“History’s roster of morons, you begin to realize, bears a worrisome resemblance to its roster of geniuses. Whomever you happen to rely on for your present stable perch—John Oliver, Elizabeth Kolbert, the Freakonomics guys — you can’t help but begin to feel the chair-legs wobble. Wrongness, now and forever, is an equal-opportunity affliction.”
“Most ordinary fans simply don’t stand a chance. Within seconds of an event going on sale, the tickets are harvested in their thousands by a small but ruthlessly efficient army of touts, many using multiple credit cards to bypass the limit on the number of tickets that one person can purchase.”
“The situation for women in Turkey is, [Mustang director Deniz Gamze Ergüven] believes, now very grave, for which reason she is happy for her film to be regarded as a contribution to the increasingly muscular and conflicted debate surrounding their rights, their freedom.”
“In Hong Kong, the goal is not only to preserve the objects for posterity. Although the protests have disbanded, Mr. Wong said, the hope is to display the objects in a way that can revive the spirit of the movement.”
“The scale of the complaints took us by surprise. We were not trying to cause offence and we were always willing to engage in debate. But I accept that we did offend and we offended doubly. We offended those who thought the production was racist and those who thought we prevented freedom of speech when we made the decision on advice from the police to cancel the show.”
“Given the importance of non-European traditions in both the history of world philosophy and in the contemporary world, and given the increasing numbers of students in our colleges and universities from non-European backgrounds, this is astonishing. No other humanities discipline demonstrates this systematic neglect of most of the civilizations in its domain.”
“In a range of ways, a city that was deeply privatized in the postwar years, that was organized largely around the single-family house and the car and the freeway, is trying to rediscover and reanimate its public realm.”
“Studying 22 different constellations, William found that they matched the location of 117 Mayan cities scattered throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. When he applied his theory to a 23rd constellation, he found that two of the stars already had cities linked to them but that the third star was unmatched.”
“The square in the CSA’s satellite images is probably an abandoned field, and another spot may be a small dry lake or clearing in the jungle, says archaeologist Ivan Šprajc. Moreover, experts are skeptical of the claim that the Maya built their cities according to constellations. They did indeed have constellations, but there is no complete canonical list of them, so the theory is hard to test.”
“The plight of the Carr Center — the public face of the 25-year-old Arts League of Michigan — is a multilayered story whose meaning shifts depending on perspective. From one angle it looks like a tale of gentrification: A small cultural organization that moved into the neighborhood when property values were low can no longer afford to stay amid escalating prices in a downtown on the make. From a more global perch, the longstanding financial challenges facing the Carr Center, including annual deficits of about $200,000 on an $800,000 budget, are consistent with the troubles often affecting black and Latino nonprofit arts groups nationwide.”
The young men, all between 19 and 21 and members of a satirical group called Awlad al-Shawarea (“Children of the Streets”), “have been accused of ‘inciting anti-government protests’ and ‘insulting state institutions.'”
“Museum officials on Tuesday offered a sneak peek at the 400,000-square-foot museum, the 19th of the Smithsonian Institution, that’s next to the Washington Monument. President Obama is expected to cut the ribbon on the dramatic space, which features layers of galleries focused on slavery, segregation and the civil rights movement as well as music, entertainment, sports and politics.”
The plan was announced as part of Paris’s bid for the 2024 Olympics, and there’s even talk of staging the triathlon’s swimming event in the river. But cleaning up the Seine will be complicated and expensive, and it’s not certain that the city could pull it off.
“Consulate officials accused Shen Yun of ‘propaganda’ that uses a message of compassion and peace to disguise ‘the truth and to realize their evil purpose of exerting mind control over them’.”
“Despite the nationalist sentiment that originally drove them, Canadian cultural regulations have wisely tended to focus on the citizenship of the creators rather than recognizable settings or prescribed themes. The best definition of Canadian content remains a tautology: It’s content created by Canadians.”
Mr. Butera told us that his board was all white and that he couldn’t diversify his board because they aren’t appointed but, rather, they are elected by the membership. Further, his membership isn’t diverse because, “Blacks and Latinos lack the keyboard skills needed for this field.” He also intimated that music theory is too difficult for them as an area of study. It seems that music education is on an order of magnitude of difficulty akin to medicine or law. Yet there are thousands and thousands of black and Latino doctors and lawyers.
Charlotte Higgins: “When speaking to historians, novelists and curators of the period, I found that they would, at some point in the conversation, reach for a pop-cultural analogy. The Tudors are like the Kardashians, said one. They are like the Caesars, or the Kennedys, said another. They are like Game of Thrones, said one. They are like House of Cards, said another. They are like Dallas, they are like Dynasty, said another.”
After several weeks of demonstrations and several days of long negotiations, five unions, one organization of presenters, and the Ministry of Culture finalized a deal to more-or-less preserve France’s system of unemployment payments for performing arts workers between jobs. But not everyone’s on board yet, venues in several cities are still being occupied by demonstrators, and there’s a very tempting target – the Cannes Film Festival – about to begin. Sophie Rahal explains what’s in the agreement and where things stand. (in French; Google Translate version here)
“There’s now evidence of an inequality that runs like a seam through the entire profession and which goes far beyond the anecdotal. This year, academics from the London School of Economics and Goldsmiths College, in a peer-reviewed study, found that only 27% of actors come from a working-class background and that the profession is ‘heavily skewed towards the privileged.'”
“Organized by the Decolonial Cultural Front and Movement to Protect the People, the catalysts for the protests were a photography exhibition focusing Israel/Palestine, called This Place, as well as ongoing conflict with the museum’s director, Anne Pasternak, who many say has downplayed issues raised by artists in the Agitprop! exhibition regarding last fall’s real estate summit at the museum.”
“While none of my professors warned against marriage, I’d been advised, directly, and by more than one of them, not to have children. At the time, in fact, I’d sensed that this was meant to be a compliment—that they’d taken my writing seriously enough to suggest I not sacrifice it for a family. And the attitude persists.”
“I lost out on four jobs due to my pregnancy. I was either not able to fly there to do the job or, in another case, I was actually told by a director that it made him too nervous that I would be seven months pregnant while shooting his project, even though I physically felt great and would have been happy to work. Pregnant women are mostly invisible onscreen.”
“While public universities can be said to be “privatizing,” another equally powerful, but typically overlooked, trend has been moving in the opposite direction — the “publicization” of private research universities, or the accelerated incorporation of public values and mission into the traditional role of these institutions.”
When Julia Cameron published “The Artist’s Way,” in 1991, she probably could not have foreseen exactly how the very idea of creativity would collide with the marketplace. “Creative” sits right above “innovation” and “disruption” in the glossary of terms that have been co-opted by corporate America and retooled to signify an increasingly nebulous set of qualities.
“The report gives new insight into this group of consistent arts attenders and participants. They are more likely to be women (57%, compared with 47% of other respondents) in the upper socio-economic group (65% compared with 43%) and to be owner-occupiers (73% compared with 57%) who live in less deprived areas (36% compared with 25%). Most of them (86%) engage with the arts three or more times a year.”
“Rejection sure is tough, especially when you’re a white applicant vying for a spot in a museum internship program that’s explicitly open only to minority groups. So tough, in fact, that one Samantha Niemann is now suing the Getty Foundation for racial discrimination after the institution refused to accept her application to its paid Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program.”
“This year’s report provides the fullest picture yet of the impact of the Great Recession on the arts—before, during, and after. Like many sectors of the economy, the arts recovered slowly and unevenly from the recession due to industry contraction and consolidation, the impact of technology, slow rebounds in philanthropy, and tepid consumer spending. While some indicators may be up during a recession, we see that a majority of them we were in decline. The arts were a little slower to fully bounce back than the economy at large.”
“Oblivious to the grim surroundings, young artists are hard at work inside the building, Suitland High School. Those artists are eager participants in a rigorous, four-year academic and arts program that has survived budget cuts, neighborhood violence and a constant shortage of art supplies.”
“The surprising departure of Jed Bernstein last month after just 27 months as president of Lincoln Center was prompted not by a change in career plans, as announced, but by the discovery that he” – well, he did one of those things chief executives tend to lose their jobs for doing.
Paramount has sued the makers of a crowdfunded Star Trek fanfic film titled Axanar, with the studio claiming intellectual property rights over (among other things) the entire Klingon language, which was created by linguist Marc Okrand for the Star Trek film series but has since caught on with tens of thousands of enthusiasts.