Bill Arnett says he believes that Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley and others aren’t just great artists; he argues that in a colorblind world, they’d be held in the same esteem as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Willem de Kooning. He’s been so aggressive making this argument that more than once he’s been kicked out of museums. But there are those who appreciate his unyielding passion.
A team of four computer science professors at Stanford and Cornell used studies to work out what moves ordinary people to start trolling online, when it’s likely to happen, and measures that can make it less likely to spread.
The Ambassador Theatre Group has asked ticketholders to the revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? “that no food be consumed during the performance.” (This may have been at the request of star Imelda Staunton, who has publicly complained about the practice.) This request is evidently unusual enough that ATG later felt the need to stress that food has not been banned outright.
“The strawberries appear red, despite their lack of any red pixels, because of color constancy, or the way that the human brain is designed to perceive the same colors under a range of circumstances. Remember The Dress? Same deal.”
As Slate‘s Jamelle Bouie noted in disgust the morning after Trump’s speech to Congress, “This morning is a good reminder that so much of what passes for political analysis is just theater criticism.” Alyssa Rosenberg responds: “On behalf of critics everywhere, I take a minor amount of umbrage: After all, we generally set higher standards for performances than ‘basic competence,’ and we tend to address style as well as substance. But … maybe political commentators could stand to take a few tips from those of us who practice criticism for a living.” Rosenberg offers three good ones.
“There’s been no shortage of controversy and speculation around the Nebra Sky Disk since it was … exhumed illegally in 1999 in Nebra in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. …”
Journalist Sasha Weiss watches as Sam Gold – who won a Tony for Fun Home and set Othello inside a big plywood box – radically strips down Tennessee Williams’s setting and uses casting to upend everything we think we know about the characters.
A great space isn’t enough; the plays have to match setting and theme, as in this Orpheus and Eurydice under a bridge: “We pass into a damp, dark space, press a coin into the palm of Charon and bend almost double to walk four steps and emerge into a chamber under the Clifton suspension bridge. The walls are mottled with mould. Fronds grow from the roof. Water drips. It’s as cold as hell, and that’s exactly where we are supposed to be.”
On “Clean Monday,” residents of the village of Calaxidi cover their houses with plastic and then hurl bombs full of colored wheat flour at each other. (It’s like Holi, but with more calories.) The tradition is said to go back to an act of defiance against the ottomans in 1801. (video and slideshow)
“Until very recently, the practice of modern history centred on, and was dominated by, the nation state. Most history was the history of the nation. If you wander through the history and biography aisles of either brick-and-mortar or virtual bookstores, the characters and heroes of patriotism dominate. In the United States, authors such as Walter Isaacson, David McCullough and Doris Kearns Goodwin have helped to give millions of readers their understanding of the past and the present. Inevitably, they wrote page-turning profiles of heroic nation-builders. Every nation cherishes its national history, and every country has a cadre of flame-keepers. Then, along came globalisation and the shake-up of old, bordered imaginations.”
“A new project is aiming to rediscover some of the forgotten masterpieces and lost theatres that laid the groundwork for the Bard of Avon’s work.” Here’s a talk with theatre history scholar Andy Kesson, founder of Before Shakespeare. (audio)
“A healthy library, like a healthy habitat, is diverse and dynamic. Like species in a rainforest or fishes on a reef, the books on the shelves shift and change, with time and season, so that every week there is something new to discover. A healthy library invites the eye and mind to wander round. This book habitat does not happen on its own – it is created by librarians.”
Take the project to see if machines could recreate Gaudi’s aesthetic. “They have fed the machine not just hundreds of images of Gaudi’s work, but also contextual images – images of Barcelona, where Gaudi’s most famous work can be found, and other historical and cultural information. The idea is to actually recreate Gaudi’s intelligence, not just his signature style – to create an artificial Gaudi who was inspired the way Gaudi was. In theory, any artist’s brain could be recompiled in this way, and you could consult a virtual Leonardo da Vinci not just about how to draw and paint but about how to invent new flying machines.”
“We’re making decisions that are rational and even pleasurable from an individual point of view, but when everyone in society behaves this way — to cement in their own security, their own mobility — social mobility as a whole goes down, inequality goes up, many measures of segregation go up. And ultimately a bill for this comes due.”
The voices of some of literature’s more memorable characters have a way of staying with you, long after their stories are over. Many readers — every reader? — could’ve told you that. For some people, though, this idea is a little more literal. According to a new (and truly delightful) psychology study — published in the March edition of the journal Cognition and Consciousness — about a fifth of readers “hear” the voices of fictional characters in their heads, long after they’ve closed the books.
“One reason why,” says Deborah Borda,” the L.A. Philharmonic’s president and CEO, “is that contemporary music is not nearly as doctrinaire as it used to be. As great as they were, the years of Milton Babbitt, Elliot Carter, and Roger Sessions are over. It’s a different ethos now that crosses borders and is more accessible. I don’t mind saying that a new work is accessible. We want people to come. I also think,” she adds reflectively, “judging by the period we’re entering, there are going to be a lot more pieces with a distinctly political message.”
Computers and human readers can identify Shakespeare’s writing through “plus-words”—such as “gentle”, “answer”, “beseech”, “tonight”—which he uses frequently. This method becomes less accurate, though, when writers ape one another’s style as they often did in Elizabethan theatre-land. Early modern playwrights were a close-knit bunch and 16th-century audiences do not appear to have placed a high premium on novelty.
It all started when a Georgia Tech arts exec (yes, they have one!) saw how uncomfortable undergrads at a career fair looked in business suits – and invited a Brooklyn drag king to help them walk the walk.
“What could revive it? Solvency would help, although I, who can’t balance a checkbook, can say nothing useful on that subject. What I can talk about is art, and how a museum can make people care about it. If historical art is now a hard sell, and it is, learn to sell it hard.”
“The NEA has been a perennial target for fiscal conservatives ever since it was launched in 1965. (Which, in perversely good news, means we already know how to put up a good fight.) But why is the NEA so often on the chopping block?” Dance Magazine editor-in-chief Jennifer Stahl recaps the choppers’ top three arguments and answers each one.
“Three years ago, the St. Paul Ballet moved to a new studio next door to the Element Boxing Gym. The water fountain was in the gym, so dancers went there to fill their water bottles.” Now the dancers and boxers are training each other.
The Met: What Happens Next, Part One
Tom Campbell’s forced resignation from the top post at the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday was both expected and shocking at the same time. Given the museum’s financial woes – most of which Campbell is responsible for – and internal morale, … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-03-01
“Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta, who founded their practice, RCR Arquitectes, in the small [Catalan] town of Olot in 1988, have built a reputation for projects that have an acute sensitivity to local context, taking great care with how they are sited in the landscape and masterfully using materials to play with light, shade, mass and fragility.”
In a slideshow at the top of the page and an illustrated list below, Dezeen offers a healthy sample of RCR Arquitectes’ projects, from a sun-splashed, oblique-angled winery to an airy, colorful kindergarten to a spotted-steel-clad museum.
“Through May 14, visitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see masterful watercolors by Edwin Abbey, Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, John La Farge, Thomas Moran, William Trost Richards, Maxfield Parrish, Jessie Willcox Smith, Violet Oakley, Georgia O’Keeffe, and a host of others.” The Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition, which opens today, was a bear to put together. Stephan Salisbury tells why.