Archives for December 17, 2013
“They joust with one another at auction houses, where the fevered bidding has driven up prices to the point that some jades, ceramics, calligraphy and paintings now fetch huge sums. In 2011, for instance, a Ming dynasty vase sold for $140 million at an auction in Macau.”
“It’s emblematic of how coastal design is moving away from costly, large-scale walls and sea barriers that only work until overtaken by inexorable sea level rise.”
“With video content proliferating, new models for supplying background music are taking root, with many trying to bring down the cost and avoid the complicated royalty-payment rules.”
“The incentive for publishers and the estates of dead authors is clear: keeping the brand alive expands the number of titles from which revenue can be gained, while fuelling interest in the original works. But what impact do literary franchises have on the industry’s appetite for new talent?”
“To be considered, films must open in a commercial cinema in Los Angeles County by midnight on 31 December and run for at least seven consecutive days.”
“Certainly the promise of continual human progress and improvement is alluring. But there is a danger there, too — that in this more perfect future, failure will become obsolete.”
“The head of publishing at Norstedts, Eva Gedin, told The Associated Press the book will be an original work that includes nothing from the fourth book in the series that Larsson began writing but hadn’t finished when he died.”
“Sundance’s growing influence on theater comes after two decades of gradually increasing the number of labs and workshops it holds each year and broadening its search for the next great, risk-taking playwright.”
What’s especially revealing are Americans’ searches that begin with “what is” and “how to.”
“It’s becoming much more difficult to be a reclusive artist and make a living. The system has become weirdly Darwinian. But you need to look at the larger picture: the record industry did create a safe space for shy artists like PJ Harvey or Cat Power, but artists always had to market themselves.”
“Imagine the Art Gallery of Ontario going 19 years without a single showing of any new Canadian art. It would be hard to think of a rationale for that scenario, although the COC, which receives about $4.5-million annually in public funding, is always quick to say that new work is too expensive and risky for regular consumption. But does that really need to be true, for the biggest opera company in the country?”
“Art and critical thinking, yes. Art and enchantment, for certain. Without both, or without either, art and its encircling vocation of criticism risk irrelevance. A bigger problem is the culture of prohibitions we seem to be engendering against creativity.”
This foundation (you’ve heard of it) joined anonymously in bidding for a group of sacred Hopi artifacts being auctioned in Paris – with the aim of returning them to their creators’ descendants.
Three of the five outside jurors for the prestigious London theatre honours have quit – the first mass resignation in the event’s half-century history. Matt Trueman explains what the ballyhoo is all about.
“There is scandal in theatreland following the resignation of three judges from the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Charles Spencer, one of the resigning judges, reveals what really happened and why he quit.”
“In an inspired gesture to encourage digital crowdsourcing, the British Library has uploaded one million scans from 17th- to 19th-century books to Flickr for public domain use.”
“[His] books were immersive journeys that often explored religion, particularly Judaism, often to high praise by reviewers. They were not strong sellers, however, and throughout his life Mr. Nissenson struggled with depression … But he never stopped writing.”
Kiwi taxpayers will cover 25% of the cost for three new films.
“Russians have become more conflict-prone, angrier and ruder and have largely lost the ability to control themselves, according to the findings of research into the psychological profile of a typical Russian from 1981 to 2011. Andrey Yurevich, the deputy head of the Institute of Psychology at the Russian Academy of Sciences, talks about the study’s results.”
Meet Jeff Whiting, choreographer/director and creator of Stage Write, “an app which makes documenting stage blocking and choreography a fast, fluid, clinical and permanent affair.”
You might be appalled – or impressed – at the materials these dancers repurpose for use in their ballet slippers.
“Now that it’s exiting from the foreign bailout program, Ireland is making a new investment: in fiction. The country’s Arts Council has announced that it is creating a Laureate for Irish Fiction, ‘to promote Irish literature nationally and internationally and to encourage the public to engage with high-quality Irish fiction’.”
Says Steven Seymour of wife and best-selling, award-winning Russian poet Vera Pavlova (whose English is excellent), “The main difference with translating Vera is that my other clients don’t argue with me.”
Every so often, a student campaign works.
“Romanian actor Radu Beligan has been declared the world’s oldest active actor at age 95.”