Saturday, December 1, 2007

United Technologies & the Culture Industry: Company Highlights

2007 - UTC presents sound installation, The Smallest of Wings, in London's Broadgate Arena
UTC commissions Stephen Vitiello to create a sound art installation in London’s Broadgate Arena from June 4 – 8, 2007. This is the third installment of UTC’s ongoing Public Art Project, launched in 2005 to celebrate the corporation’s 25 years of arts support. Read more...

2006 - Photography explores changing cities in UTC public arts project
UTC Commissions acclaimed artists Chuck Close, Mitch Epstein and Dayanita Singh to capture the changing urban environment in outdoor photography exhibitions titled Cities in Transition in New York City, Boston and Hartford through October. Installation sites are Madison Square Park in New York City, Downtown Crossing “T” Station in Boston and Bushnell Park in Hartford. Read More...

2005 - UTC-Commissions artists in billboard project
UTC commissions paintings from artists Alex Katz, Gary Hume and Lisa Sanditz, to be made into billboards, in New York City. Read more...

2005 - UTC-sponsored van Gogh show now at Metropolitan Museum
The first major exhibition in the United States to focus on Vincent van Gogh's drawings is exhibited at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, sponsored by UTC. The show attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. The sponsorship is a highlight of the UTC's celebration of its 25 years of arts support, which has involved $55 million in funding and the sponsorship of 54 visual arts exhibitions on four continents. Read more...

2005 - UTC wins Business in the Arts honor
For the second straight year, UTC is honored by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) and Forbes magazine for its exceptional support of the arts. Read more...

2004 - UTC honored with Business in the Arts Award
UTC is among six companies and one business leader to receive 2004 Business in the Arts Awards from the Business Committee for the Arts and Forbes magazine. Read more...

2003 - UTC sponsors British-French painting exhibit at Met Museum
UTC sponsors an exhibit of 19th century French and English artworks, "Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism," at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition features over 100 paintings and 50 works on paper by artists such as Constable, Turner, Bonington, Delacroix and Géricault. This is the sixth exhibit UTC has funded in its 20-year history of collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum. Read more...

2003 - UTC sponsors Marsden Hartley
UTC Sponsors the first retrospective show in more than 20 years of the works of American painter Marsden Hartley. Organized by and presented at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in downtown Hartford, CT. The show then travels to the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Read more...

2002 - Otis funds restoration of painting; original close to home
UTC's Otis unit funds the restoration of a valuable painting that hangs in a French village church near Otis' factory in Gien. Read more...

2002 - UTC Chairman and CEO Recognized for Leadership in the Arts
United Technologies Chairman and CEO George David win the Connecticut Opera’s Medici Award for Leadership in the Arts. This is only the second time the award -- named after one of France’s greatest patrons of the arts -- has been given by the Connecticut Opera. Read more...

2001 - UTC receives a "Bravo" for its opera support
United Technologies Corp. receives a 2001 Bravo Award for outstanding support to the opera community. The award is presented by OPERA America. Read more...

2000 - Art exhibits sponsored by UTC draw record crowds
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Exhibits sponsored by United Technologies Corporation pushes attendance at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum into record-breaking territory.94,000 people visited the museum during the 12-week run of "The Impressionists at Argenteuil" exhibit and 81,000 came during the "Salvador Dali's Optical Illusions" exhibit earlier that year. United Technologies proudly sponsored both blockbuster events.

UTC also sponsors the Argenteuil exhibit's appearance at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. That show drewing 272,000 visitors. Read more...

United Technologies & the Defense Industry

The name sounds like they make light bulbs, but UT, a.k.a. Sikorsky, sells Black Hawk and Comanche helicopters and various missile systems designed to inspire terror in civilians from Palestine to Colombia to Somalia and beyond.

CEO: George David
Military contracts 2005: $5.0 billion
Defense-related contributions in the 2004 election cycle: $558,850*

United Technologies may be a Fortune 500 company, but it’s not a household name – and most people don’t realize that the maker of Otis elevators and Carrier air conditioners and heaters is a major military contractor. The Hartford, Connecticut-based company makes military helicopters, engines and missile systems.Its subsidiary Hamilton Sundstrand creates flight systems for both commercial and military aircrafts, while UT subsidiary Pratt & Whitney designs and manufactures engines, gas turbines and space propulsion system for military aircrafts. In 2003, United Technologies also acquired the British electronic security company Chubb Ltd.

UT’s helicopter division Sikorsky manufactures the enormously expensive and deadly Comanche and Black Hawk helicopters – the latter made famous from the US debacle in Somalia. In February 2004, Sikorsky got a surprise when the US army canceled its RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program, a joint partnership between the company and Boeing, valued at $14.6 billion. The Army had invested $6.9 billion into the Comanche helicopter project over 21 years and, had it continued, it would have cost more than $39 billion. However, Sikorsky won’t do too badly at the end of the day: the Pentagon is proposing to take the money allocated for the Comanches and use it to buy 796 Black Hawk and other helicopters, as well as upgrading the helicopters that the Army currently owns.

Sikorsky supplies weaponry to conflicts all over the world, not limited to the “war on terror” and occupation of Iraq. The company has profited handsomely from the US-backed war in Colombia, with the help of its boosters with the government. The 2000 US military aid package to the South American company included thirty UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters, at price tag of $390 million. The Black Hawk helicopters, according to critics, cost six times as much as Sikorsky competitor, Textron’s Huey II.

UT’s shareholders have recently called for the disclosure of the salaries received by company executives, the application of ethics in UT’s military sales, an independent board, and greater transparency in the company’s accounting practices. However, they shouldn’t expect change any time soon; CEO and Chairman George David, who received $70 million in 2003 in salary and stock options, told The Guardian of London, “I'll say something on public accounting: it is an art, not a science.”

United Technologies, from its origins in 1925 as Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, has consistently relied on the beneficence of those in power. Like other military contractors, UT has accrued private profits at public expense; so much so during WW2 that then-United Technologies president Eugene Wilson described the company’s fortunes as “unconscionable profits”. But lapses of guilt didn’t put an end to UT’s takings and the US government’s largesse and assistance. William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense under the Clinton Administration, pushed to allow United Technologies’ Sikorsky to sell military parts to China, in spite of the ban on defense sales following the Tiananmen Square massacre. Sikorsky had sold Black Hawk helicopters to China in 1984. Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig has played a similar role in China for UT, working as an adviser for the company and helping set up a dozen joint ventures there.

In 2000 UT gave $737,470, with 48% going to the Democrats and 52% to the Republicans. Two years later the company gave $699,242 in campaign contributions. In that election cycle Republicans received substantially more, getting 62% compared to the Democrats’ 38%. In the 2004 election cycle UT gave 788,011, with 64% going to Rebublicans and 36% to Democrats. Read more...


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