“There was a disconnect to Mercury Soul that couldn’t be solved, no matter how clean the cross-fade between DJ and orchestra. The audience was entreated to dance to standard-issue house music and pedestrian pop fare (“Billie Jean,” Prince’s “Controversy”), but only for 15 minutes at a time. Meanwhile, Roumain shredded on his violin — impressive and novel, certainly, but not particularly conducive to dancing. There were also conflicting codes of conduct — the audience didn’t know exactly when to applaud, clap along to the beat or talk among themselves.”
“The expansion, which will double the size of the museum to a total of 102,000 square feet — including galleries, administrative areas and other public spaces — will finally allow MCASD to show its collection in a permanent way. (Currently the museum has only 10,000 square feet of gallery space, which allows for the display of only one exhibition at a time.)”
Mr. Roth’s library, some 4,000 volumes, is now stored mostly at his house in northwest Connecticut, where it has more or less taken over the premises. A room at the back of the house has been given over to nonfiction. It has library shelves, library lighting — everything except a librarian, Mr. Roth said recently on the phone from his New York apartment.
Jonathan Lethem, who initially set out to become a visual artist, says that comic books are a unique storytelling medium with pleasures that don’t necessarily translate well to live action. “It seems to me there’s a disconnect at a fundamental formal level between what a comic book does when you encounter it and what a CGI superhero movie does when you encounter it,” he says.
“Jackie Wylie will be the first Scottish leader of the theatre, and follows the surprise departure of Laurie Sansom earlier this year after three years in the post. Wylie was previously artistic director and joint chief executive of the Arches in Glasgow. From 2008 until its closure in 2015 she transformed the theatre and clubbing complex into a hotbed of cultural activity.”
“In areas like health care and transportation, we spend a lot of effort characterizing the performance and having a crisp understanding of how A.I. does what it does,” Eric Horvitz said. But with art, he added, “we want A.I. to be creative and make mistakes and meander.” Something may be gleaned from that whimsy.
“Between 2014 and 2019, 3,500 artists are predicted to lose their places of work in the UK capital—a 30% cut, according to a report by the Greater London Authority. Launched in March 2016 and led by Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Studiomakers is working with local authorities, private landowners and property developers to find alternative ways to retain existing studios, as well as create new ones.”
Ideas generally don’t just pop out into the world and get traction. They’re set in the context of what we know and what we dream about. Science fiction has helped frame discussions about the future for a long time. So here are the stories that inform us now…
“Annie Truex, an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, notes how much she’s learned much about the business of entertainment since moving to the city. For The Atlantic‘s ongoing series of interviews with American workers, I spoke with Truex about why she pursued acting, how she stays motivated throughout the audition process, and how beauty standards for women in entertainment affect her at work.”
“We live in an era when much of what you read about are mega-monster galleries that are very rich and powerful, with tons of money and satellites. But that’s really only 5 percent of the market. The vast majority of galleries are small single- or double-venue operations that are looking for creative ways to extend themselves into the community without feeling the need to engulf and devour the world.”
“What of the white writer who wishes to be artistically engaged but who simultaneously does not want to re-create cultural dominance in her work? Are there complex, nuanced representations by other white people which we might turn toward? I suggest that one answer may lie in the unlikely legacy of a pale, sickly writer from the mid-twentieth century, who smoked and drank herself to death by the age of fifty, and whose own personal turmoil and self-destruction may be at the root of the enormous insights about difference found throughout her work.”
“The sight of my father’s or mother’s script on a small white envelope was what I anticipated right until mail call, after lunch, and what kept me going for the long afternoon hours afterward. I liked letters on which their handwriting was rushed and slightly illegible, because if I had trouble deciphering the handwriting the letter lasted longer. When my grandmother wrote, I had difficulty deciphering her elegant, Palmer Method hand, but I enjoyed the antique nature of the challenge. It felt as if I were playing tennis with a wooden racquet.”
The Most Widely-Read Theologian In Human History? Jack Chick, Author Of Hellfire-And-Brimstone Cartoon Tracts, Dead At 92
“A lot of people hated Jack Chick. He wrote furious screeds against Dungeons & Dragons, against Catholicism and against rock music; he waged a long and ultimately unsuccessful war on Halloween. If you were Jewish or Muslim or gay, Chick wanted you to be saved from the fires of hell and wrote a comic to tell you so.”
“Since Robert Hughes wrote his book over 20 years ago, the culture of complaint has become ever more prevalent. Complaining has become an art form and a way of life. Much of contemporary art (as represented on the other floors of Tate Modern’s new extension) is a complaint about greedy corporations and the inhumanity men show to men – or, more often, to women. And it invites us to join in. Tate Exchange touts itself as ‘a space for everyone to collaborate, test ideas and discover new perspectives on life, through art’. That is, it’s a space for complaining. The corrosive effect of turning complaining into an artistic endeavour is becoming clear.”
Ian Frazier: “Certain timeless laws apply to comedy – ‘Put the funniest word in the sentence at the end,’ for example. But in the modern era, in the world of political comedy, strange laws never seen before seem to be kicking in. The law that the efficiency of microchips increases exponentially every few years may now apply to political comedy, which gets exponentially funnier with every election cycle.”
One influence will certainly be our language’s centuries-old habit of shifting vowel sounds over time. The other will be the huge number of people – well over a quarter of the world’s population – that speaks English as a second language. Here are some educated guesses as to how those influences will take shape. (includes sound clips)
“From at least the 16th century until as late as the early 1900s, a pigment made from mummified human remains appeared on the palettes of European artists … Painters prized ‘mummy brown’ for its rich, transparent shade. As a result, an unknown number of ancient Egyptians are spending their afterlife on art canvases, unwittingly admired in museum galleries around the world.”
“Automobile Speed + Light + Noise (around 1913), a painting by the Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla (1871-1958), is due to go back on display at the Kunsthaus Zurich in Switzerland in November following a six-month stint in the museum’s restoration studio” – whose process was, well, unorthodox.
“As some of Klein’s Anthropometry paintings go on show at Tate Liverpool, [Elena] Palumbo-Mosca, now 81, rejects the notion that she was exploited and says she was more than just a ‘living brush’ or a traditional passive model.”
“‘When I got here,’ [music director JoAnn Falletta said of the orchestra’s hall], ‘there was graffiti all over this, and the glass was broken.’ That was in the late 1990s, when many assumed that Buffalo and its orchestra were both pretty much finished. … Nearly two decades later, the orchestra has proved its viability – as has the city, slowly yet steadily improving its fortunes.”