“Whether it’s supersized chess and checkers in Buffalo or giant Scrabble at The Wharf in Washington, D.C., the games appeal to children and the young adults who have flooded into cities in recent years, and whom developers and businesses are eager to court. They’re part of a larger push for ‘playable’ cities, and for urban public spaces to be active rather than contemplative.
“A new commission [from ABT] is a risk best handled by the choreographers who can produce works that offer seasoned polish and dependability. … And although, in the history of large commissions, there inevitably exists a freedom of creative impulse, that freedom must not reach too deep, for the fall off the cliff is steep and far. There is simply too much at stake: time, money, reputation. I have always wondered, Where then do choreographers get the freedom to potentially fail?”
If programming under new director Klaus Biesenbach continues to privilege male artists and spectacle, and the board continues to make decisions that appear more self- than public-serving, how does an art community assert its agency? In recent years, members of the Los Angeles artworld have tried to do just that, protesting decisions by MOCA directors that seemed insensitive to the lived experiences of vulnerable artists.
For more than a year, the Detroit-based experimental theater company The Hinterlands has been staging what they call “µTopian Dinners” – literally preparing and sharing a meal with guests. The company sees the project “as a kind of a laboratory to investigate the cultural values that are reinforced through eating, meals, and cooking. … Implementing this process of non-textual translation via food practices carries a kind of power in the fact of it being a non-verbal form of communication, but one that nonetheless is extremely culturally specific.”
“Interviews with six of the museum’s 40-person development team reveal that it’s a mix of art, science and alchemy.”
There have been Christian churches in what is now the state of Kerala for at least 1,600 years, but the ones that have been built there in recent decades are a wild combination of Le Corbusier modernism, tropical Art Deco, SoCal commercial, and maybe even some Bollywood and Vegas thrown in. (slideshow)
“Classical music aficionados: Go away. This article is not for you. Instead, it is for everyone who sees classical music as a private club and who feels they’re standing outside the clubhouse.”
“When Darrin Webb, a bookkeeper for Donadio & Olson, pled guilty to embezzling over $3.3 million from the literary agency late last month, it seemed like a bizarre episode in the industry was reaching a close. Webb’s theft, which leaves a storied agency facing the possibility of bankruptcy and a cadre of authors with holes in their bank accounts, was, by all industry accounts, an aberration. The tale, though, may not be over, as a lawyer is considering taking action against the firm and could file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the authors affected.”
Journalist Alina Cohen looks at four photographers’ projects – street hustlers in L.A., high schoolers in a Southern town where the proms were still segregated, victims of the 1963 Birmingham (AL) church bombing, and small-town Irish teens on the day before their 18th birthday – and talks to the photographers about their obligations to their subjects.
Stephen Langridge, currently director of music and drama at the opera house in Gothenburg, Sweden (and son of the late tenor Philip Langridge and mezzo Ann Murray), will join the festival in early 2019.
AMA has been shared by various Facebook pages worldwide, and often with vague titles like “Dancing Underwater !!” and “Wooowww Amazing Dance.” Perhaps the most shared iteration was posted by Feel Desain, an online magazine, which, according to its page is “updated daily with the latest and coolest news.” That particular post has garnered more than 19 million views and upwards of 372,000 shares. As if only the “coolest” parts matter, Feel Desain’s version is truncated, cutting off the first two minutes before Gautier is fully immersed in the pool.
The authors say that “there is cultural activity taking place in non-city centre areas that are perceived to be barren, undesirable places to live and not common destinations to engage in cultural activity.” They believe the research demonstrates that “this activity has an audience that is interested and willing to engage, and that the venues not only generate audiences within their local communities but also contribute to the movement of audiences across and into the city.”
A survey by ART31, a network of arts groups for young people facilitated by the University of Kent, found anxiety to be the biggest barrier of all among young people aged 10 and 25. Its report says: “It seems likely that this is related to joining a new group or attending a new venue, but it may also be about fear of failure.”
“State-of-the-art results are not the exclusive domain of big companies,” says Jeremy Howard, one of Fast.ai’s founders and a prominent AI entrepreneur. Howard and his cofounder, Rachel Thomas, created Fast.ai to make AI more accessible and less exclusive.
Jeff Jarvis: The banning of Infowars from most major platforms is a sign of that process beginning to work. Civilization is winning, at last. Alex Jones went too far and the public, empowered by the same tools of social media he exploited, told the platforms that his behavior is unacceptable in a civilized society. The platforms—like media and like regulators—might prefer to start with a set of rules that can be enforced by government, by social-media managers, or by algorithms. But that’s not how we negotiate our standards.
The investigation into Annette Kulenkampff’s financial management of Documenta was prompted by a legal complaint issued by Kassel city council members of the right-wing Alternativ für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany). The prosecutor found no evidence of embezzlement, a statement says.
Or maybe it is if you’re Mike Birbiglia, whose new play is called, well, The New One. Current trends in play-naming are contradictory: “banality and protractedness.”
The Australian director Matthew Newton, who has convictions for domestic abuse and who also has a history of punching men (a taxi driver and a hotel clerk), wrote the action movie Eve. Chastain’s production company is one of the producers of the movie, and she was set to star in it. “Ms. Chastain’s involvement with Mr. Newton’s movie was particularly jarring to many of the critics. The actress has spoken out in the past about increasing gender diversity in Hollywood, and has said she refused to work with Harvey Weinstein because of his reputation.”
It’s not all make-up tutorials, beauty influencers, and traditionally contoured faces over there anymore. Instead, sci-fi and horror are having their Instagram day, with various accounts “marrying the macabre and the glamorous. They have antecedents in the work of Alexander McQueen, 1990s club kids, Cindy Sherman (currently posting eerie self-portraits on her own Instagram account) and Lady Gaga.”
It’s time to rename ‘nonprofit’ and ‘not-for-profit’ and other arts orgs that aren’t fully private or fully government-created.
It’s a movie about eighth grade (roughly, being 13 or 14 years old, for non-American audiences) that eighth graders can’t see on their own because it’s rated R “because of a few choice four-letter words and some squirm-inducing sex talk. On Wednesday, A24, the company behind the film, rebelled against the rating for one night, holding free all-ages screenings in every state. And teenagers came out in droves.”
These objects, taken from a dealer and held by the London police for more than a decade, were returned, but there’s quite a lot more looted art out there in the world: “The objects were not stolen in the notorious free-for-all at the National Museum in 2003, an event that Donald H. Rumsfeld, the defense secretary at the time, once brushed off with the words ‘stuff happens.'”
Check out the numbers for the now 90-minute-long A Quiet Place: “Back in came three arias that had been cut from the final act for the 1986 version. Snips were made throughout. An orchestra of at least 72 players was reduced to an ensemble of 18, creating leaner textures and encouraging a less, well, operatic singing and acting style.”
Some new movies really get it, at last: “Eighth Grade acknowledges the extent to which our emotions and relationships are now mediated through digital channels without coming across as alarmist. That doesn’t seem like it should be rare, but it is. It’s not that we don’t see people use computers and phones on film and TV. But characters don’t spend nearly as much time on them as we do in real life — unless they’re part of a cautionary tale.”
Silver received a diagnosis of advanced breast cancer in 2004. She “wrote lyrical verse that gave readers an exquisite, intimate and sometimes angry account of her illness,” and she said that nothing focused her mind like cancer.
Even politicians are getting involved: “Rep. Jerrold Nadler and officials from the Public Theater pleaded Friday for the FAA to divert helicopter traffic from Central Park because the noise keeps interrupting Shakespeare in the Park, which is currently staging Twelfth Night.”
This camp is where 98-year-old Norma Miller, Queen of Swing and an original Lindy Hop dancer – and an African American woman – can thank white Swedish people for keeping the dance alive. “The camp started as a weeklong summer event for 25 Swedish Lindy Hop lovers in 1982 and has evolved into a five-week dance camp known as the Lindy Hop Mecca. This summer, the camp drew some 5,000 dancers and 100 instructors from more than 60 countries. Ms. Miller described the camp as a place where students ‘come to inherit the soul of black dancing.'”
Should the audience play dramaturg? “It’s certainly true that theatregoers like the bragging rights that come from seeing artists and shows before they become big” – imagine those who saw Hamilton in its workshop process. But what’s the value in seeing rough plays in process?
Moritz was a child star, so she grew up under a fame microscope – but her siblings helped her, as they went through their own struggles to come out, something that helped her as she starred in the new movie The Miseducation of Cameron Post . “I definitely struggled with, ‘Who am I? And what am I?’ My brothers, being marginalized their entire lives, were the first people to try and help me find my voice and my identity. And that’s the beauty of the L.G.B.T. community.”
The union, which represents more than 160,000 actors and many others involved in TV and movies, has a president who has been pushing for this and a lot of other reforms since the revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s harassment and abuse came out last October. One SAG-AFTRA official: “This past year has been a reckoning for sexual harassment abuses in our industry. … No SAG-AFTRA performer should ever feel alone or without recourse when it comes to sexual harassment or assault.”