Ai WeiWei’s Dissident Prison (Alcatraz)

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“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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Rob Ford Musical Will Go On, Cancer Or No Cancer

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“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

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

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“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

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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

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

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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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Getty Foundation Launches Program To Fund Conservation Of Modern Architectural Landmarks

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“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

Amazon Becomes A Big Player In Hollywood

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

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“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?

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“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…)

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“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

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“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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Stratford Festival To Offer Shakespeare In Movie Theaters And On TV

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“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

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“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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