“As robots take over routine jobs, we will need people who can think creatively, imaginatively, logically and laterally. Acquiring a narrow “skillset” of the kind society increasingly demands will, in fact, leave students not equipped for the future, but vulnerable to it.”
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.
“Moviegoers streamed out of heavily guarded movie theaters saying they liked the sets, the music and the grand Bollywood style of Padmaavat, a lavish saga about a legendary Hindu queen who may never have existed. But they couldn’t understand why so many people had violently objected to it.”
Cinerama movies highlight some of the questions facing modern film preservation. Is it worth restoring films that can’t be seen properly? Only three theaters on Earth — in Los Angeles, Seattle and Bradford, England — can still screen the first form of Cinerama, which required three projectors running simultaneously, each aimed at a different part of an enormous screen.
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?
David Zindel, son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Paul Zindel, told the Guardian “he believes his father’s work Let Me Hear You Whisper, a play about a female janitor in a research laboratory who bonds with a captive dolphin and tries to rescue the creature, is a source of inspiration for The Shape of Water. Del Toro’s film was nominated on Tuesday for 13 Oscars, including best picture, best director and best original screenplay.”
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.
Play readings are, frankly, disappointing. “They’re like walking by a food truck and hearing your stomach rumble, but just when you get your wallet out the truck drives off. … It’s just people sitting there in chairs, sometimes walking up to an ugly music stand to read, and sometimes (woo-hoo!) sporadically engaging another actor at another stand. This is not inherently dramatically interesting.”
As an anarchist, she would have wanted a self-governing society, with gender and racial equality. She would have wanted respect for life-forms other than human. She would have wanted a child-friendly society, as opposed to one that imposes childbirth but does not care about the mothers or the actual children. Or so I surmise from her writing. But now Ursula K. Le Guin has died.
In the past few months, several unofficial art spaces, both non-profit and commercial, have opened up across Havana. As the ruba’s Fidelegular influx of US collectors to the island has dried up under the Trump administration’s travel restrictions, artists have turned their attention to works and projects aimed at the local community.
Jeffrey Bloomer: “Friends offered stories of backdoor culinary tours in Istanbul down rickety staircases and through secret restaurants. I heard about guides whom you pay just to skip the line at overrun international museums but then charm you half to death anyway. And then there were many stories of guides like mine in Vermont, stewards of decidedly unexotic locations who know enough local chicanery to make every government building and local landmark feel like the seed of the next great American novel.”
A new study finds categorizing obscure songs by their intended function is surprisingly easy to do—even when they’re the product of a faraway foreign land. Universal patterns of human behavior steer songs “into recurrent, recognizable forms,” writes a research team led by Samuel Mehr of Harvard University. It adds that these commonalities can be detected even as music maintains “its profound and beautiful variability across cultures.”
“While music is universal, its meanings are not,” adds Anne Rasmussen, an ethnomusicologist at the College of William and Mary. And those meanings are created both by the people making and hearing the music, and by the entire cultural package that surrounds it. A Bach cantata that was composed to celebrate God, for example, means something very different when played in a 21st-century concert hall or in a New York deli. The meaning of music, in other words, “is not something you can perceive while listening through a pair of headphones,” says Rasmussen.
“This week, more than 200 scientists and other academics who have advocated policy action on climate change endorsed an open letter that calls on the museum to remove [the prominent right-wing donor] from its board and ‘end ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation.'” Protesters have been demonstrating in front of the museum as well.
“You’ve done your variation, you run offstage, you have a moment to collect yourself, and you just go. If you were to give yourself time to think, ‘I have to do 32 fouettés now,’ I don’t think you’d go back out on stage.” Elizabeth Murphy, Lesley Rausch, and Laura Tisserand, principals at Pacific Northwest Ballet, explain how they do it, physically and mentally. (includes video)
The White House asked to borrow van Gogh’s Landscape with Snow for Donald and Melania Trump’s private quarters. Curator Nancy Spector denied the request – but she did offer, with the artist’s support, the notorious “interactive sculpture” titled America, Maurizio Cattelan’s auriferous commode that was in use for a year in the Guggenheim’s fifth-floor public restroom.
In the wake of the Weinstein and Spacey scandals, “The Stage carried out a survey to determine the scale to which harassment and bullying has affected, and continues to affect, theatre and performing arts professionals.” Here is an extended presentation and analysis of the survey results. Among the leading stats, 43% of respondents had experienced bullying in the course of their theatre work, and 31% had experienced sexual harassment.
“A water leakage at the Rijksmuseum’s branch at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport continued for nearly a week, initially dripping down a glass showcase with 17th-century Golden Age paintings. … Water entered through the roof during building work.” The museum has removed the ten Golden Age paintings at the satellite and will return them once construction is complete this summer.
“The storied Connecticut nonprofit that launched Annie and has been a prominent showcase for musical theater talent for more than four decades, announced this afternoon it was canceling an upcoming production of Bullets Over Broadway in response to the resurgence of allegations that Woody Allen had inappropriate sexual contact with Mia Farrow’s daughter Dylan.”
AAMD’s Midwinter Agenda: Auction-House Presentation, but No Deaccession Deliberation?
In yesterday’s post, I predicted there would be “a lot of thinking about the unabated deaccession crisis at the midwinter meeting of the Association of Art Museum Directors, which begins next Monday in San Antonio” …
… or maybe not. … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2018-01-25
Dinner at Eighty
“She was a Nazi.” That’s what Edythe said about the wife of one of her two brothers. Until that moment, I never knew my mom had brothers. I must have been 8 or 9, and she pulled out … read more
AJBlog: Out There Published 2018-01-25>
In old folktales, no one fights for values. Individual stories might show the virtues of honesty or hospitality, but there’s no agreement among folktales about which actions are good or bad. When characters get their comeuppance for disobeying advice, for example, there is likely another similar story in which the protagonist survives only because he disobeys advice. Defending a consistent set of values is so central to the logic of newer plots that the stories themselves are often reshaped to create values for characters such as Thor and Loki – who in the 16th-century Icelandic Eddahad personalities rather than consistent moral orientations.
“Violent mobs have rampaged through several Indian cities this week in a last-ditch effort to stop the film [Padmaavat], based on a five-century old poem about a Hindu queen, Padmini, who immolates herself rather than be captured by a conquering ruler. … The film crew has been attacked, sets have been vandalised, hardliners have threatened to mutilate the lead actor and Indian states have pleaded with the supreme court and prime minister to ban the film.”