Archives for January 8, 2014
“For starters, let’s decommission our obsession with being geniuses. Three-fourths of the people reading this are geniuses. Who in our world is not a genius? Such a diluted, entry-level position. Such resting on wilted laurels of cleverness. We all took the big leap into pursuing a career in the arts because we were crowned geniuses back wherever we came from. And now it’s the classic scenario: we’re the former high school football stars grateful to be riding the bench in the big leagues.”
“When I heard about the Apollo I said, ‘That’s it, we’re going to see some damage here’. But we’ve had a better [Christmas] period this year than we did last year – and that was when we were in our honeymoon period.”
“With museum archives, ancient manuscripts, and whole libraries being digitized, some researchers argue that data analysis will let studies of culture finally claim some of the empirical certainty traditionally associated with “hard” sciences like chemistry and physics.”
“The lack of transparency on prices (particularly from art galleries, which account for a good 50% of the market’s transactions, alongside auction houses) makes true comparisons to assets such as public equity, gold, property and wine very difficult.”
“The Swedish Academy keeps all information about nominations and selections for the literature Nobel secret until 50 years have passed. Newly opened archives in Sweden show De Gaulle was one of 80 individuals suggested for the 1963 honour, alongside more obvious candidates including Pablo Neruda, Samuel Beckett and WH Auden.”
“The moves are meant to coax consumers to pedal faster on their TV upgrade cycles. At the moment, most Americans buy new TVs about once every seven years.”
“Until we acknowledge there’s no right way to watch a movie, we’ll be stuck in a place where everyone’s being rude to someone. That is, unless we’re in our living room.”
“This year’s Bafta film nominations have been announced, and Gravity leads the field with 11 nominations. But what else is there to note about this year’s shortlist?”
“The people who make games now, they grew up with games their whole life — probably the first generation that did that. So it’s really natural to consider that you can have a game about anything.”
“How do you make the world’s largest coffee house feel like a neighborhood haunt? The answer: good design.”
“The number of albums bought on vinyl increased by 33%, echoing the UK trend where events like Record Store Day helped double sales of vinyl last year. UK figures released by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) last week showed that music streaming was up 33.7% and now accounts for nearly 10% of consumer revenues from recorded music.”
“To say that Evgeny Morozov has gone out of his way to irritate powerful and influential people in the tech world doesn’t quite capture it. Doing so is his primary occupation.”
“Even after 50 years it is difficult to name a coterie—even a couple of writers—that the NYRB nurtured or found. From Gore Vidal and Christopher Lasch in the early years to Amartya Sen and Paul Krugman today, the NYRB gave space to important figures—but only once they were already important.”
“From bilingualism to sporting prowess, many abilities rely on neural circuits that are laid down by our early experiences. Until the age of 7 or so, the brain goes through several ‘critical periods’ during which it can be radically changed by the environment. During these times, the brain is said to have increased plasticity.”
“Nowadays, devices and people are unceasingly uploading all kinds of information about the economy, locations, weather and even what sweater makes them happy. With this flood of data, some believe traditional ways of displaying information do not work well anymore.”
“Is it kosher for a movie producer to selectively quote from the Twitter feed of the NYT’s movie reviewer, in a print ad, even when the reviewer in question explicitly said he would not give permission?”
Was the heckler, as some have reported, former NYFCC chairman and proudly ornery contrarian Armond Whiie, himself African-American? Andrew O’Hehir reports.
The Marrakesh Museum of Photography and Visual Art has taken root despite difficulties in a country unused to the idea of art photography and, in some quarters, still suspicious of photography as a whole.
The collection at the Villa Ajavon in the old port city of Ouidah “is the first museum devoted to African contemporary art to open in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa.”
“After six years in Boise, choreographer Trey McIntyre says he will disband his Trey McIntyre Project as a full-time dance company in July, instead focusing TMP on other enterprises involving film production, photography and choreography” on a per-project basis.
The 28-year-old has been named the seventh recipient of the $300,000 Gilmore Artist award, for which you can’t apply or even be told that you’re a candidate. Blechacz is in exalted company: his predecessors include Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Ingrid Fliter and Kirill Gerstein.
“The result: the ‘MLA Subconference,’ organized with the chief aim of confronting loudly and bluntly, the very real problems crippling higher education today, from the adjunct labor crisis to ballooning student tuition. The subconference ‘shadows’ MLA by being held in the same city, one day before the established convention begins.”
Conservative pundit Heather Mac Donald: “Until 2011, students majoring in English at UCLA had to take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one in Milton – the cornerstones of English literature.” But no more. “What happened at UCLA is part of a momentous shift that bears on our relationship to the past – and to civilization itself.”
“Literature students have a brand new ‘classic’ to study: the Political Correctness Killed Shakespeare article.” Rebecca Schuman offers a take-down of Heather Mac Donald’s jeremiad.
“To a guy like me, a laugh is full of information. The timbre of it, the shape of it, the length of it – there’s so much information in a laugh. A lot of times, you could play me just the laughs from my set and I could tell you, from the laugh, what the joke was. Because they match.”