ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

Today's Stories

It’s Worth Reviving The Fading Art Of Writing Longhand

I’m old enough to remember writing by hand when it was the only choice. Then I fell to the seductions of these newfangled things called laptops. I was delighted by the convenience. But I switched back to longhand several years ago, and now it’s the only way I write my drafts. - The Millions

Italian Government Fights Over Museum Policy: Free Museums?

During the election campaign Giorgia Meloni, defined culture as a “cardinal strategic point”, noting that the country’s arts industry generates roughly €85bn annually. The party promised to wipe out a left-wing “cultural hegemony” within arts institutions, and cut museum ticket prices to attract visitors. - The Art Newspaper

Time To Reconsider David Mamet?

Since Mamet’s 2008 essay in The Village Voice, “Why I Am No Longer a Brain-Dead Liberal,” he has been subject to a towering wave of enmity from the community to which he has devoted his life. - Tablet Magazine

Twenty-Five Years Ago The YBA’s Took The Art World By Storm. Here’s Where They Are Today

The YBAs are now all middle-aged. Hirst is 57, Emin 59, the Chapmans 56 and 60 respectively, and the years have been kind to them. They are still figures who command attention and whose work has come-hither appeal to a certain type of collector. - The Critic

Is The BBC “Dumbing Down” To Appeal To Lower Income Viewers?

The broadcaster also said it would try to attract viewers from lower socio-economic groups by making sports documentaries and crime shows, after criticism from Ofcom that these audiences are more likely to watch commercial outlets such as ITV. - The Guardian

Internet Culture Now Is Mainstream Culture

Boundaries between “traditional” culture and online culture have been breaking down. Television audiences have shrunk. Newspaper circulations are in terminal decline. Meanwhile, people have been hooked to Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and all manner of alternative platforms on the Internet. - The Critic

What Exactly Is Geopolitics, And Who Invented It?  (Losers, That’s Who)

"Do the politicians and pundits who speak of geopolitics really know what they are talking about? Geopolitics is a classically ambiguous or nebulous term, with an innocent and a dangerous use." - Aeon

Democrats New House Leader Has Been Congressional Champion Of Music

Hakeem Jeffries co-sponsored the Music Modernization Act, the most important copyright law passed in decades, as well as the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020, a.k.a. the CASE Act. - Billboard

For Her Final Full-Length Work, Choreographer Sally Silvers Is Reworking Her First One

For her 40th anniversary season, the 70-year-old dancemaker returned to Pandora's Cake Stain, which premiered in 1996.  Pandora's New Cake Stain features 12 dancers (plus cameos by six members of the original cast) and a stage manager wearing roller skates and a cape. - The New York Times

Phillips Collection Gets A New Director

He replaces Dorothy Kosinski, who led the Phillips since 2008, increased endowment from $18 million to $100 million, expanded art holdings from 2,000 to more than 6,000 objects, and made diversity and inclusion a major focus. - Washington Post

How Do You Put A 1957 Radio Documentary About Gay Men On The Stage?

The Homosexual Condition, the BBC's first-ever documentary about the lives of gay males, was believed lost until the script and other documents were located in 2015.  Here several people involved in creating the new stage adaptation, titled The First Homosexual, talk about the challenges of the project. - BBC

Why Is Theatre Dealing With (Or Not) Climate Change The Way It Is?

“Perhaps the way we respond to the crisis is part of the crisis,” observed Bayo Akomolafe. Producers can’t decide how climate change should be presented to theatergoers: they fear that scripts that come on too strong will scare off well-heeled audiences. - ArtsFuse

A Brief History Of “Y’all”

Some linguists suggest that the word comes from Scots-Irish; others think it originated among enslaved Igbo-speakers. In any case, the OED says "y'all" was first used in print in the 1850s southern US.  Yet one scholar has found a dozen appearances of the word in 17th-century London. - The Conversation

Why Is TikTok Obsessed With “Alvin And The Chipmunks” Music

The whole music culture, it seems, is now under the sway of a chipmunk aesthetic. This, to my way of thinking, is even more foreboding than all those people who want us to eat bugs and compost our deceased loved ones. - Ted Gioia

What Brendan Fraser’s Comeback Says About Hollywood, Him, And Us

"Everyone seems happy to have Brendan Fraser back.  Which prompts a question: Why?  He never actually went away.  The truth is that we've come back to him. But that's not the story we like to tell ourselves." - MSN (The Washington Post)

American Bookstores Are Offering More Spanish-Language Books

"Driven by language-immersion schools and bilingual families, many stores are now specializing in bilingual books for young readers. Others serve heritage-language customers who want to practice their Spanish, as well as language learners seeking cultural immersion." - Publishers Weekly

Funding Cuts To Two Small London Theatres Could Have Big Effects

Not only do the Donmar Warehouse and Hampstead Theatre regularly send productions out into the commercial theatre world (including the West End and Broadway), they bring major productions from abroad into London. Yet Arts Council England just zeroed out their government funding. - The New York Times

Director Todd Field Explains Some Of The Strange Things In “Tár”

"I hate explaining this stuff."  Yet explain he does — why the end credits are at the beginning, and what he was up to with that brutal master class scene. - Yahoo! (Los Angeles Times)

Piano Lessons Can Provide Real Benefits To People On The Autism Spectrum: Study

"While the authors noted the limits of their single study, they were unequivocal. Those who completed music training were the only group to show 'significant improvement' in audiovisual processing. That group also showed reduced levels of depression, stress, and anxiety." - Ludwig Van

The Guy Who Smashed Stuff At The Dallas Museum Of Art Called 911 On Himself

"'Hey, I'm in the Dallas Museum of Art,' he told a dispatcher nearly 15 minutes after police say he entered. 'Come get me.' The calls show the museum security force appeared to have no knowledge an intruder was inside the building (that) night." - MSN (The Dallas Morning News)

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