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After Our COVID Digital Binge, We Need Analog

“Most of the interesting things in the human experience need friction,” Honoré explained, and they benefit from a slower approach: cooking, creativity, thoughtful work, meaningful conversations, relationships. “Digital optimization just leads to a superficial way of being.” - The Walrus

Expensive New Floodgates Save Venice Again (But For How Long Will They Be Effective?)

When unusually high tides hit last week, the $6 billion MOSE system of barriers in the lagoon was raised and a repeat of the catastrophic 2019 floods was avoided. Yet, as sea levels continue to rise, so do fears that, within a few decades, MOSE won't be enough. - MSN (The Washington Post)

Irene Cara, Singer Of Fame And Flashdance, Has Died At 63

Cara was a child dancer and singer who found young fame on Electric Company (and in its band) and then became iconic for singing "Fame" in the movie of the same name, and cowriting and singing the title song for Flashdance. - The New York Times

The Audiophile’s Agony: Just What Is “Perfect” Sound?

I do know that the word “accuracy” in the context of audio means reproducing the master recording faithfully, but this always seemed like an imaginary pursuit. Who, other than the artist, would know how a master recording was supposed to sound? - Harper's

Museums’ Big New Security Concern: Which Visitors Might Attack Art?

With the attacks showing no sign of abating, museum directors across Europe are settling into a nervous new equilibrium, fearful for the works in their care but unwilling to compromise on making visitors feel welcome. - The New York Times

The Number Of College Students In America Is About To Fall In A Precipitous Decline

In four years, the number of students graduating from high schools across the country will begin a sudden and precipitous decline, due to a rolling demographic aftershock of the Great Recession. - Vox

Singing And Playing Wind Instruments May Spread COVID Less Than Speaking Does

A Princeton University study involving singers and orchestral players from the Met found that "musical professionals have such fine control over their breath that they emit weaker airflows during singing and playing than they and others do while speaking and breathing" — so aerosol-borne pathogens don't travel as far. - Smithsonian Magazine

A New Era Of Copyright Fights Is Beginning Over AI

Some people who make a living from their visual creativity are upset that AI art tools trained on their work can then produce new images in the same style. The Recording Industry Association of America has signaled that AI-powered music generation and remixing could be a new area of copyright concern. - Wired

How A Poor, Bullied Black Girl In Pasadena Grew Up To Be Octavia E. Butler, Science Fiction Legend

"(Writing stories was) her own temporary escape hatch from a life of 'boredom, calluses, humiliation, and not enough money. ... I needed my fantasies to shield me from the world.' ... When she learned she could make a living doing this, she never let the thought go." - New York Magazine

There Are Now More Women Than Men In The New York Philharmonic

"The orchestra’s new female majority could prove fleeting — it currently has 16 player vacancies to fill, in part because auditions were put on hold during the pandemic — but it still represents a profound shift for an ensemble that had only five women (50 years ago)." - The New York Times

Why Art Vandalism Is A Perversion Of The Fight Against Climate Change

"The art-attack tactic ... shows how social movements are warped and distorted by the logic of spectacle, undermining their longer-term viability by forcing them to become the worst version of themselves just to get a media hit." - Artnet

How The FBI Got Involved In Shutting Down TikTok’s Favorite Free Book Site

Well, it's like this: The so-called Z-Library had an unsavory underpinning."Two Russian nationals, Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova, have been charged with criminal copyright infringement, wire fraud and money laundering for operating Z-Library." - Washington Post

The Russian Jewish Artists Who Have Immigrated To Israel During The War With Ukraine

Of thousands who have fled, "Russians are relocating mostly to Turkey, Kazakhstan and Georgia. But Israel offers one big advantage: Those with at least one Jewish grandparent can get Israeli citizenship for themselves and their close family." - NPR

New AI Tools Are Changing How We Think About Images

Our machines have crossed a threshold. All our lives, we have been reassured that computers were incapable of being truly creative. Yet, suddenly, millions of people are using a new breed of AIs to generate stunning pictures. Most of these users are not professional artists, and that’s the point. - Wired

Gentle Ukrainian Film Critic, Become Soldier, Become Vivid Chronicler Of A War

War has always provoked remarkable writing. Anton Filatov’s blog posts on Facebook are a 21st-century version of this, and they have gained him a growing audience. - The New York Times

The Climate-Protesting Art Vandals Are Just Making The Problem Worse, Says Art Historian/Climate Activist

"Do these attacks not reveal the fragility of what we hold dear? Do they not make us think about what we want to save for the next generation? Yet the answer to these questions is mostly no. Instead, these attacks feel part of a helpless careering towards climate chaos." - The Guardian

English National Opera Will Close Next April If It’s Not Given Money To Stay In London, Says Board Chairman

"There is no relocation," Harry Brünjes told a group of MPs this week about Arts Council England's decision to defund the company unless it leaves the capital for a city such as Manchester. "This is closing ENO down. This is losing 600 jobs from London." - London Evening Standard

The Board Of ArtPrize Quietly Dissolves Itself

Last month, shortly after the 12th edition of the annual art competition in Grand Rapids ended, the board announced that "we know the time is right to conclude the original ArtPrize experiment and open up space for new energy and creativity."  They say that an "ArtPrize 2.0" is coming. - Artnet

Historically We Have Been Defined By Our Geographies. That May Be Changing

Geopoliticians’ reluctance to reckon with the climate crisis comes from their sense that there are only two options: transcend the landscape or live with it. Either globalisation will release us from physical constraints or we’ll remain trapped by them. - The Guardian

Restoring, And Unveiling, A Long Censored Nude By Artemisia Gentileschi

And by long, we're talking centuries. "Swirling veils and drapery were added to Allegory of Inclination about 70 years after Gentileschi painted the lifesize female nude, believed to be a self-portrait, in 1616." - The Guardian (AP)