Obama Arts Budget – Meh…


“President Obama’s proposed federal budget for the coming 2014-15 fiscal year would lift spending 3.5% overall for the six main federal arts and culture agencies but provide no increase for the three grant-making bodies that disburse money to nonprofit groups outside Washington, D.C.”

The Vienna Philharmonic’s Difficulty With Change


“Viennese insist that theirs is an open, diverse, and liberal society, but their cultural envoy to the world is a living reliquary of long-ago revolutions. The orchestra lingers on those periods when the city was at the vanguard of musical culture, issuing a constant rat-tat-tat of shocks.”

Italy Says It Will Release Money For Saving Pompeii


Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said he was “unblocking many measures which will get the machine working”. He added the EU could be “sure that Italy is taking care of Pompeii, both in terms of emergency measures and in the long term”.

How “Brand” Impacts The Book Business


“One view in the publishing industry is that bestseller lists are the product of a skill-based meritocracy. But the reality is that the popular perception of a book itself is colored by the strength of the author’s brand. When we view bestseller list, part of what we’re seeing is a brand ranking.”

China’s Import Ban Distorts The Art Market


“Chinese ministries continue to demand high fees for tightly controlled, often highly censored, travelling exhibitions. The only result of the ban is that US citizens and institutions cannot import or collect items traded freely in other parts of the world, including in mainland China and Hong Kong.”

Oscar-Nominated Doc About Indonesia’s Mass Murders Fails To Stir Up Indonesia

The Act of Killing

Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, about the killing of half a million people following a failed 1965 coup against Suharto, has won a slew of awards and lots of attention seemingly everywhere but Indonesia, where even the Oscar nomination was largely ignored. (The massacres are still an extremely sensitive subject there.)

Soderbergh Mashes Up the Two ‘Psycho’s


“Last week, Steven Soderbergh – retired from filmmaking, but still with many tricks up his sleeve – posted, on his Web site, a feature-length mashup version of Psycho that splices together the Hitchcock classic and Gus Van Sant’s shot-by-shot remake. … At the film’s violent junctures, … Soderbergh overlays the two versions, creating a disorienting blur of Hitchcock’s horror and its latter-day identical twin. (includes video excerpt)

Turning Rodin and Claudel Sculptures Into Dance

Rodin Claudel

Choreographer Peter Quanz: “I decided to make a group of dancers – which I’ve called sculptures, like a Greek chorus that is omnipresent through the ballet. At one point they are mud and they are born out of the mud. … I use those sculptures as a way to articulate my viewpoint on the relationships throughout the ballet.”