“Since my boyhood, the rise of digital connectivity has transformed every human interaction, from buying a sandwich to anal sex. The period has coincided with a crisis of intimacy. A recent survey of 20,000 Americans found that almost half suffered from loneliness, which now qualifies as a chronic public health problem. Narcissism, a related condition, has been rising over 30 years of clinical studies and has become so widespread and so fundamental to all aspects of culture that the question is whether it can properly be identified as a pathology any longer.”
At the point in his career — in his 50s, maybe, or early 60s — at which anyone might reasonably expect his voice to have run its course, Domingo politely but firmly declined to step down. And with that, the curtain gradually went up on one of the most astonishing second acts the opera world has ever known.
“Using data from your smartphone such as weather, location and time, the programme interacts with the reader to tell the narrative in a unique and individualised way. No two stories will ever be the same experience. The technology enables the narrative to sync to the reader’s surroundings. So if it’s raining in real life, it will start raining in the story, if you’re sitting in a cafe, the action will take place in a cafe.”
“Matthew Guerrieri dives deep into something particular about the early days of computer music in the United States. It got its start, quite literally, in the off-hour downtime of the military-industrial complex.”
Like Montaigne, who played a diffident but competent role in politics—he was mayor of Bordeaux—most of us forge a rotten compromise between idleness and industry. What else can we do? We see the flourishing of life in the little moments, as we see the scale of its shirked responsibilities. To manage our ambivalence is necessary work.
With an ensemble of six vocalists and 18 instrumentalists, the 80-minute “Place” obliquely yet obsessively mulls gentrification; displacement; the powers and limitations of white male privilege; and the intersection of shifts in communities and families, including the birth of Mr. Hearne’s children and the breakup of his marriage.
The Kavanaugh hearings bring up an interesting linguistic phenomenon. Without thinking, we might assume a nebulous, unquestionable power belongs to the words of the person who succeeds to some office, whether it be the President, a Senator, or a Supreme Court Justice. Authority is almost godlike in this way. This power sometimes seems vast and immovable. But many people are waking up to the fact that this power is very much constructed, through laws and authority agreed upon and given by a very human collective, within a system of their making, in order for a community to work together to perform extraordinary, almost miraculous feats (such as building a civilization or society).
On 22 July 2011, the far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik used a car bomb to kill eight people and injure 209 in downtown Oslo, then took a ferry to a youth camp on Utøya island, where he shot 102 people, 69 of whom died. Paul Greengrass’s 22 July is a docudrama depicting the attacks and Breivik’s trial; Erik Poppe, who wanted to keep Breivik off the screen entirely, made his Utøya – July 22 as “one long, seemingly unbroken take that follows one young girl on Utøya experiencing the attack in 90 minutes of real time.”
Ashley Fetters talks with classics scholar Donna Zuckerberg (yes, Mark’s sister) about what the “Red Pill” community — “the corner of the internet dominated by men’s-rights activists, the alt-right, pickup artists, and the sex-eschewing communities known as Men Going Their Own Way” — finds in these ancient Latin books (e.g., Ovid’s Ars Amatoria) and how they misread and misuse the texts.
Ben Davis argues that all those folks fulminating over this event — and there are a lot of them, with many different takes (“There are full-on Truthers out there, scrutinizing every frame and angle of the whole thing, as well as Denialists, doubting that it even happened at all”) — are missing the Banksyan genius of it. “A very important concept in street art is placement. Street art fans will be very impressed by where and how a tag was placed … Obviously, the Sotheby’s prank has to be appreciated mainly, simply, as a great placement.” What’s more, it has placed the auction house smack in the middle of the Liar’s Paradox.
Some theatres have moved away from education and solely into community engagement. How are “education” and “community engagement” defined by each theatre? What are the similarities and differences between these two areas of focus? Is there collaboration across departments in this work? There has been growing attention to these issues in recent years, and we were interested in collecting some stories and exploring different models and approaches to this work.
The project invites viewers to experience a large-scale painting completed on a warehouse at 53rd and Media Streets through the lens of a smartphone app that casts holograms and generates a changing soundtrack as you move from left to right.
With a different set of judges each year, it is a fool’s errand to try to guess the eventual winner. So I have always had a simple formula: never judge the books – study the judges.
Prince argues that he had to use as much of the photograph as appeared in the Instagram post to accomplish his purpose. In a 15-page statement calling his iPhone a paintbrush, Prince explains that he wanted “to reimagine traditional portraiture and bring to a canvas and art gallery a physical representation of the virtual world of social media”. Had he altered the photographs, he says, that intent would go unseen.
“I realized during the first ballet I did, the first original work I did [for the Louisville Ballet] was in the fall of 2016, that it was pretty much about my unsuccessfulness in relationships.” Robert Curran was in a seven-year relationship with Hallberg. He reflected on the relationship with the benefit of time, distance and a renewed self-awareness. “When I opened my eyes to what was going on, we might have been together for seven years, but we weren’t together for seven years,” said Curran.
Kwame Anthony Appiah, chair of the judges, implicitly blamed editors for the poor quality of some of this year’s submissions while announcing the 2018 shortlist: “We occasionally felt that inside the book we read was a better one, sometimes a thinner one, wildly signalling to be let out.” Fellow judge Val McDermid went further by suggesting modern editors don’t know what they’re doing. “I think,” she said, “young editors coming through are not necessarily getting the kind of training and experience-building apprenticeship that happened when I was starting out.”
Over the last few years, there has been a rising fear of giant tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter and the Google-owned YouTube, for a whole host of reasons. The fear often boils down to this: These companies host problematic content and then have algorithms to push that to an unprecedentedly large audience. Although it’s not often thought of in the same way, Netflix has a similar model and scale.
“This week, Banksy must surely be wondering if he has fueled the very machine of late-stage capitalism that he famously despises. … Two McDonald’s agencies had gotten in front of the meme by turning Banksy’s half-shredded image into an ode to french fries, but lots more homages have surfaced since then.”
Reporter Marcie Sillman talks with a Labanotation expert on how she recorded a ten-minute contemporary duet and with dance historian Doug Fullington on using 19th-century Stepanov and Justement notation to reconstruct Giselle. (text and audio)
“Alas, it’s hard for me to see how the Met can realistically hope to reinvent itself other than by razing its superannuated theater and starting from scratch. Nor am I sanguine about the long-term prospects for, say, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, whose home is the 3,563-seat Civic Opera House and which was just shut down by an orchestra strike, or the San Francisco Opera, which performs in the 3,126-seat War Memorial Opera House. (The Vienna State Opera House, by way of comparison, has 2,220 seats.)”
A nationwide audit of 163 major collections has led to the identification of “83 paintings, 26 drawings and 13 Jewish ritual objects [as well as miscellaneous works] believed to have been taken from their owners between 1933 and 1945.”
Located in “the sixth borough” (and the one that gets the least respect), across the Hudson from Lower Manhattan, “the Nimbus Arts Center at the Lively will feature a 150-seat black box theater, studio and rehearsal space for [Nimbus Dance Works] and [its] school, and company administrative offices. The arts facility, which is expected to open in December 2019, will reside on the ground floors of the building, with apartments above.”
“One of the most environmentally friendly office buildings ever conceived has been named the winner of the 2018 Stirling prize, beating off competition from a quirky brick nursery, a mud-walled cemetery and the extension of the Tate St Ives gallery.”
“… And so I like to think of myself as an independent producer as opposed to a commercial producer,” says Sonia Friedman, who was spoiled by her time working “in the subsidised sector” (at the National Theatre).
For a New Yorker, the real surprise was to be found in the far-flung spaces — like the Den — that make up Chicago’s “storefront” theater movement. Especially in the northern part of the city, these theaters have colonized churches and renovated restaurants and turned showrooms into show rooms. Some house an audience of hundreds, some just a handful.
The Metropolitan Museum has just announced that its next Costume Institute extravaganza will be Camp: Notes on Fashion, May 9-Sept. 8, 2019. (Rest in Peace, Susan Sontag.) But Cher, with a show about to open on Broadway, doesn’t seem to be involved, and how can the Costume Institute have a show like this with none of the gowns Bob Mackie designed for her?
“It was just last season when theater lovers were wringing their collective hands as big brand musicals descended on Times Square … No more. In a turnabout no one on Broadway expected, this season is rich with drama — ambitious, challenging, risky work, most of it new and most of it American.” Says one producer, “It’s no accident that all these plays are happening now. It’s how artists react to what’s happening in the culture.”
Gamification’s trapping of total fun masks that we have very little control over the games we are made to play – and hides the fact that these games are not games at all. Gamified systems are tools, not toys. They can teach complex topics, engage us with otherwise difficult problems. Or they can function as subtle systems of social control.
“According to the immigration proposals, announced earlier this month, there will be no preferential treatment for European Union workers, who will have to apply for specific category visas to come and work in the UK, as is the case for workers from the rest of the world. The visas will be restricted to applicants who have a confirmed job offer and earn a minimum of £30,000 a year pro-rata, with the potential for it to rise to £50,000, a situation that leading figures have warned is not fit for purpose.”
“With NBCUniversal’s help, the struggling social media giant preps more than a dozen original series for its 188 million users as it muscles into a crowded market. … But its slate won’t be ripped from the Netflix playbook. All Snapchat scripted series will average about five minutes an episode and be released daily in the signature vertical video format.”