Poet Souvankham Thammavongsa Wins 2020 Giller Prize

Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, and raised in Toronto, Thammavongsa has earned acclaim for her four poetry books and her writing has been featured in publications including Harper’s Magazine, the Paris Review and The Atlantic. – CBC
Tags: Art, Atlantic, Words, Nong Khai Thailand, 11.10.20, Toronto Thammavongsa, Harper s Magazine the Paris Review

In Praise (And Condemnation) Of Gimmicks

“Although my calling something a gimmick registers a subjective response, it also demands agreement or invites confrontation, and more brazenly so than other judgments. Should a fan of robot chefs and Roombas question why I harbor such unwarranted suspicions about them, I will feel compelled to convince him that my suspicions ought to be felt universally. But I will also delight in a newfound sense of superiority, my belief that only I am discerning enough to see that these devices are overvalu...
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.09.20

Vatican Library Beefs Up Protection From Cyberattack

The library has faced an average of 100 threats a month since it started digitising its collection of historical treasures in 2012, according to Manlio Miceli, its chief information officer. –
Tags: Art, Words, Miceli, 11.08.20

Video Of Alzheimer’s Patient Recalling “Swan Lake” Movement Goes Viral

The Spanish dancer, who reportedly died in 2019 after battling Alzheimer’s disease, has captivated social media since a video surfaced of Marta González, by then confined to a wheelchair, vividly recalling the upper-body choreography of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” — her delicate ballet hands graceful as ever. – New York Post
Tags: Art, Dance, Tchaikovsky, 11.09.20, Marta González

Movie Theatres Urge Lame Duck Congress To Pass COVID Relief

The Save Our Stages legislation, introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), would allow Small Business Administration grants equaling 45% of a venue’s 2019 revenue or $12 million, whichever is less. Venue operators also would be eligible for a second grant equal to 50% of the first award. Save Our Stages was introduced as a $10-billion program to help venues such as live concert halls. It was later expanded to $15 billion in order to include movie theater operato...
Tags: Art, Texas, Issues, Small Business Administration, Sen John Cornyn, Sen Amy Klobuchar D Minn, 11.09.20

Alan Rath, Who Created Kinetic Electronic Sculptures, Dead At 60

“Since the early 1980s, Rath has created kinetic sculptures guided by software of his own making. Rath’s robotic structures often feature computer-generated animations of disembodied human body parts — a roving eye or gaping mouth — exemplifying his interest in the relationship between human nature and mechanical and technological systems.” – ARTnews
Tags: Art, People, Rath, 11.02.20, Alan Rath

Critic Tries To Review Streamed Concert While Life Keeps Happening

Zachary Woolfe: “I wanted to try, for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic largely closed down live performing arts worldwide, to review a concert taken in the way I have most music since March: while running in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, ducking into the bodega for milk, walking [the dog], living life.” Did it work? “Well, sort of.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Brooklyn, Prospect Park, ZACHARY WOOLFE, 11.10.20

What COVID Has Exposed: We Need To Rethink Schools

Pandemic school is clearly not working well, especially for younger children—and it’s all but impossible for the 20 percent of American students who lack access to the technology needed for remote learning. But what parents are coming to understand about their kids’ education—glimpsed through Zoom windows and “asynchronous” classwork—is that school was not always working so great before COVID-19 either. – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Ideas, 12.20

Why Engage?

When we investigate the disconnect between what we are doing with our art and what we might do, we become aware of who has been left out of what we present, preserve and protect, what has been disregarded, who does or does not benefit using our current model, and who has been harmed by our decisions. – A guest post by Penny Brill
Tags: Art, Ajblogs, 11.11.20

Book Sales Soar In Australia During COVID

While business is booming for online booksellers – Booktopia reported a 28% increase in sales in the 2020 financial year, driven substantially by Covid lockdowns – bricks and mortar stores have had an uneven year. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Australia, Words, Booktopia, 11.07.20

The Late Joseph Rishel, 80: Witty, Erudite Curator Extraordinaire

The brilliant, resourceful Philly-based curator of memorable exhibitions including Cézanne and Beyond, has left us for the Great Beyond. – Lee Rosenbaum
Tags: Art, Ajblogs, Philly, Cezanne, 11.10.20, Joseph Rishel

At Philadanco, Joan Myers Brown Hands Over The Reins — Gradually

After 50 years, and as she nears age 90, the company’s founder is making way for her longtime assistant artistic director, Kim Bears-Bailey, who first joined Philadanco as a dancer in 1981 and calls her boss “Aunt Joan.” But Brown isn’t stepping all the way back just yet: “I’m number 1, Kim is 1B.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer
Tags: Art, Dance, Kim, Philadanco, Kim Bears Bailey, 11.08.20, Joan But Brown

University of Minnesota Museum Under Fire For Keeping Indigenous Artifacts

Despite repeated attempts by affiliated tribes to return the collection to New Mexico, the funerary objects remain at the Weisman. Under a 1990 federal law, institutions that receive federal funding must create an inventory of any Native American cultural objects or funerary remains as a part of the repatriation process. The University and the Weisman have come under fire by Native American communities, anthropologists and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC) for their delay of inventory...
Tags: Art, University, New Mexico, Visual, Weisman, 10.31.20, Minnesota Indian Affairs Council MIAC

The First Of The Dictionaries’ Words Of The Year Is Here, And It Totally Fits 2020

Collins Dictionary has declared lockdown the word of 2020. “The 4.5bn-word Collins Corpus, which contains written material from websites, books and newspapers, as well as spoken material from radio, television and conversations, registered a 6,000% increase in its usage [this year over 2019].” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Words, Collins Dictionary, Collins Corpus, 11.10.20

The 20th Century Movies That Predicted Trump

Throughout much of the 20th Century, American pop culture warned us that something like the last four years could make the leap from cautionary fiction to all-consuming reality. In the early 1930s, the Great Depression led to a peculiar, pre-Roosevelt cycle of what became known as “the dictator craze” in American movies. – Chicago Tribune
Tags: Art, Media, Trump, 11.08.20

Visual Fields

I’m giving an online talk shortly. In an hour and half from now, to be precise. As always, as I get closer to a talk the more ideas come to light, as the particles of information collide with each other, shedding new light on things. Sometimes, when giving talks to a room of folk, you might manage to get something in, a new slide, or a just a quick aside. You don’t want to break the linear narrative. In these interesting times however, I’ve been experimenting with using a Miro board inste...
Tags: Apple, Design, Marketing, Innovation, Futures, Lidar, SCOTT SMITH, Harry Moss Traquair

Why I hate the Mary Wollstonecraft statue | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Was a tiny, silver, ripped nude really the correct way to honour ‘the mother of feminism’? Admirers like me never expected to be left contemplating whether she had a full bushIt took 200 years, not to mention a decade of fundraising, for a memorial to the great feminist thinker and writer Mary Wollstonecraft to be commissioned and unveiled today at Newington Green in north London, where she lived and worked. For too long, campaigners felt, Wollstonecraft had remained relatively obscure and, from...
Tags: Art, Books, London, Women, Life and style, UK News, Culture, Feminism, Art and design, Heritage, Sculpture, Mary Wollstonecraft, Black Lives Matter Movement, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, Maggi Hambling, Wollstonecraft

Spanish statue bodge-up is a new rival to Borja's Monkey Christ

Trump-like visage grafted on to a carving in Palencia recalls earlier inept restorationIn the footsteps of the unintentionally iconic Monkey Christ, the Tintin St George, the near-fluorescent Virgin and Child– not to mention the less than sinlessly executed Immaculate Conception – comes … well, it’s hard to say.The latest Spanish restoration effort to provoke anguished headlines and much social media snarking is, or rather, was, a carved figure adorning an ornate, early 20th-century building in ...
Tags: Art, Europe, Religion, Spain, World news, Art and design, Borja, Palencia, Tintin St George, Palencia Continue

Don't Call Yourself a Batman Fan If You Won't Pay $29,900 For This Batmobile Desk Clock

There are Batman fans who will casually collect caped crusader action figures, and then there are Batman fans who will drop $250 on a giant Lego Batmobile. Several tiers of obsessive above that you’ll find the true Batman devotees who will happily spend almost $30,000 on a desk clock that even Bruce Wayne would…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Design, Tech, Clocks, Luxury, Bruce Wayne, Batman, Batmobile, Consumer Tech, Kross Studio

When ABBA Wrote Music for the Cold War-Themed Musical, Chess: “One of the Best Rock Scores Ever Produced for the Theatre” (1984) Chess is amazing. The simplicity of its characters and plot (capture the king!) can be appreciated and understood by children; the complexity of its tactics can consume an adult life. Despite its medieval origins—and stumpers for us moderns like the strategic importance of a bishop on the battlefield—chess remains as much a potent allegory for power and its tactics as it was 1,500 years ago in India when it was called “chaturanga.”  The game ha...
Tags: Google, Music, UK, London, College, China, India, New York City, Time, Theatre, Bbc, New York Times, Broadway, Moscow, Abba, Andrew Lloyd Webber

Where Did The Expression ‘Peanut Gallery’ Come From? It’s Complicated

Early Boomers would associate the phrase with The Howdy Doody Show, where it referred to the studio audience of kids. In fact, the first known printed use of “peanut gallery” comes from an 1867 review of a vaudeville show in New Orleans, and it refers to the food item unruly patrons would throw at performers they didn’t like. (Warning: the sentence in question is pretty racist.) – The Conversation
Tags: Art, New Orleans, Words, Boomers, 11.09.20

As It Seeks New Owners, Can Second City Fix Its Perennial Problems?

“The company’s ownership and leadership teams are in flux after allegations of institutional racism went viral on social media, and the remaining decision makers vowed to review everything from human resources protocol to material used in shows and artwork on their walls.” In a multi-article package, the Chicago Tribune examines the current state of the institution, considers the search for new owners, looks at the diversity promises the company made this past summer, and spoke with numerous BI...
Tags: Art, Theatre, Chicago Tribune, 11.06.20

Lengthy Lawsuit Over Robert Indiana’s Estate Is Near Settlement

“The estate of Robert Indiana and the late artist’s longtime representative have tentatively agreed to settle their legal dispute and asked the judges in the complicated case involving his art and legacy to pause the proceedings so they can work out the details of the settlement. … Indiana died at age 89 within a day after the suit was filed. In addition to dragging on for more than 2½ years, the case has cost the Indiana estate as much as $8 million in legal fees.” – Portland Press Herald
Tags: Art, Indiana, Visual, Robert Indiana, 11.06.20

What Our Robots Tell Us About Ourselves

Building robot versions of oneself is a thing people do a lot now, and in part because there are robots everywhere online. The majority of web traffic is driven by bots, which can send and reply to emails, answer security questions, post comments, tweet, chat, and more. Last year, Twitter estimated that up to 23 million active accounts may be automated bots. – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.29.20

UK’s Culture Secretary Questions Continued Existence Of BBC And Other Public Channels

In an essay for The Telegraph, Oliver Dowden asks, “Is [the BBC] keeping the British public’s confidence when it comes to its impartiality, and does it truly represent the nation?” and writes that a panel he is convening will be “asking really profound questions about the role these broadcasters have to play in the digital age – and indeed whether we need them at all.” – The Telegraph (UK)
Tags: Art, UK, Media, Bbc, Oliver Dowden, 11.10.20

There’s One Place In The World Where A Major Art Fair Just Opened Normally

That’s South Korea, where the novel coronavirus is largely under control and Art Busan has now begun in the country’s second city. The fair didn’t begin on schedule (it was postponed from its usual date in May), but it is happening as other Asian fairs (such as the new Art SG in Singapore) are still being cancelled. – ARTnews
Tags: Art, South Korea, Singapore, Visual, 11.06.20, Art Busan

A Guide to Typography Basics, Part 2

Understanding typography, while essential for any presenter, can be overwhelming. (Check out part one if you missed it!) Choosing the correct font combinations for each project is tricky. Typography classifications help capture the proper mood of your design. Font pairings help differentiate, with the power to distinguish messages as modern or traditional, energetic or serious, casual or corporate. While the possibilities are truly endless, knowing some basic guidelines will give you greater con...
Tags: Design, Technology, Typography, Training, How To, Tips, Visuals, Fonts, Delivery, Script, Presentation, Thought Leadership, Speaking, Serif, Presentation Hacks, Presentation Design

'We have lost a limb': Azu Nwagbogu, the visionary curator bringing African art home

From helping photographers capture the Nigerian protests to exhibiting during a pandemic, the director of LagosPhoto festival has had his work cut out. Now he wants to fight ‘afro-pessimism’ and the posturing around Black Lives MatterWhen I first spoke to Azu Nwagbogu, the recent protests against police brutality in his native Nigeria had just entered their second week. The curator was upbeat, describing them as “an incredible awakening”. A week later, when we made contact again, he sounded more...
Tags: Art, Photography, Nigeria, Africa, Race, Society, World news, Culture, Art and design, Heritage, Festivals, Identity politics, Exhibitions, Lagos, Lekki, Azu Nwagbogu

Should Britain’s Politicians Quit Bothering To Pretend They Stay Out Of Decisions On Who Gets Arts Funding?

“Indeed, a case can be made for greater government intervention in much of our cultural landscape. … Like it or not, public funding must come with public accountability. But defending the government’s right to interfere in the arts and museums becomes much harder when government funding keeps declining. Minority shareholders don’t get to tell a chief executive how to run their business.” – The Art Newspaper
Tags: Art, Britain, Issues, 11.09.20

Comedian Norm Crosby, Master Of Malapropism, Dead At 93

He was marketing shoes in Boston when he decided to try his hand at comedy, and he ultimately spent nearly fifty years in clubs and on television entertaining people with his (deliberate) misuse of vocabulary. For example: “He’s got a certain inner flux that excretes from this man, there’s an aura of marination that radiates out of him.” – The Hollywood Reporter
Tags: Art, Boston, People, 11.09.20

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