“[Data-compression] algorithms trim down the space needed to digitally store sounds and images by throwing out information that is redundant or doesn’t add much to our perceptual experience — for example, tossing out data at sound frequencies we can’t hear, or not bothering to encode slight gradations of color that are hard to see. The idea is to keep only the information that has the greatest impact. Mumbling — or phonetic reduction, as language scientists prefer to call it — appears to follow a similar strategy.”
Saying that the move would send “a strong signal that culture is the foundation for our open and democratic society,” culture minister Monika Grütters announced that Angela Merkel’s government plans to increase the arts budget by 23%. In the five years that Grütters has been in office, the national culture budget has grown by 38%, roughly $548 million.
After all, concert bands (as some of us remember from high school) tune to a B-flat from the clarinet. Turns out that there are sound practical reasons for both choices, concerning the strings (for the choice of A as the pitch) and the oboe (a fussy and obstinate instrument).
“Because I hate myself, and because I want my future robots to remember my contributions to this wild weird world before it all dissipates into the ether, or becomes a wasteland of Russian bots and Incels, I spoke with writers, journalists, novelists, and normal people to come up with a definitive list of essential internet reading. … It comes as no surprise that finding and creating a cohesive understanding of internet writing is just as dubious, problematic, and maddening as the internet itself.” Even so, Lyz Lenz has given it a try – and found some very funny pieces which would probably never have made it into dead-tree print.
Factors including the invention of movies, a decreasing child mortality rate, and the rise of broadcast radio in the 1920s had led to an astonishing realization for society: Children had personalities. They weren’t just imperfect adults who needed to be ignored until they could behave properly, and they were becoming increasingly less likely to just drop dead, which meant it was safer to like them. They had qualities that were appealing in their own way, the most important of which was cuteness.
The Koret Foundation’s recent arts and culture give underscores an encouraging trend in this cash-flush region. While the tech monied classes may be cool to the arts, other Bay Area funders have been stepping up over the past few years.
If one looks at history, the answer seems obvious: What fences have very often indicated is not simply what is mine and what is yours, but, more subtly, who I am versus who you are. This tendency is based on the human inclination to define one’s identity in contrast to someone cast as a different, an untrustworthy Other best kept at a distance.
“Arguably no single work by Baldwin is as connected to the issues animating Black Lives Matter as his final nonfiction book, The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985), but the work was written long after Baldwin had lost the public’s affection. … Written in response to what came to be known as the Atlanta child murders, Baldwin’s book is a piercing examination of anti-black violence in the United States, why it persisted after the ‘gains’ of the civil rights era, and why it would likely continue unless deep-rooted structural and psychic changes occurred.”
General Public aims to transform the art market as we know it. In essence, General Public produces three-dimensional reproductions of works of art, a mix between original painting and print using a special process invented by the actress working with Fujifilm. For Portia de Rossi, allowing artists to distribute high-quality replicas of their work directly to an audience is all about democratizing art and putting value in the hands of the creators. The company’s motto is “Support artists, not art.”
It is 50 pages long, penned by Bard College Berlin curator and scholar Dorothea von Hantelmann, and it was offered to all takers at the pop-up. Lest there be doubt that this pamphlet holds an answer to the lingering “why” hanging over the entire enterprise, it opens by asking grandly: “If the theater was the ritual place of Greek antiquity, the church that of European medieval times, and the museum that of modern industrial societies: What is the new ritual space for the 21st century?” For those who are still asking, “How can New York afford the Shed?” the manifesto, in essence, boldly asks back, “How can New York afford not to have the Shed?”
“When we think of a museum doing outreach to communities who may not see themselves as connected to it, we rarely think about the kind of event put forth by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston yesterday, as it hosted its first-ever naturalization ceremony to swear in 187 new citizens … in front of the ‘Art of the Americas’ wing.”
It might seem counterintuitive to think so, but the popular dissemination of technology is necessary for the electronic image to function as conceptual art. This isn’t necessarily true with any other medium and has much to do with the value that we as postmodern consumers of images and memes place on a removed and ironic perspective. For example, conceptual video art didn’t reach its proper golden age until the 1960s, with the advent of relatively cheap portable recording equipment.
“My work consists entirely of creating the conditions for genius to flow. I am not in possession of it — it resides in that flow of output, which everyone participates in. “Genius” is the oxygen that those in a shared space breathe in and are transformed by; it allows them to reach their full potential. In this way, “genius” returns to its original Latin meaning of an “attendant spirit.”
The Art Newspaper has looked back over the past two years, when just over 100 heritage projects with grant applications of over £2m were considered annually by the board. In 2016, 41% of projects got their grants, but last year it was much more difficult to win an award, and only 30% were approved. In December, the last round for which the results are public, the success rate plunged to 17%, with only three of the 18 projects receiving approval.
The act of gesturing seems to be universal (every known human group does it), and we know that there are certain gestures that are culture-specific. (There are places where you definitely shouldn’t make the thumb-and-forefinger “okay” sign.) “What people produce much more often are gestures for ‘yes’ and ‘no’; points to people, places and things; gestures that sketch objects, actions and represent abstract ideas through visual metaphors. These are the real workhorses of gestural expression. And, as it turns out, a case can be made that these workhorses are broadly similar the world over.”
“As the dean enumerated this extraordinary set of failings, he warmed to his task — leaning ever further forward, as if sharing gossip with a group of intimates or inmates. Encouraged, no doubt, by a sense of rightness and righteousness, the faithful apparatchik’s eyes lit up like a chap embarked on a quest with like-minded souls.”
“There are no character descriptions in Shakespeare. There is nothing prescriptive about who can and should play what. Our job as actors is to offer up the impression of a person’s character in all its complexities and ambiguities. For me, that is what Shakespeare was doing within the limiting constraints that he was writing in. We don’t have those constraints anymore. When the timeless, mythic, kaleidoscopic worlds he has created collide and collude with ours, then the possibilities are truly endless.”
“It’s the art world’s equivalent of a man struck twice by lightning. On Friday, the 1943 Pablo Picasso painting Le Marin (‘The Sailor’), valued at $70 million, was ‘accidentally damaged’ at the presale exhibition of Christie’s Tuesday evening auction of Impressionist and Modern art.” Christie’s won’t say so publicly, but the owner of the painting is reportedly former casino magnate Steve Wynn, who made headlines when he stuck his elbow through Picasso’s Le Rêve back in 2006.
“The Inquirer‘s classical music critic from 1963 to 1999, Mr. Webster occupied his spot as Philadelphia commanded national and international attention through an orchestra that toured, recorded, and broadcast widely. … [His] era was bookended by artists like tenor Richard Tucker and conductor Hermann Scherchen in the 1960s, and the arts boom of the 1990s that created hundreds of millions of dollars in custom-built arts facilities and one of the most bustling music scenes in the country.”
“Almost 9,000 pieces [out of nearly 11,000] will go to the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, with others headed to 10 Smithsonian Institution museums, several universities and the U.S. Supreme Court. The distribution marks the final stage of the dismantling of the famed Washington institution. Under a controversial 2014 deal, the National Gallery of Art had first dibs on the entire collection and ended up acquiring about 40 percent of the 19,493 works.”
Her most famous film performances were as Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the Superman franchise and as a lead in The Amityville Horror; she was also known for what she later called “the biggest nervous breakdown in history, bar possibly Vivien Leigh’s.”
“Some are born into the theater, some achieve the theater, and some have theaters thrust upon them. Gene Terruso had a theater thrust upon him … One moment, he was a Fulbright scholar about to return home; the next, he was artistic director of [BEST Divadlo,] the first all-English-language theater in Brno, a bustling, international, U.S.-culture-loving city.”
Monday Recommendation: Peter Erskine’s latest encounter with Dr. Um
On Call: Peter Erskine & The Dr. Um Band (Fuzzy Music)
Erskine’s quartet luxuriates in excitement that recalls and updates his achievements as Weather Report’s keystone drummer and later when he was … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-05-14
China’s booming start-up scene has become as much a feature of its top-tier cities as traffic and smog. It used to be that college graduates applied for jobs at banks or state-owned enterprises, the proverbial “iron rice bowl” that their parents sought for them after the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. But many of those jobs were unsatisfying: In a 2012 Gallup survey, 94 percent of Chinese respondents said they were unengaged with their jobs. Now, with public and private funding flowing into Chinese start-ups, entrepreneurship has become an appealing alternative for a generation disillusioned with the conveyor-belt career paths of their forebears.
The annual list of the UK’s 1,000 richest people names Cameron Mackintosh as theatre’s wealthiest individual, with £1.18 billion. This is equal to 2017’s rich list figure and means he continues to be the richest entertainment figure in the list.
‘Who are you to tell me what to believe?’ replies the zealot. It is a misguided challenge: it implies that certifying one’s beliefs is a matter of someone’s authority. It ignores the role of reality. Believing has what philosophers call a ‘mind-to-world direction of fit’. Our beliefs are intended to reflect the real world – and it is on this point that beliefs can go haywire. There are irresponsible beliefs; more precisely, there are beliefs that are acquired and retained in an irresponsible way.
On the date of its fifth anniversary, the company employs 140 people from its San Francisco offices, hosting 100,000 creators who are supported by two million patrons. Since its foundation, it has paid out more than $350m, and this year alone it’s on course to pay out “well over $300m”, according to a spokesperson, twice what it distributed in 2017.
It’s a step more useful for midterm politics than for reality, unfortunately: “All 49 members of the Democratic caucus are in favor of the resolution, along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). If it passes, the resolution still faces a tough vote in the House, as well as the signature of President Donald Trump.”
Here’s the thing: “Studies have long shown that gun violence in PG-13 movies has been rising, sometimes exceeding what is shown in popular R-rated films. Now there is research suggesting that some parents think 13 is too young to see intense shooting, even when it appears justified.”
Originally, the museum had said it might sell one of Abe’s stovepipe hats, but now it’s decided to sell a trove of other artifacts that it purchased together with the hat and some Lincoln-worn gloves. Will that be enough to help finance its $9.7 million debt?