Thanks, big tech companies. “Digital helpmeets like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are fitted with nonthreatening feminine voices and programmed to respond to sexist comments with cutesy repartee. … With the help of machine learning, a community of Redditors are creating highly realistic fake porn that melds famous actresses’ faces onto porn performers’ bodies.”
Canadian arts consultants are worried. “Especially in Ontario, where the largest of these organizations are located, the top job often goes to an international candidate. [British-born Julian] Cox was hired by AGO director Stephan Jost, a Swiss-American who joined the museum in 2016. Meanwhile, the Royal Ontario Museum, Luminato, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Shaw Festival have all hired British or American leaders in the past 2 1/2 years. It’s a pattern that has arts consultants worried.”
From the status of Pocahontas and Squanto as quasi-mythical figures in the nation’s founding, through the use of Sitting Bull as an attraction in Buffalo Bill’s show, to the use of generic Indian figures as branding symbols for everything from cigarettes to baking powder to sports teams, Carolina Miranda looks at a “wildly complicated” history.
“On Thursday, Poland’s Senate pushed through a measure that would make it illegal to accuse Poles of complicity in the Holocaust or any other crimes associated with the Nazi era. Offenders could find themselves imprisoned for three years once the law, which is awaiting the signature of the Polish president, comes into effect.”
The center, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and due to open in 2020, will present performances for people at Yale and the general public — from poetry readings to rock concerts. Located in the current freshman dining hall Commons (which will remain) and Memorial Hall, the center will also serve as a communal campus hub, with multiple gathering spaces, including a bistro and pub on the renovated basement level.
We have our little ways, we cockeyed critics — tips and techniques picked up over years of writing reviews, sometimes at leisure and sometimes under extreme deadline pressure, responding to something familiar (Beethoven again, or Meryl Streep) or to something barely identifiable flying in from left field.
“We are writing to affirm the leadership role of cultural institutions in advancing cultural and social as well as political public discourse. As stewards and advocates of contemporary and historical cultural expressions, we directors, curators, and staff members of cultural institutions, as well as the board members to whom we are accountable, have a particular obligation to facilitate the free and safe exchange of ideas about our contemporary world with art as the catalyst.”
“City officials [in Berea, Kentucky] count 40 galleries in total, and three new restaurants and a gallery-cafe have opened in the past two years – not a bad showing of entrepreneurship in a city of fewer than 20,000 people. … But it wasn’t always like this.” Ivy Brashear reports on how it got to be like this.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the city’s King’s and Festival theatres and the body that promotes its Unesco “City of Literature” status have had their funding stripped by Creative Scotland. Creative Scotland has dropped 20 organisations from its three-year funding programme, but added 19 following a shake-up of how its £99 million budget is spent.
“Under-fire arts quango Creative Scotland has been forced to hold crisis talks to “review” controversial funding cuts. An emergency board meeting is to be held within days to ‘take stock’ of the fall-out from moves to strip 20 companies of long-term funding. The Scottish Government has revealed that the summit has been called to ‘review certain decisions,’ raising the prospect of an embarrassing climbdown for the quango.”
“Artistic directors are our stars. What has changed is that they also need to be civic leaders. This is a new profile for the next generation. We have moved away from the period where it was enough to do great work which would ensure funding. The artistic director is the personality who personifies the mission and makes it feel vibrant to the community.”
As cities lose their creative communities and the spaces they operate from, they become at risk of becoming what Mark Auge referred to as “non-places”—homogenized cities in which aesthetic diversity and local authenticity is diminished. This impacts cities’ vibrancy and distinctiveness, economic dynamism and capacity for innovation. These cities face a dilemma: How can they continue to attract new residents and investment while preserving the cultural and creative milieu that made them desirable in the first place?
The Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center would be the first dedicated Holocaust museum in the former Soviet Union. “Yet some in Ukraine question whether there is a need for a Holocaust memorial at Babi Yar, and not a few of the politically charged arguments that opponents are employing seem to be aimed squarely at making it go away.”
When the name was announced back in November, Transport Minister Constance tweeted as though his hands were tied and there was nothing he could do. He said that while Ferry McFerryfacce wasn’t “everyone’s cup of tea,” the “people voted for it.” It turns out that was a lie.
Under their model, “modern foreign languages teaching hours are increased at the expense of subjects other than biology, chemistry, classics, English, geography, history, mathematics, and physics teaching hours”. Consequently, 51,000 more curriculum hours are being planned for languages by 2022, which is to be achieved, in part, by cutting hours for art & design, design & technology, drama and music by a collective 19,000 hours.
Through decades of economic hardship, and years of financial crisis, the art world in Puerto Rico has had to learn to survive during lean times through a new artistic “sharing” economy — sharing knowledge; resources; and access to infrastructure, materials and spaces. Might these artists now serve as an example — and catalyst — for other communities?
“The University of Toronto embarked on a fourteen-year process of repatriating the bones of more than 1,700 individuals in its possession. But until recently, such agreements tended to be the exception, not the norm. In the meantime, the legal status of artifacts—which can serve as evidence in land claims negotiation—remains a long-standing sore point.”
American collapse is much more severe than we suppose it is. We are underestimating its magnitude, not overestimating it. American intellectuals, media, and thought doesn’t put any of its problems in global or historical perspective — but when they are seen that way, America’s problems are revealed to be not just the everyday nuisances of a declining nation, but something more like a body suddenly attacked by unimagined diseases.
This doesn’t sound shady at all: “Devumi sells Twitter followers and retweets to celebrities, businesses and anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online. Drawing on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over, the company has provided customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers” – and at least 55,000 of the accounts are basically identity theft.
The raid on Friday ended the showings of a British comedy about Stalin. “In a Facebook post, Pioner Cinema wrote that the 2017 film, by the director Armando Iannucci, which had been playing to sold-out crowds, had been pulled as of Saturday ‘due to circumstances beyond our control’ and directed further queries to Russia’s Ministry of Culture, which had quashed it.”