Museums have long dealt with unauthorized augmentations of their exhibitions, such as unofficial tours, but technology has opened up new possibilities for activists and art enthusiasts eager to have a part in shaping the museum-going experience.
With the Avengers movies, “the studio has breathed lucrative new life into its decades-old comic-book properties, and built a ravenous fan base for each new character it introduces at the multiplex. Now Marvel says it wants to clear the table it has spent the last 10 years arranging and make way for something new. … Audiences are about to find out what finality looks like for a motion-picture money-minting machine: Will the story actually come to a conclusion? Will characters die, and will actors leave the series?”
Philosophers in the 18th century defined taste as a moral capacity, an ability to recognize truth and beauty. “Natural taste is not a theoretical knowledge; it’s a quick and exquisite application of rules which we do not even know,” wrote Montesquieu in 1759. This unknowingness is important. We don’t calculate or measure if something is tasteful to us; we simply feel it. Displacing the judgment of taste partly to algorithms, as in the Amazon Echo Look, robs us of some of that humanity.
The Guardian says: “In this brittle standoff, fault lies on both sides. The French anti-streaming measures may be draconian, but resistance to Netflix’s anti-cinema model is quite understandable. … Quite aside from diminished screen size and visual impact, what films gain in universal accessibility, they lose in promotion, public awareness and even prestige, slotted as they are into a vast, fast-moving content menu between Adam Sandler originals and new episodes of Queer Eye.”
The museum buzzword is “transhistorical,” and it’s being applied to everything from Franz Hals paintings to the Met’s big “Unfinished” exhibition from 2016. “Suzanne Sanders, an art historian in Amsterdam, who organized conferences on ‘The Transhistorical Museum’ in 2015 and 2016, calls transhistorical curating ‘the most urgent thing curators are doing in trying to reinvent the museum to create some sort of new paradigm.'”
“More and more of us now express our emotions through the devices and software we rely on in our everyday lives. E-mail, text messages, social media, video chat—each platform demands of us different expressions of ourselves. And in the near future, we will have a new range of technologies at our disposal—sensors, monitors, and software with the power to track, nudge, persuade, and coerce. What the clock did to time, technologists hope to do to emotion—regulate and regiment it, measure and monitor it. But taming the temperamental beast that is human emotion might prove a challenge that contemporary technology is unfit to take on.”
“Cell phones in theatres may no longer be taboo. Well, at least in this case, where 12 Broadway theatres now offer GalaPro, a new app that expands accessibility services by providing audio description, captioning, and dubbing to audiences at every performance.”
“A play based on Adolf Hitler’s youth is sparking controversy for an unusual opening-night deal: Audience members willing to wear a swastika (provided by the theater) during the performance get in free. Those who prefer to pay full price are asked to wear the Star of David. … Producers of the play at the theater in Konstanz, a picturesque city in the south of Germany, say the action is part of an attempt to reinvigorate the national conversation about the dangers of fascism.”
Since MoviePass slashed its monthly subscription costs last August from $50 to $9.95, its user base has exploded from roughly 20,000 to more than 2 million. In the process, it’s become the fastest-growing paid-entertainment subscription service in history, signing people at a greater clip than Netflix or Spotify. All that disruption in the movie theater business has created enemies and fueled skeptics, but whether MoviePass survives or dies, it has undeniably shaken up an industry that hasn’t changed much since the silent era.
France’s protectionist laws, which require a 36-month window between a film’s theatrical opening and its streaming debut, seem like the last gasp of a rapidly dying era. And the manner in which Frémaux handed down the Cannes ban, at the same time as the festival announced it was putting the kibosh on red-carpet selfies, was high-handed and doctrinaire. (In other words, it was French.) It’s increasingly evident that Netflix doesn’t just want to “disrupt” the business of showing movies in theaters. They want to destroy it. But it’s also increasingly evident that Netflix doesn’t just want to “disrupt” the business of showing movies in theaters. They want to destroy it. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told reporters last year the company wanted to “unleash film,” but he also spoke of the current state of exhibition with glib contempt.
Here’s how a dispenser works: It is shaped like a cylinder with three buttons on top indicating a “one minute,” “three minute” or “five minute” story. (That’s how long it takes to read.) When a button is pushed, a short story is printed, unfurled on a long strip of paper. The stories are free. They are retrieved from a computer catalog of more than 100,000 original submissions by writers whose work has been evaluated by Short Edition’s judges, and transmitted over a mobile network. Offerings can be tailored to specific interests: children’s fiction, romance, even holiday-themed tales.
By putting its movies online immediately, the streaming service represents an existential threat to the French theater industry’s business; the Cannes rule change is just the latter’s mode of resistance (as the festival director, Fremaux is under tremendous pressure from French exhibitors). In announcing his decision to pull the company from Cannes, which is widely viewed as the world’s most prestigious film festival, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, framed it to Variety as a battle between cinema’s past and future.
Talk to orchestra leaders around the country, and you find a new consensus about what community work means: a new approach to an orchestra’s role, even a new approach to training musicians. Leaders of some of the most innovative orchestras stress the need to find different ways to perform and get the music out there. But it’s a hard thing to talk about without lapsing into routine orchestra-speak — and an even harder thing to spotlight for a public.
There’s an old bromide that people want certainty in uncertain times – and crime fiction usually ends with a very certain solution, that of the main mystery. In addition, “while the essence of writing crime fiction might come down to speed and fluency, crafting and control are vital. It’s not easy and few do it really well. A crime novel that works is as taut as a drum. Plus, readers can quickly sniff out a fraud – someone writing up or down, or for the money, and it’s now a very competitive market.”
She created a performance themed around HBCUs – historically Black colleges and universities – and educated, while entertaining, the audience. “Coachella has come to be known for an easygoing, boho aesthetic, with the stereotypical Coachella attendee a drunk white hipster wearing a Native American headdress and loads of glitter. On Friday, Vince Staples referred to the main stage as ‘the white people stage.'” Then Beyoncé arrived.
The rise has been fuelled by the growth of psychological thrillers and the success of big names like Lee Child, James Patterson and Dan Brown. Last year, 18.7 million crime books were sold – 19% more than in 2015, data company Nielsen Bookscan says. They overtook sales for general and literary fiction, which were down 16%.
The Harry Potter play, based on a new story by author J.K. Rowling in collaboration with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, announced Monday that it had set a Broadway record for the strongest preview grosses: $2.1 million in ticket sales for the week ending Sunday at the Lyric Theatre. The Potter news came on the same day that Disney Theatrical Productions announced that its stage musical adaptation of “Frozen” had broken a house record at the St. James Theatre for the second week in a row. After grossing $2,246,997 for the week ending April 1, “Frozen” went on to gross $2,275,395 the following week.
“‘The right function of every museum,’ wrote John Ruskin, the influential 19th-century art and social critic, ‘is the manifestation of what is lovely in the life of nature, and heroic in the life of men.’ Museums of the 21st century have moved on a bit. … They are also ‘destination’ enterprises, with permanent collections and special exhibitions, cafes and shops trying to attract as many visitors as possible in an age of global tourism. … As leading museums compete for crowd-drawing exhibits, and try to balance commercial interests and cultural diversity, visitors are bearing a rising proportion of the cost.”
Most of the tickets to the blockbuster musical about Alexander Hamilton have been sold, but the Kennedy Center’s handling of sales has been marked by confusion and complaints, with many patrons struggling to buy tickets to the 14-week run, which opens June 12.
It attracted an average of 600,000 viewers over the two-hour programme, down 40% on the average of one million people who tuned in last year when the show was moved to a prime-time slot (8pm-10pm) two days after the ceremony.
General admission to the main sites of all the UK’s national museums has been free since 2001, and has helped make Britain’s museums and galleries some of the most visited in the world. But it means they rely on government funding or special exhibitions to survive. Critics say this has created a two-tier system, whereby only tourists and higher spenders can afford the special exhibitions.
The design of selfie-driven “museums” seems to align with other experiential selfie spots like Color Factory, 29Rooms, and Dream Room. They revolve a highly successful business model: sell tickets for $35 to people itching to Instagram themselves, then immerse them in hyperpigmented landscapes funded by corporate sponsors.
“Approximately the same amount of hardcovers are being sold today as they were in past years,” writes a research team led by Albert-László Barbási. “The increasing availability of books in the digital format has [had] no influence on hardcover sales.” OK, but what types of books typically take off? Barbasi and his colleagues report they tend to be works of fiction or biographies/memoirs.
Streaming reflects what people will actually listen to on their own, when provided with infinite choices that aren’t entirely constrained by what radio programmers, retailers and record company executives put in front of them. With streaming services, “it’s more data-driven, and more give-the-people-what-they-want-driven, because it’s so limitless.”
The global box office hit a record $40.6 billion with growth in China off-setting declines in movie-going in the U.S. and Canada. The domestic box office fell 2% to $11.1 billion, down from 2016’s record high of $11.6 billion, according to a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
“The very day [in 2013] that Sophie Makariou took over as the director of Paris’s Musée Guimet, she met a young Indian doctor on a train. ‘I would love to see some Indian art while I am here,’ he said. ‘Go to the Guimet,’ responded Makariou, to which he replied: What is that?’ The fact that he had not even heard of the venerable institution, founded in 1889 by Emile Guimet and holding one of the world’s top collections of Asian art, showed Makariou the extent of the task ahead of her.”
“Depending on the institution, curators will go back-and-forth with artists, colleagues, advisers and, more frequently now, marketing and public relations staff. The case of [the abandoned title] Going Native also signals the stakes involved – the curatorial pitfalls and political landmines that may linger in words. But museums stress that the process is not algorithmic but the occasionally serendipitous pursuit of a magic phrase.” (And is it even possible to title an exhibition without using a colon?)
Much of the analysis that followed focused on the show’s politics: Star Roseanne Barr is an eager champion of debunked right-wing conspiracies, and the premiere’s storyline hinged on her character’s support for President Donald Trump. And since the 2016 presidential election, television programmers have been working to find ways to reach working-class whites who voted for Trump. The success of “Roseanne” only reaffirmed those efforts. But looking ahead to 2018-19, “Roseanne” may be a harbinger of a less titillating, more significant programming shift — the revitalization of the broadcast comedy after years of emphasis on drama.
The free-to-play Fortnite: Battle Royale has become a cultural sensation with a wide-ranging playerbase. How do we know? Because professional sports players won’t stop mimicking the game’s weird dances in real life. Maybe one day they’ll be doing one of your dances — because Epic Games just launched a contest for players to submit video of their smooth moves, with the best one making it into Fortnite.