ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Maybe Human-Centric Design Isn’t The Best Way To Design?

"What if situating the human at the heart of design isn’t enough to steer innovation in the right direction? What if it’s precisely what we should avoid? Human-centred thinking has marked drawbacks. We can trace the desire to focus on the human – and the human alone – to an anthropocentric logic that has guided technological development for centuries and, ultimately, led to the current state of ecological crisis. Viewed in this light, the rise of AI represents a chance to forge new, less extractive but still productive relationships with the organisms and entities with which we share the planet." - Psyche

Patrick Dupond, Star And Director Of Paris Opera Ballet, Dead At 61

He entered the company's school at age 10, joined the company at 16 and was an étoile at 21. He became one of the company's most popular stars, but fell out with his tempestuous boss, Rudolf Nureyev, and left in 1985. In 1990, aged 30, he became Nureyev's successor; he added contemporary works to the repertoire and invited leading contemporary dance companies (e.g., Graham, Ailey, Bausch, de Keersmaeker) onto the Opéra's august stage. But, by 1997, he was again clashing with his bosses, and he was fired for, in his words, "insubordination and indiscipline." (He had accepted an invitation to sit on the jury at Cannes without the bosses' permission.) In 2017, he and collaborator Leïla Da Rocha founded a new company and school, White Eagle Dance, in Bordeaux; at the time, he made waves by announcing that "As far as I'm concerned, homosexuality was an error" and he...

The Man Whose Job Is To Convince Us To Go Back To Movie Theatres

Adam Aron’s job is to persuade movie studios and moviegoers to re-embrace the theatrical experience, once things open up again and more of the population has been vaccinated. Now 66, he joined AMC as chairman and CEO in 2015. - Chicago Tribune

How Did Dr. Seuss Himself Respond When Criticized For Racist Caricatures?

Philip Nel, a Seuss scholar (yes, there is such a thing): "Yes, there are some examples of him revising in response to criticism, and you can give him credit for that — but I would only give partial credit! … I think what is surprising to people is that this was a guy who throughout his work tried to do anti-racist stuff. Think of Horton Hears a Who — one reviewer who read the book when it was published described it as an argument for the protection of minorities and their rights. … Seuss wasn't aware that his visual imagination was so steeped in the cultures of American racism. He was doing in some of his books what he was trying to oppose in others." - Slate

Dr. Seuss Sales Soar After Publishers Withdraw Six Books With Racist Caricatures

In the wake of the decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to stop printing and selling If I Ran the Zoo, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, and four other titles — and of conservative media's ginned-up outrage — American customers are snapping up all of the author's children's books. On Amazon's bestseller list as of Thursday morning, nine of the top ten and 30 of the top 50 slots were occupied by Dr. Seuss titles. (Naturally, people with used copies of the withdrawn books were charging hundreds of dollars for them.) - The Guardian

Illinois’s Reopening Rules Make No Sense For Chicago’s Arts Venues

Under the current Phase 4 of Gov. Pritzker's five-phase plan, indoor gatherings are limited to a maximum capacity of 50% or 50 people per room, whichever is lower. That makes sense for restaurants, bars, multiplex cinemas and possibly even Chicago's storefront theaters — but, Chris Jones points out, the Auditorium Theater, Orchestra Hall, the Civic Opera House, and other such venues can safely hold many more than 50 people. And there's no intermediate stage between Phase 4 and reopening everything at full capacity. - Yahoo! (Chicago Tribune)

BAM Gave Its President Nearly $1 Million To Buy New Apartment (And Then She Quit)

When the Brooklyn Academy of Music hired Katy Clark as its new CEO, the board wanted her to live in Brooklyn, where real estate prices were higher than in the upper Manhattan neighborhood she was moving from. So they gave her $968,000 toward the price of her new home — a figure well over 2½ times her $355,000 annual salary. Clark's contract said she'd have to pay part of that money back if she left her position before five years had passed — and not long after the five-year mark, she resigned to take a very different job. - The New York Times

New York City Is Reopening Movie Theaters

"It was a surprise to many when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced without fanfare last week that movie theaters in the five boroughs could open at reduced capacity starting on March 5. That gave film exhibitors less than two weeks to rehire staff members, many of whom had been furloughed or laid off, reorder concessions and outfit their cavernous venues with plexiglass, hospital grade air filters and other safety measures. Though welcomed, the process was no simple endeavor." - Variety

COVID Is Back At La Scala Ballet

The opera house's regular testing regimen revealed that 35 dancers and three administrative staffers at the ballet company had the novel coronavirus. Performances, rehearsals, and classes have been suspended. (On the opera side, there are currently no cases among the orchestra or chorus.) - Gramilano (Milan)

Germany To Start Reopening Museums

"Chancellor Angela Merkel and German state leaders have agreed to start easing restrictions. If coronavirus cases are below 100 per 100,000 people over seven days - as in Berlin with a rate of 67.8 - people should be able to visit museums from Monday after booking a slot." - Reuters

How One Jazz Musician Figured Out How To Play Live With Friends Over The Internet

Usually it's not possible because of slight (or more) lags in sound over the internet. But by tweaking software (and lots of experimenting) Dan Tepfer was able to figure out how to make it work. - The New Yorker

Changing Roles For Museums Mean Confusion In How They’re Supported

What does it mean for museums to be responsive to their communities? Is it museums’ mission to provide an educational experience or meet changing demands for entertainment? How can museums be all things to all people? In the span of six decades, broadly speaking, museums have shifted from indifference to visitors to dreaming up ways to lure a broader base. And, once again, how do they pay for it all? - ARTnews

A Tour Of Plays In Storefront Windows

Presented as a “walking tour with theatrical displays,” and running Feb. 19-21, the performance was not a traditional narrative play, but rather a collection of six short individual vignettes performed within the storefronts of six separate businesses in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. - American Theatre

Explaining Taylor Swift Musicologically (It’s Cool!)

Alex Ross: "Music appreciation is having a resurgence, although the music being appreciated has changed. Early in the twenty-tens, song-explainer videos began proliferating on the Internet. When podcasts took off, dissections of the innards of pop hits were in demand. Now TikTok has its own pithy army of music theorists. I occasionally checked up on the trend, usually when musicologists became incensed about something on social media." - The New Yorker

Australia’s Big Festivals Try To Play During COVID – With Mixed Success

Adelaide’s festivals were luckier than most. On the final Friday of last year’s season it was announced gatherings of more than 500 would be banned the following Monday. The air that weekend was eerie. The crowds were small and uncertain. Being out was a risk – but no one knew how big or small. - The Guardian

Our Free Newsletter

Join our 30,000 subscribers


Don't Miss