While artists are rather more circumspect about each other’s work when speaking on the record in today’s ultra-professional market, the gloves often come off as soon as the Dictaphone stops recording. I’ve lost count of the confidential insults I’ve heard contemporary artists sling at their peers
Matt Taibbi: “[Daniel] Richards is pitch-perfect. He enters wrestling halls in small towns in states like Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky to boos and jeers, dressed in a horrific shirt emblazoned all over with Hillary Clinton’s face. The 6-foot-5, 37-year-old then harangues crowds with choice barbs culled from the fairly tepid liberalism that courses through his veins as an ordinary sane person. In Trump country, particularly in coal regions, even kindly telling people you hope they get jobs in clean energy comes across like hardcore aggression.”
“The current campus disruptions over what is and isn’t acceptable speech cannot be judged a blessing in disguise—they are far too illiberal and misguided for that. But by interfering with business as usual, perhaps they will also make it harder for the purported leaders of U.S. higher education to speak in lofty clichés while selling their birthright to deep-pocketed authoritarian sponsors.”
“Humor in the time of Trump is a triumph for our democracy. There’s nothing he can do to stop it and the message has plenty of messengers. Information is there for anyone who wants to know, as comedy takes on a pioneering new role in the dissemination of that information. Resistance takes many forms, and humor may turn out to be the most potent of all.”
“I don’t mean to depict our sensorium — the entire range and capacity of our sensory experience — as a pure state that has been defiled by light, noise, flavor and scent pollution; that would just be another version of the original-sin-and-fall narrative. I would argue rather that we have managed to turn the senses against themselves by pitting overwhelming light against lights, overpowering sound against sounds, intense flavor against flavors, penetrating aroma against aromas. In each case, the result is a marked simplification in the field of possible experiences — one or two stimuli will outshine, outsmell or outshout the rest.”
It’s a protest. And graffiti artist Sebastian Errazuriz didn’t physically deface one of Koons’ famous balloon dogs. But the augmented reality graffiti is Errazuriz’s way of staking a claim to public space. He doesn’t think the privilege of geo-tagging should necessarily fall to technology giants. After Snapchat announced a partnership with the sculptor Jeff Koons that uses augmented reality to place his artworks into famous landmarks around the world, Mr. Errazuriz “graffiti-bombed” the project.
“We live in a time when scientists seem to like nothing better than to expose our everyday view of reality as delusional. They say, “You see the color red, but in fact, out there are only atoms; there are no colors. You hear music, but out there, there are no sounds,” etc. This gives them the authority to describe an entirely different reality, in which deciding between chocolate or strawberry ice cream, say, is nothing more than a matter of warring cohorts of neurons transferring their electrical charges and chemical processes this way and that, while outside your brain there is only a flavorless world of atomic particles. It’s a vision that denies not only our existence—as people choosing between ice-cream flavors—but also the existence of the things we experience.”
“‘The Case for Colonialism,’ written by a political science professor at Portland State University, drew immediate outcries from scholars when it was published last month by Third World Quarterly. Fifteen members of the journal’s 34-member board resigned in protest, and two petitions demanded that the journal retract the piece.” However, Noam Chomsky (of all people) argued against retraction, saying that rebuttal was the better course. “The article recently disappeared from the journal’s website with an explanation that it was withdrawn ‘at the request of the academic journal editor, and in agreement with the author of the essay, Bruce Gilley.'”
“Late Thursday, Harvey Weinstein called top Hollywood talent agents to ask for a substantial favor: to please speak up in his defense as he contended with sexual harassment allegations stretching back decades. When none did, and with the remnants of the Weinstein Company’s board moving to fire him as the studio’s co-chairman, Mr. Weinstein got more frantic. On Sunday, he sent an email to agents and studio executives that said he was ‘desperate’ for their help.”
The three productions – Verdi’s Aida, Strauss’s Salome and Wagner’s Lohengrin – are the first joint ventures for the two companies. No dates or directors have been announced yet, though Bolshoi general director Vladimir Urin made a point of saying that the project has President Putin’s approval.
“The architect behind the $18m project to renovate and conserve the building as a memorial museum says it was a milestone simply for it to be open to the public during the 40 days of the show. Tangled local politics and the sensitive subject matter have left the museum without a director or governing board, and a generous research centre, offices and library have lain empty for over a year.”
Life in a Whirlwind
The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company presents a new work: A Letter to My Nephew. … read more
AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2017-10-07
When I was an undergrad, I was taught the concept of masculine and feminine cadences. It went like this: masculine cadences resolve on the strong beat; feminine cadences resolve on the weak beat. I have no idea if this nomenclature is used by anyone anymore. … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2017-10-09
Billy Bragg and the Rebel Power of Skiffle
Back in the mid-’80s, I was in a Calculus class when a friend I knew mostly from our shared love of punk rock handed me a hand-labelled cassette of a musician I’d never heard. … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2017-10-09
We may offer training, and even recognition of these volunteers, but generally that’s the extent of how we see them. Perhaps we ought to be looking more intently at them as donors. Research from Australia shows that people who volunteer for a charity (nonprofit) give, on average, twice as much as those who simply donated money.
Jill Bilcock, and Luhrmann, call it frame fucking. Bilcock: “When you talk about frame fucking, it’s actually about music. Everything is about rhythm. … Baz and I have a very low attention span. We tend to think everybody can see everything in a few frames. It’s a tapestry: the sum of the whole equals the end result.”
Are the subjects of totalitarianism mindless drones? No, wrote the Polish poet who defected to France after working for a government in thrall to Stalin. Instead, people in totalitarian societies are practicing ketman. That talent, or ability to dissemble, “goes deeper than mere lying. Ketman reaches deeper into the soul than simple hypocrisy. Ketman deceives the deceiver, as much as the person being deceived.”
Matthew Shaver has been playing the piano since he was 4 years old, and being homeless – or “home-free,” as he calls it – isn’t stopping him, thanks to the free piano at Union Station. “The piano, he says, “is the most positive influence in my life. … I felt accepted, I felt wanted, I felt that I was useful, that I could do something that could last.”