ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


What America Listens To: Mostly Oldies (Is That A Problem?)

According to MRC Data, old songs now represent 70% of the US music market. Those who make a living from new music—especially that endangered species known as the working musician—have to look on these figures with fear and trembling. - Ted Gioia

Dutch Theaters, Concert Halls, And Museums Offered Haircuts And Workouts Because That Was The Only Way They Could Open

Following a full lockdown over Christmas, salons, gyms, and brothels were allowed to reopen this week while arts venues had to remain shuttered. So the Van Gogh Museum offered manicures, the Mauritshuis held fitness classes, and the Concertgebouw gave haircuts as Susanna Mälkki conducted Ives's Second Symphony. - France 24

LA Review of Books Founder Talks About The Challenges Of Running A Literary Publication

We had to learn to insert ourselves into social media conversations, and that will continue to be a series of moving goalposts. Facebook, for instance, was still free when we started, but they now actively shut down any attempts to spread word if you aren’t paying for it. - LitHub

How Joss Whedon Went From Television Deity And Feminist Hero To Pariah

It's a long tale, and not a simple one, but it makes sense — even, in some ways (but not others), to Whedon himself. - New York Magazine

Who Was Lorraine Hansberry? A Black Lesbian Communist Who Became A Darling Of Mainstream America

"She achieved literary celebrity but called herself a 'literary failure,' was supported in a marriage that ultimately collapsed, resisted her family but didn't denounce it, became an icon of the civil-rights movement she relentlessly criticized, and wrote a masterpiece only to watch as it was widely misunderstood." - The New Yorker

Hamburg’s Massively Expensive Elbphilharmonie Has Proven A Massive Success

By the time the concert hall opened in 2017, it was six years late and had cost €866 million, ten times the initial budget. Five years on, concert audiences have tripled, subscriptions have quadrupled, and the "Elphi" is a beloved symbol of the entire city. - The Guardian

Why Classical Music Folks Should Stay Away From NFTs

Besides the fact that "the NFT market is essentially a game of hot potato: Ditch it before the music stops, or you're stuck with some lines of code and a hefty financial loss. … The question is whether NFTs are the right medium to encourage connections" between artists and audiences. - Van

She Gave Her First Piano Recital At Age Four. She’s Releasing A New Album At Age 97.

Ruth Slenczynska, the last surviving student of Sergei Rachmaninoff, will see her new recording of his music and that of Chopin issued on the Decca label, which first recorded her 66 years ago. - BBC

AJBlogger And Wall Street Journal Theatre Critic Terry Teachout, 65

Very very sad to announce the death of one of ArtsJournal's original and most prolific bloggers. - The Wall Street Journal

Insisting That Art Focus On Social Justice Is A Narrow View Of How Art Works

Consider those charitable foundations that have decided to stop funding the arts, or to only fund arts activities that explicitly promote diversity, equality, and justice. This is the reductionist notion that has steered philanthropic giving away from traditional “high culture.” - American Purpose

Prehistoric Rock Art In Texas “Irreparably Damaged” By Jackass Vandals

The petroglyphs, at least 4,500 years old, in Big Bend National Park were ruined by "Isaac, Ariel, Norma, (and) Adrian," who carved their names on the rock on the day after Christmas. - Texas Monthly

Fascinating: Have We Got So Much Data That We’re Entering Into A Post-Hypothesis Era In Science?

The complexity that this wealth of data has revealed to us cannot be captured by theory as traditionally understood. “We have leapfrogged over our ability to even write the theories that are going to be useful for description,” says computational neuroscientist Peter Dayan. - The Guardian

Thriller: How A Famous Music School Was Airlifted Out Of Afghanistan

“It became clear, just in a matter of days, that the only way to salvage the school was to actually do a mass evacuation and airlift of the entire school community.” - Berkshire Eagle

We Hardly Knew Ya: Dausgaard Abruptly Quits Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony music director Thomas Dausgaard has abruptly stepped down from his post, midway through his third season at the top of Seattle’s flagship orchestra. - Seattle Times

How Do You Change Dance’s Culture Of Injury?

From a very early age, dancers are taught that pain comes with the territory. “Dance is not natural. We’re stretching our bodies to extremes.” Think of a young, impressionable dancer developing their splits or breaking in pointe shoes for the first time—basically everything hurts. - Dance Magazine

We’re Drowning In Data. And We’re Not Much Good At Accessing It. Maybe AI Can Help

Some 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years alone. In total, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, with the number continuing to grow. Yet while the amount of data that we produce has grown exponentially, our understanding of how to manage it has not. - VentureBeat

Actor Sidney Poitier, 94

"(He) overcame an impoverished background in the Bahamas … to rise to the top of his profession at a time when prominent roles for Black actors were rare. … At the same time, as the lone Black leading man in 1960s Hollywood, he came under tremendous scrutiny." - CNN

FBI Arrests Suspect In Fraud Case That Mystified The Publishing World

For five years, someone has been impersonating various publishing industry figures (dozens of them) in order to obtain not-yet-published manuscripts — which were never posted online or held for ransom, baffling people in the field. The suspect is Filippo Bernardini, a young employee of Simon & Schuster. - Vulture

Now AI Is Learning To Analyze Individual Artists’ Brushstrokes And Attribute Paintings

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland trained the software on topographical scans of paintings (rather than the high-resolution digital images more commonly used) and found that it could match painting to artist with 96% accuracy. - The Art Newspaper

We’re Awash In Stories. We’re Addicted To Stories. To What Effect?

Now that we have more storytelling than ever, has empathy increased apace? If stories have such sunny effects, why has the big bang of storytelling coincided with an explosive growth of hostility and polarization rather than harmony and connection? - Boston Globe