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Did Internet Pioneers Blow It When It Comes To Free Speech?

Increasingly, I’m hearing from politicians, activists, and people like my journalist friend who say that maybe we 1990s-era internet activists blew it. The story goes that we were so shortsighted in our focus on things like internet free speech and digital privacy that we overlooked a whole spectrum of long-term threats posed by digital technologies, the companies that sell them, and the governments that deploy them. This perspective suggests that the internet freedom my colleagues and I...
Tags: Art, Ideas, 02.14.20

Yolanda Bonnell: Why I Don’t Want White Critics To Review My Work

“Indigenous performance has been grossly under-reviewed and while the tide is shifting, the lens with which predominantly white critics view the work has been problematic. The lack of IBPOC voices in the media—at a time when arts’ coverage is shrinking—means white critics are often the gatekeepers of success. There is often a tone along the lines of ‘I don’t understand this, therefore it’s not valid or good art.’ Aspects like style, movement, language, and music are at risk of being dism...
Tags: Art, Theatre, 02.14.20, Yolanda Bonnell, IBPOC

A Huge Frank Stella Painting Disappeared In Chile And Ended Up Being Used As A Lunch Table

“It’s a little known fact that in 1972, minimalist artist Frank Stella donated the painting Isfahan III (1968) to the Museo de la Solidaridad in Chile, a new institution that invited artists from around the world to donate art in honor of Chilean president Salvador Allende’s new socialist government.” And then came Augusto Pinochet’s coup … – Hyperallergic
Tags: Art, Chile, Visual, Isfahan, Augusto Pinochet, Frank Stella, Salvador Allende, 02.14.20, Museo de la Solidaridad

Meet Oliver Dowden, The UK’s New Culture Secretary

He has a history of handling thorny issues like cybercrime and data privacy. As a Parliamentary Secretary in Theresa May’s cabinet office, Dowden was the Minister for Implementation of the Government’s technology strategy.  Though the new BBC licence fee and rolling out gigabit broadband will be pressing tasks, Dowden’s expertise and interest in digital matters could be good news for the creative industries. – Arts Professional
Tags: Art, UK, Bbc, People, Theresa May, Dowden, 02.14.20, Oliver Dowden

Fan Fiction Has Been Around For Almost 300 Years (And It’s Been About Sex The Entire Time)

The fan-fic phenomenon seems to have gotten its start in the wake of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, with William Hogarth and Alexander Pope riffing on the adventures of Swift’s hero (and, in Pope’s case, his put-upon wife). Add to that Shamela, Henry Fielding’s lusty takedown of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded, and the genre is well and truly established. – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Pope, Words, Pamela, Jonathan Swift, William Hogarth, Alexander Pope, Samuel Richardson, 02.14.20, Shamela Henry Fielding

John Eliot Gardiner On Period-Instrument Beethoven

“What you get in a period orchestra are three things: greater individuality of timbre, more transparency of texture and an increased dynamism once all the instruments are stretched to their absolute maximum capacity of volume and expressivity. If you attempt that with a modern symphony orchestra, there will always be a certain comfort factor, a plushness, which, I feel, doesn’t help the listener to savor all that is most original in the score. It can sound a tad too comfortable.” – The New York...
Tags: Art, Music, Beethoven, John Eliot Gardiner, 02.14.20

Ballet Philippines Appoints Foreign Artistic Director; People Flip Out

As the company’s founding artistic director, Alice Reyes, retires after 50 years, its board of directors selected as her successor Mikhail Martynyuk, a star of the Kremlin Ballet in Moscow. Many of the dancers and other members of Manila’s dance community are objecting to the appointment; they say they’re upset about a rushed timeline and lack of consultation, but the petition now circulating calls on the board “to rescind or revise the contract offered to a Russian artist … and to keep the pos...
Tags: Art, Dance, Moscow, Manila, Alice Reyes, 02.14.20, Mikhail Martynyuk, Kremlin Ballet

Abu Dhabi’s “City Of The Future” Gets Off To A Slow Start

To build Masdar City, the provincial capital put in seed money for the estimated $20 billion cost. The project team, Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, brought in the British architectural firm Foster + Partners, which boasts impeccable eco-credentials. The vision was for a 2.5-square-mile neighborhood that would be close to carbon neutral, thanks to clean-energy wizardry, LEED-certified building design, and a giant adjacent solar panel farm. – CityLab
Tags: Art, Ideas, Abu Dhabi, Masdar, Mubadala Development Company, Foster Partners, Masdar City, 02.14.20

How We Got So Disaffected From Our Culture

We make the same movies, over and over (most involving Marvel superheroes or galaxies far, far away). Our young turn away from actual sex and toward the consolations of pornography: sex without human relationship, and therefore without consequence and contingency. We approach “politics the way [we] approach a first-person shooter game—as a kind of sport, a kick to the body chemistry, that doesn’t actually put anything in [our] relatively comfortable late-modern lives at risk.” As Walter ...
Tags: Art, Ideas, Walter Benjamin, 02.14.20

An AI Bot Interviews Billy Eilish, Eliciting Some Interesting Answers

Its abstract questions provoked some surprising insights into the singer’s mind. Viewers learnt that Eilish used to dream of working at Jamba Juice or Trader Joe’s, and once wore a wig out to dinner to avoid attracting attention — but she doesn’t want to go back to being anonymous. – TheNextWeb
Tags: Art, Uncategorized, Joe, Jamba Juice, Eilish, 02.14.20

Is E.L. James The Best Writer Of The Past 30 Years?

Or is it Barack Obama? How about Hilary Mantel? That’s right, all of them are squaring off in a new book prize in Britain. (But seriously: Who put the author of Fifty Shades of Grey on the same list as the author of Wolf Hall?) The British Book Awards “celebrate the best of writing and publishing: the books that defined their genre or launched a trend” (in which case, we’re pretty sure E.L. James is the actual winner here). – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Barack Obama, Britain, Words, Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, James, Grey, 02.14.20

The Wedding Dress That Cost The Cooper Hewitt Director Her Job

In a reversal of fortune story that seems nigh-on impossible given certain trends in federal government, Caroline Baumann “was forced to resign as director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan last week following an investigation by the Smithsonian’s inspector general into potential problems regarding the procurement of the dress and the wedding space.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Smithsonian, Manhattan, Visual, Cooper Hewitt, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Caroline Baumann, 02.14.20

The Photographer And The Photos Of A Ballerina Who’s 33 Weeks Pregnant

Photographer Sayuri Ichida and NY Theatre Ballet dancer Maya Oguri formed a fruitful artistic friendship – one that set the ballerina dancing in photos from across the city. That didn’t stop when the dancer got pregnant. – The Paris Review
Tags: Art, Dance, 02.14.20, Sayuri Ichida, NY Theatre Ballet, Maya Oguri

NYT’s Classical Music Critic Hosts A House Concert

Zachary Woolfe: “For someone who’s never grown quite used to my late-night subway journey home after an opera, it was hard to turn down a performance that would take place a few steps from bed.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, ZACHARY WOOLFE, 02.14.20

The NYT’s Classical Music Critic Hosts A House Concert

Zachary Woolfe: “For someone who’s never grown quite used to my late-night subway journey home after an opera, it was hard to turn down a performance that would take place a few steps from bed.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, ZACHARY WOOLFE, 02.14.20

Taking Aim Against (Part Of) Amazon With A New Website

Can a new website help indie bookstores compete with the retail behemoth? The American Booksellers Association thinks so. “‘We believe that there are consumers who shop online and would choose to support indie bookstores if there were a visible and convenient alternative to Amazon and others,’ the ABA said when it announced its partnership with Bookshop last month.” – Forbes
Tags: Amazon, Art, Words, Aba, American Booksellers Association, 02.14.20, Aim Against Part Of Amazon

Let’s Talk About This ‘Classical’ Architecture Thing, Strongmen, And Fascism

Dear United States, this isn’t new – but it is alarming. “For centuries, autocrats, authoritarians, and dictators have held a fascination with using architecture as a political tool to glorify their regimes, often while also dismissing modern architectural styles as lowbrow, cold, or weak. The current crop of far-right world leaders with authoritarian impulses is no different—and that now appears to include President Donald Trump.” – Slate
Tags: Art, United States, Issues, 02.14.20

Making Art So Big It Can’t Be Ignored

Jordan Casteel paints portraits – huge portraits. And that means something to her subjects. “‘I knew I wanted to use this opportunity to place my mom and I in the art historical canon,’ said Emmanuel Amoakohene, one of Ms. Casteel’s students, who posed with his mother in 2019. The scale of the radiant, seven-foot canvas, he said, ‘makes me feel like I matter.'” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Visual, Jordan Casteel, Casteel, 02.14.20, Emmanuel Amoakohene

Making Sense Of Through Tiny Nuggets Of Narrative

Tropes actually help us all make sense of the world (so writers, calm down; even trying to go against tropes is a trope of its own). Take a famous narrative of the late 1990s and early 2000s: “How do you make sense of something sprawling like Harry Potter? You divide it into digestible pieces. The Chosen One goes to a Wizarding School and forms a Power Trio. He’s opposed by the Evil Overlord who is Only Mostly Dead. The books get Darker and Edgier leading up to a Final Battle and a widely mocke...
Tags: Art, Ideas, Harry Potter, 02.14.20

When Plays Explore Trauma, Performers Bear The Brunt Of The Pain

Especially during fringe festivals, playwrights are often performers, and because of the pressure of budget and time, they’re exploring their own experiences and pain. “Rawness can make for heady theatre – it can be exhilarating – but it can also leave you worrying about the psychological implications, the emotional toll.” – The Stage (UK)
Tags: Art, Theatre, 02.14.20

Elizabeth Cullinan, Who Helped Redefine Irish American Literature, Has Died At 86

Cullinan was hired as a typist at The New Yorker when she was 22, but soon the magazine started publishing her stories as well. “Ms. Cullinan helped redefine Irish-American literature, veering away from the male tradition of ‘ward bosses and henchmen, larger-than-life political fixers, tavern social life and father-son relationships,’ Patricia Coughlan, who taught Irish literature at University College Cork, wrote in a 2017 essay in The Irish Times.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Cullinan, University College Cork, 02.14.20, Elizabeth Cullinan, Patricia Coughlan

Two Men Broke Into A London Bookshop Intending To Rob It, But Then They Found The Prosecco

They found no cash, but there was alcohol. “Front and back windows at Gay’s the Word, which became the UK’s first gay bookshop when it was opened in 1979 and which featured in the film Pride, were smashed last Sunday. But after ransacking the shop and drinking a bottle of tequila left on the premises after a member of staff’s birthday, the burglars were caught by police in the store’s kitchen drinking prosecco.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, UK, London, Words, 02.14.20

Can The Worldwide Vinyl Boom Recover From The Apollo Factory Fire?

A billion dollar industry dependent on one factory in California? That’s physical manufacturing, so perhaps not. The factory, where 75 percent of the world’s blank lacquers were made, burned in early February. “Pressing plants and mastering engineers are assessing the future. Some have expressed fear that the fire will disrupt the global production of new album releases and slow the seemingly endless supply of reissues that major labels churn out.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Music, California, Los Angeles, 02.14.20

After Robert Massey Has One Year As CEO, The Louisville Orchestra Moves Him On

Massey claims the separation of ways was a mutual decision and adds that “the job was not what he expected when he came to Louisville a year ago from Florida, where he had been the president and CEO of the Jacksonville Symphony for four years.” – Louisville Courier Journal
Tags: Art, Music, Florida, Louisville, MASSEY, Jacksonville Symphony, Robert Massey, 02.14.20

Think Fan Fic Is New?

Nope. Take a look at this Gulliver’s Travels (yes, Gulliver’s Travels) fanfic. “In the 18th century, as now, fan fiction was usually more explicitly sexual than its source material.” Oh. – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Words, 02.14.20

The New York Public Library Is Turning 125, And Here Are Its 125 Most Favorite Books

“The list is full of classics, of course, but it’s also got a few refreshing surprises in there.” – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words, New York Public Library, 02.14.20

So ‘Parasite’ Won A Lot Of Oscars. What Happens Next?

Will Parasite‘s best picture win goose more international fare from the big studios – as opposed simply to Netflix – or will it only help both Bong Joon-ho and then other films that seem, in Hollywood terms, similar to Parasite? The biggest winner might be the Academy. “A vote for Parasite served as more than just a cast ballot: It was an investment in the Oscars’ future as a relevant institution.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Hollywood, Media, Netflix, Bong Joon, 02.14.20

Some Writers Are ‘Secretly’ Working With Fired Agents

And the Writers Guild is ready to crack down on their wayward members. The WGA president wrote, “‘For any writers breaking the rules there must and will be accountability.’ He added: ‘We know that some agents are harassing former clients to work with them in secret under the false premise that ‘everyone else has come back.’'” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Issues, WGA, Writers Guild, 02.14.20

Has Fan Culture Gotten Out Of Hand? Should They Have So Much Influence On The Art?

The last decade or so has witnessed huge changes in the awareness, perception and tools of fandom. In terms of television and film, the enormous successes of Game of Thrones and the Marvel Cinematic Universe have introduced geek culture – and its brand of participatory fandom – to the mainstream. At the same time, the internet – and more specifically social media – has amplified fans’ voices, while also breaking down the boundaries between them and the artists they love/hate. – BBC
Tags: Art, Issues, Audience, 02.14.20

When Airlines Break Musicians’ Instruments

The stakes are high. Not only does a musician have an emotional connection to their instrument, but a break, even if it is repaired to pristine condition, can bring down a valuable instrument’s price. It is also highly likely that a musician traveling with an instrument is on their way to their next gig. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Music, 02.14.20

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