“More diversity among students means higher education is drawing more deeply on those who have faced economic and academic inequities that reduce their odds of success. And yet the taxpayer resources that public institutions are receiving to guide them to completion are diminishing. That’s a recipe for widening economic inequality and declining national competitiveness, as kids of color comprise a growing share of the future workforce and tax base.”
“When we think of a museum doing outreach to communities who may not see themselves as connected to it, we rarely think about the kind of event put forth by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston yesterday, as it hosted its first-ever naturalization ceremony to swear in 187 new citizens … in front of the ‘Art of the Americas’ wing.”
“[Security] guards were filmed punching and knocking down the women after preventing them from entering the city’s 798 art zone, a complex of former military factories now known for its galleries and cafes. … An employee of the 798 district’s property management department told the [Global Times] newspaper guards had ‘a right to stop illegal activity. Wearing a rainbow badge is illegal to me, and they, the homosexuals, have distorted sexual orientation. It is terrifying.'” (includes video)
The Art Newspaper has looked back over the past two years, when just over 100 heritage projects with grant applications of over £2m were considered annually by the board. In 2016, 41% of projects got their grants, but last year it was much more difficult to win an award, and only 30% were approved. In December, the last round for which the results are public, the success rate plunged to 17%, with only three of the 18 projects receiving approval.
“The two great advantages of a royal association are publicity and trust. ‘For smaller organisations, the biggest advantage is publicity because it can be very difficult to draw attention to yourself. For larger organisations, the publicity benefit might not be so obvious unless you’re staging a big event, but trust is a big issue at the moment, and if you have a royal patron there is an assumption that there’s a royal stamp of approval and that you will have been thoroughly vetted.”
In a time of heightened anxiety about school shootings, Logic Amen’s after-class rapping, posted on the website Bandcamp.com, has raised questions about the limits of free speech and artistic expression for a public figure whose job is guiding young people – at least among the hundreds of commenters weighing in on social media.
On the date of its fifth anniversary, the company employs 140 people from its San Francisco offices, hosting 100,000 creators who are supported by two million patrons. Since its foundation, it has paid out more than $350m, and this year alone it’s on course to pay out “well over $300m”, according to a spokesperson, twice what it distributed in 2017.
Here’s the thing: “Studies have long shown that gun violence in PG-13 movies has been rising, sometimes exceeding what is shown in popular R-rated films. Now there is research suggesting that some parents think 13 is too young to see intense shooting, even when it appears justified.”
After the 82 women, including Jane Fonda, Selma Hayek, Ava DuVernay, Cate Blanchett, and Agnes Varda, climbed the steps on the red carpet, Blanchett and Varda read a statement. “The group said that the number of women present was chosen to match the total number of films made by female film-makers that have appeared in competition at the festival in its 71-year history. In that time 1,645 films directed by men have been selected in competition.”
By invitation only, selected organizations are being offered unrestricted support — roughly 10 percent of their annual operating budgets — in addition to arts-management training. That includes a consulting mentor for each organization and a series of seminars for all grantees in a given city on topics such as fund-raising, strategic planning, marketing and board development.
Here is the etymology the Oxford English Dictionary provides for the word genius, imported to English straight from the Latin: “male spirit of a family, existing in the head of the family and subsequently in the divine or spiritual part of each individual, personification of a person’s natural appetites, spirit or personality of an emperor regarded as an object of worship, spirit of a place, spirit of a corporation, (in literature) talent, inspiration, person endowed with talent, also demon or spiritual being in general.” There’s more, but there’s already so much: genius, by definition a male condition. Genius, a male condition that inflects its maleness on the individual soul. Genius, an object of worship. Genius, perhaps slightly demonic.
Universal FanCon — the pop culture convention that crashed and burned late last month — was supposed to build on this momentum, bringing together legions of geeks who had always been relegated to the lonely margins of geekdom. Which helps explain why people were so outraged and heartbroken by its abrupt collapse.
“The prospect of ‘necessary’ art allows members of the audience to free themselves from having to make choices while offering the critic a nifty shorthand to convey the significance of her task, which may itself be one day condemned as dispensable. The effect is something like an absurd and endless syllabus, constantly updating to remind you of ways you might flunk as a moral being. It’s a slightly subtler version of the 2016 marketing tagline for the first late-night satirical news show with a female host, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee: ‘Watch or you’re sexist.'”
It is a collection of iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades and media personalities who are having a rolling conversation — on podcasts, YouTube and Twitter, and in sold-out auditoriums — that sound unlike anything else happening, at least publicly, in the culture right now. Feeling largely locked out of legacy outlets, they are rapidly building their own mass media channels.
To the extent that the cultural-appropriation police are urging their targets to respect others who are different, they are saying something that everyone needs to hear. But beyond that, they can plunge into doomed tangles. American popular culture is a mishmash of influences: British Isles, Eastern European, West African, and who knows what else. Cole Porter committed no wrong by borrowing from Jewish music; Elvis Presley enriched the world when he fused country-and-western with rhythm-and-blues.
While the self-proclaimed Resistance debuted with vibrant-pink mass action, the most-distinctive cultural creations that have accompanied it so far—at least in the rapid-response popular mediums of music and TV—haven’t been so fired up. Nor have they been, to use the clichéd dismissals that plenty of political art readily invites, shrill or didactic. Instead, the general drift has been in the spirit of Jeff Rosenstock’s album: self-questioning, tentative, conciliatory, emotional. It is, for better or worse, the art not of a revolution but of a failed revolution.
In most universities nowadays — and this seems to be true almost everywhere — academic staff find themselves spending less and less time studying, teaching, and writing about things, and more and more time measuring, assessing, discussing, and quantifying the way in which they study, teach, and write about things (or the way in which they propose to do so in the future. European universities, reportedly, now spend at least 1.4 billion euros [about 1.7 billion dollars] a year on failed grant applications.). It’s gotten to the point where “admin” now takes up so much of most professors’ time that complaining about it is the default mode of socializing among academic colleagues; indeed, insisting on talking instead about one’s latest research project or course idea is considered somewhat rude.
“Are museums, in fact, the appropriate place for storing these gigantic homages – not even to the Civil War itself – but to the Jim Crow movements that fueled their commissioning and erection on state capitol grounds, university commons, city parks and other places of power in the early decades of the 20th century? We would argue that the ‘put them in a museum’ response to Confederate memorials reflects a misunderstanding of what museums are for – and an effort to sidestep conversations that we really need to have.”
It’s not just sushi and ramen and anime and Marie Kondo. “‘Japan is the global imagination’s default setting for the future,’ as the author William Gibson wrote in 2001. ‘The Japanese seem to the rest of us to live several measurable clicks down the time line.’ … But what Gibson wrote about products was just as true about other, less visible trends in Japanese society: economic stagnation; a plunging fertility rate; a dramatic postponement of the ‘normal’ milestones of adulthood, such as getting married or simply moving out of the family home; a creeping sense of ambivalence about what the future might hold. Seventeen years later, America has finally caught up.”
“I think that watching theater is a lot like watching a national championship in that a production, win or lose, is filled with best efforts and spontaneous heroics, and jumping to your feet is a natural response to those valiant exploits. Standing puts actors and audiences on equal footing as partners in a shared experience, where we can finally face each other out of character and out of the darkness, respectively, for a moment of mutual admiration.”
First, there was a 47-second video that dramatically changed Germany’s concept of its ability to deal with contemporary anti-Semitism. And then there’s the Christian cross: “The situation in Germany has become complicated. Previous certainties are being lost and old battles are being launched anew. In Bavaria, for example, the cabinet of Governor Markus Söder recently moved to require that the cross be displayed at the entrance of every state government building.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen: “It’s too late to get rid of all of us. We are here because white people were there, invading — sorry, civilizing — our countries of origin. Americans descended from Vietnamese refugees, undocumented Nicaraguan immigrants and African slaves cannot unlearn English. In my case, I love English and will not leave it, even if some people use it to say, ‘Go back to where you came from.’ (They can’t say ‘Speak English,’ since I teach it.)”
Diaz, author of The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This Is How You Lose Her, has withdrawn from the Sydney Writers’ Festival in the aftermath of the accusations. “Writer Zinzi Clemmons said [an] incident happened when she was a 26-year-old graduate student. She had invited Diaz to speak at a workshop, but Diaz ‘used it as an opportunity to corner and forcibly kiss me,’ Clemmons wrote on Twitter. Other female writers have since come forward, accusing Diaz of mistreatment and misogynistic verbal abuse.”
“When an important work is met with thoughtful, engaged criticism, it gains depth and traction. And when each potent piece of writing reverberates as never before — shared, liked, and debated on social media — the critic has new opportunities to shape our increasingly toxic cultural discourse. For communities that have been historically shut out of that process, that power is pivotal. It’s the difference between being spoken about and being the authority on your own experience.”
“France’s city centers are about to get one of the biggest makeovers in their history. Following an announcement last month, the country is launching a vast €5 billion ($6.1 billion) plan called Action Coeur de Ville (Action: Heart of the City) intended to revamp 222 city cores … in what the French call Villes Moyennes, ‘average cities’ with populations between 15,000 and 100,000 … over the next five years with new stores, offices, co-working spaces, and renovated housing.”
The final court decision in the famous “monkey selfie” case reaffirmed that animals have no IP rights under U.S. law, which requires human authorship. For now, the same is true for any works created by artificial intelligence – but, as Rachel Withers explains, this may soon change.