“A pilot programme testing the impact of matched crowdfunding is doubling the amount of funding that successful projects can receive.”
“In the room we have a whirlwind of physical states. This whirlwind contains a lot more than a human being could ever perceive—atoms, neutrinos, photons, quarks, strings, quantum fields; a huge range of possibilities. When the body comes into the room, its sensory capacities carve out one possible subset of that whirlwind. Or, looked at the other way round, one possible set within the whirlwind finds, relative to the body, a suitable causal path along which to roll. So the table and the apple are born! My body brought them into existence in the sense that it selected them and only them from the whirlwind. Entirely ignoring all kinds of other stuff.”
Eric Grundhauser tells the story of “Cherubina de Gabriak” of St. Petersburg and the two great Russian Symbolist poets who fell in love with her, even though she didn’t exist.
Damien Hirst turned himself into a high-value business (with Charles Saatchi as his venture-capitalist backer), argues Ian Bogost, and collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps play with form and procedure every bit as much as a work by, say, Yoko Ono. These days there are young tech companies whose ideas seem more conceptual art than practical idea.
“For a while, the only time you’d ever see a psychologist comment publicly about video games was in the context of blaming violent ones for all manner of societal ills – most famously, for school shootings.” Now a pair of psychologists is arguing that such blame is – well, not quite as ridiculous as “reefer madness,” but …
“We thought if Iron Man and Thor and Captain America are Marvel superheroes,” Disney chief of motion picture production Sean Bailey tells Drew Taylor, “then maybe Alice, Cinderella, Mowgli, and Belle are our superheroes, and Cruella and Maleficent are our supervillains.”
“A new series is giving us hope that it is possible to make ballet content that is both entertaining and true to what the dance world is actually like.” Lauren Wingenroth introduces us to Off Kilter. (includes video clips)
Reviewers have criticized past biennials for being too politicized and ideological. Director Adam Weinberg says that the biennial isn’t meant to lean left or right. The goal is to find “voices that really get very close to the bone of American culture…from an aesthetic point of view,” he says, “and also from a larger, cultural point of view.” He adds, “The exhibition is not a finger wagging, and it’s in no way trying to be hectoring or lecturing.”
What’s it worth to Apple to have a two-week exclusive with a young, famous musician? Well, about half a million dollars. Chance the Rapper, who revealed that info about his “Coloring Book,” wrote, “I think artist can gain a lot from the streaming wars as long as they remain in control of their own product.”
This will probably not end well for consumers. “Companies like AT&T and Verizon already give special treatment to their own video services, and T-Mobile lets select providers slip past its data limits, a practice called zero rating. At stake today is the ability of smaller companies to compete with internet service providers themselves.”
Not all of the directors in this piece agree, but at least one thinks it might happen soon: “I think right now is a very encouraging time because doors are being opened and people are realizing that women are powerful and we have a right to be here and we can tell really good stories. That’s always been the case, but I think now people are really, fully believing in women.”
Wait, what? Convicted murderer Richard Hickok left behind an unpublished memoir that claimed a man named “Roberts” contracted the hits. It’s probably not true, but … “Documents on file at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka and the New York Public Library, along with letters of Mr. Capote and interviews with people who knew Mr. Nations, suggest that Kansas prison and law-enforcement officials sought to thwart the Hickock/Nations book while enabling Mr. Capote’s.”
Perhaps. Check out Belfast’s Young at Art theatre festival to see what it could be like instead of what theatre often is like. “Parenthood can leave even the most ardent theatregoers feeling unwelcome as theatres seldom court families, often seeing prams and young children as a burden not a blessing. Too often theatres present themselves as grownup spaces, cut off from everyday life.”
Gloria Govrin was 5’10”, and Balanchine tried to discourage her at first – before realizing he could build solos around her.
Seriously: FilmStruck and Warner Archive Instant will make certain you never leave your house again, if you like classics.
The studio may be cheap with its actors about some things (stories abound), but “with such past box-office winners in its fold including Cinderella ($544 million) and Jungle Book ($967 million), stars are clamoring to sign on for the studio’s live-action offerings.” This weekend’s huge take for the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” may only accelerate that trend.
For instance, Thinx has gone all in while, of course, getting its wares out there: “The event took on the contours of an activist call to arms, but it doubled as a product preview.”
This is probably not the last word, but GOPers in important positions don’t think this is a good plan. And, despite Pat Buchanan’s glee at the budget cuts, “The contours of the political battle itself have changed since those earlier fights in the 1980s and ’90s. The arguments then were over ideology, taste, free speech and the size of government; today they are about economic investment, federal priorities and how people feel about Mr. Trump remaking America to his liking.”
Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh writes on Instagram, “My America Is Black mural was taken down in Oklahoma City because, despite having permission to install the work from the building owner, all murals in OKC must go through a proposal process and be approved by the OKC Arts Commission. The OKC Arts Commission has 15 commissioners. 14 of which are white. 11 of which are men.”
That doesn’t mean all is forgotten and forgiven, but some of the changes reflect how the industry has, at least sometimes, changed. Tony-winning actor BD Wong says that at the time, when “Miss Saigon” was in London’s West End, “We said, surely the show will come to the United States, but the yellowface will never happen here, because that’s the kind of thing that only happens in England now.”
Yes, it’s time to move beyond James Joyce and Samuel Beckett (and even beyond Emma Donoghue and Tana French).
“While it was too early to tell at this year’s book fair, more than one publisher was whistling a happy tune as they entered the Olympia exhibition centre on Tuesday. With print books having a higher average price point than ebooks, and with a weaker pound benefitting exporters – German publishers in particular bought big this year – the mood among the hundreds of publishers was optimistic.”
“Lawmakers unveiled plans on Tuesday aiming to eliminate college debt for more than 390,000 students in the University of California and California State University systems. Their plan also calls to reduce costs for the roughly 80,000 students receiving aid to attend the state’s community colleges. The plan has been reported as the most “generous” and “ambitious” from any state; perhaps it will act as a catalyst for what’s become a nationwide problem: As of 2015, seven in 10 college seniors graduating from public and nonprofit colleges in the United States had student loan debt, with an average of $30,100 per borrower, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.”
Derek Walcott, whose intricately metaphorical poetry captured the physical beauty of the Caribbean, the harsh legacy of colonialism and the complexities of living and writing in two cultural worlds, bringing him a Nobel Prize in Literature, died early Friday morning at his home near Gros Islet in St. Lucia.
“These small grammatical rebellions strike some as poetic and others as pretentious — at least when the titles are given as their composers intended. (They are rendered inconsistently in many publications, including the one you are reading, that strive to follow standard grammar rules.)”
“Human beings are most creative when we get time by ourselves and then time with one another. The way to maximize creative potential is to flow between being alone and being in a group, and back again. When you’re alone, you’re essentially building a woodpile in your brain. Then, when you join a group, you’re igniting a shower of sparks that might light it up. Of course, you sometimes need to go be alone again in order to let the sparks you’ve started generating get close enough to the wood.”
“On paper, news that Netflix is phasing out the stars in favour of a thumbs up/thumbs down system should be heartening. From later this year, we’re told, Netflix subscribers will be asked one simple question: essentially, did you like this or not? Click the thumbs-up button and Netflix will suggest similar titles for you to watch; click the thumbs-down and it’ll make that sort of thing harder to find during future visits. Percentages will also be introduced, to show you how suited you are to any given content. It’s viewing as online dating basically.”
“Half a century ago the National Endowment for the Humanities was established on the assumption that world leadership could not solely be based on superior power, wealth, and technology, but must also be premised upon worldwide respect for our country’s qualities as a leader in the realm of ideas and of the spirit. Like its scientific counterparts (the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health), the NEH was established as a depoliticized research institution. Decisions on research grants were designed to be made by bringing together academic experts in various disciplines to “peer review” applications for federal research assistance in fields ranging from history, literature, and philosophy to related disciplines like comparative religion and foreign languages.”
“The telephone survey of 1,001 registered voters, conducted jointly by Republican and Democratic polling firms and released Thursday as Trump’s budget landed, showed 73 percent opposing federal cuts for public television; meanwhile, 83 percent, including 70 percent of those who voted for Trump, wanted Congress to find budget savings elsewhere. NPR, meanwhile, has also found a powerful Republican ally in Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that grants federal funding for the CPB.”