A scholar of the history of Christianity writes about “New Thought” – developed by a Maine clockmaker whose most famous student was Mary Baker Eddy (who, of course, went off in her own direction) – and how it led to the uniquely American “prosperity gospel” (which dates back to 1925) and Norman Vincent Peale, who led the church attended by the Trump family.
“Screeners are usually identifiable by an intermittent on-screen message reminding viewers the film is not to be copied or shared, and they also usually contain watermarks as a security measure against piracy. But every year they do get leaked online, and 2017 has been no exception, despite earlier reports that fewer leaks were happening this time around.”
The hugely popular opera festival at the Arena di Verona is, like almost all Italian opera houses, in deep financial trouble: it nearly went into liquidation last spring, until Rome sent a turnaround specialist to the rescue. Last week, as a cost-cutting measure, the 19 dancers of the festival’s ballet company were laid off – despite the fact that their shows regularly sell out. (in Italian; Google Translate version here)
With a sharp, if veiled, rebuke – “the Opéra has been working for several months to define a new balance between reduced resources and ambitious artistic activity … [an effort] which assumes commitment, trust, and close collaboration” – the board president of the Opéra national de Bordeaux has suspended Charles Jude, the house’s director of ballet. The action follows months of dispute over how to allocate dwindling state funding and whether or not to fill vacant positions in the corps de ballet. (in French; Google Translate version here)
When Facebook fired the human editors of its Trending module last year and let an algorithm curate the news, the world soon learned (falsely) that Megyn Kelly had been fired from Fox News. “Will there be controversy when the bot thinks this is important, and humans say this is important, and they’re the exact opposite thing? It’s going to get interesting.”
“Wikipedia’s role in beating back the post-truth age doesn’t rest with blacklisting certain sources as perpetually unreliable (as the website did with the Daily Mail) or preventing congressional staffers from meddling with their boss’ bios. An elder statesman of the content ecosystem in Internet years, Wikipedia has been combating misinformation by thoughtfully and purposefully iterating on strict guidelines of verifiability that Wikipedians (active editors in the Wikipedia community) both refine and enforce information transparently in open channels.”
“I suggest that composers give up using their music to change people’s minds. (When I say “minds,” I really mean people’s beliefs, opinions, and convictions.) I do not, please notice, suggest that anyone stop trying to change minds altogether, only that they stop using music to do it. Argument, not art, is the best tool for proving opinions. Music is poorly suited for that. But music is very well suited, or least it can be, for helping people to change their habits, especially habits of thinking and perceiving.”
Fast-rising Off-Broadway director Saheem Ali writes about how he saw his first show ever on a trip to London and came home to Nairobi obsessed – and came home to the Kenyan capital and cast, designed, directed, choreographed, and starred in his own “very makeshift, highly illegal, passion-fueled” production of it.
“Brooklyn taketh, but sometimes Brooklyn giveth back.” Last spring, Nancy Spector left the Guggenheim’s Manhattan flagship to become chief curator at the Brooklyn Museum. Now the Guggenheim’s director has created a new position just for her.
Is The Institutionalization Of Our Arts A Dead End? In his essay looking back on Lincoln Center on its 50th birthday, Joe Horowitz suggests that the cultural citadel built optimistically to be a launching pad for the American performing arts, might have turned out … read more
AJBlog: diacritical | Douglas McLennan Published 2017-02-16
Is artistic leadership at America’s arts institutions lacking? Is this at the root of declining relevancy? Joe Horowitz has written a stirring essay on the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, and New York Philharmonic on the … read more
AJBlog: Jumper Published 2017-02-15
Lincoln Center 50 Years On – An Experiment In American Dance? Reading Joseph Horowitz’s essay, “Bing, Bernstein, Balanchine,” and then re-reading the passages that apply to ballet at Lincoln Center, I’m suddenly thrown back to the 1960s and a different view of tradition and innovation. … read more
AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2017-02-15
Uh-Oh: Trouble at the Brooklyn Museum?
I’m not sure, but I just received an email announcing that Nancy Spector, who had joined the Brooklyn Museum just last April as Deputy Director and Chief Curator, is moving back to the Guggenheim Museum … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-02-15
Keefer: Throughout my career I have been heavily involved in all my major international exhibitions and it is a matter of deep regret and frustration that the organizers of my first show in China have seen fit to exclude me from this process.” Now the curator and newly appointed president of the German committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), Beate Reifenscheid, who has always defended the project, is claiming that the galleries involved didn’t want the exhibition to go ahead as they wanted control over Kiefer’s work in the Asian market.