How An Engineer Practices In The Art World, And Online

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Julian Oliver: “Whether my work is placed in a gallery and intended as art is of little interest to me, but what I’ve found is that it doesn’t matter whether I call it art. Others will do it for me, so I may as well take advantage of what those spaces have to offer.”

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Nations Are Failing To Solve Problems. But Cities…

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“As nations become increasingly ineffective, gridlocked and dysfunctional, cities are taking their place not just as local problem solvers – which they’ve always been pretty good at – but also as collectives that start to tackle global problems like climate change, that nations are unable to redress on their own.”

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China’s Dan Brown (Only He’s Really Good)

China's Dan Brown)

“The literary writer who attains commercial success is a rare breed. One who mixes genres, merges history with fable, and mines the constrictive reality of his repressive state – while boasting of sales in the millions – may only exist in one person. And, surprisingly enough, that person is Chinese.”

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What Was So New About Italian Futurism?

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“Futurists like [Marinetti and] Pannaggi may have been trying to break civilization wide open. They may have declared a new age of speed and violence and radical newness. But as soon as they attempted to analyze that newness, as soon as they attempted to say something about their brave new world, they found themselves pulled back into history and tradition.”

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Tamara Rojo Faces Down BBC’s ‘HARDtalk’ With ‘Joy’

Tamara Rojo BBC

The Royal Ballet star, now artistic director of English National Ballet, tells the famously confrontational interview program that “We never spend any time talking about the joy, about the huge satisfaction that being a ballet dancer gives you.” (video)

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Whatever Happened to That Other Choreographer Who Premiered Alongside Liam Scarlett?

choreographer and dancer Jonathan Watkins

“In the spring of 2010, two budding choreographers made their main stage debuts at the Royal Opera House – Liam Scarlett and Jonathan Watkins, both twentysomething dancers with the Royal Ballet.” Scarlett has made conventional career progress at Covent Garden; Watkins went home to Yorkshire and created a dance about a boy and his pet raptor.

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Developing Prosthetic Voices

prosthetic voice

Rupal Patel and Tim Bunnell have been “developing algorithms that build voices for those unable to speak – without computer assistance. The voices aren’t just natural-sounding; they’re also unique. … [The premise is] that technology now allows us to think about the voice ‘just like we think about fonts for written text’.”

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Meet Saudi Arabia’s King of YouTube

Alaa Wardi

“Alaa Wardi’s wiggling eyebrows and bushy hair are as recognizable as the madcap backdrops to his YouTube videos” – which have gathered more than 36 million views. He does a cappella covers of popular songs; the most recent is “a silly version of Pharrell Williams’s ‘Happy’ embellished with puppets, body percussion, and running commentary in the style of the minions from Despicable Me – only in Arabic.” (includes videos)

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Misty Copeland on Skin Color and Changing Body Types in Ballet

Misty Copeland

“We’re characters on a stage and portraying a role, so I don’t feel like there is any ideal image that you should have to have, as with actors and actresses. … In terms of body types in ballet, I think the field is becoming more open than it used to be because of the types of movement and choreography we’re doing that are calling us to be more athletic. We have to have muscles in order to support that, so I think that dancers are healthier looking now.”

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San Diego Opera Chief Gives Reasons For Abrupt Shutdown

San Diego Opera Campbells

General director Ian Campbell: “We are not bankrupt, owe no money, and have no creditors we believe we cannot pay if people honor pledges they made … It is not an expense issue. It is a problem on the revenue side. Drops in both sales and contributions over several years now mean that we doubt we will be able to complete the next season.”

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‘Noah’ Movie Banned in Indonesia

Noah movie

“Indonesia has banned the release of the Hollywood blockbuster Noah, saying the biblical epic contradicts the teachings of the Koran and may mislead people. ‘We don’t want a film that could provoke reactions and controversies,’ said [a member of the] Film Censorship Board.”

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On The Process Of Choreography: “Sometimes It’s Just An Accident”

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“The greatest things that happen in choreography are by accident. Sometimes it’s a dancer’s physical reaction to the last step that informs my brain and leads to the next one. Or how a group of dancers happens to stand together, or if they fall out of a lift, or accidentally try a different grip that creates a window of opportunity and gives direction to what should happen next.

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BBC Makes Push Into The Arts With Two Big Hires

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“Alongside the new appointments – which sees Nicholas Hytner join the BBC executive board and Vicky Featherstone become a ‘creative leader’ – director general Tony Hall has today announced a range of new arts programmes and strands which he said would put the arts at “the very heart” of what the BBC does.”

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Why Would You Ban Books For Prisoners?

The Baileys Women?s Prize for Fiction announces the 2014 longlist, London, Britain - 06 Mar 2014

“The general consensus seems that this move is designed to punish prisoners purely to show potential voters that the government is tough on crime. But if you look into the science and psychology behind such things, it actually makes little sense.”

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Choreographing the Boxing in Broadway’s ‘Rocky’

choreographing boxing in Rocky

Assistant fight choreographer Patrick McCollum: “It’s about working on developing boxing technique with the actors, and then we also created ways that the actors can safely impact on each other in the show so it looks like a real fight. It is essentially a real fight.”

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