Morton’s terminology is “slowly infecting all the humanities”, says his friend and fellow thinker Graham Harman. Though many academics have a reputation for writing exclusively for their colleagues down the hall, Morton’s peculiar conceptual vocabulary – “dark ecology”, “the strange stranger”, “the mesh” – has been picked up by writers in a cornucopia of fields, from literature and epistemology to legal theory and religion. Last year, he was included in a much-discussed list of the 50 most influential living philosophers. His ideas have also percolated into traditional media outlets such as Newsweek, the New Yorker and the New York Times.
“Reading historical fiction not only puts our current events into a historical context, but also helps us understand and imagine and empathize with what people lived through in other times and places. It reminds us that other people, ordinary people, real people, have lived and survived and fallen in love, but also, died in these times of political turmoil before us.”
Anjum Hasan looks at the phenomenon of “minor-character elaboration” – from Jean Rhys’s The Wide Sargasso Sea (the story of Jane Eyre‘s madwoman in the attic) to Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (how Ulysses’s wife and queen passed the twenty years waiting for his return) and onward. (Hasan also includes Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, though we think that wasn’t the same thing.)
Historian Sarah E. Bond wrote an essay reminding us, as others have before, that a great deal of Greek and Roman sculpture was not intended to be seen as milky-white marble – it was painted. As Bond puts it, the alt-right “viewed the piece as ‘liberal professor says that all white statues are racist.'”
“The spectacular advances of modern science have generated a mindset that makes potential limits to scientific inquiry intuitively difficult to grasp. Again and again we are given examples of seemingly insurmountable problems that yield to previously unimaginable answers. Just as some physicists believe we will one day have a Theory of Everything, many cognitive scientists believe that consciousness, like any physical property, can be unraveled. Overlooked in this optimism is the ultimate barrier: The nature of consciousness is in the mind of the beholder, not in the eye of the observer.”
Advanced sampling technology allows it to sound like any one of dozens of vintage electric or acoustic guitars at the touch of a button. A player can also quickly shift among any number of conventional and unconventional tuning setups at the touch of another button. And thanks to automatic tuning technology, one will never worry about it going out of tune. And that’s barely scratching the instrument’s high-gloss surface. “This has got more technology than you can shake a stick at.”
She knew how she wanted to be seen, and she sculpted her own fame. Her paintings made her wealthy and famous. She was the highest-paid woman artist in New York City within a decade of moving there from Texas. But her self-presentation—the high priestess of the high desert in crepe dresses and dirty work boots—made her an icon.
Public Theatre’s Oskar Eustis believes that we have entered a frightening chapter in the cultural wars in which snippets of information are disseminated on the Web and elsewhere to discredit a piece of political art. “The thing that’s new is that somebody is using the arts as a way of manipulating people and lying about the arts. That’s the new toxic element in our culture.”
For one piece, the necessary reporting might include 20 books. Adam Gopnik writes with the morning coffee from 9 and reads after dinner until 11, usually for four hours each. “I’ve discovered that reading is actually one of those skills that increases exponentially the more of it you do, and it doesn’t stop improving the older you get, which is an encouraging fact,” he told me. For work, he now reads the average book, preferably with Mozart or Haydn playing, in one and a half, maybe two hours.
“It is with relatively high confidence that I predict you’re going to see a boom in landscape architecture. You will see innovation and invention that has never been possible, because suddenly, everyone’s going to have all this excess space.”
In just the article we need for a summer Friday at the office, Melissa Dahl offers three suggestions that generally work for her.
“It began about two days ago,” Raphael Parry, the executive & artistic of Shakespeare Dallas said. “Some were just telling us ‘I will write to your sponsors to pull your funding,’ or to go to hell. But others said they hoped we’d all be sent to ISIS and killed with real knives.”
“Many pundits say he did all the right things – modern music, standard repertoire, plus staged operas. In a world that’s being dazzled by high-personality Gustavo Dudamel and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the question is whether Gilbert did them right enough, with the personal magnetism to pull it off. Or with a fighting spirit, which, he suggested in exit interviews, was in shorter supply.” Or, asks David Patrick Stearns, “might the unanswered question be, at least in part, the New York Philharmonic?”
Oh yes, it’s a real job. Laura Collins-Hughes profiles Tonia Sina, who works with actors and directors on performing love and sex onstage in a way that’s both convincing for audiences and (more or less) comfortable for the people doing it.
“The US Justice Department is seeking to acquire the rights to films, including the comedy sequel Dumb and Dumber To, as part of an effort to recover $540m in assets it says were stolen from Malaysia’s troubled wealth fund.”
“‘Nobody knows how a theatre season is made,’ Paul Miller says cheerily. There is no rule book, no key to artistic or box-office success. Still, nothing made Miller, the artistic director of the resurgent Orange Tree theatre in Richmond, more chuffed than a recent compliment from a fellow director, Ellen McDougall. She said she would recognise an Orange Tree season at a glance, even if the theatre’s name was omitted. So, what gives a programme coherence?”
“Since NYCB preserves its Balanchine legacy by keeping everything in house – dancers are hired almost exclusively from [the School of American Ballet], where they are trained by former members of the company – the school is a logical place to start transforming its image. And it’s working. Presently, the children’s division and intermediate/advanced division boasts 44% and 29% students of color, respectively.”
The semi-autobiographical dance-theater piece Funkedified “reaches back to the music that 53-year-old Harris grew up in North Philly in the 1970s, when funk, psychedelia, and later dance-club music fatefully collided.”
NEA supports jazz and US arts nationwide
The National Endowment of the Arts, arguably the most misunderstood and beleaguered doing-good office of the federal gov’t (excluding the NEH, EPA, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Civil Rights Division of the Justice Dept., and a few others) has issued its 2017 funding report, highlighting that its monies (monies from we US taxpayers) flow to communities in all 50 states and five territories. … read more
AJBlog: Jazz Beyond Jazz Published 2017-06-15
“The model that allowed two bots to have a conversation—and use machine learning to constantly iterate strategies for that conversation along the way—led to those bots communicating in their own non-human language. If this doesn’t fill you with a sense of wonder and awe about the future of machines and humanity then, I don’t know, go watch Blade Runner or something.”
“Kevin Loring, an actor and Governor General’s Award-winning playwright, will take up his duties at the Ottawa performing arts venue in October and will debut a full program of works for the centre’s 2019/2020 season. While Indigenous theatre companies and programs are beginning to flourish across Canada, the centre’s decision to appoint a full-time artistic director dedicated to aboriginal performance is a bold step.”
“It’s to her as much as anyone that the Philharmonic owes its success. Now the L.A. Phil, as it calls itself with deliberate Californian informality, must decide who will succeed her — a member of the respected team she built, or an outsider? — and how to continue her legacy of innovation, outreach and prodigious fund-raising.”
Extracts from a 1980 BBC interview in which Lennon said that Ms. Ono should share credit for the song were aired as part of the event. The song “should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song, because a lot of it, the lyric and the concept, came from Yoko,” Lennon said in the interview.