News from ArtsJournal.com
The term “genius” in its modern sense was first adopted in the eighteenth century and it involved a conflation of two Latin terms: genius, which for the Romans was the god of our conception, imbuing us with particular personality traits but nevertheless a supernatural force external to us, and ingenium, a related noun referring to our internal dispositions and talents, our inborn nature.
“For starters, there’s more money to be made from the ignorant than the enlightened, and deceiving Americans is one of the few growing home industries we still have in this country. A truly educated populace would be bad, both for politicians and for business.”
“How can artists fight for cities? By joining forces with people artists might not have considered natural allies before: community activists working on non-art issues like civil rights, police brutality, affordable housing.”
Amtrak has chosen its first class of 24 writers for its residency program. There were 16,000 applications. They’ll ride on long-distance trains and write about the experiences.
Here’s a list of most-produced plays from each year. Yazmina Reza and John Patrick Shanley had a good decade…
“New rules being finalized in November state that—across this country’s gloriously beautiful, endlessly photogenic, 193 million acres of designated wilderness area administered by the USFS—members of the press who happen upon it will need permits to photograph or shoot video.”
“The key question is whether the grand bargain — $815 million pledged by foundations, state government and the DIA to bolster city pensions and shield the art from sale by transferring ownership of the museum to an independent nonprofit — represents a reasonable proxy for the value of the collection in the overall context of the city’s plan.”
“Last year, PA Ballet asked art consultant Michael M. Kaiser to study their organization top to bottom and make some recommendations. As a result, they dropped an executive director, an artistic director, plus the ballet master and mistress – and hired the 38-year-old, Madrid-born [Ángel] Corella to take their company to bigger and better places. Now, the public gets to bear witness to the new leader’s new direction in about three weeks.”
“The EU is weighing a restriction on the chemical following pressure from Sweden, which argues that artists pollute the food chain when they rinse their brushes in the sink. Cadmium ends up in sewage sludge and is then spread on agricultural land.” Responds one pigment maker, “Artists are not rotters; they are not tipping this stuff down the drain, it’s an expensive substance.”
But this time he’s doing it during lunchtime instead of morning rush hour, he’s announcing the place and date in advance, and there will be a video crew.
“In the first instalment of Talking TV, … Tom Brook reports on how television has been at the vanguard of changing perceptions of gay people – especially in the US where the proliferation of gay and lesbian TV characters has arguably created a climate more receptive to the idea of gay marriage.” (video)
Leonardo began work on The Adoration of the Magi in 1481 and abandoned it a year later. “The current restoration project, which began three years ago, has removed much of the dull, oxidized varnish as well as traces of past restoration attempts, revealing many previously hidden details, facial expressions and subtleties of light and shadow.”
The Altamira caves, which had been closed since 2002 out of worries that moisture and body heat from tourists could ultimately damage the 18,000-year-old paintings, were opened earlier this year to a maximum of five visitors for one hour per week. Researchers say there’s been no perceptible damage to the art, and the experiment will continue for at least five more months.
“A group of theater artists in Los Angeles is calling for major changes in the city’s stage industry, saying that companies are relying on outdated modes of doing business and that union rules over artist compensation, especially at small venues, need revision.”
A new project is using crowdsourced translation to provide subtitles for popular films and television programs in such tongues as Cherokee, Maori, and Basque.
“Over the last 50 years, the ‘Marshmallow Test’ has become synonymous with temptation, willpower, and grit. Walter Mischel’s work permeates popular culture.” In a Q&A, Mischel discusses “what the [test] really captures, how schools can use his work to help problem students, why men like Tiger Woods and President Bill Clinton may have suffered ‘willpower fatigue'” – and whether to worry if your pre-schooler flunks the test.
Among the honorees this year were scientists who investigated the differential in pain thresholds of people looking at beautiful art versus ugly art, the neuroscience behind people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast or the Virgin Mary in a stain on a wall, and the physics behind one of the hoariest gags in all of slapstock comedy.
“You would think that in the midst of so much calamity in recent years Vallejo would want a symphony, would do whatever it could to have one, but sometimes the fact is that there’s just no place for a symphony in a particular town.”
“Objections were raised to Pulitzer winner David Shipler’s non-fiction title The Working Poor, because it includes a reference to a woman who was sexually abused as a child and had an abortion. Narrated by a dog, Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain was criticised for a sex scene, and Alexie’s award-winning novel for its strong language. Also suspended were Jeannette Walls’s memoir The Glass Castle and Hermann Hesse’s classic novel Siddhartha.”