“I’m interested in how we can amplify space and proximity for artists who want to explore an idea bigger than just their next project. For example, there’s the Dancing Laboratory, which will initially center around BODYTRAFFIC, an LA-based company that commissions two or three pieces a year. The commissioning model generally suffers, because the artist must write the grant without knowing what the work will be yet, they raise the funds, and then put all the energy and resources into a few weeks, and expect the commissioned choreographer to make an amazing work. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t; there’s no room for failure or trying new ideas. We decided we want to disrupt that system, as well as offer additional opportunities that would cultivate female choreographic talent.”
“Nowadays, you can make the bestseller list with about 5,000 sales. That’s not the heights of publishing’s heyday but it’s still harder to get than you’d think. Some publishers spend thousands of dollars on advertising and blogger outreach to get that number. Everyone’s looking for the next big thing and that costs a lot of cash. For the past 25 weeks, that big book in the YA world has been The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, a searing politically charged drama about a young black girl who sees a police officer kill her friend, and the fallout it causes in her community.”
“This list, of the greatest albums made by women between 1964 and the present, is an intervention, a remedy, a correction of the historical record and hopefully the start of a new conversation. Compiled by nearly 50 women from across NPR and the public radio system and produced in partnership with Lincoln Center, it rethinks popular music to put women at the center.”
Ann Powers: “I’m officially tired of writing about music that recognizes women when gender is the topic, but when music itself is the topic, almost always returns its focus to men. Talking about this problem with Jill [Sternheimer of Lincoln Center] and then with several of my colleagues at NPR, I began to wonder if focusing on what women have done in music, instead of constantly remarking that wow, they exist, might be a way to begin correcting this pattern.”
“[The memoir,] written by his long-time physician Vejay Ramlakan, discloses intimate details about Mandela’s health and family infighting prior to his death in 2013. … Members of the Mandela family have strongly objected to the book’s publication, slamming it as a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality.”
“The change did not come overnight, but I did start to notice a while back that I was having fewer of these word surges interrupting whatever I was doing. Less and less often was I waking up wanting to strategize — plotting out paragraph transitions like a traveler marking a route on a map, except that both map and route were both in the head.”
Sure, thieves make off with expensive coffee-table books and textbooks, but, says the manager of the London Review Bookshop, “Our most-stolen authors, in order, are Baudrillard, Freud, Nietzsche, Graham Greene, Lacan, Camus, and whoever puts together the Wisden [Cricketers’] Almanack.” One booklifter who got caught said as he was escorted from the store, “I hope you’ll consider this in the Žižekian spirit, as a radical reappropriation of knowledge.”
“So much of our understanding of the arts in this country is bound up with the individual tastes of the listener or consumer. The primacy of classical music as an artful or superior genre has gradually diminished. Increasingly, classical musicians are not so much advocates for their art as apologists. This is not a trend I observe, however, in great art museums.”
“Convinced that mankind had been on a journey of unrelenting progress since we emerged from the swamp, he believed the 15-hour week to be the culmination of hundreds of generations’ collective ingenuity and effort. Perhaps Keynes would have had a different view had he known that the 15-hour week was a reality for some of the handful of remaining tribes of autonomous hunter-gatherers, and that, in all probability, it was the norm for much of the history of modern Homo sapiens.”
Mark Harris writes about how audiences are finding current-day resonance in properties like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Americans, The Big Sick, and Dunkirk that were planned and written well before the 2016 election. However, “this moment is coming into focus just as it’s about to end. … With the advent of autumn we’ll move into a period in which most of the resonance will be planned. … My guess – speaking of questionable forecasting – is that our relationship to Trumpian pop-culture material will start to change in the next few months. Critics and audiences alike can be suspicious of art that looks like it wants to have an effect.”
“At the time, it was the case in the Royal Ballet that there was a mindset of leaving dancers to develop, like a good wine or something, to gain strength in their own time. Whereas, in Russia, they have an idea of taking raw talent, maybe not ready for the big roles, and working on it until it’s ready to be set before the audience.”
“People will be able to request details of the data held about them at any time, and can require its removal in a wide range of circumstances. This is not only fundraising data but information held about everyone in an arts organisation’s database, from audiences and artists to volunteers.”
“Alice says he remembers having a conversation with Warhol about the picture. He thinks the conversation was real, but he couldn’t put his hand on a Bible and say that it was.” The artwork entered Cooper’s touring equipment collection, and disappeared.
“This approach to markets and governments, commonly called neoliberalism by its critics, has grown increasingly dominant. As this theory moved off the page and the blackboard, people who wanted to live according to neoliberal principles ran into a basic problem. This is a specific way of dealing with markets, even for those committed in principle to capitalism. So, as more governments and businesses adopted market measures as often as possible, new ways of talking about many aspects of life, including work and careers, arose. Every total way of life, after all, requires its own vocabulary.”
German philosophy today is not so much the kind of intellectual discipline that Martin Heidegger would practice, hermitlike, in his Black Forest hut but rather a successful service industry competing for customers.
A couple of weeks ago, Emily Temple cracked some books, ran some stats, and came up with a list (several, actually) of the most anthologized short stories
of all time in the U.S. over the last 34 years. Now she’s tried a similar approach with poetry.
“Apparently, despite all our best intentions and our good will efforts, not only have we failed to make even a slight dent in the inequity of funding disproportionately going to the big, white, rich urban cultural organizations – at the expense of the smaller and rural organizations, especially those serving people of color, people with disabilities and the LGBT community. MORE of the total funding is now going to the largest cultural organizations, not less. So far anyway, all the efforts to the contrary have not yielded any substantial or measurable change from the situation five years ago. Indeed, from an equity standpoint, things are worse, not better.”
“Inattentional blindness is just one example of a more general feature of our visual experience known to cognitive scientists as ‘the grand illusion’. When we look at the world around us, almost everything in our visual field appears clear, vivid and rich in detail but, in experiments, our objective ability to detect change is more suggestive of an observer with a bag on his head, with just a small hole through which to see anything. This observation hole can be moved around by the observer himself or it can be manipulated automatically when interesting events occur in the environment.”
In “The Gift of the Mishnah,” as the editors put it, “19th-century Hasidism meets its radical grandchildren in the 20th.”
There are a few factors at play here. One is the influence of a new president with a less-than-traditional background — he hails from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s business operations rather than academia. The other is a recently completed effort to assuage the concerns of one of the institute’s accrediting bodies, which institute officials say has made the institution stronger.
Three paintings from the collection of the Louvre, and another 200 canvases belonging to a local maritime museum, went up in flames last Tuesday, when severe lightning caused a fire on the small island of Tatihou on the French side of the English Channel.
“In under three minutes, you’ll meet three violin makers who love what they do and are proud to carry on their city’s rich tradition. As you could probably imagine, building instruments of this quality takes time; one luthier reveals she only make a handful in a given year.” (video)
“So, what’s going on? Well, it probably won’t surprise you that there’s a startup tech company and a lawsuit involved. There are claims and counterclaims. But if you want to know the gory details that are available in the court filings, here we go.”
“In addition to two Norman Rockwell paintings, Shuffleton’s Barber Shop and Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop, which were previously disclosed, the list includes two [mobile] sculptures by Calder, [and] paintings by [Frederic] Church [and Albert Bierstadt] of the Hudson River School … The [reinvention] plan includes adding $40 million to [the museum’s] endowment, currently about $8.6 million, and a $20 million renovation of its South Street building.”
“Most of us, most of our days, are subject to time. We follow calendars and clocks like slaves. Great dancers, however, seem to govern time, to find and possess it without haste and even, for moments, to suspend it altogether. The music’s pulse runs on apace; but they pack every measure with important-seeming activity, now and then playing with the beat, here a hairbreadth behind and there a bit ahead of the music, sometimes pausing miraculously amid the pressing momentum of the dance.”
“[Daniel] Lipton, 76, was the company’s second artistic director, succeeding 17-year director Anton Coppola in 2012. He had completed five years of a six-year employment agreement … His resignation is effective immediately.”
Barrie Kosky, for the past five seasons artistic director at the Komische Oper, “has had a revitalizing effect on the company, one of three full-time opera companies in Berlin, thanks to his riotous productions and his eclectic repertoire choices.”
Berkshire Museum Disposables: Bierstadts, Bouguereaus, Calders, Church, Inness, “George Washington”
The hit list is out. The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA, today identified (see the above link) all 40 works that it intends to sell through Sotheby’s to bankroll its $60-million reinvention plan. … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-07-24
Digging to France
When I tell a U.S. colleague about several concerts I’m playing in France he says: “You’re Jerry Lewis!” The French, it’s true, have a long tradition of appreciating U.S culture, and yes, that silly American … read more
AJBlog: PianoMorphosis Published 2017-07-24
Into the Wilderness
At the bottom of the hill where I live is what used to be called a Dead End. Now, I believe, developers address them more euphemistically – No Outlet, for example. The pavement doesn’t stop … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2017-07-24
Recent Listening In Brief
It is impossible to review even a smattering of the dozens of albums that land in the Rifftides mailbox. With the Sweden trip looming, time allows for mentions of a few relatively … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-07-24
After a year of comprehensive and systematic research, we can safely say fandom is a relationship — a love relationship between the self and an object of fandom, whether that object is a show, movie, book, sport, team, league, band, genre, product, brand, person, activity, or idea. We actually refer to fandom as “love,” differentiating it from “liking something” by the loyalty, devotion, depth of interest, willingness to invest, and desire for closeness that it engenders. While at face value fandom may look unidirectional, reciprocity is underway nonetheless.
“At the core of the beautiful soul is the idea that the individual possesses an innate cognitive potential. Subject to the right environmental and educational conditions, this latent potential can be developed to reach a more perfect state of intellect, morality, character and conduct. The beautiful soul is an aesthetic concept focused on developing human capacities and advancing knowledge and culture. It entails the pursuit of personal cultivation to create a convergence of the individual aesthetic impulse with a collective ethical ideal.”