Collective Focus – Why Paying Attention Intentionally Is Hard


“Over time, humans have learned how, under certain conditions, to sit still and give someone or something undivided attention. Such learning, though, runs counter to who we instinctively are. We are hardwired to pick up the slightest distraction in our environment and to move toward or away from that distraction. The popularity of events such as Wimbledon and the World Cup reminds us that most of us feel far more at home in stadium culture—getting up, moving around, making noise, attending off and on—than in sanctuary culture.”

How Do You Measure Impact Of A Movie Or TV Show?


“What actually gets people moving? Do grant-supported media projects incite change, or are they simply an expensive way of preaching to the choir? Ultimately, the answers may help determine which projects get financed, which formats are favored and how stories are structured.”

China’s “Dancing Grannies”: The Backlash


“By one estimate there are now one hundred million public dancers in China, and the number is growing rapidly as the country ages. The “dancing grannies”, as they’ve been dubbed by the Chinese media, are facing an urban backlash. Younger city-dwellers see them as a nuisance, and are demanding they turn down the volume.”

Taylor Swift Writes About The State Of The Music Business


There are a few things I have witnessed becoming obsolete in the past few years, the first being autographs. I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento “kids these days” want is a selfie. It’s part of the new currency, which seems to be “how many followers you have on Instagram.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 07.07.14

On the State of Opera
(introducing a new ArtsJournal blog by former Seattle Opera general director Speight Jenkins)
AJBlog: OperaSleuth | Published 2014-07-07

Creative Placemaking: A Conversation
(introducing a three-week blogging event from National Arts Strategies)
AJBlog: Field Notes | Published 2014-07-07

Practicing extreme transparency: Why does your “About Us” section have to be so boring?
AJBlog: Speaker | Published 2014-07-07

Small Show At The Met Makes Me Wish…
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-07-06

In Praise of Spoilers (and a plug for Jacob’s Pillow)
AJBlog: We The Audience | Published 2014-07-07

Building Communities, Building the Field
AJBlog: Field Notes | Published 2014-07-08



The Secret Of Brian Eno’s Genius: Cluelessness

brian eno

Sasha Frere-Jones: “Eno is widely known for coining the term ‘ambient music,’ and he produced a clutch of critically revered albums in the nineteen-seventies and eighties – by the Talking Heads, David Bowie, and U2, among others – but if I had to choose his greatest contribution to popular music it would be the idea that musicians do their best work when they have no idea what they’re doing.”