krenn. Herr Krenn helped to win the St. Lorenz competition and completing the challenging Mahmal Friedenskreuz St. Lorenz installation. The curator told Herr Krenn that his grandfather, John Heartfield, would be delighted that his political photo montage, “Deutsche Eicheln” was now obscuring a well-known Wehrmacht war memorial. It was his grandfather’s core philosophy that his art should be available to the people so they could make their own decisions as to its messages and its merit.