“The original “Fidelio” took place in 18th-century Spain and explored the vindictive nature of a tyrannical prison governor. Heartbeat Opera’s rendition takes place in modern-day America where an African-American woman named Leah disguises herself as a correctional officer named Lee. She goes to work at a prison where her husband, Stan, is being held in abysmal conditions by a vengeful warden for being a Black Lives Matter activist. – Columbia Spectator
David Coles, who’s been making paints for artists for 20-odd years, walks us through the process, from sourcing the linseed oil to hand-filling the tubes for shipping and sale. — Artsy
We ranked each institution based on its “centrality” a mathematical concept drawn from Network Science and one that is at the core of the Google search ranking algorithm. We discovered that, among a large number of fairly ineffectual institutions, one hub stood out as truly transformative. The most central in this hub were two museums, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim, followed closely by two commercial galleries, Gagosian, and Pace. – ARTnews
Although there are sex differences in brain and behavior, when you move away from group-level differences in single features and focus at the level of the individual brain or person, you find that the differences, regardless of their origins, usually “mix up” rather than “add up.” — The New York Times
“The new movement is wide-ranging, including everything from Russian science fiction – with a history reaching back into the 19th Century – to Afrofuturism, a movement rooted in experiences of black oppression. It covers Chinese books dealing with revolutionary history and aliens, to futurist Mexican movies about migration and free trade.” Tom Cassauwers has a look at the sci-fi coming from these countries and what it says about them. — BBC
Comparing the platform’s decision to “hammering a nail with a skyscraper, only to have it slip through an open window,” April Glaser argues that “what banning ‘adult content’ will do, however, is eradicate one of the few mainstream, safe, and non-taboo places where people could participate in communities that openly congregate around sex and sexuality.” — Slate
“The question, then, isn’t so much whether the tests measure anything significant; they do, at least to a point. The meatier questions are these: whom do the tests overlook? And how does our culture’s dogged focus on test-measured potential shape what those in the system become?” — Aeon
More than other tech companies, Facebook has insisted that its commercial success benefits the world. There are examples of the wealth from a tech business being used by its founder to support a grand project like space exploration, as Tesla’s Elon Musk or Amazon’s Jeff Bezos do. Alphabet harnesses the money from the Google search engine to support expensive, speculative “moon shot” engineering projects with the potential to change the world. Facebook’s point is more direct: The business goals of Facebook are simply good for the world. – Wired
The ubiquity of virtual images has indeed made encounters with original objects ever more coveted, feeding the stampede of visitors and our carbon footprint. Veneration of original works has fuelled astronomical prices for a few dozen artists, mostly Modern and contemporary. The explosion of cultural tourism has been exacerbated by a bull art market, the global growth of the middle class and museum selfies spreading Fomo (fear of missing out).
Once it is enforced, starting December 7, the law will touch every facet of Cuba’s cultural sector. The government will be able to target and punish artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, and performers who create and commercialize art that was not approved by the state as well as the venues hosting the artists. Those found in violation of the law could face fines, seizure of property, and detainment. Scores of artists and critics of the decree have rallied against it. – Artforum
“The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, which owns what is perhaps Vermeer’s best-known masterpiece, Girl With a Pearl Earring, has teamed up with Google Arts & Culture in Paris to build an augmented-reality app that creates a virtual museum featuring all of the artist’s works” — even The Concert, the Vermeer that was stolen in the 1990 robbery at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. — New York Times
“Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, who recently changed his artistic name, Nikolaj Znaider, back to his original and passport name, has been announced as the new Music Director of the Orchestre national de Lyon. The 43-year-old Danish [violinist and conductor] will take up the position in September 2020 for a period of four years, succeeding Leonard Slatkin, Music Director from 2011-2017.” — The Strad
“Years after gaining notoriety for embellishing [sic] parts of his memoir A Million Little Pieces, the US author James Frey has a new notch in his bedpost … Seeing off competition from an all-male shortlist that included Haruki Murakami and the Man Booker prize-nominated Gerard Woodward, Frey won for his novel Katerina, a ‘“fictional retelling’ of a love affair the author started while on a hedonistic trip to France in the 1990s.” — The Guardian
Sofia Castán Vargas, a 16-year-old San Diegan/Tijuana now enrolled at the Alonso Cuban National Ballet School, and Catherine Conley, a 20-year-old alumna who stayed on to become a corps member in the Cuban National Ballet, talk about the challenges a student from the U.S. wull face and the particular qualities of Cuban training that drew them there. — Pointe Magazine
A few weeks ago I got a historical novel, written for adults, called Little, based on the life of Madame Tussaud. I soon learned that my 12-year-old son had beaten me to this author’s work: He’d already read Heap House, the first novel in the outlandish, fantasy-based The Iremonger Trilogy, aimed at precocious kids. I was lucky enough to speak to the writer, Edward Carey, about how he kept it all straight, and how slight the differences between categories are.
In case you hadn’t noticed, @terryteachout, my Twitter account, was hacked on Sunday morning as part of a cross-platform attack on my social-media presence. The objective, it seems, was ransom.
The 76-year-old Scot, arguably Britain’s favorite stand-up comic (and known to US audiences from his starring role alongside Judi Dench in Her Majesty Mrs. Brown), has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease since 2013 and was treated for prostate cancer last year. — The Guardian
“Nomaden, which was written for the French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Atlas Ensemble, a group of 18 musicians from Asia, the Middle East and Europe, had its premiere at the Cello Biennale in Amsterdam in 2016, where it was received enthusiastically. It pairs its cello soloist with musicians who play instruments from China (erhu and sheng), Japan (sho and shakuhachi), India (sarangi), Turkey (kemenche), Armenia (duduk), Iran (setar) and Azerbaijan (tar and kamancha).” (includes audio) — New York Times
And outsiders can’t really do it justice. “There are recent novels set in Cornwall, but they tend to be about a romanticised past (Poldark casts a long shadow) or sell a fantasy of the place to tourists, making life there sound quaint and trivial. The fantasy is damaging because, behind the veneer of Seasalt clothing and Doom Bar ale, the reality couldn’t be more different: not only is Cornwall the most remote county in England, in terms of geography and transport links, but it is also one of its poorest, with a high suicide rate to boot.”
Ron English, who bought Slave Labour for $730,000, said he was going to whitewash it to protest the idea that street art can be bought and sold. That didn’t work so well: “‘My phone has not stopped ringing,’ he said, listing off the various offers and ideas that he has since fielded. Whitewash the mural at my gallery, one person said. Charge admission, someone else suggested. Do it on pay-per-view, advised a third.”