“It was singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie who, early in 2017 at outset of the Canada 150 hoopla that offended many Indigenous people, counselled everyone to “Keep calm and decolonize.” But what exactly does that mean? After centuries of contact, can you really tease apart the threads of settler and Indigenous culture?”
“Underneath a nonjudgmental relativism, Bloom saw a creeping nihilism: believing that all judgments of value had equal weight, the students ended up not believing or aspiring to much of anything at all. As a result, they no longer aspired to learn the truth, but rather to be “open-minded.” Incapable of treating moral questions and culture as anything other than matters of personal preference, they couldn’t be bothered to take seriously the task of self-reinvention that their education demanded of them.”
“Under the current rules, taxpayers can subtract the year’s charitable gifts from their income, reducing the amount of earnings that are subject to tax. President Trump’s proposal for a higher ‘standard deduction’, adopted by both the House and Senate bills, could mean that many taxpayers who currently deduct charitable gifts will no longer be able to do so, which could reduce the tax incentive for donating art and money to museums. While museum donors probably will not stop giving as a result, they may give less.”
“In the 20th century, porches couldn’t compete with TV and air conditioning. Now this classic feature of American homes is staging a comeback as something more stylish and image-conscious than ever before.”
“Think the Bay Area’s arts ecosystem is in trouble now? Imagine what it would be like without the Rainin and Hewlett foundations.”
“‘We are going to switch from being building-based to being project-based,’ [Painted Bride] executive director Laurel Raczka said Monday. … The organization is not having any particularly stressful financial problems at this time, Raczka said. Rather, the decision to free itself from the building is driven by a desire to serve the city’s younger artists and audiences in a way that makes sense.”
Sure, Hobby Lobby president Steve Green, the museum’s major funder, is an evangelical activist. Yet, writes Will Saletan, if you pay attention to the wall texts and exhibits, you’ll find that they allow for both ambiguity and ambivalence, not to mention the Bible’s borrowings from other religions.
Slate resident Interrogator Isaac Chotiner talks to Kevin Young, author of Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, about “what inspired his book idea (it wasn’t Trump), whether con men ever believe their own nonsense, and why people are willing to believe some hoaxes more than others.”
Researchers found “Conservatism is associated with lower appreciation of both irony and exaggeration.” Indeed, among the personality aspects they considered, the only ones that played a role in humor appreciation were one’s sense of humor (obviously) and the aforementioned enjoyment of intellectual pursuits.
Seth Godin: “I know why we used to do it. We used to do it because a lecture is a thoughtful exposition, a reasoned, researched argument that delivers a lot of information in a fairly condensed period of time. And before technology, the best way to deliver that exposition was to do it live. But now?”
That’s right, it’s 2017, so authors like Philip Pullman and Marjorie Blackman have to send frantic letters to their government, begging them to fund school libraries. “The letter highlights how England has lower rates of teenage literacy than other developed nations, according to international rankings. And it claims there is a general decline in the number of books issued to children, adding there has not been a related increase in electronic books.”
Adidas, DeutscheBank, Mars, Cadbury, Lidl and more have pulled ads entirely from YouTube after The Times of London discovered that “the marketers’ ads had run in videos with young girls in underwear, doing the splits, and rolling around in bed — which included sexually inappropriate comments posted by viewers.”
“Wrestling with what to do with the product of tainted executives, artists or news figures is not that far from the eternal issue of how (or even whether) to separate our views of art from our views of the artists. Wagner was blatantly anti-Semitic. Alfred Hitchcock abused actresses who worked for him, so openly that you can see his dysfunctional psychosexual power dynamics right onscreen. Roman Polanski was convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old, but does that mean “Rosemary’s Baby” should have been pulled from circulation?”
The Government has been advised to discontinue the selection process for the five bidding cities – Belfast, Dundee, Nottingham, Milton Keynes and Leeds – “immediately”. The DCMS said it is “deeply disappointed” with the decision and is in “urgent discussions” with the European Commission on the matter.
Well, it was hard – possibly worse than anyone had advised.
“The Russian government’s annual St Petersburg International Cultural Forum (16-18 November) set off a new round of debate about the state of artistic freedom in Russia, with officials saying it is flourishing and a model for the world and the liberal intelligentsia saying it is under attack.”
“People who see themselves as chronically denied power appear to have a stronger desire to feel powerful, and are more likely to use sexual aggression toward that end,” writes a research team led by psychologist Melissa Williams of Emory University. “Power can indeed create opportunities for sexual aggression, but it is those who chronically experience low power who will choose to exploit such opportunities.”
“The latest edition, updated to include figures from 2014/15 and 2015/16, found that local government funding for the arts, per person, “continues to crash”, falling by 15 points since the index was last published. It has dropped by more than a third since the index began in 2007/08 – the most dramatic drop among the 20 indicators.”
Local arts agencies, be they county, city or state need to make a connection with the owners / planners of the smart cities projects, and make the case for their inclusion in the decision making process. We need to provide strong evidence of our value, and, more than that, make a case with media and the public that no city without an arts component in both the planning and execution is truly “smart” in any sense of the word.
“Organisations often argue they simply can’t afford to pay the living wage, even if they aspire to – and that creating low or no pay opportunities is better than creating none. While this may be a blunt reality for some, we should be under no illusions that this does anything other than exacerbate the sector’s lack of diversity.”
For Andreas Görgen, a global approach to cultural policy has two aims: to promote German culture abroad and to give foreign museums access to the collections and scholarship of German institutions. “We should be willing to free things from the context of our collections and to let other curators look at them and deal with them in their own context, which might give a completely different interpretation,” he says. He is also interested in the potential of digitisation, and how virtual reality can allow objects to be shown without travelling.
“Amazon has gradually eliminated the human factor. In the early years it employed people to write reviews of the books it sold; now there isn’t even mediation in the process of making up and placing a self-published book on the network. It has robotized the chain of distribution and wants us, the consumers, to perform similarly.”
Maria Contreras-Sweet ran the Small Business Administration, and now she’s wants to run a big business – the scandal-laden, struggling Weinstein Co. Or at least that’s what she said in her surprise bid: “I believe we have now reached a crossroads where it is imperative that a woman-led board acquire control of the company and create content that continues to inspire audiences around the world.”
Amazon had already been considering writing his character, around whom the entire series is focused, out of the fifth season in response to the allegations by a former assistant and a co-star. Part of Tambor’s statement: “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.”
Comedian and political commentator Hari Kondabolu thinks the 30-year-old series definitely needs to clean up its act with its only South Asian character. His documentary goes on a quest to find out why. “What really emerges — as Kondabolu sits down with former Simpsons producer Dana Gould, and culls comments [Apu voice actor Hank] Azaria has made about the character in other, less critical spaces — is an essential truth about Hollywood. Success justifies everything.”
The pieces are all in place: “Amazon has built a stable of services touching just about every part of the entertainment industry, from film and game development to ebook publishing and video streaming. It’s also built a retail empire on cheap piecemeal labor, free material generated by users, and an arcane system designed to connect people with things they want at the absolute maximum level of efficiency. So it’s not hard to imagine it — or a similarly large competitor — building a miniature film industry that looks a lot like an automated marketplace.”
With National Lottery income making up nearly 40% of Creative Scotland’s and sportscotland’s total income, these reductions are of critical concern and put both jobs and provision at risk. Figures released by National Lottery operator Camelot in June 2017 showed arts funding was down £55m, with expectations that the “disappointing” sales would continue this year. Creative Scotland told AP its lottery income fell by £5.3m in 2016/17, to £29.1m.
“The opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi over the weekend is the latest example of how traditional French cultural diplomacy is being supplanted by brand politics: Abu Dhabi bought the rights to use the Paris museum’s famous name at a price tag of over $500 million over three decades. This example of “soft power” goes beyond museum names such as the future Shanghai Pompidou Center — and can be seen in the exporting of Sorbonne’s academic reputation, the proliferation of Christian Dior boutiques in Asia, the increasingly popular fizz of Moet & Chandon champagne, the cuisine of master chef Alain Ducasse and Louis Vuitton’s status handbags.”
“Artists, collectives, new bars, farm-to-table restaurants, startups, and alternative music venues are amassing in Athens. Abandoned buildings, the scars from what Greeks simply call ‘the Crisis’, are turning into cultural spaces and homes for startups. Political statements are now emblazoned as street art. Artists from Mexico, Bali, New York and Western Europe are making Athens a new base. Is Athens the New Berlin? No, it is Athens. But, something is happening.”
Responding to a New York Post article – headlined in the print paper “The Art of the Steal” – questioning the fate of the funds intended for her now-abandoned performance-art institute in Hudson, New York, Abramović – in a statement titled “The Art of the Truth” – wrote that “the [tabloid’s] allegations are so false, libelous and in every way untrue that I must address them.”