Katy Waldman: “The prefix we use to talk about human efforts to interfere with nature flips between ‘funny’ and ‘scary’ with ease. Like Shelley’s monster himself, an ungainly patchwork of salvaged parts, it can seem goofy until it doesn’t – until it taps into an abiding anxiety that technology raises in us, a fear of overstepping.”
Says the unknown author of Manwatching, “When the idea of it being [performed by] an unprepared man came up, I liked that power dynamic and the act of trust it would require from a man. … An anonymous female voice makes the message so much stronger, and means that any woman who wants to take ownership of it can.” (Her favorite bit of speculation about her identity: “Someone guessed that David Hare wrote it … It’s very funny how quick we are to assume that men wrote everything.”)
“[An Inuit tribe in Barrow] worked with a New York-based company called E-Line to create a game based on an old Iñupiat tale called ‘Kunuuksaayuka,’ in which an Iñupiat child travels across the wilderness to find the source of the bitter blizzards that have been hitting his village. … The resulting game is called Never Alone,” and its protagonist is now a girl. (video)
Says one Christian artist, “One major Washington [D.C.] dealer said to me, ‘Ed, I’ve liked your work for years, but I don’t want to mark my gallery with your subject matter.'” Says another, whose work treats Judaic themes, “I’ve been told by dealers all the time, ‘I don’t want that crap in my gallery.'” And the reason may not be outright prejudice so much as a particular, now-standard ideal of what new art is and isn’t supposed to be.
“It’s the rare neuroscience finding that’s immediately applicable to everyday life: By knowing the way the brain is disposed to behaving or misbehaving in accordance to your goals, it’s easier to get the results you’re looking for, whether it’s avoiding the temptation of chocolate cookies or the pull of darkly ruminative thoughts.”
“Since Cunningham revivals largely depend on dancers’ understanding of his style, the disbanding of the company [at the end of 2011] seemed like a farewell to Cunningham dance theater. The End. But … a Cunningham diaspora has now emerged. Former dancers teach his technique in America, Britain, France and elsewhere. Exciting young Cunningham dancers have surfaced. Important revivals of a large number of his works have occurred in several countries.”
Someone’s got to heal this divided citizenry. Dance can do this and a nationally televised show presents an ideal platform. The Rockettes shouldn’t perform for Trump (like my friend was forced to dance for Putin), but rather for his supporters. That said, no artist should ever be asked to “tolerate intolerance”; they have a responsibility to challenge it.
“Since the U.S. embargo of Cuba began in 1962, the ability of Cuban and American musicians to travel back and forth has shifted with the political winds. The late ’70s saw a brief but notable loosening of tensions. In 1985, President Reagan took a hard line. In the late ’90s, under Clinton, the doors opened again, especially for artists, to encourage “people-to-people exchange.” George W. Bush reversed that policy. Following a memorable December 2003 engagement by Chucho Valdés at Manhattan’s Village Vanguard jazz club, no other musician living in Cuba played in the U.S. until 2009, when the Obama administration began loosening travel restrictions.”
A budget allocation, meant to restore the catacombs of Jewish residents of Rome from more than two millennia ago, has finally been realized, 10 years after it was first approved. “One of the grander niches has small columns at each corner and a frescoed cross vault with a depiction of a menorah. There are images of sacred Jewish symbols, including an ark with the scrolls of the Torah, and several inscriptions referring to synagogues in the city.”
The low-down on La La Land, Manchester By the Sea, Moonlight, Arrival, and so. much. more. Despite his prediction that Manchester WILL win best drama, this critic says, “a win for Moonlight would certainly be a satisfying rebuke to the new fashion for crude and ugly reactionary politics – and a vote for humanity.”
We can’t say it better than this: “If you happen to be attending a Golden Globes party with a bunch of book people (or just want to snob up the room a bit), here’s what you need to know, from the literary origins of the nominees to a few frankly outrageous literary snubs. Add a stiff drink, and you’re good to go.”
James Oestreich: “Neither a composer himself nor active in contemporary music, he was as radically fixated on the musical past as Mr. Boulez was on the future. Yet he exerted a powerful influence on the present, having helped to negotiate a fruitful truce between mainstream practice and the early-music movement with his historically informed performances. The evidence lives in his recordings, said to number more than 500.”
The longtime Village Voice writer earned this glorious paragraph in his NYT obit: “The Hentoff bibliotheca reads almost like an anthology: works by a jazz aficionado, a mystery writer, an eyewitness to history, an educational reformer, a political agitator, a foe of censors, a social critic. He was, indeed, like the jazz he loved — given to improvisations and permutations, a composer-performer who lived comfortably with his contradictions, though adversaries called him shallow and unscrupulous, and even his admirers sometimes found him infuriating, unrealistic and stubborn.”
Sure, you can just pick up stuff – sandwiches, drinks, er, books – and walk out, as long as you have the app. And the store is supposed to “see” what you picked up. But sometimes it can’t, so “Amazon staff is asked to help out when the system used in the new Amazon Go store can’t make a determination.”
His grandson says no – and sues the city to stop the loan to a museum in Tokyo. “Prof. Karel Stretti, who leads the restoration department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, said the largest of the ‘Slav Epic’ pieces measures 26.5 feet by 20 feet, meaning handlers would have to remove it from its frame and roll it up, which could crack the paint.”
The showrunner for the new Netflix-owned-and-produced comedy says, “I knew that I wanted to write something personal, I knew I wanted to write a multi-cam, and no joke, the first phone call I got was, ‘Hey, Norman Lear wants to sit down and talk about doing a remake of One Day at a Time.’ Yeah, the stars aligned.”
Sometimes a random alignment of stories unexpectedly congeals around a topic. Like today. We found serval stories exploring the idea of how ideas spread. This Lit Hub story discusses the inherent trap of superficiality of translations.
Translators themselves can be said to traffic in words, sounds, images, and more; whether what is trafficked is tangible or intangible, it’s implied that what is bought, sold, and bartered is in any case commodified. When we think about traffic we also inevitably think about congestion, about impediments to smooth circulation—of vehicles, of course, but also, by extension, of ideas and things. While translations do cross borders, broadening our cultural knowledge as they present one language in the terms of another, they can also become an impediment to free communication.
This Smithsonian piece explores the sharing of scientific knowledge. English is the international language of science, but because of it, a lot of ideas don’t get the play they should.
More than half of the non-English papers observed in this study had no English title, abstract or keywords, making them all but invisible to most scientists doing database searches in English. “I think this issue is actually much larger than many people think,” Tatsuya Amano says.
But perhaps the most fascinating story is this by Danah Boyd who talks about thinking about information and power as something to be hacked. Don’t work inside the structures of the traditional information economy, figure out ways to hack the power structures – if the currency is attention, then figure out how to hijack attention and get everyone talking about what you want them to talk about.
Indeed, over the last 15 years, I’ve watched as countless hacker-minded folks have started leveraging a mix of technical and social engineering skills to reconfigure networks of power. Some are in it for the fun. Some see dollar signs. Some have a much more ideological agenda. But above all, what’s fascinating is how many people have learned to play the game. And in some worlds, those skills are coming home to roost in unexpected ways, especially as groups are seeking to mess with information intermediaries in an effort to hack the attention economy.
“Running campaigns to shape what the public could see was nothing new, but social media created new pathways for people and organizations to get information out to wide audiences. Marketers discussed it as the future of marketing. Activists talked about it as the next frontier for activism. Political consultants talked about it as the future of political campaigns. And a new form of propaganda emerged.”
“2016, for the Louvre as for all sites in Paris, was a difficult year,”Jean-Luc Martinez, president and director of the Louvre, told Le Figaro. “We should finish the year at 7.3 million visitors, 15 percent less than in 2015, and a loss of at least €9.7 million ($10.2 million), not to mention the lower revenues in booksellers or restaurants,” he elaborated following the museum’s announcement.
He first made his mark in the art cinema that developed in India in the 1980s; later, he moved regularly back and forth between popular and indie movies in India (acting in at least three different languages) and film and television in the U.S. and Great Britain (The Jewel in the Crown, East Is East, City of Joy, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Charlie Wilson’s War).