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  • Why Net Neutrality Is Important For Artists And Arts Organizations

    “Net neutrality is about how access to our society’s living archive should be governed. Do we want monied interests to be making that decision, or us, the users? The value of the web is how easy it is to share with anyone what we make; whether it’s a business, an artwork, or academic research.”

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    Researchers: Here’s Why We Care About Original Art Work More Than Reproductions

    A team of scholars led by George Newman of Yale University argues that “art is seen as a physical extension of the self, and imbued with the person’s soul/essence.” That being the case, the researchers write in the journal Topics in Cognitive Science, “the original possesses an essence that cannot be duplicated.”

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    If Theatre Is Going To Be Relevant, It Needs Better Technology

    “We need technology to be fully focused on how to improve the live experience. Like: Get me to my seat faster, make the actors more excited, give me stuff that makes being in the venue better. I don’t think live events are going anywhere. I’ve doubled down. This is my business and my life, but we’re becoming irrelevant because we have to figure out how to remain relevant in peoples’ lives. And technology is a part of that.”

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    Philadelphia Loses 10,000 Maurice Sendak Items (Here’s What’s Really Being Lost)

    “Leaders from the Rosenbach and the Free Library of Philadelphia – the two merged in 2013 – are not surprised to see the Sendak material leaving. In visits with him in his last years, Rosenbach staffers heard him talk more and more about a museum and study center devoted to his life and work.”

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    Why An Old(er) Lady Dances

    “I may not kick or jump as high as I used to, but I am a trained dancer with body movement memory, a sense of rhythm, an ability to get every routine and never miss a beat. Besides, I have a hell of a time doing it.”

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    What Makes Good Acting? (It’s Not Objective)

    “If anyone tells you there are objective standards, they’re full of crap. This is a matter of personal taste. There are trends. There are many people who loved Philip Seymour Hoffman’s acting. But if you don’t, you’re not wrong. At worst, you’re eccentric.”

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    New York Jazz Musicians In Poverty As They Get Older

    “The sad truth is that some of the most talented musicians in the world have playing at the most famous clubs in the U.S. and now, as they retire, they are literally destitute.”

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    This Year’s Gramophone Classical Awards

    Here are the best recordings of the year as chosen by the magazine.

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    Ai WeiWei’s Dissident Prison (Alcatraz)

    “Given Mr. Ai’s sharp critiques of the Chinese government and the tireless campaigning for freedom of expression that led to his own imprisonment in 2011, he could have included himself in the group portrait. He did not.”

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    Butterfly Lands On Contestant In International Flute Competition, And…

    “As Ota played Pierrre Sancan’s Sonatine for the judges, a butterfly first landed in her hair and then settled on her left eyebrow as she continued to perform. Only a brief glance upward belied her complete concentration as the insect opened and closed its wings.”

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    Who Killed “American Psycho”? Hungry Producers, That’s Who

    “Two veteran Broadway producers helped torpedo an Off Broadway theater’s premiere of the high-profile musical American Psycho and are now in talks to bring it directly to Broadway next fall.”

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    Rob Ford Musical Will Go On, Cancer Or No Cancer

    “The mostly sold out production of Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of a Ford Nation will open as planned Thursday night, regardless of Wednesday’s health update” that the embattled Toronto mayor has cancer. (They’ve changed the ending, though.)

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    ABT Launches YouTube Channel

    “The current videos show interviews with dancers as well as discussions about preperformance rituals, competition in the ballet world and the need for perseverance in a dancer’s career. There are also behind-the-scenes glimpses of company classes and rehearsals.”

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    Museums Should Have A One-Hour Daily Ban On Selfies, Says Arts Council England Chair

    Peter Bazalgette: “I’m completely in favour [of allowing photography in museums]. … Let’s allow it, but let’s have each gallery have an hour a day where it’s like the quiet carriage on the train.”

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    Edinburgh Int’l Film Fest Suddenly Needs A New Artistic Director

    “The departure of Chris Fujiwara has left the event facing a race against time to find a replacement after the Japanese-American author and critic decided to leave with another year left on his contract.”

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    Future Ennui: Technology Advances Aren’t Exciting Anymore, They’re Just …

    “Change is exciting, but it can also be exhausting. And for the first time in a long time, reactions to the Apple Watch reveal seem to underscore exhaustion as much as excitement. But even these skeptical replies question the watch’s implementation, rather than express lethargy at the prospect of living in the world it might bestow on us.”

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    Alison Bechdel’s Excellent, Wonderful Year

    She got a fellowship to an artists’ retreat in Italy; the play based on her memoir Fun Home won rafts of award nominations, was a Pulitzer finalist, and became a minor cause célèbre in South Carolina; the “Bechdel test” became common currency in movie circles – and then she got a MacArthur award. (includes video)

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    Why You Should Read Alison Bechdel’s Old Comic Strip

    “Just as Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series wended its leisurely, funny and warm way through the evolving gay and transgender communities in San Francisco, Dykes to Watch Out For dives deep into a fictional lesbian community, considering the impact of transgender politics, marriage and even the death of independent bookstores on her characters. … Did I mention that the strip is fabulous, funny reading?”

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    There’s One Place Where They’re Still Buying CDs

    “Around the world, the music business has shifted toward downloads and streaming. But in Japan, the compact disc is still king” – and Tower Records still has 85 stores.

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    Finally, Playwriting Awards Are Going To People Who Want To Write Plays (And Not Hollywood Scripts)

    Charles McNulty: “Don’t look now, but a positive trend seems to be developing: A bumper crop of talented American playwrights more interested in artistic expression than commercial validation is being recognized with the most prestigious awards and lucrative fellowships available.” Exhibit A: the MacArthur Fellowship that just went to Samuel D. Hunter.

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    Decision On Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial Design Put Off Again (They Couldn’t Get A Quorum)

    “With only five of its 12 members in attendance, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission could not resolve a major design decision Wednesday, forcing another delay in the controversial project.”

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    Getty Foundation Launches Program To Fund Conservation Of Modern Architectural Landmarks

    “The Getty Foundation has announced a major new conservation initiative for modern architecture, funding work on 10 landmark designs around the world including Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House in Australia, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in Chicago and the Ray and Charles Eames residence in Pacific Palisades.”

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    Top Posts From AJBlogs 09.17.14

    Wellbeing and how to fund the arts
    AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-09-17

    Here’s What Art Museums Need: A Selfie Ban
    AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-09-18

    4X4 Baroque Music Festival: Bach’s subversive multiple messages
    AJBlog: Condemned to Music | Published 2014-09-17

    Who Still Buys CDs?
    AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-09-17

    Guggenheim Helsinki Gets 1,715 Architectural Submissions (with no assurance it can proceed)
    AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-09-17

    Being Local
    AJBlog: Engaging Matters | Published 2014-09-17

    An Idea To Encourage New Musicals In Chicago

    “The idea behind the project is to create a seed organization that exposes new musical works to producers, directors and the public.”

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    Meet This Year’s MacArthur Genius Arts Recipients

    There are six of them…

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    Amazon Becomes A Big Player In Hollywood

    “Like other online video services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle and YouTube, Amazon has been investing heavily in original programming to grab some business from traditional networks and cable channels.”

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    Last Summer’s Matisse Show Was The Tate’s Most Popular Show Of All Time. So What Makes A Popular Show?

    “This summer 562,622 people visited the exhibition (exact figures of how many suggested that their children could have been responsible for them remain unclear, although it appeared to be a common enough observation).”

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    So Big Data Will Make Us Better? There’s A Flaw… Us!

    “Data analytics in support of human decision making, however, has one flaw — the human. This weak link in the data-driven agility chain becomes apparent as we move to Big Data: as the data grow so too do the results of the analyses, and yet people have a limited attention span and with it, the ability to process information. It doesn’t matter how wonderful the reports your newfangled Big Data tool generate if no one has the time or predilection to read them — or even worse, understand them.”

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    How Are Our Online Relationships Impacting Our Real World Interactions?

    “For something so prevalent in our society, there is surprisingly little conclusive research on how social media affects our offline relationships. Yes, there have been articles proclaiming the downfall of personal relationships because of social media, but there have also been studies arguing that social networking leads to greater amounts of personal interaction.”

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    The World’s Art Online (And So The Museums…)

    “The 15 newcomers will be joining more than 500 partners from over 60 countries who already have put online more than 6.2 million objects and artifacts. Art lovers around the world are clicking to show their appreciation. The Google Cultural Institute had more than 19 million unique visitors from June 2013 to June 2014, and they generated 200 million page views in just one year.”

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    Canada’s Prestigious Giller Prize Doubles To $140,000

    “Founder Jack Rabinovitch announced Tuesday that the Scotiabank Giller Prize is now worth $140,000. The winner will get $100,000 and the other four finalists $10,000. It represents a doubling of the prize and makes it the highest payout for a literary prize in Canada, richer even than Britain’s Man Booker Prize of 50,000 pounds (about $89,000 Canadian).”

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    Report: Majority Of UK Musicians Work Without Contracts

    “Nearly 70% of musicians accept work without a written contract, a survey by industry body the Incorporated Society of Musicians has shown.”

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    Should Arts Groups That Offer Audience Participation Get Priority In Funding?

    A UK parliamentary report, “called Wellbeing in Four Policy Areas, recommends that subsidy for these types of activities – such as taking part in a dance or singing workshop – should be improved as they increase wellbeing for participants.”

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    Chopin’s Preserved Heart Indicates What Might Have Killed Him

    “Polish medical experts say that the preserved heart of 19th century composer Frederic Chopin shows signs of tuberculosis and possibly some other lung disease.”

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    San Francisco Is Pricing Out Teachers, Artists… (And What Does That Mean For City Life?)

    “Is a teacher who can’t afford to live in the city any more or less worthy than an artist? We need to adopt a more holistic approach and think beyond class and occupation. We need to work in partnership with colleagues from every sector.”

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    Stephen Adly Guirgis Wins $200K Steinberg Playwrighting Award

    “With their abrasive characters and often profane language, the plays of Stephen Adley Guirgis aren’t crowdpleasers in the conventional sense. The New York playwright specializes in chronicling the rougher side of city life, and has earned critical raves and a Tony Award nomination for his work.”

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    Stratford Festival To Offer Shakespeare In Movie Theaters And On TV

    “As the first installment of a long-term project, in which the festival hopes to document its productions of the entire Shakespeare canon, three of this year’s stagings will be filmed in HD. The films will be screened in cinemas around the world in 2015 and television broadcasts by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will follow, as will on-demand digital releases.”

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    Martin Amis’s Latest Book Rejected By German, French Publishers

    “In France, they say they’re puzzled by the humor. In Germany, they say it will be difficult to market. Martin Amis’s latest novel, The Zone of Interest, a satire set in a concentration camp during the Second World War, is having trouble gaining traction in Europe, where his longtime French and German publishers have rejected it.”

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    Matisse Show At Tate Modern Breaks Attendance Records

    “Newly published figures showed that Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs received 562,622 visitors, surpassing the Matisse Picasso exhibition of 2002, the previous record holder at 467,166, and the Damien Hirst exhibition of 2012, with 463,087.” (The show opens at MoMA in New York next month.)

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    Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial May Lose Most Of Its Gehry-Ness (Including Gehry Himself)

    “The project faces a major crossroad this week over its controversial Frank Gehry design, which uses woven steel tapestries strung on 80-foot columns to depict the modest Kansas roots of the decorated soldier and statesman. The Eisenhower Memorial Commission on Wednesday will review two approaches, including one that removes most of these elements. If that plan is selected, Gehry informed the commission, he will ask for his name to removed.”

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    Prada Marfa Is Saved

    The artists Elmgreen & Dragset, who built the installation in 2005 on a highway about 40 miles from the art town of Marfa, Texas, “wanted the mock-up store, the size of shack but with Prada shoes and bags inside, to be a critique of the luxury goods industry. But it was threatened when it was deemed an illegal roadside advertisement.”

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    2014 MacArthur Fellows Include Alison Bechdel, Joshua Oppenheimer, Samuel D. Hunter, Terrance Hayes, And A Poetry Translator(!)

    Cartoonist/graphic memoirist Bechdel (Fun Home), Oscar-nominated documentarian Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing), playwright Hunter (The Whale), poet Hayes (Lighthead, Arabic poetry translator Khaled Mattawa, jazz saxophonist/composer Steve Coleman, artist/Project Row Houses founder Rick Lowe, nd their fellow “geniuses” win five-year, $625,000 grants.

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    “Three Tenors” Impresario Tibor Rudas Dead At 94

    The former opera singer and Holocaust survivor “made a name for himself in the United States by bringing Las Vegas-style brio to performances by highbrow artists. He presented the New York Philharmonic in an Atlantic City casino and produced large outdoor concerts for other classical artists at the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Super Dome and other unconventional venues.”

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    Misty Copeland’s Long, Strange Journey

    “Copeland’s proceeding along a kind of inevitable music-box destiny, but her path to becoming a star ballerina has been as dramatic, unlikely, and hinged on coincidence as the plots of most ballets – the ones that have plots, anyway.”

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    Netflix Launches In France, Beginning European Expansion

    Despite opposition from French telecom providers worried about competition l’exception culturelle, Netflix began service in France this week, with Germany and Belgium being added later this month. The company has a partnership with one large French ISP (Bouygues) and has already commissioned one original French series.

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    Adulthood Is Not Dying In American Culture – It’s Just Starting To Bloom

    Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Walter White – “Each of these tragic exemplars of ‘adulthood’ is destroyed exactly because of his failure to behave like an adult. … In the main they are frauds who merely assume the trappings of ‘adulthood’ in order to participate in a society that would reject them if it knew the truth. … It’s not to do with having ‘killed off all the grown-ups’ as [A.O.] Scott has it: quite the contrary. It’s adulthood defined for the audience by its very absence on the screen.”

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    If Adulthood Is Dying In American Culture, It’s The Modern Economy That’s Killing It

    Andrew O’Hehir: “Well, if [A.O.] Scott gets to play frustrated English professor in his article, I get to play former college Marxist in mine … There really is something beneath his ‘death of adulthood’ premise, whether or not you like the prejudicial phrase. But to coin a phrase: It’s the economy, stupid.”

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    A Feeling of Control: How America Can Finally Learn to Deal With Its Impulses

    “The ability to delay gratification has been held up as the one character trait to rule them all – the key to academic success, financial security, and social well-being. … Which lends a kind of overpowering weight to the question: If self-control is so important, how are we supposed to achieve it?” Sheer willpower, it’s turning out, isn’t the best approach.

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    It’s The Little Annoyances That’ll Really Kill You

    “The godawful commute. The fight you had with your partner this morning. The kitchen sink that won’t stop leaking. Minor annoyances? Maybe. But these little, everyday hassles can add up and may be as likely to do you in as the bigger, more serious stressors in life, like divorce or job loss, according to new research.”

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    David Lynch Thinks No One Will Ever Agree On What “Eraserhead” Is About

    “No one, to my knowledge, has ever seen the film the way I see it. The interpretation of what it’s all about has never been my interpretation.” (But what’s scary: “I love the world of Eraserhead. I would love to live in that world.”)

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