This Week’s Insights:
- The Mythology Of “Art Is For Everybody”: The arts world loves to talk about the arts being for everyone. Truth is, it’s not true. And it may be that claiming universal audience accessibility cheapens the experience. American movies have long claimed universality (and appeal. But that’s certainly not true now. Was it ever? Why do artists insist on this idea of a commonality of appeal? New York Times critics take on the idea of ubiquitous appeal at the movies.
- Why Do Hollywood Movie Studios So Hate Rotten Tomatoes? After all, the movie review aggregation site only compiles reviews of movies, it doesn’t pass judgment itself. Studio executives’ complaints about Rotten Tomatoes include the way its Tomatometer hacks off critical nuance, the site’s seemingly loose definition of who qualifies as a critic and the spread of Tomatometer scores across the web. Last year, scores started appearing on Fandango, the online movie ticket-selling site, leading to grousing that a rotten score next to the purchase button was the same as posting this message: You are an idiot if you pay to see this movie.
- Artificial Intelligence Is Partnering With Audiences To Get Better: Admittedly, that headline is a bit misleading. But maybe not. New generations of self-learning machines learn by being able to monitor audience reaction on a massive scale and adapting to what that audience seems to want. Could it be that machines will soon be able to create the perfect reflection of audience taste?
- Art Is Moving Further Out Into The World. But Critics Aren’t Necessarily Following: Critics, like those in any profession, set their definitions of what’s worth paying attention to. One theatre director is frustrated: “A Boston critic informed me that my touring theatre company’s productions need to stay in one place for longer in a venue that is “convenient” and “familiar,” otherwise they will not come see or review the show. This ideology not only directly contradicts our mission as a touring theatre company, but it supports the misconception that theatre is only for those who can afford to go to those expensive venues (where it is more costly to produce and thus demands that the company sell tickets) and/or who have the time and money to spend to travel to those venues).
- Detroit Hires A Storyteller: The question is – does Detroit need a storyteller? After all, there are many stories about the city being told by artists and ordinary citizens alike. But the city wants to focus stories that perhaps aren’t coming out. “The $75,000 position … was conceived to give Detroiters a way to connect and discuss issues that don’t get covered by the city’s traditional media” – i.e., something other than ruin porn or comeback boosterism. The person named to the job is popular journalist Aaron Foley, author of How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass.