Virtual Background Do’s and Don’ts

With typically in-person meetings largely online these days, it can be difficult to set the stage for a successful meeting. While you can create an ambiance with lighting, music, staging, etc in person, can that be replicated online? Is a virtual background tacky or useful? We believe that, if done right, virtual backgrounds can aid in creating that desired ambiance that seems out of reach in an online environment. There are certainly right and wrong ways to go about this. When choosing a virtua...
Tags: Design, Bob Dylan, Teams, Skype, Google Hangouts, Presentation, Virtual, Zoom, Thought Leadership, Speaking, Don, Meeting, Presentation Hacks, Presentation Design, GoToMeeting, Thought Leader

What Will This Week’s Virtual Emmys Look Like?

“TV broadcast has been our friend right through that whole period. It’s brought us together. … Let’s celebrate the role it’s had in our lives, as well as the people who made it, who are so extraordinarily talented.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Media, 09.17.20

A Machine That Can Measure Happiness? Really?

Lithuanian scientists are working on a device they hope will measure happiness. Why? “Because, during the pandemic, people’s psychological state could be damaged not only by the fear and anxiety caused by the spread of the virus, but also by the economic and social consequences that the quarantine would bring about.” – Eurozine
Tags: Art, Ideas, 09.15.20

A History Of Book-Burning

The Reformation was “one of the worst periods in the history of knowledge”, Ovenden writes; hundreds of thousands of books were destroyed as the monasteries and religious orders that held them were dissolved. – New Statesman
Tags: Art, Words, Ovenden

Co-Working Spaces That Work During A Pandemic?

Instead of occupying a sealed, monolithic glass office tower, Second Home inhabits a converted community center where the majority of the work spaces are housed in individual studios (there are 60) in a lush garden that was once a vast parking lot. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Visual, 09.17.20

A Non-Profit Strategy For Raising Money In A Pandemic

When nonprofits are under-resourced, their natural response is to turn to their donors. But is it realistic to expect a healthy stream of charitable contributions in the midst of the worst economic situation since the Great Depression? Absolutely — if you approach the right people. Because even as unemployment soars, as tens of thousands of businesses close, and as default and eviction rates rise, a small but significant portion of the population is doing just fine, thank you. – Harvard Busines...
Tags: Art, Issues, 09.17.20

Fox News’ Alternative Language

Political theorists, over the years, have looked for metaphors to describe the effects that Fox—particularly its widely watched opinion shows—has had on American politics and culture. They’ve talked about the network as an “information silo” and “a filter bubble” and an “echo chamber,” as an “alternate reality” constructed of “alternative facts,” as a virus on the body politic, as an organ of the state. The comparisons are all correct. But they don’t quite capture what the elegies for Fox-felle...
Tags: Art, Fox, Ideas, Fox News, 09.15.20

“Birkenau” Blunder: Metropolitan Museum Says Richter’s Riffs on the Holocaust are “Poignant”

“Poignant” is a word that I’ve never before seen (and hope never to see again) in connection with the Holocaust. These paintings soft-pedal and aestheticize photos that were taken of gas chamber victims while their remains were being burned and disposed of. – Lee Rosenbaum
Tags: Art, Ajblogs, Richter, Birkenau, 09.17.20

How Academia Has Changed In Britain

The key factor is tuition fees – currently £9250 per annum for full-time study – which in 2012 replaced most direct funding of universities. Today half of UK universities’ £40 billion annual income comes from fees. Universities are businesses forced to think commercially, regardless of any humane virtues traditionally associated with academic life. Academic heads of department – otherwise known as ‘line managers’, some of whom control their own budgets – are set aspirational admissions targets ...
Tags: Art, UK, Ideas, Britain, 09.24.20

Could Ancient Theatres Provide A Model For COVID-Safe Venues Today?

“In the relationship between ancient theater architecture and nature, one can discern in the Greco-Roman school of thought a particular interest in creating the conditions for a salubrious experience of drama. … As an extant example of a remote, outdoor theater flushed with fresh air, Epidaurus has become something of a touch point for theater producers, designers and historians looking to the past to find a way forward.” – T — The New York Times Style Magazine
Tags: Art, Theatre, Epidaurus, 09.16.20

Report: Cultural Organizations Support Local Economies

The Arts and Placeshaping: Evidence Review, conducted by researchers Wavehill, suggests cultural organisations boost “civic pride and place identity”, making communities more cohesive and improving external perceptions of a place. This in turn can drive footfall, support the local economy and create new jobs. – The Stage
Tags: Art, Issues, 09.16.20, Wavehill

Closed Captioning: A Brief History

“Hundreds of millions around the world rely on closed captioning to be able to understand what they’re watching on TV. While the idea seems simple — just add words to relay the dialogue and describe any sounds — it took decades to mandate processes for making entertainment accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community, as well as the elderly.” Here’s an overview of how that happened — and at how captioning happens today. – Quartz
Tags: Art, Media, 09.16.20

What It’s Like Going Back To Galleries

I visited four galleries, three by appointment and one as a drop-in. It wasn’t the old normal, of course, but neither was it the hassle nor the heartbreaker I dreaded. At the end of the day, I felt invigorated, quenched — and reassured. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Visual, 09.16.20

Being A Booker Prize Judge Is Hard Work, Even During A Pandemic

Each of the five jury members had to read through 162 books, getting a stack each month and then meeting in London to decide which ones advance to the next round. Then came the lockdown: no more trips to England (or anywhere else) and the books arriving as PDFs. At least, said juror Lemn Sissay, “there was nothing to do but read. There will never, ever, be a judging panel that has so much time to just focus on the books.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, England, London, Words, Lemn Sissay, 09.16.20

Anna Netrebko Hospitalized With COVID

The soprano was admitted to a Moscow hospital with pneumonia on Sept. 12, just days after she sang in two performances of Verdi’s Don Carlo, the Bolshoi’s first production since the pandemic shutdown. A third performance, scheduled for Sept. 10, was cancelled after another cast member, bass Ildar Abdrazakov, fell ill and tested positive for the coronavirus. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Moscow, Verdi, Anna Netrebko, Don Carlo, Ildar Abdrazakov, 09.17.20

Home startup Parachute sells more than sheets and towels — you can buy its handwoven, responsibly made rugs starting at $89

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more. Parachute Online home startup Parachute has expanded past its roots as a luxury sheets company with products ranging from bath to baby care, and now, to rugs.They're handwoven in Panipat, India, renowned for its mastery of textiles and craftsmanship. Each rug takes a few weeks to make and is made without chemicals or synthetic materials, resulting in an eco-friendly piece you can keep in your home ...
Tags: Reviews, Home, Home Decor, Trends, Startup, Bedroom, Home Office, Interior Design, Connie Chen, Insider Picks 2020, Home (Reviews, IP Roundup, Panipat India

Two D.C. Stage Companies Create Video Responses To City’s Black Lives Matter Protests

The projects, The 51st State from Arena Stage and an anthology of short videos that Studio Theatre simply calls creative responses to the August 28 March on Washington, “have propelled stage artists in new directions,” writes Peter Marks, “to memorialize galvanizing public events … [with] the fresh lens these companies have been able to train on their convulsed city.” – The Washington Post
Tags: Art, Washington, Theatre, Peter Marks, 09.16.20

Thrift store paintings "enhanced" with Star Wars elements

DaveRuinsArt of Canton, Ohio is not the first artist to buy and augment thrift store paintings, but The Force is strong with his Star Wars pieces. "I started making these designs because I owned a vintage store and had some really beautiful landscapes but I couldn't sell for $5," he told DIGG. "I think I had one for two years and was thinking about just throwing it away and keeping the frame but I decided to give it a shot and added an ATST that had fallen over with Ewoks fishing off of it." ...
Tags: Art, Post, News, Funny, Paintings, Digg, Canton Ohio, Thrift Scores, DaveRuinsArt

Watching How Trisha Brown Meticulously Built Her Dances

Fortunately, she meticulously documented them, too. “Over the years, thousands of hours of rehearsal footage accumulated in Brown’s archive, most of which make up 1,200 videotapes known as the Building Tapes. … After an extensive search for the right home, the company is placing its founder’s archive — including the Building Tapes and corresponding notebooks, known as the Building Notebooks — at the … New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.” Siobhan Burke takes a look at what’s in ther...
Tags: Art, Dance, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Siobhan Burke, 09.16.20

Maybe Dance Should Use Intimacy Coordinators, Too

“Dance … is an art form that frequently involves the kind of bodily contact that, in a nondance context, would be watched extremely closely, perhaps nervously. … Despite — or perhaps because of — the fact that dancers are often nearly as comfortable with other bodies as they are with their own, it’s important to make and maintain space for honesty about personal limits and power dynamics.” Zachary Whittenburg looks at how the techniques and principles that intimacy coordinators use in theater a...
Tags: Art, Dance, 09.16.20, Zachary Whittenburg

Intelligence And The Art Of Manipulation (For Good And Bad)

Human intelligence is incredibly useful but it doesn’t safeguard you against having false beliefs, because that’s not what intelligence is for. Intelligence is associated with coming up with more convincing bullshit and with being a better liar, but not associated with a better ability to recognize one’s own bias. Unfortunately, intelligence has very little influence on your ability to rationally evaluate your own beliefs, or undermine what’s called “myside bias.” – Nautilus
Tags: Art, Ideas, 09.15.20

Brooklyn Museum To Sell 12 Works To Pay For Maintaining The Rest Of Its Art

“It is the kind of sale that once would have engendered criticism, perhaps even sanctions: The Brooklyn Museum is putting 12 works up for auction at Christie’s next month — including paintings by Cranach, Courbet and Corot — to raise funds for the care of its collection. But it is now completely within the parameters of loosened regulations, which are themselves a measure of just how financially damaging the coronavirus pandemic has been for cultural institutions.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Visual, Christie, Corot, Brooklyn Museum, 09.16.20, Brooklyn Museum To Sell, Cranach Courbet

Arts Groups Could Finally Get Insurance Companies To Pay COVID Claims Following UK High Court Ruling

“Many companies whose revenues have been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic have been disappointed when told by their insurers that the very add-on policies that they thought would protect them in such instances do not apply in the case of havoc wreaked by a previously unknown virus. So the [Financial Conduct Authority] stepped in on their behalf to clarify the situation, examining 21 sample wordings from policies. The High Court ruling largely found in favour of the FCA.” – The Art Newspape...
Tags: Art, Financial Conduct Authority, Fca, Issues, The High Court, 09.17.20, COVID Claims Following UK High Court Ruling

Grand Jury Subpoenas Simon And Schuster Over John Bolton’s Trump Tell-All Book

“The Justice Department convened a grand jury and has subpoenaed publisher Simon & Schuster for documents as it investigates whether Bolton, [former National Security Adviser and] author of The Room Where it Happened, mishandled classified information.” – CNBC
Tags: Art, Words, Bolton, Justice Department, John Bolton, Simon Schuster, 09.15.20

Columbia University Marching Band Disbands Itself For ‘A History Riddled With Offensive Behavior’

For 116 years, the ensemble (a term loosely applied, at least musically) has been both beloved and disdained for its un-march-like on-field scrambles; its sometimes witty, sometimes tasteless, always irreverent satirical routines; and its on-campus pranks. This week, more than 20 members voted “unanimously and enthusiastically” to shut the group down for its history of “sexual misconduct, assault, theft, racism and injury to individuals and the Columbia community as a whole.” (Some observers ar...
Tags: Art, Music, Columbia, Columbia University Marching Band, 09.15.20

Good Movies as Old Books: 100 Films Reimagined as Vintage Book Covers

At one time paperback books were thought of as trash, a term that described their perceived artistic and cultural level, production value, and utter disposability. This changed in the mid-20th century, when certain paperback publishers (Doubleday Anchor, for example, who hired Edward Gorey to design their covers in the 1950s) made a push for respectability. It worked so well that the signature aesthetics they developed still, nearly a lifetime later, pique our interest more readily than those o...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Books, Design, Film, College, Wes Anderson, Ridley Scott, Philip K Dick, Seoul, Alfred Hitchcock, David Fincher, Stephen Frears, Agatha Christie, Steven Spielberg, Rian Johnson

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