Record-breaking attendance and popular new branches or not, a certain critical mass of news coverage – chronicling deficits and layoffs and cancellation of high-profile expansions, and asking if your museum is ‘a great institution in decline‘ – will probably lead to news like this.
Archives for February 2017
“People believe that they know way more than they actually do. What allows us to persist in this belief is other people. In the case of my toilet, someone else designed it so that I can operate it easily. This is something humans are very good at. We’ve been relying on one another’s expertise ever since we figured out how to hunt together, which was probably a key development in our evolutionary history. So well do we collaborate, Sloman and Fernbach argue, that we can hardly tell where our own understanding ends and others’ begins.”
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Agit Pai said that it has become “evident that the FCC made a mistake” in its passage of net neutrality rules in 2015, in which the agency reclassified internet service as a common carrier. Pai, along with other critics of the move, consider the approach “last-century, utility-style regulation to today’s broadband networks. Our new approach injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market. And uncertainty is the enemy of growth. After the FCC embraced utility-style regulation, the United States experienced the first-ever decline in broadband investment outside of a recession.”
“The evolution of music must be a complex, multi-step process, with different features developing for different reasons,” says Samuel Mehr, who co-authored the paper with psychologist Max Krasnow. “Our theory raises the possibility that infant-directed song is the starting point for all that.”
“Last Tuesday, Ballets Jazz de Montreal said its worldwide exclusive dance and circus art rights include Cohen’s name and image as well as his visual, musical, and literary works. The company plans to debut a Cohen-inspired show in December that “will be performed through a series of acts, evoking the cycles of life, the colours of the seasons and nature’s true elements,” according to a news release.”
“Though I couldn’t quite bring myself to believe it, I was morbidly fascinated by the idea that we might be on the verge of creating a machine that could wipe out the entire species, and by the notion that capitalism’s great philosopher kings—Musk, Thiel, Gates—were so publicly exercised about the Promethean dangers of that ideology’s most cherished ideal. These dire warnings about A.I. were coming from what seemed to be the most unlikely of sources: not from Luddites or religious catastrophists, that is, but from the very people who personify our culture’s reverence for machines.”
“Lawrence Des Cars’s appointment comes after a lengthy process, which saw three other candidates reaching the final selection stages: Dominique de Font-Réaulx, director of Paris’ Delacroix Museum; Michel Draguet, director of the Royal Museums of Belgium; and Sylvain Amic, director of the Musée de Rouen. Le Monde reports that des Cars’s appointment is also significant in that she’s only the second woman curator to head a major Paris museum, alongside Sophie Makariou at the Musée Guimet.”
“Both of these bizarre events put one in mind of a simple but arresting thesis: that we are living in the Matrix, and something has gone wrong with the controllers. This idea was, I’m told, put forward first and most forcibly by the N.Y.U. philosopher David Chalmers: what is happening lately, he says, is proof that we are living in a computer simulation and that something has recently gone haywire within it. The people or machines or aliens who are supposed to be running our lives are having some kind of breakdown. There’s a glitch, and we are in it.”
“No one ever pretended that King Kong or Bruce the Shark in Jaws were real, but they were grounded in the physical world (often by the limitations of technology), whereas now Kong is a highly sophisticated piece of digital animation in the new Kong: Skull Island, and crappily rendered sharks fall from the sky every summer on SyFy. It’s especially important for theatre that this distinction be made, because if people come to accept and even believe that what they’re seeing on screen is reality, how can theatre compete without giving itself over to holograms?”
“In the new age of populism, of revolts against elites and “professional politicians”, Oxford’s courses in Philosophy Politics and Economics no longer fits into public life as smoothly as it once did. With corporate capitalism misfiring, mainstream politicians blundering, and much of the traditional media seemingly bewildered by the upheavals, PPE, the supplier of supposedly highly trained talent to all three fields, has lost its unquestioned authority. More than that, it has become easier to doubt whether a single university course, and its graduates, should have such influence in the first place. To its proliferating critics, PPE is not a solution to Britain’s problems; it is a cause of them.”
“Founded in 1984 by the foursome of Curiger, Jacqueline Burckhardt, Walter Keller, and Peter Blum, the magazine was known for both multiple essays on each of the artists it focused on and, later, innovative multiples by the same artists who were the subjects of the quarterly issues. As a measure of the respect the magazine garnered, consider that the editioned works were the subject of a show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2001.”
“There was a time when in-flight entertainment was better than anything you could actually bring onto a plane.” (And that time goes back, believe it or not, back to the 1920s.) “That time has long passed, and some airlines are looking to get rid of seat-back screens, in favor of letting you use whatever screen you have with you … But, nonetheless, it got [Ernie Smith] thinking – about the technology that allows you to entertain yourself on a plane.”
The “badass librarians of Timbuktu” aren’t the only ones rescuing irreplaceable old documents from violent destruction. “Soft-spoken, dressed in flowing black robes, [Father Columba Stewart] has spent the past 13 years roaming from the Balkans to the Middle East in an effort to save Christian and Islamic manuscripts threatened by wars, theft, weather – and, lately, the Islamic State.”
Prokofiev in particular had hoped to turn Le Pas d’acier (The Dance of Steel) from the quasi-folkloric confection Diaghilev had made of it into a real socialist work of art. Didn’t work. It wasn’t pretty. In an excerpt from Bolshoi Confidential, Simon Morrison tells the head-shaking story.
It would be enough that he steered two of the country’s key public stations away from looming financial ruin, or that he’s the executive who made the young Ken Burns’s career possible. But Chamberlin, as founding chief operating officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, actually ceded a huge piece of his own power by insisting that each individual public television station operate autonomously, independent of the PBS network.
Breaking The Waves, the new Missy Mazzoli-Royce Vavrek opera, caused a huge wave (ahem) of excitement when Opera Philadelphia premiered it in October – and even more when the production traveled to New York in January. As a result, reports Peter Dobrin, the company now has terrific word-of-mouth from artists, extra funding from new donors, and interest from some of the top opera houses in the world.
“It’s not just a question of whether you like the music, or think you like it; it’s a question of knowing that it exists. Although Glass has written 11 symphonies, [conductor Dennis Russell] Davies says that when a major American orchestra was recently approached about performing Glass, the response was, ‘But he doesn’t write symphonies.'” Midgette talks with Davies about understanding the music Glass has actually written (as opposed to what some people think he’s written).
Cara Ober, who graduated from the high school in question and subsequently taught in that school district: “In banning such works of art, based on one person’s reported complaint in a highly charged and ugly political climate, this administration, surrounded by ultra-conservative voters, has opened up a can of worms that confirms the worst biases among students, exactly the opposite of what they need to learn.”
From the Central Board of Film Certification’s letter denying permission to screen Lipstick Under My Burkha in India: “The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious [sic] sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society.” Naturally, director Alankrita Shrivastava had some choice words about the decision, as did the Twitterverse.
Are Orchestras Better than Ever? Why Riccardo Muti is Wrong
Are orchestras better than ever? Riccardo Muti thinks so. Recently, … he said: “The level of the orchestras in the world – especially in the seventies and eighties — has gone up everywhere.” … read more
AJBlog: Unanswered Question Published 2017-02-26
Burying the Bad News: Sotheby’s Earnings Call Ignores 30% Drop in 2016 Adjusted Net Income
“I feel good,” Tad Smith repeatedly declared during Sotheby’s earnings call with securities analysts this morning. Buoyed by New Year’s hopes for better performance in 2017 after a lackluster 2016, Sotheby’s president and CEO enumerated … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-02-27
The Serene Eye of a Storm
Danspace Project presents Julie McMillan in Benjamin Kimitch’s KO-BU. … read more
AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2017-02-27
“The $2.5 million is the initial splash in what will plainly need to be a very deep bucket. The Power Plays, first announced in November, are new works focused on politics and power – one for each decade of America’s existence. The 10-year, 25-work series will be composed of five related cycles: Presidential Voices, African-American Voices, Insider Voices, Musical Theater Voices and Women’s Voices.”
“What if I were to say that the very idea of consciousness was invented to explain how you could experience an apple when there is no apple in your head. So we have to have this consciousness apple. However, if experience and apple are one and the same, there is no longer any need to talk of a consciousness separate from it. The apple is more than enough.”