“Hardly anyone actually thinks that we are the only minded species. But the philosophy of mind has gone on as if we were. As the ethologist Frans de Waal charges in this admirable new book, we have in effect been Darwinists about the animal kingdom but Creationists about the human head. This outcome has many causes, including a long and cross-cultural history of deep-seated attitudes towards our place in nature, cross-cut by our pathological denial of our exploitation of other animals. Such attitudes have been structured both by human vanity – with which the evolutionary process has perhaps too generously endowed us – but also by the genuine sense that we occupy a very interesting branch indeed on Darwin’s tree of life.”
Books such as Edgar Lee Masters’s “Spoon River Anthology,” Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio” and Sinclair Lewis’s “Main Street” quickly exemplified what has been called “the revolt from the village.” City slickers like H.L. Mencken and magazines such as the New Yorker further ridiculed the Midwest as a backward, second-class culture of yokels and rednecks who lacked a dedication to the intellect, let alone sensitivity to the arts.
James Romm writes about the “Berlin Painter” – “an artist whose name, nationality, and even gender remain unknown, but whose distinctive and confident illustration in the red-figure style stands out as clearly as any signature.”
“In this edited oral history, he reminisces how he battled deficits, rebuilt a shaken campus, opened a downtown performance outpost and contended with the student who showed up at graduation wearing nothing but a snake.”
Talk about unlikely places! “Written at the start of Plath and [Ted] Hughes’s relationship in autumn 1956, the two unseen poems were deciphered from a carbon paper on which Plath had also typed up a table of contents for Hughes’s groundbreaking collection The Hawk in the Rain.”
In Chicago’s new American Writers Museum: “If the idea is to curate — to present to the world, in some official capacity, the Most Important People in American Literary History — then the battle is unwinnable. There’s no way we’re all ever going to agree. We see certain writers as canonical because we were always told they were canonical.”
When I say that education technology is not new, I’m not arguing that technologies do not change over time; or that our institutions, ideas, experiences, societies do not change in part because of technologies. But when we talk about change – when we tell stories about technological change – we must consider how technologies, particularly modern technologies like computers, emerged from a certain history, from certain institutions; how technologies are as likely to re-inscribe traditional practices as to alter them. We must consider how technology operates, in Franklin’s words, as “an agent of power and control.”
“I often get calls when a spot opens up, but I don’t see myself in that position. I believe myself to not be a director because of the system. Having a male artistic director is a tradition that’s passed down, and it becomes ingrained and it’s like, ‘Oh, fuck off.’ It’s a fake system. It’s hard to break it down unless you talk about it, and I think talking about it will slowly open it up, but even a feminist ballerina like me can still realize that I can be biased at times without knowing it.”
The idea is to teach staffers about both non-verbal communication (with customers and each other) and about gracefully negotiating tight spaces. Says one restaurant choreographer, “I went into it thinking it would be almost like movement coaching, but the amount of dance terminology, spatial composition, effort and tempo decisions left me feeling each experience couldn’t be more of a choreography gig if I tried.”
The researchers found that the skills required fall into five clusters, only two of which are self-evidently “creative.” The other three “are not inherently creative and [are] therefore at risk of being overlooked, but … are essential to enabling the creative process.”
For 45 years he worked at the People’s Army Theater, the main company for the Soviet and then the Russian armed forces. “Aside from his theater work, Mr. Burdonsky kept a low profile, using his mother’s surname. He said he had never visited Stalin’s grave, by the Kremlin wall.”
“No critic can know what another diner brings to the table or an audience member to a concert hall, what vicarious joy—or scorn—a reader draws from a review. Which is why I object to one of Pete Wells’s most ringing self-justifications for taking a pass on this particular restaurant: that the people who eat there are the wrong sort.”
Showrunner Jill Soloway and several of the show’s actresses, as well as the (male) director of photography, talk about how the different atmosphere on set and in the scripts (yes, including the lack of “the male gaze”) makes everyone willing to take bigger risks.
“Robert Booker led the state Arts Commission through an often challenging period marked by recession-era budget reductions and major shifts in the state’s public policy environment. Nevertheless, under Booker’s leadership, the Arts Commission distinguished itself as one of the state’s most resilient, responsive, fiscally responsible agencies, and one of the nation’s boldest and most innovative state arts agencies.”
Claude Lanzmann told the DPRK authorities that he was shooting a film about tae kwon do – and he kept it up with his ever-present government minders, who believed him. In reality, he was revisiting the scene of an affair some 60 years earlier.
During Outvisible’s run of Oleanna, which closed in early April, the creative team (as they apparently do with all of their productions) wanted to host talk back sessions with the audience, who had just seen the show. That was until they received contact from a Dramatists representative, who holds the license to Oleanna, on behalf of David Mamet himself. According to sources they were notified that if they proceeded to have these talk back sessions or ” anything like it were to happen within two hours after the performance, that we would be charged/fined $25,000.”
Alex Klein had been principal oboist at the CSO before – from 1995 to 2004, when he had to resign due to the effects of focal dystonia. After a dozen years of recovery and retooling his technique, Klein re-auditioned for and returned to his old job last year, with the usual two-season probationary period. But the musicians’ tenure review committee and music director Riccardo Muti (who has final say) decided last month not to keep Klein on.
“The new group that reorganized City Opera and brought it out of bankruptcy announced Wednesday that it would give Brokeback” – which Gérard Mortier commissioned from composer Charles Wuorinen during that brief period he headed the company before it went bankrupt – “its United States premiere in the spring of 2018, at the end of its second full season back in the business of staging operas.”
Koons based the 45-foot-tall inflatable, currently installed at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, on his 2015 stainless-steel sculpture of the same name. It turns out that both of them bear the proverbial striking resemblance to a porcelain titled Balerina Lenochka by Oksana Zhnikrup and the The Kiev Experimental Ceramic-Art Factory. (A Koons representative has subsequently claimed that he copied Zhnikrup’s work “under license”; no details of this license were provided.)
“Fischer’s current contract [as music director] was set to expire at the end of the 2018-19 season. The new contract will mean Fischer will continue programming and conducting the Utah Symphony’s concerts through the 2021-22 season.”
It in 1957, her first year at U. Texas-Austin – and the first year black students were admitted as undergrads – that Conrad was cast as Dido, opposite a white student, in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. She was harassed not only by white students but also by state legislators, who threatened to withhold funding from the university if she were not replaced.
“The Musée Dapper in Paris will close its doors next month, with officials citing high costs and low attendance as reasons for shutting the privately funded, non-profit museum of traditional and contemporary African art.”
Just last month, this memoir of the author’s journey to post-Qaddafi Libya in search of his father won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Now it has received the £20,000 Rathbones Folio Prize – in the first year the honor has been open to both fiction and nonfiction.
I had planned this post before Trevor O’Donnell wrote this: Is Marketing about the Consumer or the Product? Really I had. … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2017-05-23
Claudia Quintet In Action
As pointed out in a Rifftides review earlier this year, drummer John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet … has unity of thought, purpose and execution more often found in long-lived classical ensembles than in jazz. … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-05-24
“Longer on gadgetry than on literature, AWM is all about the breezy quote and the glitzy busywork toys that are now the currency of the exhibit industry: push a button, spin a wheel, drag an icon, and the gadgets spit out a thimbleful of data. It’s American Lit 101 (and more), the nutshell version. The books? Look up when you first walk in: a lot of them are stapled to a framework hanging just below the ceiling.”
“There is a gap between the state of research in neuroscience related to music education, and the knowledge of current and future music teachers about these findings,” writes a research team from the Hanover University of Music led by Reinhard Kopiez. It reports instructors are particularly prone to accepting false assertions when they are accompanied by certain brain-related buzzwords.
Like similar projects in California, Florida, Texas, Connecticut, Maryland and elsewhere, the Marciano Art Foundation isn’t exactly a museum. It’s merely a private collection open to the public. The selection is highly personal. The mission statement is freewheeling (“Through exhibiting a diverse and compelling collection … MAF aims to encourage curiosity and contemplation of art.”) The professional staff is limited, as are public hours.
A spokesperson for the NEA confirms that the president’s 2018 budget proposes the elimination of the department, and includes a request for $29 million from Congress to shut down the agency in an orderly fashion. The spokesperson says that the organization is fully funded for the fiscal year, and will continue to make 2017 grant awards and “honor all obligated grant funds made to date.”
“His gift, through his charitable organization Bloomberg Philanthropies, helps solidify what promises to be New York’s first new cultural institution in recent memory, to be completed in spring 2019, that will present performances, concerts, visual art, music and other events. With Mr. Bloomberg’s donation, $421 million will have been raised toward a $500 million capital campaign that includes start-up costs.”