The Bullies Of Brutalism


“Those who wish to preserve examples of the the style aren’t simply fighting against indifference, they’re combating avowed foes—antagonists who would gladly take a turn at the wrecking ball—who view sympathy for the style as willful contrarianism of the ‘Bach or Before, Ives or After’ variety, not just divorced from reasonable taste but purposefully set at odds with it.”

Why Popular Romance Movies Matter Now, And Always Have (It Has To Do With Kant And Hume)

Overwhelming Sparks Movie Shots

“If the contemporary rom-com is filled with the stresses of urban life — text messages, high heels, workplace drama, stylish high-rise apartments, shopping montages — then the Sparks love story is rooted in an almost pre-digital arcadian space, a stone’s throw from the ocean, filled with ancient trees bathed in golden light.”

Why It’s Getting Much More Difficult To Read Seriously


“In the past, having satisfied myself that the postman really had come and gone, the day then presented itself as an undisturbed ocean of potential—for writing (by hand), reading (on paper), and, to pay the bills, translating (on a manual typewriter). It was even possible in those days to see reading as a resource to fill time that hung heavy when rain or asphyxiating heat forced one to stay indoors. Now, on the contrary, every moment of serious reading has to be fought for, planned for.”

‘Veep’ Vs. ‘The Thick Of It’: Why Did They Make The American Political Satire Less Sharp Than The British?

veep thumb

“So what changed when the same writers turned their attention to American politics? Why did their British satire bite so hard, when the American Veep prefers to nibble at the edges? … American political culture doesn’t encourage the contempt for its leaders that British political culture expects as standard.”

Delaware Art Museum’s Cash-For-Paintings Plan Violates Public Trust


“The trustees of the Delaware Art Museum have violated this principle by declaring that the proceeds from this sale, as well as the sale of up to three other works—expected to raise a total of $30 million—will be used to pay down $19.8 million in construction debt, with the balance to be added to the operating endowment to offset persistent operating deficits.”

San Jose Repertory Theater Shuts Down After 34 Years

san jose rep

“Founded in 1980 on a shoestring budget, the Rep, which presented a mix of seven dramas, comedies, musicals and classics annually, has been financially flailing in recent years. In 2006, on the edge of insolvency, the theater, which had a $5 million annual budget and 51 employees, turned to the city for a $2 million bailout that later was restructured into a long-term mortgage-type loan.”

New York Phil’s $200K New Music Prize Goes To Per Nørgård


“The Danish composer … on Wednesday became the second recipient of the New York Philharmonic’s Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, an award that consists of a $200,000 cash prize and a commission to compose a work for the orchestra. The philharmonic bestows the honor every two seasons. The inaugural award, in the 2011-12 season, went to Henri Dutilleux.”

Marina Abramovic Is Bringing Londoners To Tears


In her new show at the Serpentine Gallery, 512 Hours, the current goddess of performance art interacts with viewers, very quietly, in three empty white rooms. And people are queuing up by the hundreds to take part.

‘You’re Pathetic’, Says UK Culture Minister To Non-London Arts Orgs Who Have Trouble Raising Private Funds

UK banknotes A

“I can see absolutely no reason why every arts organisation in this country cannot raise philanthropic funds,” Ed Vaizey told a House of Commons committee. “I think that too many arts organisations think, ‘well, we live in an area where rich people don’t live, so they’re not going to back the arts’. I think that is pathetic, frankly.”

Putting ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ To Work

theater of the oppressed

“Augusto Boal, Brazilian artist and activist, developed the performance methodology in the 1960s based on his theory that performance could empower the underclass. ‘Theatre is a form of knowledge,’ he claimed. ‘It should and can also be a means of transforming society.'” Lance Richardson watches that methodology put into practice with transgender youth in New York.

Top Posts From AJBlogs 06.11.14

What if Music Streaming Collapses?
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-06-11

Beaux Arts on Botox: The Frick Collection’s Planned Expansion
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-06-11

Making the old new (3)
More on ornamentation — returning to the way musicians once ornamented and otherwise changed the music they performed — as a way of making old classical music sound contemporary.
AJBlog: Sandow | Published 2014-06-11

VMFA Poached For Another Top Job
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-06-11

Hail visionary Charles Gayle (from The Wire, 1994)
AJBlog: Jazz Beyond Jazz | Published 2014-06-11

Develop Allies
AJBlog: Engaging Matters | Published 2014-06-11

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos: A gentleman and an artist
AJBlog: Condemned to Music | Published 2014-06-11


Study: Intuition Versus Analytics


“Many people correctly solved more problems if the previous person had a high score rather than a low one. But, crucially, this effect was found only for a specific subset of individuals: Those who (a) tended to process information in an intuitive, System 1 way, and (b) actually touched the paper that had allegedly been handled by the previous test-taker.”

Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House – A Plan To Move Or Raise It


“After commissioning several technical surveys, the trust has posted a feasibility study by structural engineering firm Robert Silman Associates that assesses three possible solutions to the ever-worsening threat of floods: permanently elevating the house by putting a nine-foot hill underneath it, relocating it to higher ground on the site, or building the aforementioned hydraulic lift, which would use a set of four steel trusses to raise the house by nine feet when needed.”

Why Does Classical Music Advertising Suck?


“So why is the opera audience proving so stubbornly socially stagnant? I’d point at least one finger in the direction of an unlikely villain that has never really been properly dragged into the elitism debate: the total ineffectualness and inappropriateness of large-scale classical music advertising.”

Seattle Symphony’s ‘Baby Got Back’ Video – Enterprising Viral Hit Or Cheap And Tawdry Gimmick?

baby got back 1

That’s the (predictable) debate that has arisen since a video of the orchestra’s performance with Sir Mix-a-Lot and a few dozen boogie-ing women started racking up the YouTube views. But that clip came from an actual concert of contemporary classical music, including a premiere by one Gabriel Prokofiev.

Composer Elodie Lauten, 63

elodie lauten

“[Her] style, which incorporated elements of minimalism, pop, jazz, blues, classical composition, electronic music and improvisation and often combined traditional orchestral instruments with ambient sounds like bird song, sirens and amplified heartbeats – defied handy categorization. While not every critic warmed to that style, many praised her as a skilled melodist who could write music of surprising, satisfying consonance in a dissonant age.”