“Shakespeare has at least three tribute accounts, the largest of which, @Wwm_Shakespeare, boasts 158,000 followers. The most popular Oscar Wilde account has upward of 160,000 followers, while Sylvia Plath has nearly 200,000 … There’s a Virginia Woolf bot that tweets quotes in Korean and a Lovecraft bot that tweets in French.”
To find out, we examined the educational histories of 100 curators who specialize in contemporary art at 69 fine art museums in 32 states. We found that there is no one way to become a curator—although many of the experts we spoke with had strong opinions about what kind of education is most useful.
“As Stanley Kubrick’s monolithic movie celebrates its half century, special effects gurus, directors and those who worked on the film consider its legacy.”
“The obvious question to bring up here is: Are we complicit? ‘We’ meaning you and me but also, in that awful think-piecey way, standing in for the culture. Sure. I suppose we are complicit. The attention given to sociopaths, and the public pain that results from the potent mixture of attention and sociopathy, exists only because there are reliable consumers who enjoy the cocktail. And then we wait for more of the same, so more of the same is provided.”
“Twitter illustrated the enduring obsession with the latter last week when the ‘We need a Disney princess who’ meme – which ranged from earnest (‘We need a Disney princess who’s vegan and fights for animal liberation’) to bizarre (‘We need a Disney princess who is literally Shia LaBeouf on PCP’) – reached a flashpoint after a regional Planned Parenthood center’s account tweeted, then deleted, ‘We need a Disney princess who’s had an abortion.’ The outrage from the anti-choice right that followed was understandable enough. But what accounts for the internet’s chronic royal fever?”
AI researcher Robbie Barrat decided to see what would happen when he fed a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) thousands of nude portraits from a dataset and then trained it to create its own bizarre artworks.
“The difference is due, [neuro-philosopher Andy Clark] believes, to our heightened ability to incorporate props and tools into our thinking, to use them to think thoughts we could never have otherwise. If we do not see this, he writes, it is only because we are in the grip of a prejudice – ‘that whatever matters about my mind must depend solely on what goes on inside my own biological skin-bag, inside the ancient fortress of skin and skull.'”
“Virtual reality confounds the idea of the ‘mind-body problem,’ the relationship between the conscious mind and physical body that’s remained a staple of the philosophy of mind since Aristotle and Plato. Mind-body dualism dictates that the mental being is “in here” while the physical self is “out there.” But questions of neurobiology make that whole proposition more complicated.”
Senior stage manager Johanna Adams-Farley and deputy Sarah Woodward talk about their work at Covent Garden, from productions that have been the company has known for ages (“Manon has been in the rep for so long it almost runs itself”) to preparing world premieres.
According to Sir Brian Vickers, a major reason he has not yet found a home for his complete edition of works by Thomas Kyd is that his “reputation as a scholar has been damaged by a string of hostile reviews by people associated with the New Oxford Shakespeare”.
“The Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation” – co-founded by rap mogul Russell Simmons – “has helped pay for art and dance classes for thousands of children and opened galleries giving young artists of color, such as Kehinde Wiley, who would later paint the official portrait of Barack Obama, a place to showcase their work. … [And] the Kevin Spacey Foundation mentored and trained young performers.” The latter has closed up shop, and the former may have to pull out of New York. In the past year, “organizations have rapidly distanced and denounced their now-unsavory benefactors, in an effort to keep the rest of their donors from fleeing.”
“The cave, which houses wall paintings dating back around 30,000 years, was discovered in 1994 by Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel-Deschamps and Christian Hillaire. … [The three] argued that they had been stripped of their own discovery and they claimed the rights to hundreds of photographs and videos taken at the time as well as to the Chauvet name. They also sought a role in the management of the replica site.” (The original, for its own protection, is closed to visitors.)
For half a century, Anna Scher has been teaching young students and adults in Islington, once quite a rough neighborhood. “In that time, she has created numerous stars, given hope and purpose to kids who had none, started her own theatre, seen it taken away from her, had a traumatic breakdown and fought her way back to good health and standing. At 73, she is once again thriving.”
“It was all done in record time. In just 30 days, more than 120 people – led by 32-year-old Chilean visual artist Dasic Fernández – transformed one of the most congested and iconic streets in the center of [Santiago,] the Chilean capital. Today, Bandera Street, next to the government palace and the city’s main square, is a colorful promenade, thanks to an urban intervention that’s unprecedented in Latin America.”
Who is Kirill Petrenko? The incoming Berlin Phil chief conductor – at least for the moment – can do no wrong
Though not a stranger to New York, Kirill Petrenko showed every sign of being discovered by some highly engaged Carnegie Hall audiences in a two-day visit by the Bavarian State Opera, … read more
AJBlog: Condemned to Music Published 2018-04-02
Propwatch: the book in The Inheritance
A companionable slump of young men sits on the floor and frown over notebooks and laptops. They squirm to tell their story, but they’re struggling. One clutches a cherished volume – Howard’s End by E.M. Forster, … read more
AJBlog: Performance Monkey Published 2018-04-02
Shostakovich and Film — Take Two
I spent the last two days repeatedly viewing – and (as the orchestra’s pianist) participating in – screenings of the 1929 Soviet silent film The New Babylon, … [and] I have no doubt that Shostakovich’s score, however little known (there is no suite by the composer), is one of the most formidable ever composed for film. … read more
AJBlog: Unanswered Question Published 2018-04-02
Recent Listening In Brief
Edward Simon, Sorrows & Triumphs (Sunnyside)
Rich DeRosa, Perseverence (North Texas Jazz)
Azar Lawrence, Elementals (High Note)
Willie Nelson, American Classic (Blue Note) … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-04-02
Egyptian mummies pose a unique challenge because the desert’s scorching climate rapidly degrades DNA. Earlier attempts at obtaining their ancient DNA either failed or produced results contaminated by modern DNA. To crack the case, the museum turned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Whenever a fact contradicts one of our beliefs, we are prompted to restore consistency by revising some of the beliefs in our web. But in choosing what to revise, we are no longer guided by facts alone. Starting from the anomalous evidence, we look at the contested belief and its supporting justification(s), and assess how consistency can be most parsimoniously restored in light of the full web of our beliefs. We can end up revising anything, from doubting that we actually observed the anomalous evidence in the first place, to the principles of logic and mathematics that lie at the centre of our web.”