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In Today's AJ Blogs
Renting Out Collections More And More Museums Are Sending Collections On Tour To Earn Fees. But Should That Income Be Counted On?...
Real Clear Arts
...for... The people running Spring for Music seem confused on who its audience is....
A view from the maestro's bathroom
Point, Counterpoint Secret Donor Gives $15 Million To The Miami Art Museum, With $12 Million In Cash To Double The Endowment,...
Real Clear Arts
The Monday post This week's fascinating fact: Even in the 1880s, audiences didn't like new music....
Today's AJ Stories
When Ben Franklin Reinvented The Alphabet
"It was the ultimate test of Franklin's scholarship and polymathy, a phonetic alphabet designed to have a 'more natural Order,' than the existing system. ... Franklin was confident that his new alphabet would easier to learn and, once learned, would drastically reduce bad spelling."
- Smithsonian 05/10/13
Want Safer Streets? Try Removing Traffic Lights, Curbs
"The more nuanced environment slowed down drivers, and the intermingling demanded communication using body language and eye contact. Accidents decreased, traffic moved steadily. The concept -- called "naked streets" or "shared space" -- has been expanding across Europe, and is slowly, tentatively, making its way to American shores. It's like 1910 all over again." - The Smart Set 05/15/13
Can A Dance Summit Help Fix LA's Dance Scene?
"We're really trying to aim this not as a way to bemoan issues that the dance community might be encountering, but really to look at what opportunities there are, to haul out the good things that might be under-recognized, as well as to provide ways we can respectively climb out of our foxholes." - Los Angeles Times 05/21/13
Teens And The Privacy Paradox (It's Complicated)
"So what explains the privacy paradox? Teens care about privacy in a social context, not a big data context. That teens are fleeing Facebook is illustrative of the phenomenon." - Pacific Standard 05/21/13
Lincoln Center Sued Over Public Access To Park
"A lawsuit has been filed against New York City and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts accusing them of limiting public access to Damrosch Park by using it for commercial purposes, including Fashion Week, for as many as 10 months of the year."
- The New York Times 05/21/13
Video On Demand Is Finally Catching On
Some shows, like Fox's "The Following" and ABC's "Scandal," now gain hundreds of thousands of viewers every week because of VOD, part of a decades-long shift from television on a linear schedule to television on viewers' own terms. - The New York Times 05/20/13
CBS Wins US TV Season Ratings
"CBS had a hefty 4 million-viewer lead over its closest competitor this season -- the largest margin of any network in 24 years. The network also claimed its first win in 21 years among the 18- to 49-year-old viewers who are the currency of broadcast-TV ad sales." - Washington Post 05/22/13
James Franco On Adapting Faulkner's As I Lay Dying
"When [the characters are] speaking to each other, they speak as early-20th-century farmers. It's fairly realistic. But underneath, in the inner monologues, ... they speak in ways that these characters would never articulate. ... Maybe they could feel as deeply but they would never use this diction. So we came up with was the split-screen: that would give the feeling of multiple perspectives."
- The New York Times 05/21/13
Judge Allows Composer To Sue Brooklyn Philharmonic For Breach of Contract
"A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge has denied an attempt by the Brooklyn Philharmonic to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the composer Nathan Currier, who alleges that the orchestra broke a contract by abruptly terminating the premiere of his oratorio mid-performance at Avery Fisher Hall."
- WQXR (New York) 05/20/13
In Spain, A Protest Opera Against Austerity El crepusculo del ladrillo
("Twilight of the Brick", alluding to the final opera of Wagner's Ring
cycle) "takes on Spain's ongoing economic crisis, which started to unfold in 2008 after the country's real estate bubble burst. The story involves a village seduced into property ownership and consumerism before imploding in chaos. Despite the tragic subject matter, the tone is surrealist and often comic."
- Global Post 05/21/13
Has New Music Been Wrongly Marketed?
"The new music community needs to make less of an emphasis on premieres and put more energy into making less familiar repertoire (e.g. recent compositions) more familiar by programming the music tons of times. A new piece should get programmed several times during the course of a season, not just one time or for a single consecutive run of performances." - NewMusicBox 05/21/13
Study: Classical Audiences Are Not Hostile To Contemporary Music
The researchers found a modern work on the program has roughly the same impact on ticket sales as a lesser-known piece from the romantic era. This suggests exchanging the "risky" First Symphony of John Corigliano with the "safe" First Symphony of Brahms will have little or no impact on the bottom line. - Pacific Standard 05/22/13
Researchers: Have Humans Become Dumber Since Victorian Era?
"Our technology may be getting smarter, but a provocative new study suggests human intelligence is on the decline. In fact, it indicates that Westerners have lost 14 I.Q. points on average since the Victorian Era." - Huffington Post 05/22/13
Ai Weiwei Launches His Rock Star Career With 'Dumbass'
"The Chinese artist ... has always had something of the rock star about him. Now his hotly anticipated musical debut has finally emerged blinking into the glare of international attention: the self-proclaimed heavy metal single 'Dumbass'" - complete with video by superstar cinematographer Christopher Doyle.
- The Guardian (UK) 05/22/13 (includes video)
Hear The Voice Of Virginia Woolf
"What follows is the only known surviving recording of Virginia Woolf, part of a BBC radio broadcast from 1937. The talk is titled 'Craftsmanship'."
- The Paris Review 05/21/13 (audio)
The Battalion Of Artists That Tricked The Wehrmacht
The soldiers of the "Ghost Army" were "artists and illustrators, radio people and sound guys. Handpicked for the job from New York and Philadelphia art schools in January 1944, their mission was to deceive the enemy with hand-made inflatable tanks, 500-pound speakers blasting the sounds of troops assembling and phony radio transmissions."
- Smithsonian 05/21/13 (includes slide show and video)
A Booker Prize Judge's Burden: A Book A Day (Or More)
"We had 50 books to read in the first three months, and a book every other day is fine. Then publishers submitted more. A lot more. My reading speed had to double overnight: between March and July, I will have read the final 100 books in 100 days. You get ahead sometimes (a couple of short books in a row), and then a 900-page monster lurks behind them on the shelf, gobbling up the spare day and spitting out its bones. It's like running on sand, but less healthy." - The Independent (UK) 05/22/13
Is A Library Without Paper Books Still A Library?
"It will be a truly bookless library - although that is not a phrase much to the liking of BiblioTech's project co-ordinator, Laura Cole. She prefers the description "digital library" - after all, there will be books there, but in digital form." - BBC 05/22/13
Unpublished Pearl S. Buck Novel To Be Released After 40 Years
"Buck, the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, is believed to have completed the manuscript for the book, The Eternal Wonder
, shortly before she died of cancer in 1973 ... The manuscript was stumbled upon in a storage unit in Texas and returned to the Buck family in December in exchange for a small fee."
- The New York Times 05/22/13
Why Does Dante Still Have A Hold On Us?
"People can't seem to let go of the Divine Comedy
. You'd think that a fourteenth-century allegorical poem on sin and redemption, written in a medieval Italian vernacular and in accord with the Scholastic theology of that period, would have been turned over, long ago, to the scholars in the back carrels. But no."
- The New Yorker 05/27/13
Tweet Stokes Speculation About Nobel Lit Nominations
"Speculation about the shortlist began almost at once, even though the winner of this year's Nobel prize in literature won't be announced until October. 195 names were submitted in March for consideration, including 48 first-timers." - The Telegraph (UK) 05/22/13
Stephen King Passes On E-Publishing For Print
"I have no plans for a digital version. Maybe at some point, but in the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one." - The Telegraph (UK) 05/21/13
Village Voice Lays Off Theater Critic Michael Feingold After 42 Years
"Feingold, 67, began writing for The Village Voice
in 1970. His columns are known for the erudition and understanding of theatre history, both ancient and modern, and how current plays fit in with that continuum. Aside from John Simon, Feingold probably possesses more first-hand knowledge of New York stage history than any other currently working theatre critic."
- Playbill 05/20/13
A Tie At The Obie Awards
"Because of a tie vote, the judges for the 2013 Obie Awards, announced on Monday night, chose two winners for best new American play: Lisa D'Amour's dark comedy Detroit
and Julia Jarcho's triptych Grimly Handsome
. Other Obies included playwriting awards for Annie Baker (The Flick
) and Ayad Akhtar for Disgraced
, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama."
- The New York Times 05/20/13
A Venture Capital Fund For Young Theatre Producers
"How does an independent theatre producer ever get started?" After all, without a track record, why would investors or creative professionals sign on with you? Stage One is a start-up fund that takes a chance on young producers and their projects.
- The Guardian (UK) 05/20/13
Making Up Kurt Vonnegut's Mind After 20 Years
Vonnegut's play Make Up Your Mind
had only one brief staging in 1993, because the author couldn't settle on a final script. (He left behind a dozen versions.) Now there's finally a performing edition, courtesy of playwright Nicky Silver, who says that Vonnegut "was the perfect collaborator. He is a genius, and he is dead."
- The New York Times 05/20/13
How A Theatre Decided To Offer A Money-Back Guarantee
"If we're a young, innovative, energetic theatre company that is trying to do the best work that we can, why wouldn't we back our work with something like a money-back guarantee? Are we going to be so afraid of people disliking our work that we will, in fact, lose money on it?" - The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/22/13
China's Museum Boom Doesn't Necessarily Include Museum Visitors
"In recent years, about 100 museums have opened annually here, peaking at nearly 400 in 2011, according to the Chinese Society of Museums. The frenzied construction of cultural infrastructure follows earlier building binges involving roads and bridges. But it's harder to manage a museum than a highway. For one thing, you need to fill museums with worthwhile exhibits and visitors." - NPR 05/22/13
The Whitney's New Logo (Having It All Ways?)
From the museum's description of the logo: "It shows the Whitney as an institute that is breathing (in and out), an institute that is open and closed at the same time. An institute that goes back and forth between the past and the future, moving from one opposite to the other (history and present, the 'Old World' and the 'New World', between the industrial and the sublime, etc.), while still moving forward." - Hyperallergic 05/21/13
The Architecture Of Antarctica
"It is no coincidence that many of the buildings in the first exhibition on architecture in Antarctica, shaped like caterpillars or icebergs, on stilts or stubby legs, will look like science-fiction illustrations - the storms, blizzards, extremes of temperature, darkness and howling winds they have been designed to withstand are so extreme that conditions have been likened to those on Mars."
- The Guardian (UK) 05/21/13