The Damien Hirst Forgery Trial: A Juror Speaks


“[Such trials] are fairly banal legal processes, cases settled by a jury of peers that considers the facts and comes to a conclusion. But these human beings also become, for a period of a few hours, days, or weeks, endowed with a unique power and perspective: critics with the force of law.” Hyperallergic offers a Q&A with a member of the panel that convicted a Florida pastor of selling fake Hirsts.

How Do We Explain The Evolution Of Religion?

evolution of religion

“In a new paper, biologists suggest that religion evolved in our prehistoric past through processes by which serving one’s family and larger social group become synonymous with serving God.”

A Look Back At Edward Sozanski’s Art Criticism

Sozanski columns

“Assessing his first year in Philadelphia, he wrote, ‘I have not been startled here as often as I would like to have been nor have I felt the energy that is generated by a city where art is important and in ferment.’ But he stayed, and over three decades observed ever-increasing energy, plenty of artistic ferment, and some startling developments.” (includes excerpts)

British Pathé Uploads Entire 85,000-Film Archive to YouTube

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“The collection, which spans 1896 to 1976, comprises some 3,500 hours of historical footage of major events, notable figures, fashion, travel, sports and culture. It includes extensive film from both World War I and World War II.” And it’s all now in HD, no less.

Hilary Mantel Talks About Writing


She adores “the unnerving exhilaration of writing scenes in the middle of the night and handing them to actors at ten o’clock the following morning. The buzz of that is like nothing else. It’s the pressure, and the fact that you are thinking on your feet.”

Nashville Symphony Reborn


“As it prepares to re-enter labor negotiations with its musicians, the Nashville Symphony has reduced its debt to less than $23 million, lowered operating expenses by $10 million a year and set a new ticket sales record.”

The Battle For Ballet At The Bolshoi Rages On (And On)


“Why does the Bolshoi matter outside Moscow? Many seasoned balletgoers ultimately prefer the styles of certain Western companies or that of the Mariinsky Ballet of St. Petersburg. Yet your knowledge of ballet is incomplete until you’ve witnessed how the Bolshoi can seem the most red-blooded, exuberant and viscerally stirring of ballet companies.”

The Surveillance Society Hurts – Literally


People “who had any type of contact with the criminal justice system were 31 percent more likely than those who had no contact to not obtain medical care when they needed it. Even people who were merely stopped by police were 33 percent more likely to not seek medical care.”

When A Studio Fire Destroys Everything


Artist Julian Bell: “At first, the blow seeming so clean and entire, I glimpsed a neat image for it. A rectangle had been punched straight through me and I was an empty frame, the picture gone. And I was struck by the way my fuzzy life had suddenly acquired definition, even if only in negative mode. Now I start to sense the rip is more ragged.”

Record Day Started As A PR Move For Indie Stores – And It Worked

Record Day

“As recently as 2008, only 2.9 million LPs were sold in the United States, representing about 0.7 percent of annual album sales, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Last year those sales climbed to 9.4 million, representing 3 percent of all albums, and the independent, off-the-grid nature of many of those sales may mean that vinyl’s numbers are underreported.”

What Has Osmo Vänskä Been Thinking – And Doing – Since The Minnesota Board Let Him Resign?

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“I think that classical music is always going to be here, as long as there are human beings. But I think that everyone has to think about what is the right way to take care of classical music. It is not the first time when there are problems. I don’t know if there has ever been something which is not called difficult time, in history. I think it’s always time to try to adjust.”

Chicago Lays Claim To The Comedy (And Late Night) World

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“Colbert is the logical extensions of groundbreaking, neo-absurdist shows like Second City’s ‘Pinata Full of Bees,’ coupled with the arrival on North Wells and North Clark streets of good-looking careerists rather than neo-Brechtian improvisors with much facial hair.”

The Best Easter Art Is Bloody And Disturbing

The Crucifixion in the Isenheim Altarpiece

“Of all the rituals that marked the pre-modern year in Christian Europe, this was the time for the darkest meditations and most intense hopes. This contemplative mood makes the art of Easter far more personal than that of Christmas.”