With an eye to the surprisingly large amount of present-day consumer technology that was predicted and inspired by Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report, a constellation of companies and independent designers and consultants has formed to “help clients create forward-looking fiction to generate ideas and IP for progress or profit. … And corporations like Ford, Nike, Intel, and Hershey’s, it turns out, are willing to pay hefty sums for their own in-house Minority Reports.” — Medium
“The director Ryan Coogler’s 2015 film, … was an act of subversion by Coogler and his co-writer Aaron Covington, and an oddly moving act of humility by Sylvester Stallone, who allowed his career-defining character, an avatar of white masculinity, to be transformed into a vehicle of redemption for Creed’s black protagonist — a role traditionally played by black actors [for white protagonists]. … This is how the meaning of the series itself, particularly the first four films, changed: from the story of an indomitable white boxer, to one about the roots of a friendship that created a debt Rocky must repay.” — The Atlantic
“My recurring nightmare was me, onstage, in this 1,100-seat theater, with no people in it. I’ve had it ever since we even talked about doing the show [The New One] on Broadway. Strangely enough, that became a reality in rehearsal, because it’s just the designers and the crew in the audience. There’s eight people in a room that seats 1,100, and so I do the show from start to finish with no laughter. It’s really empowering to live your nightmare.” — New York Times Magazine
Lion Feuchtwanger’s The Oppermanns, which takes place largely in 1933, the year Hitler took over the German government, “is a case study in how quickly the institutions of democracy and the habits of civilization can be destroyed and how educated and well-intentioned citizens can watch the destruction proceed without seeing it. … Reading him now — 84 years after the book’s publication and 60 years after the author’s death — the quandaries feel very current.” — Politico
Blurbs, the quoted testimonials of a book’s virtues by other authors, are now so ubiquitous, readers expect them, first-time authors stress about getting them, booksellers base orders on them. A blank back cover today would probably look like a production mistake. But while readers heft books in their hands and scrutinize the praise, it should be noted that blurbs are not ad copy written by some copywriter; they are ad copy written by a fellow author. “Ad copy” might be a bit harsh, but maybe not.
“[There’s] a sound system that, day and night, fills the place with the din of gunfire and explosions. Getting to sleep can still be a challenge: There are no beds, only thin mattresses on the floor with no pillows or sheets, and heavy, scratchy blankets that create the feeling of sleeping with a dead horse.” And, for brave guests, there’s “the bunker.” And yes, there is a demand for all this.
“The ambitious undertaking, [titled Rome Reborn and] painstakingly built by a team of 50 academics and computer experts over a 22-year period, recreates 7,000 buildings and monuments scattered across a 5.5 square mile stretch of the [imperial capital, circa 320 AD].”
“‘Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event’ will take place on what would have been Cunningham’s 100th birthday, 16 April 2019. The three productions, each lasting 75 minutes, will be live-streamed, which means audiences around the world can see the Barbican performance [in London], followed by one a few hours later at Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, and finally one at UCLA’s Centre for the Art of Performance in Los Angeles.”
The site-specific New York company On Site Opera, which has already staged productions at a mannequin showroom, Harlem’s Cotton Club, the Bronx Zoo, and Madame Tussaud’s, is presenting Gian Carlo Menotti’s Christmas opera at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, with the chorus recruited from the clients of Breaking Ground, which provides permanent housing and services for the homeless.
“None of this should have happened, but it did,” writes Andrew O’Hehir, Salon‘s executive editor and sometime film critic. “I suspect what befell Edelstein this week is only partly about one stupid Facebook post, and has more to do with the messy process of generational change and the inevitable Schadenfreude surrounding someone who holds two prestigious media jobs, either of which many other people would kill and eat their grandmothers to get.”
“The world’s most-visited museum previously opened for six free Sundays a year, but a statement published Wednesday said this was failing to bring in visitors from a broad spectrum of society. … The Louvre is hoping to appeal to more people living in poorer Paris suburbs as well as to young adults and families with older children with the initiative.”
Many nonprofits now accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, including the United Way, Red Cross, and Save the Children. All three receive digital monies through a Bitcoin payment processor called BitPay.
Art is regarded as part of a wide aesthetic world, not sealed in a vacuum, so Robert Gober’s “Untitled Leg” spurs associations not just to Duchamp’s 1917 readymade urinal “Fountain,” Meret Oppenheim’s 1936 “Object” and Duane Hanson’s 1970s Madame Tussaud-like sculptures but also to an Alfred Hitchcock movie and Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West.
“While museum wall labels were once used to explain the ‘title, artist, date’ status of an artwork, they’re quickly becoming a place to spark debate, rewrite history and acknowledge untold stories. In light of the #MeToo movement, wall labels are finally starting to include the controversial information that surrounds an artwork or artist. It could soon become the expectation.”
Lydia Davis: “In translating, then, you are … always solving a problem. It is a word problem, an ingenious, complicated word problem that requires not only a good deal of craft but some art or artfulness in its solution. And yet the problem, however complicated, always retains some of the same appeal as those problems posed by much simpler or more intellectually limited word puzzles — a crossword, a Jumble, a code.” (Among the other translators included are Jhumpa Lahiri and Vladimir Nabokov, who makes the job sound impossible for anyone but himself.)
Yes, there are the obvious reasons: it can move us or validate our own sad feelings. And the human brain produces several hormones in response to music, including dopamine and serotonin. But sad music in particular induces production of a hormone called prolactin.
“What should a contemporary monument look like? Who deserves to go up on a pedestal? Should there be a pedestal at all? Five artists, or groups of artists, from each of the five cities involved in New Monuments for New Cities were invited to respond to the questions and to create a poster or projection of their ideal monument. The same 25 designs will travel to each location: Houston; Austin, Tex.; Chicago; Toronto; and New York.”
Kyle Buchanan, the New York Times‘ new Carpetbagger: “This isn’t rah-rah boosterism: These awards can frustrate and often miss the mark, but that’s why they remain so crucial. If the Oscar nominations provide a snapshot of that year in Hollywood, and Hollywood helps shape the way we see ourselves, then examining them can tell us not only where the industry is headed but also where our cultural blind spots still lie.” Exhibits A, B, and C: #OscarsSoWhite, #MeToo, and #TimesUp.
“The city council’s homelessness strategy for the next five years explicitly includes a commitment to increasing access to arts … [as part of] what is described as a jigsaw of homelessness support approaches.” Says one arts executive involved, “Funding to local government to help tackle homelessness was reduced, so for the first time the city council said they couldn’t solve it on their own – and we were there to offer a solution.”
Shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday, three men dressed in ordinary clothes entered the Dorotheum auction house, walked up to Renoir’s Golfe, mer, falaises vertes, took it out of its frame, and walked right out. Said a police spokesman, “It was very quick. Nobody noticed.”
University of Michigan musicologist Patricia Hall was doing research in the archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum when she found handwritten arrangements of popular German songs — titles such as “The Most Beautiful Time of Life” and “Sing a Song When You’re Sad” — assembled for prisoners to perform for their SS captors.
“A parliamentary inquiry has been launched to explore the lack of working-class performers, writers and musicians in the entertainment industry. … Topics such as arts education, access to training, low and no pay and recruitment will be covered in the wide-ranging review, which has been launched in response to the idea that social inequalities and class are often forgotten in the debate around diversity.”
“According to figures published by the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) on Wednesday, the value of the nation’s creative sector has almost doubled from £66.3bn in 2010 to £105.5bn [in 2017], and increased significantly from 2016’s figure of £94.8bn. TV, film, advertising, radio, photography, music, museums, art galleries and digital industries make up this sector.”
The monuments are in the city of Kaliningrad, Russia’s Baltic Sea coast exclave tucked between Lithuania and Poland. Before World War II, Kaliningrad was the German city of Königsberg, where Kant made his home. Leaflets scattered near the statue denounced the German philosopher as a traitor to Russia, presumably because he is a reminder of Kaliningrad’s German past.
Nostalgia is a lucrative emotion, but the fans must be respected. Although I believe books can change lives – as Harry Potter changed mine – publishing is a business. For the fans, however, these books have always been much more than a way of blowing cash. There’s enough content to make good editions, but publishers are choosing quantity over quality.
Without him, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Dinah Shore, Dean Martin and countless other intimate singers could never have happened. A workhorse, he turned out a staggering number of recordings (including dozens of No. 1 hits) as well as films, radio shows and personal appearances. Whatever he did seemed off-the-cuff and effortless.
Saxophonist, bandleader, arranger, composer and educator Bill Kirchner sent a message today about making members of a new generation aware of Paul Desmond. And as I was later auditioning recently-arrived recordings for possible review, up popped a track from pianist Lisa Hilton’s Oasis CD.
“Dear Readers, Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book,” writes Atwood in her announcement. “Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” The novel, titled The Testaments, will be released next September.
“The lost work – four poems and an essay … appeared in the Christian Science Monitor between July 1958 and July 1959, which is where Zachary Turpin … discovered them while searching Sexton’s digital archive.”