Instead of writing, the Inkas’ principal bureaucratic tool was the khipu. A khipu consists of a number of strings or cords, either cotton or wool, systematically punctuated with knots, hanging from a master cord or length of wood; pendant cords might also have subsidiary cords. The basis of khipuaccounting practice was the decimal system, achieved by tying knots with between one and nine loops to represent single numerals, then adding elaborations to designate 10s, 100s or 1,000s. – Aeon
The question isn’t how difficult a book is, but why it’s difficult. What is it doing with its difficulty? What is it asking of the reader? Does that difficulty reward the reader’s investment of time? You’re entitled, as James Marriott did in the Times, to conclude that in this case the view from the top of Snowdon wasn’t worth the hike. But complaining about the hike per se is to give up on the idea that there might be any case for art that rewards an investment of energy and attention from its consumer.
“It’s strange to write the obvious, which is that ‘the art comes first,’ but it often doesn’t. I’m downright puritanical when it comes to visitor amenities such as restaurants, shops, and introductory video theaters. Lots of this can be distracting junk. Sometimes classrooms are good, but the best classroom is the gallery. I’m skeptical of separate entrances for schoolchildren and other groups because they’re always about processing people and consequently second-rate. Everyone should have the same exciting, art-filled, grand entrance, but preferably not like the Louvre’s, where visitors enter like rats.”
There are currently 397 people on the British Stunt Register – only two are black women. Shaina West wants to change that, she tells BBC Radio 5, and she’s created a new alter ego to help. (video)
One of the artists says, “A lot of young Aboriginal men fought for this country, travelled overseas and never came home. Even those who did weren’t treated with dignity and respect in Australia at the time. Their stories remain hidden, camouflaged in history.” He and other Aboriginal artists are trying to change that.
It’s seriously immersive: “Older professional actors will play care staff and activity organisers, and will mix with audience members who will also take on a variety of roles. Each resident will have a room to retire to at night, kitted out like care home quarters. But not every member of the audience will have to opt in for the whole 48 hours; a succession of larger groups will be welcomed in to observe semi-scripted events staged inside the home, including a bingo night.”
Kennedy, who’s a comedian as well as a novelist, says that “imagination is at the bottom of democracy, at the bottom of civilised behaviour and at the bottom of not behaving like a sociopath.”
Where is The Portrait of Mlle. Gabrielle Diot? A German dealer may know, but he’s not talking – and the family says that the German government isn’t doing nearly enough to help.
The owners of Aardman don’t want anyone (ahem, perhaps a large company that starts with a D) to take over the UK’s largest animation company, so they’re handing over 75 percent of the company to its 140 employees and 180 freelancers. Why? “We always believed that independence was our strong suit. We didn’t have to dance to anybody else’s tune and could make our own decisions.”
Filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu wanted to make work that showed Africans falling in love. “Americans were falling in love and Europeans were falling in love, … but Africans, we were never falling in love. The first time I saw an African couple even hold hands on screen, I was 16.”
BBC What’s New? visits the Chineke! Orchestra and speaks to to two members of their youth orchestra, Betania Johnny and Didier Osindero. (video)
The “town” on the ranch was likely completely destroyed. “The ranch, which until Friday resembled a town straight out of a western, was originally developed in 1927, when Paramount Pictures purchased the lot in the old Rancho Las Virgenes and used it for various films, including The Maid of Salem (1937) and The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938). In the 1950s, Paramount sold the lot to William Hertz, who built the permanent western town that would serve many shoots and as a tourist destination.”
Director John Carpenter, star Jamie Lee Curtis — who says the film was “the greatest experience I’ve ever had professionally” — and several co-stars talk about the making of the movie the effects the franchise (ten sequels and remakes) has had on the culture. (Curtis: “No one involved with the movie anticipated it would grow its own industry.”)