“Archaeologists in the northern Shanxi province of China have uncovered a vibrant record of the customs and costumes of the people living in the area about 1,000 years ago. An ancient tomb filled with colorful, partially preserved murals resurfaced in Datong City as part of Datong Municipal Institute of Archaeology’s excavation of 31 tombs of the Liao and Jin dynasties.”
“Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy have had a dream start to their tenure as Joint Artistic Directors of the Adelaide Festival with their debut programme taking more than $4.08 million at the box office, representing a 44 percent increase on last year. The 2017 takings were the highest in the Festival’s 57-year history, matching a plethora of rave reviews and high levels of audience excitement.”
Years after most Americans switched to flat-screens, we’re just now beginning to deal with the long-term ramifications of sustainably disposing of old cathode-ray televisions and computer monitors. This dangerous, labor-intensive, and costly undertaking will have to be done for each of the estimated 705 million CRT TVs sold in the United States since 1980.
The NEA’s Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program has saved museums hundreds of millions in insurance premiums and made possible countless high-profile exhibitions that couldn’t have happened without it. But if the NEA is shut down, this program will be shut down with it – and there is no private-sector alternative.
“In February, the Emperor Qin Shihuang Mausoleum Site Museum in [Xi’an] accused an amusement park that features replica warriors of violating its registered copyright. … The 5,000-Year Cultural Expo Park in Anqing, Anhui province, contains a large pit of full-scale Terracotta Warrior models.” (Are we allowed to see some irony here?)
“Science is expensive, and since we can’t fund every scientist, we need some way of deciding whose research deserves a chance. So, how do we pick? At the moment, expert reviewers spend a lot of time allocating grant money by trying to identify the best work. But the truth is that they’re not very good at it, and that the process is a huge waste of time. It would be better to do away with the search for excellence, and to fund science by lottery.”
“As streaming becomes our dominant mode of listening, Billboard has begun measuring success song by song, stream by stream. In turn, pop albums are expanding. The more tracks an album contains, the more coin it can generate, the better the album can perform on the charts. As the container changes shape, so does the stuff that goes inside. And not necessarily for the better.”
“Cinema watching in the traditional way is definitely in decline. Television is growing partly because of the physical quality of televisions these days. Plus the combination of programmes made with proper production values so you can have a proper experience at home. All the money goes on the screen.”
“Intolerant is an effective slur, but critics who deploy it fail to recognize that intolerance is often desirable,” argues Alan Levinovitz. Something did go wrong at Middlebury, but it certainly wasn’t due to students’ intolerance. Indeed, higher education couldn’t function without intolerance.”
“The New York Review, founded in 1963, was born with a mission – to raise the standards of book reviewing and literary discussion in the United States and nurture a hybrid form of politico-cultural essay. Mr. Silvers brought to its pages a self-effacing, almost priestly sense of devotion that ultimately made him indistinguishable from the publication he edited, and it from him.”
The last surviving grandson of oil baron John D. Rockefeller, he rose to the chairmanship of Chase Manhattan Bank. “His stature was greater than any corporate title might convey, however. His influence was felt in Washington and foreign capitals, in the corridors of New York City government, in art museums, in great universities and in public schools.”
Love, Hate and Design Research
Sigh. We live in interesting times. Increasingly folks are driven further apart, retreating into factions that love one thing/person or hate another. Naturally, we are right and they are wrong. … read more
AJBlog: Field Notes Published 2017-03-19
Operas That Dance
The Brooklyn Academy of Music presents Mark Morris: Two Operas (Benjamin Britten’s Curlew River and Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas), March 15 through 19. … read more
AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2017-03-20
We had composer Chris Heckman in on Friday to talk with our composers about careers in Film Composition. … He was direct and informative with the students: no sugar-coating, no blasting the bad guys, just shared a clear sense of how the profession works. A few themes emerged. … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2017-03-20
The awkward master
Marsden Hartley was a major American painter, to my mind a great one. Robert Hughes called him “the most brilliantly gifted of the early generation of American modernists,” … Yet his work has never come close to receiving its due, … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2017-03-20
The filtering issue was highlighted in a video on Thursday by British user Rowan Ellis, who suggested that YouTube’s restricted mode appeared to have “some kind of targeted effect” for L.G.B.T. individuals. Over the weekend, many video creators and users complained on Twitter, recycling the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty, which was trending worldwide by Sunday night.
In coordination with UNESCO, the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH) aims to prevent heritage site destruction, fight trafficking of stolen artifacts and pay for restoration. But it also seeks to create a global network of storage and safeguarding sites.
This feat would make it the first $100-million opener of 2017 (beating out the $88-million opening of “Logan” as the year’s best so far), as well as the highest March opener ever, edging just past the $166 million grossed by “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” last year. It would also shatter the $135-million record held by “Finding Dory” for the largest opening of a PG-rated movie.
“Paying attention is the only thing that guarantees insight. It is the only real weapon we have against power, too. You can’t fight things you can’t actually see. The power a writer has is the power to make things visible, and they are the things that we don’t typically look at or think about. Telling a story about someone has enormous power. People forget a headline. They remember a story.”
Barry Hessenius: “If we really want to maximize our effectiveness and increase our chances of saving the NEA, we need to use social media and any other tool we have to enlist the support of neighbors, friends, co-workers, local media and businesses to join the effort in communicating with Congress. Every single person in the arts ought to enlist the support of one person outside the arts to make that phone call or write that letter or email.”
“The case of the dairy-truck drivers’ comma has got several things going for it. It’s got David and Goliath in the story of the little guy sticking it to a corporate boss. It’s got men driving around in trucks with copies of Strunk & White in the glove compartment. And you know what else it’s got? Of course you do. It’s got milk. For all the backlash against the dairy industry—the ascendance of soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk (note the asyndeton), none of which, by the way, are really milk, because you can’t milk a hazelnut—there is something imperishably wholesome about cows and milk.”
NEA Funding: Beyond Votes, We Must Grow the Applause
The President’s budget proposal to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts is merely an “opening argument.” A very long legislative process now begins which will, hopefully, culminate in a budget that reflects moderation … read more
AJBlog: Audience Wanted Published 2017-03-16
It’s A Matter of Taste-And Touch And…
If three, as the old saying goes, makes a trend, the museum world is past that and into institutionalizing the idea of multi-sensory exhibitions. I still would call it a “mini-trend,” though … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-03-16
Phantasmic Freaks and Geeks in ABT’s Scrumptious “Whipped Cream”
No one in their right mind thinks the ballet stage needs any more dancing sweets, yet there was something irresistible about the announcement that American Ballet Theatre Artist-in-Residence Alexei Ratmansky planned to resurrect Richard Strauss’ … read more
AJBlog: Fresh Pencil Published 2017-03-16
“In 1952, the anthropologists Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn wrote a famous article, “Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions,” in which they specified no fewer than 164 definitions of culture. Culture can, of course, refer to whole civilizations, such as Western culture or Asian culture; it can refer to national, ethnic, or social-class cultures, such as Israeli culture or Irish-Catholic culture, or working-class culture. In all these senses it refers to the overarching aspirations and assumptions that underlay the ways that different peoples and groups have of understanding and dealing with the world.”