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Updated: 4 weeks 3 hours ago

Book Publishers Are Finally Starting To Invest In Real Fact-Checking

June 25, 2015 - 3:50am

“By tradition and by default, books aren’t verified to anything near the standard of a magazine piece. Publishers don’t even consider verification their business. … In fact, the practice of checking books is fairly common, though it’s also expensive. This fall, for the first time, one publisher is even promising to pay for it. Which is a pretty radical departure.”

What We’ve Learned From 30 Years Of NYC’s Percent For Art Program

June 25, 2015 - 3:48am

More particularly, what we’ve learned from the (relatively few) serious dust-ups over particular projects: “each example reveals the hazards of placing confidence in the outstanding reputation of an artist, and in the notion that all it takes for the public to accept assertions by the avant-garde is time and patience. … It is as if one of public art’s undervalued and poorly recognized functions is to test the idea that no matter how negatively people perceive a work of art at first, they will in due course acquiesce.”

So What Exactly Was Dada, Anyway? (Hey, What Wasn’t Dada?)

June 25, 2015 - 3:45am

“The metaphor-stretcher might say Dada was The Velvet Underground of its time; in its short life, few experienced Dada – yet it changed everything.”

Another Architectural Treasure Destroyed By ISIS

June 25, 2015 - 3:42am

“While the destruction of medieval sites has received far less media attention than attacks on better known ancient sites such as Nimrud or Hatra, the loss of Iraq’s medieval sites is perhaps even more tragic due to the relative lack of scholarly documentation.”

What It Takes To Put On A Concert Of Female Singers In Iran

June 25, 2015 - 3:36am

“[The producer’s] goal is worthwhile and her cadres of singers and musicians, winningly charismatic, which makes the seemingly insurmountable obstacles she faces in producing just one performance all the more dismaying. Sara needs government approval to stage her event, but the central premise of the performance – female soloists – is illegal.”

Dancing The Refugee Experience

June 25, 2015 - 3:34am

“Would you know the moment when you must flee your homeland? Where do you think is the safest place to go? What do you do once you find it isn’t a welcoming haven? How do you navigate the roadblocks of immigration, citizenship, language?” How do you navigate all of these issues in an artform that, by nature, rarely uses words?

What It’s Like To Have An Opera Written About You

June 25, 2015 - 3:33am

“Who has an opera made of their life? Roman gods, doomed lovers, Nixon, and now, to our great surprise, my wife Jessie and I. … In popular usage, the words ‘operatic’ and ‘tragic’ are roughly synonymous, the required minimum bet of misery much greater for opera than memoir. So how should you take it if professionals think your life was awful enough to qualify? The war was bad, I admit, but I didn’t know my war was Wagner bad.”

The Couple Who Are Finally Bringing Us The Real Dostoevsky (Eat Your Heart Out, Constance Garnett)

June 25, 2015 - 3:07am

“When we first told [this old Russian émigré lady] we were translating The Brothers Karamazov, she said, Oh, Dostoevsky, I hope you correct his awful style. I said, No, that is precisely what we’re going to keep.” A conversation with Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

Do Our Theatre Reviews Have A Racial Bias Problem?

June 24, 2015 - 3:26pm

“Reading these reviews just after following reports from the Americans in the Arts and Theatre Communications Group conferences, which demonstrated a genuine desire on the part of arts institutions to address diversity and inclusion, I worry that if the arbiters of art continue to judge work based on retrograde social views, it will only slow progress in the field that, as it is, has already been too long in coming.”

Slow Art: Making Art That No One In Your Lifetime Will See (It’s A Thing)

June 24, 2015 - 2:37pm

“Some contemporary artists reacting against the idea that art should be accessible and shareable have turned to ephemerality: The popular German-British artist Tino Sehgal, for instance, makes art from fleeting interactions such as kisses and refuses to allow his “constructed situations” to be documented. Century art goes the other way, seeking solidity in the accumulation of time.”

Remembering Philosopher Martin Heidegger 40 Years Later

June 24, 2015 - 1:43pm

“Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of his death. Yet he will not be commemorated in the way many of his disciples, such as Hannah Arendt, Richard Rorty, and Jacques Derrida, have been. Evidence that Heidegger at one time was a member of the Nazi party has led to a chilling effect on the way he is being studied, and remembered: his thought is once again being set aside because of his political adventure, and apparently racist views.”

Panned By Critics, “50 Shades Of Grey” Sequel Sells Million Copies In UK In First Week, Breaks Sales Records

June 24, 2015 - 1:35pm

“Released last Thursday, Grey tells the story of the S&M-focused relationship between businessman Christian Grey and shy student Anastasia Steele from the perspective of Christian – something its British author James writes in her dedication that fans had “asked … and asked … and asked … and asked” for.”

Cleveland To Turn A Traffic Island Into A Destination Public Space

June 24, 2015 - 1:14pm

“It’s a stage set,” James Corner says of his designs. “You’re trying to set up situations where it’s not just about having nice places to sit in the sun. It’s also the whole theatricality of people-watching, and you being seen, or you being not seen.”

Who’s Making Money In The Music Business (Job-By-Job Analysis)

June 24, 2015 - 12:38pm

“Billboard followed the money to determine who’s pulling in the largest (and smallest) paychecks in the industry: from the tens of millions in equity awards reaped by Apple executives to a radio-station mascot’s minimum wage.”

Claim: Is UK’s Creative Writing Program Actually Making Students’ Writing Worse?

June 24, 2015 - 12:30pm

The authors, a growing group that already numbers 35, say that national curriculum assessment criteria have become a “prescription for how to teach children to write (to pass the tests), with quite adverse effects on their writing skills”. This means, they say, that children are taught “not to use simple words such as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘small’ or ‘big’ but to always find other more ‘interesting’ words to replace them – such as ‘wonderful’, ‘terrible’, ‘minuscule’ or ‘enormous’”.

Are Festivals The Future Of Opera?

June 24, 2015 - 12:05pm

“Most of our opera companies have lost mainstage paid attendance in the last 10 years and Vancouver Opera is not excepted,” explained Opera America president and CEO Marc Scorca in an interview from New York last week. “The companies that have lost least audience or none at all are the festivals.”

As Our Machines Get Smarter, Are We Nearing The End Of Work As We Know It?

June 24, 2015 - 11:45am

“What does the ‘end of work’ mean, exactly? It does not mean the imminence of total unemployment, nor is the United States remotely likely to face, say, 30 or 50 percent unemployment within the next decade. Rather, technology could exert a slow but continual downward pressure on the value and availability of work—that is, on wages and on the share of prime-age workers with full-time jobs. Eventually, by degrees, that could create a new normal, where the expectation that work will be a central feature of adult life dissipates for a significant portion of society.”

Here’s Your New (Young!) Spider-Man (Cue The Fan Backlash)

June 24, 2015 - 11:13am

“Marvel and Sony announced Tuesday that 19 year-old Tom Holland will be taking over the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the upcoming reboot of the character, this time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while fans might be excited to finally see Spidey swinging alongside Iron Man and Captain America, some are not happy about seeing yet another white man behind the mask.”

Why Can’t We Just Let Favorite Book Series Die? (Five Franchises That Need To End)

June 24, 2015 - 10:58am

“It seems like we’ve never been so overwhelmed with reboots, prequels, neverending series, and what Slate has called “famfic” — continuations of a series by the late author’s own family.”