“As we seek political and philosophical bearings in this time of renewed calls for a socialist alternative to capitalism, postwar efforts to bring Marxism and existentialism together have much to teach us—not only because of the continuing importance of each mode of thought to political thinking and organizing, but also because their interaction in Sartre’s work deepens our understanding of how we exercise agency under conditions we do not control.” – Boston Review
Some libraries in upstate New York have begun adding cake pans, cookie cutters, and other bakeware and utensils to their circulating collections. It’s part of the spreading practice referred to as the “library of things.”
“[Patrik] Schumacher, one of four people appointed by Hadid to take responsibility for her estate, has begun court proceedings to have the other three removed as executors – leaving him in control. … However, the trio – Rana Hadid, Peter Palumbo and Brian Clarke – are fighting back. Rana Hadid, the late architect’s niece, said her aunt ‘would have been devastated to learn what Schumacher is doing’.”
New music has done very little to change the expected optics of classical music, which is why new music’s identity problem is what it is today. Moreover, despite the recent increase in conversation about female, non-binary, transgender, and BAME/ALAANA/diverse composers, the programming of these composers has not significantly increased.
“Throughout her rise to fame, Rosalía has been mired in a debate over her supposed appropriation of an art form with gitano origins. The 25-year-old star is not gitana, nor is she from Andalusia, the birthplace of flamenco. She’s from Catalonia, the northern Spanish region now famous for its independence bid last year. She’s been accused of capitalizing on southern, gitano culture — for adopting an Andalusian accent, sprinkling Caló (the Spanish Romani language) into her songs, dressing like a gitana and using Roma imagery in her music videos.”
Dance anthropologist Judith Lynne Hanna, who (on top of her scholarly work) has served as an expert witness in legal proceedings against exotic dancers, “has spent her career getting us to think about dance’s relationship to society. … She hadn’t performed since college when she got a call from a music video producer, who caught a video of her dancing with her 13-year-old grandson. The rockers of Egg Drop Soup loved her energy and flew her out to Los Angeles for a day-long video shoot. We spoke to Hanna about the experience.”
The painting of Jesus of Nazareth with John the Baptist — badly deteriorated but perceptible with high-tech photography and potentially restorable — is on the wall of the baptistery in a ruined 5th- or 6th-century Byzantine church. “In contrast to the Western image of Jesus as someone with flowing long hair and, sometimes, a beard, the Shivta painting shows him in the Eastern style with short curly hair, a long face and an elongated nose.”
With more than 200 Welsh actors having joined 40 of its playwrights in making public complaints about how little actual theatre the company is making and how few Welsh artists are being employed to make it, the chief executive of the Arts Council of Wales — which gives NTW £1.6 million each year — has issued a statement observing pointedly that “to be ‘national’ is a privilege, not a right.”
Peter Shannon has been artistic director and conductor of the orchestra for all of its ten years; he departs at the end of this season.
Musicians began volunteering with 412 in September 2016, when violinist Lorien Benet Hart reached out to the food rescue organization in search of a way for musicians to contribute to the community during a two-month musicians’ labor strike. Since then, she has coordinated with 412 to send different groups of musicians and — starting a few months back — symphony staff members on a run or two a month to help connect good food that would have gone to waste with organizations that put it to better use than filling dumpsters.
“Today, you couldn’t tear down a McKim, Mead & White building. The preservationists wouldn’t let you.” But the firm’s long tenure at the top of the architecture field wasn’t always guaranteed. “They were the Ralph Lauren, the Rolls-Royce of architecture. Then the modern movement started, and boy did they crash. From 1925, when white walls and European modernism began its takeover of architecture, McKim, Mead & White were poison to the profession.”
This Aeon Original video explores that unifying feeling of group ‘electricity’ that lifts us up when we’re enthralled by our favourite sports teams, participating in religious rituals, entranced by music – and, yes, dancing the night away.
Lenny Henry: “Over the past few months I have been enthralled and captivated by the story of a man from Croydon in south London who died more than 100 years ago and who wrote one of the biggest musical hits of the [early] 20th century. He was a total genius – a bit like Prince, but for late 19th-century London rather than 1980s California – and his name was Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.”
“For The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the new film from the Coen brothers and the first title Netflix is distributing this way, the exclusive theatrical release was something of a mirage” — one screen in each of three cities for four barely publicized days. The same thing is going to happen next week for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma. Film fans are not happy.
Angel, César, and Marcos Ramírez, now 18, had secure jobs dancing with the National Ballet of Cuba. But they gave them up to study at the Rock School in Philadelphia. Ellen Dunkel meets them. (includes video)
Duty and honor? Patriotism? Rebecca Onion reminds us of the truth about “the war to end all wars”: it was bloody, cruel, and basically pointless. “How, then, to commemorate a useless war that shouldn’t have happened — a black hole in history?” Slate‘s resident history maven suggests that we have a look at some of the antiwar literature and advertising campaigns of the time.
Fortunately, Mike Birbiglia doesn’t do it quite the way Patti LuPone does. And he’s playing himself in his one-man Broadway show, The New One, so he can talk to offending audience members directly without breaking character. Here, with audio of recent examples, he explains how and why he does it.
Late in life, he opened an English bookstore in Avignon; before that, in London, he wrote anti-consumerism and anti-automobile books. But he made his biggest mark in New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1950s and ’60s: he briefly ran the Off-Off-Broadway birthplace Caffe Cino, and he devised a kit that lets customers assemble their own harpsichords, enabling the modern revival and spread of the instrument.
Alongside the fiction prize to Nunez’s novel about a bereaved writer and his Great Dane and the nonfiction prize to Stewart’s biography of philosopher Alain Locke, honors went to Justin Phillip Reed’s Indecency (poetry), Yoko Tawada and Margaret Mitsutani for The Emissary (translated literature), and Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X (young people’s literature). Isabel Allende became the first Spanish-language author to receive the lifetime achievement award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
“The word was chosen less for statistical reasons, [the U.S. head of Oxford Dictionaries] said, than for the sheer variety of contexts in which it has proliferated, from conversations about environmental poisons to laments about today’s poisonous political discourse to the #MeToo movement, with its calling out of ‘toxic masculinity.'” The runners-up were “gaslighting” and “incel.” (Last week, rival dictionary Collins declared its word of the year to be “single-use.”)
Demonstrating that conceptual art and masterful trolling can be one and the same, Max Siedentopf says that his installation — which he has titled Please respect our neighbours’ privacy — will “just help visitors to enjoy Tate Modern’s most popular sight a little bit more and up close.”
“Chop Suey” was among the marquee collection carefully curated by Seattle-area luxury-travel magnate Barney A. Ebsworth, who had promised in 2007 to give the painting, along with 64 other works, to SAM. But Ebsworth died in April, and about 100 pieces from his collection — including “Chop Suey” — went to Christie’s. On Tuesday, sales from that auction totaled $317.8 million, above Christie’s low estimate of $261 million. The auction continues Wednesday.
That transformation, from facts to numbers to data, traces something else: the shifting prestige placed on different ways of knowing. Facts come from the realm of the humanities, numbers represent the social sciences, and data the natural sciences. When people talk about the decline of the humanities, they are actually talking about the rise and fall of the fact, as well as other factors. When people try to re-establish the prestige of the humanities with the digital humanities and large data sets, that is no longer the humanities. What humanists do comes from a different epistemological scale of a unit of knowledge.
Tim Smith, who has been at the paper for 18 years, is retiring. It’s unclear whether the paper will replace him. Smith says he’s leaving in part because the nature of the job has changed.
One reporter’s account of the 2007 expansion of the Seattle Art Museum noted that the large trove of works then given and promised to SAM by multiple owners would bring an estimated $1 billion if they were to come to auction. Now some of them have.
I have a suggestion for any opera company that commissions a new opera. And I don’t mean this as a joke. Once the work starts to take shape, show it to someone at HBO. And if they say it isn’t good enough for them, pull the plug.
“The Arkansas Repertory Theatre on Tuesday announced it will offer a four-show season to spearhead its attempt to return from the brink of nonexistence. … The board had declared April 24 that it was suspending operations, canceling the final production of the 2017-18 season and the entire 2018-19 season because of critical cash-flow problems.”
Notching up a series of small wins is a common concept in change management discussions and a fairly self-evident one. Still, I’ve been struck by the number of community engagement professionals leading organizational transformation to community engagement who have cited it as a critical factor in the process.