Issues

You Can’t “Habit” Your Way Into Making Good Art

creative-mind

“There is no secret ingredient to artistic success; no magic routine for producing art. Copying Joan Didion’s routine won’t make you write like Joan Didion. Writing on index cards won’t turn you into Vladimir Nabokov. We are all more than the pattern of our days and the materials of our work.”

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An Artists’ Boycott Of Putin’s Russia Could Backfire

A scene from Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. The choreographer has announced it will not be touring Russ

Judith Mackrell: “[If] artists move towards the blanket boycott [Jonathan] Jones has advocated, life can only get harder for all those artists opposed to Putin and his politics. It can only restrict their dialogue with the wider art scene and push them back towards the old cold war-era isolation.”

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The Kept Women Of 18th-Century Paris, And The Police Who Kept Tabs On Them

kept women of Paris - Pompadour

Europe’s first vice squad “compiled vast dossiers of information on the city’s elite sex workers and their patrons. But they rarely acted on that information. To this day, it remains a mystery why the Parisian police spent so much time and effort observing an underground economy it apparently had no interest in curtailing. But their […]

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Simon Brault Named New Head Of Canada Council For The Arts

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“Brault, CEO of the National Theatre School in Montreal, a former vice-chair of the Canada Council’s board and a co-founder of Quebec’s annual Journées de la culture (Culture Days), will assume the job June 26 for a five-year term, the Canada Council said in a news release.”

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L.A. Moves To Unfreeze $7.5M In Frozen Arts Money

la tied up arts money

The funds, from a levy on developers to pay for public art and/or performance, have been accruing unspent since a 2007 City Attorney ruling that the money had to be spent within one block of the construction that generated it – which, depending on the location, isn’t always realistic.

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Passover, The Jewish Holiday For Goyim

Passover

“Every spring, restaurants, churches, and student organizations invite non-Jews to relive the Israelites’ exodus from bondage. How did such an exclusive feast come to have seats for so many different faiths? … Does it dilute the real essence of Passover to turn the seder into a general celebration of freedom and a call for universal […]

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New Rules For New Technology – We Need ‘Em

Friends, smartphones

“The hybridization of ourselves and our technologies, and the political and economic struggle around this process, threatens to destabilize some qualities of our intimate lives that are also among the core foundations of our civil and moral society: freedom, trust, empathy, forgiveness, forgetting, attention.”

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Say Goodbye To The American Folk Museum’s Façade

MOMAfolkmuseum

“On Monday, scaffolding and protective netting will begin to go up around the folk art building, at 45 West 53rd Street,” according to MoMA. “The building’s facade will be removed first, panel by panel, and taken to storage. Its future remains uncertain. Demolition is expected to continue through the summer.”

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We’re Number One! We’re Number… 39?

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“While the U.S. enjoys the second highest per capita GDP of $45,336, it ranks in an underperforming 16th place overall. It gets worse. The U.S. ranks 70th in health, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal safety.”

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UK Appoints New Culture Secretary (Very Quickly)

Sajid Javid

Not 24 hours after Maria Miller resigned over an expenses scandal, prime minister David Cameron appointed merchant banker and Treasury official Sajid Javid, 44, as the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Equalities.

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Funder United States Artists (USA) Moves From LA To Chicago

Carolina-Jayaram

“Every year, USA awards grants of $50,000 each to 50 artists from eight disciplines, from architecture and writing to visual art. Since 2005, 350 artists have been the lucky (OK, meritorious) recipients of this largesse, in part thanks to a nearly threefold increase in the organization’s endowment in nine years, as well as the backing […]

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Analysis Of Online Restaurant Reviews: Here’s What Sways the Judges

Restaurant

“The results can be surprising. The diners’ education levels? No effect on actual ratings. Population of the area? Again, not so much. But reviewers consistently gave worse ratings when it was raining or snowing outside than when it was clear. And reviewers usually liked restaurants better on warm and cool days, rather than very hot […]

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Why Do Toys Have To Be So Identified By Gender?

pink muscle toys.

“Campaigns such as Let Toys Be Toys in the United Kingdom have expressed frustration at the way manufacturers and shops have increasingly restricted the interests of girls to the narrow domain between the twin pink pillars of femininity—being caring and being pretty—while the broader, “different colored” terrain is for boys.”

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De Blasio Picks Queens Museum Director As New York’s Next Cultural-Affairs Commissioner

finkelpearl

Tom Finkelpearl “served under Mayor David Dinkins and Mayor Rudy Giuliani as director of New York City’s Percent for Art program, which supports artwork in city-funded construction projects. Later, as deputy director of the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, Queens, he helped broker the merger of P.S.1 and the Museum of Modern […]

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Of Artists And Politics (What’s Their Responsibility?)

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“Do artists have a special responsibility to speak out about injustice? Or do artists contribute best to social welfare by the practice of their art, and that alone? This issue is pertinent in classical music, because the field is considered, for better or worse, a high art with a mystique of gravitas and enlightenment.”

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We Still Need You, Monuments Men!

bring back the Monuments Men

Bonnie Burnham, president of the World Monuments Fund, argues that the Middle East in particular – especially Syria – needs the help of those heroic men and women to save the region’s irreplaceable cultural heritage.

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Humanists And The Meaning Of Stories

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“Humanists have paid a heavy price for their shrinking act. We are more or less ignored now by both the general public and our colleagues in the natural sciences, whose disciplines, of course, make no sense at all outside of universal observations, and who often work from bold cosmic visions, wildly counterintuitive models (think ghostlike […]

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The Age of the Weaponized Hashtag (#CancelColbert)

hashtag activism

“Twitter may be the most powerful amplifier for individual voices that history has ever seen. Messages that resonate accrue retweets and co-signatories, a shout builds into a roar, and a roar into a revolution. … And as a mechanism for generating a groundswell of opinion, it’s as dangerous as it is potent.”

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