“‘I call this ‘The Metaphor Strikes Back,” says [director Suzanne] Richard of ‘the deaf, dumb and blind kid,’ as the ‘Pinball Wizard’ lyrics un-gently describe the traumatized title character of Pete Townshend’s seminal rock opera. ‘I think it’s time for the metaphor to get a dose of what the real experience of disability is like.'”
“In his early years, Sehgal” – now famous for his “constructed situations” – performed for the French choreographer Jérôme Bel, working also with Les Ballets C de la B, a highly conceptual contemporary dance company in Ghent.” Earlier this fall, he created new works for a very un-Sehgalian setting: the Paris Opera Ballet at the stupefyingly lavish Palais Garnier.
Typically, as noted above, science fiction authors posit a united world under benign or tyrannical world government. How our present divided world came to be united in the future is seldom explained. Science fiction authors are notorious for getting out of plot holes by inventing new technologies like “handwavium.” The political equivalent of handwavium is the World Federation of Handwavia.
“You may have heard of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award, but isn’t it about time we started rewarding good sex in literature? That’s exactly what Erotic Review [magazine] decided, prompting them to create the Good Sex in Fiction Award. And while the Bad Sex in Fiction long list is certainly worth a few laughs, let’s all be honest: It’s the Good Sex in Fiction long list that you’re going to want to go out and read.”
Just as no two artists have the same working methods, so too might your next bolt of inspiration come from an unexpected place, be it a groundbreaking building, a compelling work of art, or a spare Oblique Strategies deck.
“In 1998, the American Psychological Association appointed a new president, Dr. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania. Up until this point, Seligman was best known for his work in the 1960s administering electric shocks to captive dogs, but in his new role as president, he was now changing tack. Seligman used his inaugural speech to the association to declare the grand opening of a whole new branch of psychology, to be known as ‘positive psychology.'”
“Netflix is promising two big highlights for 2016 [sic]. For viewers, there’ll be 1,000 hours of original new shows, part of a planned $6 billion in spending on content. And for investors there’ll be serious profits for the first time in the company’s history.”
The installation, titled Sky Landing, is in Jackson Park, which will also be the site of the Obama Presidential Library. “[It] consists of 12 steel lotus petals and mounds that form the yin yang symbol to symbolize peace.”
“Books by two journalists, one a Pulitzer prizewinner, the other a Nobel laureate, have made it to the shortlist announced on Monday for the £30,000 Baillie Gifford prize for non-fiction.”
“The trend is evident in such acclaimed serials as Girls, Unreal, and Transparent in the U.S. Meanwhile in the U.K., period pieces Call the Midwife and Victoria, Blighty’s biggest new drama this fall, have put women to the fore in two different centuries. The fashion for female leads is just as clear in comedy.”
According to an investigation by the newspaper La Stampa, “the ‘ndrangheta and Camorra mafia groups in southern Italy … are reportedly handing over to [ISIS] weapons smuggled out of Moldova and Ukraine by Russian criminal groups in exchange for Roman and Greek artefacts illegally excavated from ancient sites including Leptis Magna, Cyrene and Sabratha in Libya – all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.”
“Identified by the Poetry Foundation as part of ‘a group of artists and poets who brought new definitions and ambitions to poetry in the early 1970s,’ Antin won acclaim for his signature ‘hybrid of criticism, poetry and storytelling that involved Antin discoursing freely on a subject in front of an audience,’ as the foundation described his talk poetry.”
“Where the human gaze goes, business soon follows.” When that gaze eventually shifted to the smartphone—portable, social, location-aware, always on—whatever last reserves of human attention were still left unexploited were suddenly on the table. The smartphone would become “the undisputed new frontier of attention harvesting in the twenty-first century, the attention merchants’ manifest destiny.”
The Canadian pianist was an innovator, a maverick who went his own way. But he had some ideas about innovation not being just for the sake of innovating…
“The cultural critic’s conceptual enemy is the smoothing formula known as ‘the wisdom of crowds.’ On that theory, it must be the case that the person whose favorite song is the No. 1 song, whose favorite book is a best-seller, whose favorite food just switched from kale to quinoa, is the luckiest person in the world, because the culture is producing exactly the goods that he or she enjoys. This rule would apply right down all the rungs of life-style choices within your demographic: the kind of car you drive, the number of kids you have, where you take your vacations. On a wisdom-of-crowds hypothesis, what most people who are like you choose to do should be the optimal choice for you.”
The 50,000-square-foot project will rise around the existing museum, housed in the humble Hitsville, U.S.A., building where Berry Gordy Jr. launched the careers of stars such as the Supremes, Temptations and Stevie Wonder.
“The act of going to the movies itself will likely become an expensive, high-culture sort of ritual, like the opera. Hollywood classics will be digitally retooled as VR environments and shown in restored out-of-town multiplexes. And ex-movie stars, desperate for cash, will perform the movies live.”
“The union said that it has tried for more than 19 months to negotiate a new deal with prominent employers in the video game industry and that performers have been governed by a two-decade old contract still in place.”
“The work of the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson is all about the quest for beauty and the ways in which that quest is doomed to failure, bogging down in mediocrity or kitsch, or, in these works, the trappings of Las Vegas. But the work radiates so much theatricality and glitz and humor that it feels like a big party. For a show about failure, it sure is having a good time.”
“We believe in the power of imagination to transport audiences across the universe and everywhere in between, but we could do better to reckon with the technological abilities and limitations of our artistic spaces. How does the architecture of those spaces, of rehearsal rooms and theatres, subtly shape the stories we tell? And how might we acknowledge within our work that making theatre extends beyond rooms?”
“You’d think Amy Schumer fans would know where she stands.” But a couple hundred people in Tampa evidently didn’t. Said the comedian in a statement, “I want to thank the 8400 people who stayed. We had a great time! “
“RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, … said she had received a letter out of the blue from NatWest saying that it was pulling the plug on the broadcaster’s accounts from mid-December. ‘We have recently undertaken a review of your banking arrangements with us and reached the conclusion that we will no longer provide these facilities,’ it said.”
“So far the American troubadour has responded with silence since he won the prize on Thursday. He gave a concert in Las Vegas that very night, but made no mention of the accolade … [though his] set ended with a cover of Frank Sinatra’s ‘Why Try to Change Me Now’.”
“A trained clown who performed in circuses and cabarets, Mr. Etaix was supporting himself as an illustrator when he met filmmaker Jacques Tati,” who immediately offered him an apprenticeship. “Although [he] directed and starred in only five feature films and several shorts … he was considered one of the most brilliant physical comedians of the past half-century.”
Welcome to … Where Are We?
Danish Dance Theatre comes to the Joyce Theater, October 13-16.
Help! I’ve been sucked into a nightmarish world known only to people who’ve seen too much dance. … read more
AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2016-10-17
The talks at the important — and inspiring — DePauw School of Music Symposium — have started to stream.I gave the keynote, but that’s not as important to me as what others said. … read more
AJBlog: Sandow Published 2016-10-17
Monday Recommendation: Sanders & Strosahl
Nick Sanders & Logan Strosahl, Janus (Sunnyside)
Collaborators since their student days at the New England Conservatory nearly a decade ago, pianist Sanders and saxophonist Strosahl are dedicated to tradition and improvisation. … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2016-10-17
A Sanders-Strosahl Followup
Nick Sanders and Logan Strosahl, now and then put up a video on their YouTube channel. Their recent album is the new Rifftides Monday Recommendation (see the previous post). Here is a standard song … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2016-10-17
Unspoken romantic feelings. The absent, or undemonstrative, parent. Kitchen table tales of a like-minded ancestor. All of us have had deep connections to other human beings that are never expressed, yet hold a powerful influence over our thoughts and actions. … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2016-10-17
A good day’s work
I started writing newspaper and magazine profiles, mostly of musicians, some thirty-odd years ago. I only gave it up when my duties as a peripatetic drama critic grew too demanding. It wouldn’t be quite right to say that I regret having done so … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2016-10-17
Usually funded by private investors or large corporations, an artist-run super PAC is a completely new concept, though the driving force behind it is not. “We believe that artists, and art, play an important role in galvanizing our society to do better,” says For Freedoms on its website. “We are frustrated with a system in which money, divisiveness, and a general lack of truth-telling have stifled complex conversation.
Adam Gopnik, reviewing several titles in the Hogarth Shakespeare Project: “We are supposed to say that he would be pleased, but in truth he would be puzzled. … The low-key, chastened, anti-dramatic movement of Anne Tyler’s imagination – no marvels or events, really, just inner action rebounding off half-spoken idea – would have baffled him. This sells? He was used to getting half of London on their asses for a play, and he knew you needed bloody scenes and children baked in pies to do it.”
“As I approach the end of my life,” says the songwriter/poet/mystic, “I have even less and less interest in examining what have got to be very superficial evaluations or opinions about the significance of one’s life or one’s work. I was never given to it when I was healthy, and I am less given to it now.” But David Remnick, somehow, manages to get him to do it.
“Here’s how not to be taken seriously as a woman writer: Use demons and ghosts and other gothic paraphernalia in your fiction. Describe yourself publicly as ‘a practicing amateur witch’ and boast about the hexes you have placed on prominent publishers. Contribute comic essays to women’s magazines about your hectic life as a housewife and mother.”