“If the job description and skill set of directing hasn’t changed much, the circumstances in which American directors work certainly has. The cost of renting performance spaces has shot up in major urban areas, and the existence of affordable spaces for young artists everywhere has dwindled. While programs and grants to nurture young playwrights have sprung up across the country, support for those with directorial aspirations is relatively sparse.”
“So just how good is the Urban Dictionary at capturing new words, and how does it compare with more conventional approaches to producing online dictionaries? Today, we get an answer of sorts thanks to the work of Dong Nguyen at the Alan Turing Institute in London and a few pals, who compare the Urban Dictionary and its content with Wiktionary, another crowdsourced dictionary.”
Frank Galati: “Certain aspects of the job can most definitely be taught, the way a language can be taught – the grammar, the practice. Those are rules that don’t really change.”
Sarah Schulman: “I can’t teach you talent. I can’t teach you insight, and sensitivity, and awareness, and perception. I can’t teach you poetry – but I can help you expand these skills by asking the right questions.”
According to Foucault, the dynamics of the Panopticon bore an uncanny resemblance to how people self-monitor in society at large. In the presence of ever-watchful witnesses, he said, physical coercion is no longer necessary. People police themselves. They do not know what the observers are registering at any given moment, what they are looking for, exactly, or what the punishments are for disobedience. But the imagination keeps them pliant. In these circumstances, Foucault claimed, the architecture of surveillances become perniciously subtle and seamless, so ‘light’ as to be scarcely noticeable.
“Why has the end-of-facts idea gained so much purchase in both academia and the public mind? It could be an example of what the World War II–era misinformation experts referred to as a “bogie” rumor—a false belief that gives expression to our deepest fears and offers some catharsis. It’s the kind of story that we tell one another even as we hope it isn’t true. Back then, there were bogie rumors that the Japanese had sunk America’s entire fleet of ships or that thousands of our soldiers’ bodies had washed ashore in France. Now, perhaps, we blurt out the bogie rumor that a rumor can’t be scotched—that debunking only makes things worse.”
For years, Artists Repertory Theatre shepherded its building in what was historically a gritty location, through remodels and hosting a number of other cultural offices and eventually to a new, vibrant artistic director, who has “set new standards for equity, onstage and off.” But now, ART is selling half its building, including one theatre. “The buyer is Wood Partners, a development firm that created the Pearl District high-rise Block 17. A pre-application permit filed in October shows a plan for a new 20-story mixed use building with 296 housing units, 4,000 square feet of retail and 206 below-grade parking spaces.”
Conducted by think tank Global Future, it also found that more than 90% believe the free movement of people from Europe will be critical or important to the UK’s creative industries in the future. More than 70% claim allowing freedom of movement of creative talent from Europe is the most important thing the government could do to “ensure the growth and vibrancy of Britain’s creative industries”. This was seen as more important than providing greater funding to the creative industries.
“In a way, it’s startling how universal sleep is: In the midst of the hurried scramble for survival, across eons of bloodshed and death and flight, uncountable millions of living things have laid themselves down for a nice, long bout of unconsciousness. … Whatever sleep gives to the sleeper is worth tempting death over and over again, for a lifetime.” Reporter Veronique Greenwood visits a lab in Japan where scientists are trying to find the answer(s) to this question.
“For more than a century, the region around Sidangkou has been a hub of musical instrument manufacturing, including traditional Chinese instruments like the sheng, a reed pipe, and the di, a bamboo flute. Factories in the region now produce thousands of oboes, trumpets and tubas each year. Yet nothing seems to have captured the imagination of people here like the saxophone.”
“Woodman is often associated with the beginning of a trend in the mid-1970s toward raising traditionally low forms of art-making – ones that were not painting, sculpture, drawing, and printing – to the higher status of those other mediums. For Woodman, this was accomplished by radically experimenting with ceramics, in the process alluding to Italian Renaissance, ancient Etruscan, and Chinese styles.” In 2006 she became the first living female artist to get a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum.
“The Wilma now has a three-year-old resident acting company” – in itself a rarity nowadays – “and welcomes shows whose daring aesthetics depart from the factory-setting naturalism of most American stages, especially regional ones.” And the theater’s model, thoroughly changed from less than a decade ago, was instituted not by a new boss but by longtime artistic director Blanka Zizka.
The plaintiffs’ suits against the company and its artistic director, Albert Schultz, seek a total of well over $6 million. At the board’s direction, Schultz has taken what’s being called a leave of absence, pending investigation; executive director Leslie Lester, Schultz’s wife, has voluntarily done the same.
“Wixen, a Californian company that collects royalties on behalf of artists including Tom Petty, Neil Young, Janis Joplin and the Doors, alleges that Spotify ‘took a shortcut’ when it cut deals with major labels to host their back catalogues. … The news comes at an awkward moment for the tech company, which is reportedly preparing for a stock market sale.”
It’s complicated, or complex, or chaos, or…
The idea of “best practices” has always driven me a bit nuts. The world is full of complexity and context and interconnections, I figured. … read more
AJBlog: The Artful Manager Published 2018-01-03
A New Leonardo?
Has the unprecedented sale of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi brought more paintings by the Renaissance master out of the closet? Over the courses of this fall and winter, some people were speculating that that would happen, … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2018-01-03
More on La Salle’s Sales: My Revealing Q&A with the University’s Spokesperson
La Salle University’s website provides surprisingly scant information about its astonishing plan under a relatively new president to dispatch to Christie’s some 46 objects from its museum’s collection to raise funds for non-museum activities. … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2018-01-03
Across the Pacific
“To all Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, wherever ye may be and to all mermaids, flying dragons, spirits of the deep, devil chasers, and all other living creatures of the yellow seas, Greetings: Know ye that …” read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2018-01-03
“This year’s anguished discourse about art and artists underscores that criticism is rooted in lived experience. There’s no right or wrong way to review (well, there is, but that’s a discussion for another time). But I’m as impatient with critics who embrace self-serving auteurist fundamentalism or aesthetic formalism as I am with those belligerent fan boys who insist that only a comic-book obsessive can review a superhero movie. None of these camps want their pleasures challenged or their bubble worlds burst by reminders that a cherished director, say, denigrates women. I mean, by all means enjoy! But don’t expect me to shut up about it.”
“In response to the proliferating accusations in Hollywood, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has established a sex-crimes task force, and the police department has assigned five pairs of detectives, including experts in reviving cold cases. So far, twenty-seven investigations have been opened, including at least one involving minors.”
Cuts to drama in schools coupled with a shortage of new teachers is fuelling the problem, warning that a decline in the number of drama teachers at secondary level will result in the sector becoming less diverse in the long term. Statistics from the Labour Party’s Acting Up inquiry into working-class actors in 2017 confirmed the decline, revealing there were now 1,700 fewer drama teachers in UK schools than in 2010.”
Facebook VP of product Fidji Simo: “When we look at the content that’s really building these engaged communities, it’s content from creators that are vlogging for 15 minutes. … We see incredibly engaged communities around knitting. That’s something that won’t build a massive community like a big TV show, but if you do that for everyone’s passion projects and you can connect everyone to the creator, it can be extremely powerful.”
“Granted to a pianist every four years, [the $300,000 prize] is not a competition, so contestants do not even know they are in the running. Instead, a small, anonymous jury travels incognito to concerts around the world, searching for an artist with the potential to make a mark on music.” Among previous winners are Leif Ove Andsnes, Piotr Anderszewski, and Ingrid Fliter.