An Academic War On Free Speech?

There are four problematic recent norms in academia: first, an academic career depends on personal and political matters; second, compliance is rewarded over scepticism; third, academic complaints are increasingly anti-intellectual; and fourth, logic and evidence are subordinated to feelings, even in the hardest of hard sciences. – The Critic
Tags: Art, Ideas, 07.07.20

Can We Make Online Learning Work Better?

I think it can, and here’s a suggestion for how to do it: Schools could embrace an older style of teaching used by British universities — the tutorial system — and adapt it for the online world. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, 07.08.20

A Long List Of Cultural Leaders And Artists Sign Letter Supporting Open Debate

“The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away.” – Harper’s
Tags: Art, Harper, Issues, 07.07.20

40 Years Ago The Walkman Changed How We Listen To Music

Up to this point, music was primarily a shared experience: families huddling around furniture-sized Philcos; teens blasting tunes from automobiles or sock-hopping to transistor radios; the bar-room juke; break-dancers popping and locking to the sonic backdrop of a boom box. After the Walkman, music could be silence to all but the listener, cocooned within a personal soundscape, which spooled on analog cassette tape. The effect was shocking even to its creators. – The New Yorker
Tags: Art, Music, 07.07.20, Philcos

How Will The Art Market Realign? It Is

With wealthy collectors no longer travelling, most art business is now conducted online. Art dealers are typically reporting a 70% drop in sales, according to a recent survey conducted by The Art Newspaper and Pownall. Up to a third of galleries are expected to fold, with smaller ones particularly vulnerable. The shift to online auctions has seen an equally dramatic slump in secondary market revenues at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips. – The Art Newspaper
Tags: Art, Visual, Christie, Phillips, Sotheby, Art Newspaper, Pownall, 07.07.20

People Are Microwaving Library Books To Sterilize Them. Please Don’t Do This.

Librarians understand that patrons are nervous about catching or spreading the coronavirus. But not only will paper catch fire when it gets really hot, the scannable security tags on library books contain metal, and we all know what happens when metal gets microwaved, right? (Don’t worry: these days returned library books are being quarantined.) – Tampa Bay Times
Tags: Art, Words, Don, 07.03.20

What I Learned Zooming Opera

This is what I saw with the livestreams: our traditional modes of live performance are not a good fit for the new world we find ourselves in. Rather, as we continue to create live performance in the months ahead, we must seek new modes of performance that actively engage with the technologies we’re using. – Howlround
Tags: Art, Music, 07.07.20

Stradivari’s Hometown Became A COVID Hotspot, And Its Instrument-Makers Are Still Suffering

“COVID-19 has caused more than 1,000 deaths and 6,600 confirmed cases of infection in the province of Cremona … and it is now putting a strain on its economy. In particular, it is threatening the violin-making craftsmanship that has been the historical engine of Cremona’s industry and made its botteghe (Italian for ‘workshops’) famous throughout the world, turning the city into a microcosmic reflection of how the pandemic is jeopardizing the culture and arts sector globally.” – BBC
Tags: Art, Music, Cremona, Stradivari, 07.07.20

What To Do With Problematic Books? Read Them

The great reckoning now sweeping across pop culture has been working through the stacks of literature for far longer. The effects of time are twofold: Most books have fallen into dust, along with the racist values they imbibed. And those few texts that survive have been subjected to rigorous — and ongoing — debate. – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Words, 07.07.20

The Story Behind The Instagram Hit #CamerasandDancers

“[The] monthly, location-specific Instameet … brings together top dancers, interesting architecture and elite movement photographers — the intersection of which results in truly exquisite dance photography.” Choreographer Jacob Jonas, the creator of #CamerasandDancers, tells reporter Haley Hilton how it all works. – Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, Jacob Jonas, Haley Hilton, 07.06.20

Britain’s Theatre World Banded Together And Got The Government To Provide Lockdown Rescue Money. Why Can’t American Theater Do The Same?

Jesse Green: “For months I’ve been waiting for industry groups to galvanize themselves into meaningful action, as they did in Britain — and as Black theater artists have proved can be done here, too. … But the American theater’s biggest failure is the one that renders it helpless in an existential crisis like this. In allowing itself to be cast as just another industry — a role it does not even play very well — it has disowned its true identity as a public entitlement. Will anyone make that arg...
Tags: Art, Theatre, Britain, Jesse Green, 07.07.20

So Your Country Needs To Deal With A Difficult History. Here’s How Germany Did It

“What I think we can learn from that example is that anti-racism, or facing up to your past, is not a vaccine. It’s not a one-shot option. It’s a process that you need to continue to go through, and it will change generationally. People will see history differently. Generations will have different needs. I also want to emphasize that it’s not just revision of textbooks. I really think popular culture is at least as important as what gets taught in schools, perhaps more so.” – The New Yorker ...
Tags: Art, Ideas, 07.06.20

What To Do With The Theatres And Concert Halls Now Sitting Empty? Use Them As Classrooms

Justin Davidson makes the case that New York City’s overburdened, underinvested-in school buildings simply can’t fit students in at a COVID-safe distance, but the currently-dark performance venues (and sports arenas and deserted malls, for that matter) can. – New York Magazine
Tags: Art, New York City, Issues, Justin Davidson, 07.07.20

An Art Critic Visits The Newly-Socially-Distanced National Gallery In London

Adrian Searle: “Visitors … have to follow one of three designated routes through the galleries, all of which are signposted, with arrows on the floor pointing up the prescribed flow. Quite how this will work, and how much one can deviate or jump between Route A, which begins in the Sainsbury Wing, and routes B and C in the main galleries, … defeated me on my press preview visit on Saturday. I get the feeling the few dozen of us wandering the galleries were guinea pigs for a system that needs to...
Tags: Art, London, Audience, Visual, Adrian Searle, 07.06.20

Our Public Monuments Don’t Preserve History, They Rewrite It

Celebrating Mount Rushmore isn’t remembering history; instead it requires spectacular acts of forgetting. How could we honestly claim to see in this anything worth defending? – Chicago Tribune
Tags: Art, Visual, 07.06.20

Yet Again, Milan Kundera Denounced In His Native Land

While the Czech-but-now-French author is known in much of the world for his pointed depictions of how the Communist regimes of Europe twisted the lives of regular people, he’s been viewed ambivalently or worse by many in the Czech Republic — not least because he got out of Czechoslovakia in 1975 and didn’t have to suffer through the final years of the Communist Party’s misrule. Now a new 900-page biography of Kundera has reignited criticism of and debate over the most famous modern writer the c...
Tags: Art, Europe, People, Czech Republic, Milan Kundera, Communist Party, Czechoslovakia, Kundera, 07.02.20

Big Three Movie Theater Chains Sue New Jersey For Right To Reopen

“In the lawsuit led by the National Association of Theatre Owners of New Jersey, naming Gov. Philip Murphy and New Jersey’s health commissioner, …, the plaintiffs” — which include AMC, Cinemark, and Regal — “argue that because churches and retailers have been allowed to open in the state, the movie theaters should be permitted to reopen as well.” – NPR
Tags: Art, Media, New Jersey, AMC Cinemark, Philip Murphy, 07.07.20

Terry Pratchett’s Last Unpublished Stories Will Finally See Print

“The final collection of early stories from the late Terry Pratchett, written while the Discworld creator was a young reporter, will be published in September. The tales in The Time-travelling Caveman, many of them never released in book form before, range from a steam-powered rocket’s flight to Mars to a Welsh shepherd’s discovery of the resting place of King Arthur.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Words, Mars, Terry Pratchett, 07.07.20

Artists’ Retreat MacDowell Colony Drops ‘Colony’ From Its Name (Because Colonial Oppression)

“MacDowell Board Chair Nell Painter … acknowledged that the word ‘colony’ can mean a country or given location under the control of an outside power or, as would apply to MacDowell, a community of like-minded people. But she said both definitions carry a sense of exclusion and hierarchy, and that … ‘in the language we speak today, colony is a word tied to occupation and oppression.'” – AP
Tags: Art, Issues, MacDowell, 07.07.20, MacDowell Colony Drops ` Colony, MacDowell Board Chair Nell

Here’s The Full ‘Letter On Justice And Open Debate’

“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. … The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish th...
Tags: Art, Harper, Issues, 07.07.20

Atwood, Marsalis, Steinem, Rushdie, Bill T. Jones Among 153 Signing Letter Warning Of ‘Intolerant Climate’ (Yup, There’s A Backlash)

“The letter, which was published by Harper’s Magazine and will also appear in several leading international publications, surfaces a debate that has been going on privately in newsrooms, universities and publishing houses that have been navigating demands for diversity and inclusion, while also asking which demands — and the social media dynamics that propel them — go too far. And on social media, the reaction was swift, with some heaping ridicule on the letter’s signatories … for thin-skinnedn...
Tags: Art, Harper, Issues, 07.07.20, Atwood Marsalis Steinem Rushdie Bill T Jones

Time To Make The Theatre Reforms We’ve Needed For A Long Time

Anna Fleischle, an award-winning designer, has defined “a moment of reset in our industry.” Rachel O’Riordan, artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith, says she is looking at the public square outside the theatre on King Street. West End producers know that the days of the premium ticket and rip-off booking charges are over. And one can only say to all three parties: what took you so long? – Prospect Magazine
Tags: Art, Theatre, Anna Fleischle, Lyric Hammersmith, 07.01.20, Rachel O'Riordan

Why Humor Has Eluded Philosophers

Humour can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the purely scientific mind. – Aeon
Tags: Art, Ideas, 07.07.20

Extraordinary Times: A One-Time Wealth Tax Would Help Fix Things

Extraordinary times need astonishing remedies. In this very rich country, private wealth has soared to six times the value of annual GDP. So take a deep breath and jump in. A once-in-a-lifetime windfall tax of 10% on all wealth would yield £1 trillion – enough to pay for all the things we regard as essential for civilisation. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Ideas, 07.06.20

Canada’s Cineplex Movie Theatre Chain Sues Over Aborted Takeover

On June 12, the U.K.-based cinema giant had called off its planned $2.1 billion takeover of Cineplex, which would have created one of the world’s largest cinema companies with more than 11,200 screens globally. Cineplex, as a once friendly takeover attempt has hit the rocks, claimed that Cineworld “breached its contractual obligations and its duty of good faith and honesty.” – The Hollywood Reporter
Tags: Art, Media, Canada, Cineplex, 07.07.20

Toronto Symphony Cancels 2020/21 Season

But the orchestra says it will look for ways to perform in smaller ensembles. TSO musicians will also continue to perform virtual concerts. Since the start of the pandemic, musicians and guest artists have appeared in more than 100 virtual concerts and events, which have been viewed more than two million times, according to the TSO statement. – CBC
Tags: Art, Music, Toronto Symphony, 07.07.20

How A 15-Year-Old Cartoon Series Became One Of The Most-Watched Shows In America

“Avatar: The Last Airbender … first ran from 2005 to 2008 on Nickelodeon, and swiftly made a name for itself as a politically resonant, emotionally sophisticated work — one with a sprawling but meticulously plotted mythos that destined the show for cult-classic status. Last summer, after Game of Thrones flubbed its finale, fans and critics held up Avatar as a counterexample: a fantasy series that knew what it wanted to be from the beginning.” – The New Yorker
Tags: Art, Media, America, Nickelodeon, 07.05.20

Quibi Was Going To Reinvent Video. But Is Anyone Watching?

Quibi, the brainchild of Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former Disney studio head and DreamWorks co-founder, had promised to reinvent television by streaming high-quality content in ten-minute-or-less chunks to “the TV in your pocket.” – New York Magazine
Tags: Art, Media, Disney, Dreamworks, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Audience, 07.07.20

How Conductor Alan Pierson Brought ‘Ten Thousand Birds’ Indoors

Back in 2014, Alarm Will Sound — the contemporary music ensemble Person founded at Eastman and has been leading ever since — played the world premiere of John Luther Adams’s Ten Thousand Birds (which is basically a big catalogue of birdsong transcriptions in no prescribed order) as a sort of outdoor sound installation. This year, as the coronavirus confined Pierson and his colleagues in their homes, he got the idea to reconceive the piece as Ten Thousand Screens, an online video in which the mu...
Tags: Art, Music, Garth Greenwell, Eastman, Pierson, John Luther Adams, Alan Pierson, 07.01.20

Pompeo Says US Is Considering Ban On TikTok

TikTok — which is owned by Beijing-based startup ByteDance — has been repeatedly criticized by US politicians who accused the short-form video app of being a threat to national security because of its ties to China. They allege that the company could be compelled to “support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.” – CNN
Tags: Art, Media, China, US, Beijing, Pompeo, 07.07.20