“Interviews with six of the museum’s 40-person development team reveal that it’s a mix of art, science and alchemy.”
Judging from the seven events I saw this year, OBF 2018 was below the standards of years past. Nothing distinguished it from an ordinary lineup of classical fare. No artistic vision unified the schedule or oversaw the standards of performance. Engaging with how a particular conductor thinks about music was no longer possible for devoted audience members. Following that conductor’s musical talent (first Rilling, then Halls) from year to year and piece to piece has been the most important feature of OBF. With the absence of a world-class musician heading the festival, I felt a profound artistic void.
“Fakir Musafar first found pleasure in pain as a teenager named Roland Loomis in his family’s basement in the mid-1940s. It was the beginning of a lifelong passion for piercing, branding, tattooing, suspension, corseting and other outré practices that he would come to call ‘body play.’ After years of conducting these activities in secret, away from society’s judgmental gaze, he changed his professional name and became a performance artist and passionate body-play advocate.”
There have been Christian churches in what is now the state of Kerala for at least 1,600 years, but the ones that have been built there in recent decades are a wild combination of Le Corbusier modernism, tropical Art Deco, SoCal commercial, and maybe even some Bollywood and Vegas thrown in. (slideshow)
“Classical music aficionados: Go away. This article is not for you. Instead, it is for everyone who sees classical music as a private club and who feels they’re standing outside the clubhouse.”
“When Darrin Webb, a bookkeeper for Donadio & Olson, pled guilty to embezzling over $3.3 million from the literary agency late last month, it seemed like a bizarre episode in the industry was reaching a close. Webb’s theft, which leaves a storied agency facing the possibility of bankruptcy and a cadre of authors with holes in their bank accounts, was, by all industry accounts, an aberration. The tale, though, may not be over, as a lawyer is considering taking action against the firm and could file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the authors affected.”
It’s a nice myth, and one of long standing, but myth it is, writes linguist Chi Luu. For one thing, language has no more remained static in Appalachia than it has anywhere else, and there has been migration in and out of the region, especially in the last century. Luu looks at the myths around Appalachian dialects and draws a connection with African-American Vernacular English.
Journalist Alina Cohen looks at four photographers’ projects – street hustlers in L.A., high schoolers in a Southern town where the proms were still segregated, victims of the 1963 Birmingham (AL) church bombing, and small-town Irish teens on the day before their 18th birthday – and talks to the photographers about their obligations to their subjects.
“Breathless and behind schedule, Dr. Linda Dahl rushed into the waiting room of her office on East 56th Street in Manhattan where two patients, handsome men with chiseled physiques, waited. ‘Someone once asked me, ‘What’s with your patients? They’re all gorgeous,” she said later with a laugh.”
The sign, a pictograph for a road crossing showing elderly people being carried by children, was installed in the English town of Clevedon (not far from the secretive artist’s presumed hometown, Bristol) sometime early Friday. By Friday evening it was gone. There’s no indication of whether the artist, authorities, or vandals removed it.
The cartoon character, aimed squarely at young children in Britain, somehow got a “gangsta” vibe in China, thanks to meme-minded internet users with Photoshop. The Chinese Communist Party, disapproving of gangstas, blocked the unfortunate ungulate on several large websites this year. Now the film unit of Alibaba (China’s Amazon) is reclaiming Peppa Pig for wholesomeness with a New Year-themed movie for kids.
Stephen Langridge, currently director of music and drama at the opera house in Gothenburg, Sweden (and son of the late tenor Philip Langridge and mezzo Ann Murray), will join the festival in early 2019.
In Moses, a production of the Bavarian State Opera’s youth program and cast with a mixture of recent refugees, the children of immigrants to Germany, and native Bavarians, and set to “a mixture of new music by Benedikt Brachtel and adapted excerpts from Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto, the teenagers tell the story of Moses — common ground for followers of the Bible, Torah and Quran — with Brechtian interludes about refugee experiences and current events.”
“It begins with the Greek myth of Europa and the bull carved in stone and it ends with the Brexit promise of Vote Leave on an official campaign T-shirt. Both items find their place in the House of European History, an EU-funded museum [in Brussels] that aims to tell the story of a continent. … But those seeking details on the French Revolution, or the life and times of Winston Churchill, will be disappointed. ‘The harshest criticisms comes from those who expected to see their national heroes,’ says [the director].”
The ticketing operator said Get Me In! and Seatwave – two of the UK’s four largest reselling sites – will be replaced by a new fan-to-fan ticket exchange service. The decision has already been hailed as a major commitment by the industry to combat online touts, which use secondary marketplaces to resell tickets for entertainment and sports events at highly inflated prices.
This is a moment to be savored, even as we sound new notes of care and caution about the speed, nature and range of these changes. Part of this process involves getting used to the alien nature and pervasive reach of the many new subintelligences that now surround us. These are the algorithms that talk with us, that watch us, that trade for us, that select dates for us, that suggest what we might buy, sell, or wear. They are the algorithms that pool information about us, and that will slowly permeate the full range of human-built environments, from bridges to roads to cities and more minor intelligent devices.
AMA has been shared by various Facebook pages worldwide, and often with vague titles like “Dancing Underwater !!” and “Wooowww Amazing Dance.” Perhaps the most shared iteration was posted by Feel Desain, an online magazine, which, according to its page is “updated daily with the latest and coolest news.” That particular post has garnered more than 19 million views and upwards of 372,000 shares. As if only the “coolest” parts matter, Feel Desain’s version is truncated, cutting off the first two minutes before Gautier is fully immersed in the pool.
The authors say that “there is cultural activity taking place in non-city centre areas that are perceived to be barren, undesirable places to live and not common destinations to engage in cultural activity.” They believe the research demonstrates that “this activity has an audience that is interested and willing to engage, and that the venues not only generate audiences within their local communities but also contribute to the movement of audiences across and into the city.”
A survey by ART31, a network of arts groups for young people facilitated by the University of Kent, found anxiety to be the biggest barrier of all among young people aged 10 and 25. Its report says: “It seems likely that this is related to joining a new group or attending a new venue, but it may also be about fear of failure.”
Recent research suggests that experiencing not-so-happy feelings actually promotes psychological wellbeing. A study published in the journal Emotion in 2016 took 365 German participants aged 14 to 88… The team found that the link between negative mental states and poor emotional and physical health was weaker in individuals who considered negative moods as useful. Indeed, negative moods correlated with low life satisfaction only in people who did not perceive adverse feelings as helpful or pleasant.
Leonardo appears to have been unhappy with his handiwork, periodically refining the painting, started in 1503, until shortly before his death. Maybe that’s the biggest reason Leonardo lives so durably in the culture some five centuries after his death. He clearly saw himself—and, by extension, us—as an eternal work in progress.
A look at the Art Institute of Chicago’s major summer exhibition, John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age.
Joseph Horowitz writes about the program he devised for the Brevard Music Festival about the second of the Leonard Bernstein-New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts: “What Makes Music American?”
Karrin Allyson, Some Of That Sunshine (kasrecords)
She wrote all 13 songs on this album, and it sounds as if she had the time of her life recording them.
JD Allen, Lovestone (Savant)
Allen is a successor to the great tenor saxophonist Ben Webster in terms of adoring both the melody and the lyric. He never strays far the songs’ spirits, keeping them alive with allusions to the melodies during his improvisations.
Before he died, Kafka had written a letter to Max Brod, who found it when he went to clear out Kafka’s desk. In this “last will,” Kafka instructed Brod to burn all his manuscripts, including his letters and diaries. But Brod, who admired Kafka to the point of idolatry, refused to carry out his friend’s wishes. Instead, he devoted the rest of his life to editing, publishing, and promoting Kafka’s work—even writing a novel about him, in which Kafka was thinly disguised as a character named Richard Garta. In this way, Brod ensured not only Kafka’s immortality, but his own. Though Brod himself was a successful and prolific writer, today he is remembered almost exclusively for his role in Kafka’s story.
“State-of-the-art results are not the exclusive domain of big companies,” says Jeremy Howard, one of Fast.ai’s founders and a prominent AI entrepreneur. Howard and his cofounder, Rachel Thomas, created Fast.ai to make AI more accessible and less exclusive.
The aggressive move toward original programming is having a palpable effect on content available to subscribers and reflects Netflix’s ambition to dominate Hollywood. The Los Gatos, Calif., company has already upended traditional distribution models and is now lessening its reliance on content from competing studios to fill its direct-to-consumer pipeline. But this change could also pose challenges for Netflix as it licenses fewer of the popular titles that have played a crucial role in retaining subscribers.
Jeff Jarvis: The banning of Infowars from most major platforms is a sign of that process beginning to work. Civilization is winning, at last. Alex Jones went too far and the public, empowered by the same tools of social media he exploited, told the platforms that his behavior is unacceptable in a civilized society. The platforms—like media and like regulators—might prefer to start with a set of rules that can be enforced by government, by social-media managers, or by algorithms. But that’s not how we negotiate our standards.
In many ways, the Bernstein family’s experience mirrored that of other Jewish immigrants to the Boston area in the early 20th century. This was the immigrant experience — ups and downs, hopes and disappointments — on steroids.