The Problem With Today’s Book Reviews

The main problem is that the contemporary American book review is first and foremost an audition — for another job, another opportunity, another day in the content mine… – N+1
Tags: Art, Words

The Medici as “Influencers,” The Metropolitan Museum as Clickbait

Do today’s museums need to pander to the short attention spans and trendy rhetoric of the social-media crowd, sabotaging
Tags: Art, Ajblogs, Medici

Resignation Over £6M Artificial Hill In London Park Meant To Lure Tourists

“With regret, I have accepted the resignation of my deputy leader, Melvyn Caplan, who led the mound project. We have also instigated a thorough internal review to understand what went wrong and ensure it never happens again.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, London, Visual, Melvyn Caplan

Blow To New Zealand’s Identity: Amazon Pulls Filming Of “Lord Of The Rings”

The move came as a blow to many in New Zealand. The production is one of the most expensive in history, with Amazon spending at least $465 million US on the first season, which just finished filming. – CBC
Tags: Amazon, Art, Media, US, New Zealand

Why/How We Die Badly

Death catches too many of us unawares and unprepared these days, because we prefer to look away, to deny the approach of the one most undeniable event. – The Point
Tags: Art, Ideas

Twitter’s web redesign isn’t as accessible as it should be, experts say

After teasing its new font in January, Twitter made some major changes to its website and app design this week. But while Twitter framed these updates as making the platform “more accessible,” some accessibility experts say that these changes missed the mark. Most noticeably, tweets now appear in “Chirp,” Twitter’s proprietary typeface, and the display has even more visual contrast between the background and text. Other updates made the interface less cluttered, removing unnecessary divider line...
Tags: Apps, Twitter, Design, Adobe, W3c, Tech, Ui, Accessibility, Disability, Fonts, Ux, Disabilities, User Interfaces, Henry, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, WCAG

The Extraordinarily Improbable Path To Publication For This Booker Nominee

After many rejections, An Island was published by tiny indie press Holland House in a print run of a mere 500 copies owing to the pandemic. It was met mostly with silence. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Words, Holland House

Australian Ballet Cancels Rest Of Season In Melbourne

We’d hoped that stories like this were in the past, but, with the Delta variant spreading and vaccinations lagging in Australia, the company felt it had no choice. No decision yet on November and December in Sydney, though infection rates there are even higher. – Limelight (Australia)
Tags: Art, Australia, Dance, Delta, Sydney, Melbourne

Leaked report details what must be done to stop climate change

A leaked draft of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that the world must take significant action to stop the climate crisis. Intended for later release as the third part of the IPCC’s report published on Monday, the leaked draft shows that greenhouse gas emissions must peak within the next four years and coal-powered plants must shut down in the next decade to avoid a complete environmental breakdown. According to the report, the world’s rich are the most resp...
Tags: Design, Ipcc, Un, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, Juan Bordera

Little-Known Tip for PowerPoint Audio

Do you have a deck that requires audio? We love that! Fully utilizing all that PowerPoint has to offer gives your audience a more rich experience. When using audio and visual, you’re tapping into two different learning styles, therefore gaining durability with a higher percent of your audience. However, whenever function gets in the way of design, that can be a bit of a bummer. Thankfully, in this case, Microsoft has already thought ahead for those using audio in PowerPoint. Trying to Get Rid o...
Tags: Design, Microsoft, Audio, Presentation, Microsoft Powerpoint, Speaking, Presentation Hacks, Presentation Design, PowerPoint presentation, Powerpoint Hacks, Powerpoint Tips, Powerpoint Tricks, Audio Icon, Hide Audio Icon, Hide Powerpoint Audio Icon, Powerpoint Audio

Breakdancing In The Olympics: What Does It Mean, For Art And For Sport?

“In theory, ballet, or any performance art could be an Olympic event so long as it can be judged and scored. … But does the Olympic adaptation of such performance — where the activity is changed to fit the rules — change the very nature of it?” – Quartz
Tags: Art, Dance

Olympic TV Viewing Might Have Been Down, But Streaming Ratings Exploded

YouTube said, Olympics content was viewed more than 190 million times per day during Tokyo, five times more than the average daily views during Rio five years ago. – Variety
Tags: Art, Media, Youtube, Tokyo, Rio, Audience

The new Africa Institute in UAE will highlight open air design

Dedicated to the advanced study, research and documentation of Africa and the African diaspora in the Arab world, the Africa Institute in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates recently commissioned Adjaye Associates to design a new 343,175-square-foot campus. The project comes after a two-year collaboration that helped align the architectural components to the institute’s mission. The campus will connect four wings using a series of open-air interior courtyards accented with large overhangs to provide ...
Tags: Design, Africa, David, United Arab Emirates, Schools, Abu Dhabi, Uae, Campus, David Adjaye, Concrete, Courtyard, SHARJAH United Arab Emirates, Post-format-gallery, Adjaye Associates, Native Landscaping, Africa Institute

Twitter Changed Its Font. Users Aren’t Happy

The font that they’re calling Chirp is extremely similar to GT America, which is itself based on Franklin Gothic. They changed the spacing ever so slightly and changed the square dots over i and j, and then the period and comma to be circular. – Slate
Tags: Art, Words, GT America

Great Lakes fish found to be full of microplastics

A Great Lakes fish set a new record, and not in a good way. The brown bullhead had 915 particles in its body. This mind-boggling fish was hauled out by researchers in 2015, but their study has just been published in Conservation Biology. Before being yanked out of the water in the name of science, the bullhead was swimming at the western end of Lake Ontario in Hamilton Harbor. The 915 particles included dyed cellulose fibers, microplastics and synthetic materials containing plasticizers and flam...
Tags: Design, Lake Ontario, Great Lakes, University of Toronto, Hamilton Harbor, Keenan Munno, Lake Ontario Lake Superior, Humber River a Lake Ontario, Munno, The University of Toronto Trash Team

A Boom In Murals Brightens Buffalo

“In today’s Buffalo, … many locals are now filled with a kind of confidence and optimism that defies population trends and poverty rates. That swagger is best exemplified by a mural on the northern edge of downtown that proudly states ‘KEEP BUFFALO A SECRET’.” – Bloomberg CityLab
Tags: Art, Bloomberg, Visual

Exploring The Door-Closing Chimes Of The World’s Subway Systems

“Ted Green has been collecting … the telltale chimes — beeps, ding-dongs, jingles and arpeggios that warn riders around the world to stand clear.” In Rio, it sounds like a bossa nova guitar; in Delhi, like a doorbell; in Montreal, like Aaron Copland. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Montreal, Delhi, Aaron Copland, Ted Green

Morocco Pavilion is a rammed earth wonder for Dubai Expo

Casablanca-based architects Oualalou+Choi are showcasing traditional Moroccan design and building techniques in the best way possible, by tackling an ambitious 4,000-square-meter rammed earth facade for this year’s Dubai Expo. The Morocco Pavilion is one of the largest rammed earth structures in the world, according to the designers, and will help push the technical and creative limits of traditional building materials into the contemporary age while continuing to pay tribute to the country’s un...
Tags: Design, Morocco, Dubai, Public Spaces, Sustainable Materials, Courtyard, LEED, Marjan van Aubel, Passive Cooling, Post-format-gallery, Dubai Expo, Morocco Pavilion, Oualalou Choi

Yayoi Kusama Sculpture Swept Out To Sea In Storm

The sculpture, a giant black and yellow polka-dotted pumpkin by the celebrated artist Yayoi Kusama, has stood at the end of a pier on the “art island” of Naoshima in the Seto inland sea since 1994. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Visual, Yayoi Kusama, Naoshima

Toradze’s Piano Stories — Take Two

My recent posting of Behrouz Jamali’s extraordinary film about Alexander Toradze produced a couple of comments
Tags: Art, Ajblogs, Toradze, Behrouz Jamali, Alexander Toradze

All Over The World, More Governments Are Censoring More Books: Study

A “Freedom to Publish” report from the International Publishers Association covers hundreds of examples of censorship since the start of the COVID pandemic — not only in such countries as Belarus, Hungary, and China, but also in the US, France, and the UK. – Publishers Weekly
Tags: Art, UK, China, Words, International Publishers Association, US France, Belarus Hungary

Trove Of Intact Late-19th-Century Opera Sets Discovered In Old Colorado Mining Town

The collection of flats and drops had been languishing in the attic of the Tabor Opera House in Leadville. The theater was built by Horace Tabor, whose marriages and financial ruin were chronicled in Douglas Moore’s opera The Ballad of Baby Doe. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Leadville, Tabor Opera House, Douglas Moore, Horace Tabor, Colorado Mining Town

Curtain calls

In today’s Wall Street Journal, I review the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s new production of The Tempest. Here’s an excerpt. *  *  * None of Shakespeare’s plays is better suited to outdoor staging than “The Tempest,” whose setting is an enchanted island, and it is hard to imagine a better place to see it than under the tent of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, pitched on a wooded bluff overlooking the Hudson River. There being few finer summer theater companies in America, I...
Tags: Art, America, Quinn, Shakespeare, Wall Street Journal, Ajblogs, Prospero, Hudson River, Nathan Roberts, Susannah Millonzi, Ryan Quinn, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, HVSF, Charles Coes, Lucrecia Briceno

Lee Wagstaff

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Tags: Images, Art, Music, All Other Stuff, Lee Wagstaff

What Should Theatres Do When Actors Aren’t Vaccinated? And How Will They Know?

Last month in the Bay Area, rumors that the actors in a two-hander were performing unvaccinated in a 99-seat house led to the cancellation of the rest of the run. As theaters reopen and the Delta variant spreads, questions arise about safety and enforcement. – San Francisco Chronicle
Tags: Art, Theatre, Bay Area

Critic Michael Phillips: Go Inside A Movie Theatre Right Now? Maybe Not!

With the delta variant in our lives now, studios and film distributors who have the nerve to require in-person screenings for review are being reckless. Selfish. Wrong. – Chicago Tribune
Tags: Art, Media, Audience, Michael Phillips

This sustainable home has a roof that bends like a leaf

Architecture is more than creating a sound building. It’s a craft that couples personal style and visual appeal with goals for the space. In the case of the Garden House, a project located in Playa Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, it’s a family home that meets the challenges of immersing into the surrounding landscape while maintaining a low carbon footprint. Garden House is more than shelter, although it is built to provide shelter for everyday life and in the case of natural disasters. It’s...
Tags: Design, Homes, Energy Efficiency, Costa Rica, Sustainable Design, Green Architecture, Rainwater Harvesting, Garden House, Sustainable Architecture, Playa Tamarindo Guanacaste Costa Rica, Upper West Side Costa Rica

Discovery Network To Sue Poland Over New Media-Ownership Law

This week the country’s parliament passed a bill barring ownership of a broadcaster by any entity outside the EU. Discovery, which owns TVN, Poland’s largest independent network and news outlet, says the law violates that nation’s investment treaty with the US. – The Hollywood Reporter
Tags: Art, Hollywood, Media, US, Eu, TVN Poland

Tony Bennett, At 95, Retires From Performing

The two concerts he gave with Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall last week were his finale, says his son and manager, and a tour scheduled for this fall is cancelled. Bennett revealed last year that he is living with Alzheimer’s. – Variety
Tags: Art, People, Lady Gaga, Bennett, Tony Bennett, Radio City Music Hall

The Old Flagship Barney’s Will Become A Department Store Of Art Galleries

The three guys who brought Maastricht’s TEFAF to New York are turning the Madison Avenue building into Art House, which will host exhibitions and rent space, short- or long-term, to small and midsize dealers based outside New York. – ARTnews
Tags: Art, New York, Visual, Barney, Madison Avenue, Art House

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