Where are the successors to “This Side of Paradise,” “The Sun Also Rises,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” “On the Road,” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Bright Lights, Big City,” “Generation X” and “Infinite Jest”? Time’s Lev Grossman blames our increasingly “multicultural, transcontinental, hyphenated identities and our globalized, displaced, deracinated lives” for why any consensus about a single voice now seems impossible. I’d go even further and argue that the “voice of a generation” novel never existed to begin with.
“They are willing to pay anything,” one of the insiders told TheWrap. “They told me, ‘We’ll pay their fees.’ Most of these artists’ fees are in the six to seven figures.” The insider said the Trump negotiator also offered to pay him for delivering top talent, saying, “Name your price.”
A look at the Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, whose work became the basis for the entire field of behavioral economics.
“In the 1940s, Argentina was tango and tango was Argentina. … Then, two disparate but hugely impactful things arrived: a series of military dictatorships and rock ‘n’ roll. While in opposition in every other respect, the [juntas] and the new music genre inadvertently collaborated in dethroning tango and driving it to near-oblivion.”
“A new Pew Research Center survey finds that, for the most part, the large majority of Americans do not feel that information overload is a problem for them. Some 20% say they feel overloaded by information, a decline from the 27% figure from a decade ago, while 77% say they like having so much information at their fingertips. Two-thirds (67%) say that having more information at their disposals actually helps to simplify their lives.”
What do artists do when civilization seems to be unraveling? “We need a visual language that speaks to the hearts and minds of people. … No market, no institutional power, no media can stop the soft power of art.”
Sure, casting geniuses get “special Oscars” sometimes, including this year, but “an Oscar category honoring casting alongside acting, directing, and the other long-recognized areas has yet to take hold.”
It’s a 1720 instrument by the inventor himself, Bartolomeo Cristofori, and Dongshok Shin plays one of the earliest pieces written for it. As long as you don’t expect the timbre of a Steinway grand (or the equal-temperament tuning Steinways typically use), the Cristofori sounds pretty good. (video)
“TV is now enjoying a vogue of being cool, but the great era of TV cool was the 1950s. You could catch Miles and John Coltrane on TV, and jazz was all over its soundtracks. That and the movies were the mediums with the broadest and deepest reach in popular culture, and they brought jazz to millions in America and around the world. It wasn’t that they had to convert audiences into thinking jazz was cool, it was that jazz was inherently cool and hip, and movies and television used that to signify their own place on a spectrum of style, and even rebellion.”
“Faced with the pending inauguration, Greg Allen said in his statement, ‘I could no longer stand by and let my most effective artistic vehicle be anything but a machine to fight Fascism.’ His new company ‘will be comprised entirely of people of color, LBTQ+, artist/activist women, and other disenfranchised voices in order to combat the tyranny of censorship and oppression.’ That explanation was received with ire and disbelief by Neo-Futurist company members, current and past, who say the troupe is now more diverse than it’s ever been, and the breakup is not political but personal—rooted in a long-suppressed history of problems between Allen and the theoretically democratic ensemble that he formed.”
In an interview with The Stage, Wilson was asked if the West End needed a greater variety of theatre sizes. He responded: “Yes we do. And the reason is that the big theatres, progressively the smaller big theatres, are being used for musicals more. Gypsy going in to the Savoy, and Funny Girl… the 800 and 900-seat theatres are being used for musicals, and drama will be squeezed out.”
Well, that depends. If you consider religion strictly a matter of belief, we can’t know. But if, like anthropologist Barbara J. King, you see religion as practice, there’s evidence.
Kyle Buchanan talks to Leslye Headland (Sleeping With Other People), Mary Harron (American Psycho), Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), John Krokidas (Kill Your Darlings), and half a dozen others (including Paul Verhoeven of Showgirls, of course).
It’s not unusual for corporate entities to give money to arts organizations. It’s far less common for them to actually break out the hammers and nails. “We could just donate to the arts,” Joseph A. McMillan Jr., who founded DDG, said by phone. “But as a real estate company, we have opportunities and capabilities others might not possess.”
“Perhaps contradictions are a necessary ingredient for triggering intellectual creativity. While most humans struggle to maintain a sense of psychological unity, contradictions produce destabilising breaches in the self. Whether conscious or unconscious, these fissures nourish creative inspiration, which can be interpreted as a way to resolve or sublimate internal oppositions. I believe this can be said of all domains of creation. Perhaps art, literature, science or philosophy wouldn’t be possible without intrapersonal contradictions and the desire to resolve them.”
“It’s hard going but the one benefit is that I have the freedom to invent things,” he says. “I don’t have them looking over my shoulder any more.” Because, of course, they’re all dead now.
“The musicians voted on Wednesday to approve a new labor agreement with orchestra management that includes a pay freeze for the first two years and modest pay raises in the last two years of the four-year contract.”
Gennadi Nedvigin trained at the Bolshoi and had a 19-year dance career at San Francisco Ballet; Atlanta Ballet has lately been concentrating on contemporary works. Nedvigin will be implementing the ultra-classicist Vaganova Method, developed at and for the Mariinsky Ballet.
Economist Tyler Cowen has some suggestions for how he thinks national arts policy in the United States could improve under a Trump Republican Congress. A futile hope? Here were Cowen’s criteria:
First, they must save the federal government money, to appeal to the Republican Congress. Second, they should stand a chance of appealing to Trump, given his stances on other issues. Third, they should offer a reasonable chance of improving the quality of the arts in the U.S., and fourth, the arts community should not hate every aspect of the changes.
You’ve got to admire the effort to find the positive. Others have argued the arts could be a natural target since artists aren’t exactly in the sweet spot of Trump’s constituency. Federal arts funding has never recovered since the culture wars of the 1990s and it’s highly unlikely that the Republican Congress will increase that funding, no matter how small it is. But at a policy level, Cowen does have some interesting suggestions, basically proposing restoring restrictions put on the NEA at the time the budget was cut. He suggests restoring the NEA’s ability to fund individual artists, a punitive action meant to restrict funding controversial art. And he suggests killing the requirement that the NEA send 40 percent of its budget to state arts agencies so they can “regrant” it. This, he reasons, would give the feds more control of the money.
Restoring individual grants would be hugely popular in the arts community. But it’s difficult to tell if there would be support for removing the 40 percent state allocation. On the one hand, it would give the NEA more bang for its bucks, and the NEA is much more sophisticated in its operations than many state arts agencies. On the other hand, with so much emphasis in recent years on artists being more responsive to their communities, one could make the case that local agencies have a better sense of what their communities need.
ArtsJournal blogger Michael Rushton argues that:
“Whether you agree with his advice or not, he does raise an important issue: arts policy in the US at the federal and state level lack clear goals, and as such rigorous evaluation of the success, or failure, of their policies is near impossible. That in turn explains why the academic literature on arts policy in the US is so uncritical. What is there to criticize? What is the NEA, and in turn the state arts councils it helps to fund, trying to achieve? Without knowing that, it is not possible to evaluate whether transferring such a high percentage of federal arts funding to the states is actually a good use of funds.”
We may be at the beginning of a critical debate about what constitutes essential infrastructure in this country – what are the things that are public goods but aren’t viable as private capitalist enterprises. Trump says he’ll spend a trillion dollars on public infrastructure, but there are signs his idea is not so much to finance construction and modernization but to privatize and create tax incentives. Are the arts a public good? If even our bridges and roads are about to be privatized to pay for their rebuilding, it’s difficult to imagine the case Trump and the Republicans would make that they are.
Middle Class Communities
For the many of us reeling from the recent election, middle class communities are much on our minds. … I thought it might be good to dig a little deeper into what this might mean for community engagement. … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2016-12-06
What to do about the NEA
At Bloomberg, Tyler Cowen posts some recommendations on US federal government arts policy. … The thing I always enjoy about Cowen – especially in his blog – is his ability to put fresh ideas out there as sparks for discussion; this is particularly important in arts policy … read more
AJBlog: For What It’s Worth Published 2016-12-06
Brett’s Bet: What Gorvy’s Sudden Exit from Christie’s May Mean for the Art Market
One thing I know about Brett Gorvy, Christie’s departing chairman of Post-War and Contemporary art, is that he’s very smart — probably the savviest auction-house specialist I’ve ever encountered. So it’s almost impossible not to interpret his … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2016-12-07
When did singers and songwriters first start getting lumped under the moniker “artists?” I think it happened during my lifetime, but I’m not sure, because I’ve spent a lot of my life in a cave. … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2016-12-06