Architectural commissions that once might have seemed benign look more and more like matters of conscience. We know, for instance, that greenfield development destroys wildlife habitats even as species extinctions are occurring at a catastrophic rate. We know that projects in the United Arab Emirates are being built with slave labor. We know that luxury housing in New York and other cities has become a vehicle for international money laundering.

"The paradox in Canadian music is that we have so many superstars and very few developmental channels to build future superstars. We cannot expect to continue to have globally relevant Canadian pop stars without examining (or creating) the mechanisms needed to sustain pop chart ascension."

VO moved to a festival model to ensure the future viability of the company as it deals with universal challenges facing the opera world. Kim Gaynor says tickets are selling, but she concedes the buzz has been slow to build.

From 2011 to 2016, just two in 100 of the top lots sold by living artists at auction were works by women. Of 2,300 artworks in the National Gallery, only 20 are by women, and none of the top ten richest living artists in the world are women.

More than a year after Lauri Firstenberg stepped down as the director of LAXART, the Los Angeles alternative art space she founded as a Ph.D. student in 2005, the curator has announced a new initiative that moves beyond the nonprofit model. The … Read More

"Cryptographers think that a new kind of computer based on quantum physics could make public-key cryptography insecure. Bits in a normal computer are either 0 or 1. Quantum physics allows bits to be in a superposition of 0 and 1, in the same way that Schrödinger’s cat can be in a superposition of alive and dead states. This sometimes lets quantum computers explore possibilities more quickly than normal computers. While no one has yet built a quantum computer capable of solving problems of nontrivial size (unless they kept it secret), over the past 20 years, researchers have started figuring out how to write programs for such computers and predict that, once built, quantum computers will quickly solve ‘hidden subgroup problems’. Since all public-key systems currently rely on variations of these problems, they could, in theory, be broken by a quantum computer."

Through April 22 in New York Read More

“The fact that internships are so prevalent in the creative industries is concerning, because the creative workforce lacks ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, particularly at entry level. If internships without measures to ensure equal access are common, there is a risk that the diversity of the sector will suffer.”

Damien Hirst sold a lie, and he sold it very well.In the weeks leading up to his grand exhibition that now occupies all of the Punta Della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in Venice, he gave out very little information: just … Read More
Magdalena Abakanowicz, the Polish sculptor whose lyrical art explored the stress of political regimes on individuals and redefined how contemporary artists portray the human body, died yesterday in Warsaw, where she had lived for the majority of her life. She … Read More

Confabulation does seem to be innate: consider the stuff that people imagine they've done when they have brain damage, and that children come up with while the prefrontal cortex is developing. Neurologist Jules Montague writes about the phenomenon and the "doubt tags" people use to keep it in check - and how they can be induced to miss those tags and develop false memories.

Today, our most famous purveyors of ideas sell themselves to the wealthy much like the courtiers of the Middle Ages. Daniel Drezner notes that these ideas are therefore shaped by the “aversion” that plutocrats share toward addressing the problems we face. Inequality? Global warming? Populist nihilism? An explosion of global refugees? From a Silicon Valley perspective, Drezner notes, such things are not a failure of our system but rather “a piece of faulty code that need[s] to be hacked.” Examining data from a survey of Silicon Valley corporate founders, Drezner notes their shared belief that “there’s no inherent conflict between major groups in society (workers vs. corporations, citizens vs. government, or America vs. other nations).”

"The sounds frequently referred to as elevator music are, at least officially, no more; over five years ago the company folded in a deal with its new owner, Mood Music. Muzak often amounted to the sonic equivalent of a Pan-Am smile, inspiring the listener to a bland, blinkered contentedness. In part, its reputation has obscured much of what made the company viable, and the extent to which its style fed others in its wake."

Pictures at an Exhibition presents images of one notable show every weekday. Read More

"While older utopias often were predicated on returning to the virtues of an imagined past, a key figure behind this utopia of the new was Norman Bel Geddes, a theatre designer turned industrial designer. Bel Geddes is best known for designing the General Motors Futurama exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, a huge and hugely celebrated vision of the world of 1960, full of towering modernist skyscrapers in new cities and lots and lots of cars."

"[He] is perhaps best known for taking on the role of Siegfried in Götterdämmerung for Bayreuth's centennial Ring cycle ... He also garnered fame for being one of the few tenors to sing every single tenor role in Wagner's Ring."

Overall, “Music of the 1940s was preferred to music of its neighboring decades, and the same was true for music of the 1960s. The music of the 1980s also showed a peak, but … only for the younger participants.”

"If history was any guide, the director Terry George figured, there'd be weirdness around his new film, The Promise, about the Armenian genocide. Sure enough, he was right" - there was a concerted pile-on at IMDb, and the unanticipated release of a competing film on strangely similar material, The Ottoman Lieutenant. Cara Buckley lays out the strange circumstances around the two titles.

We should raise a cheer to the woman who contributed so much, with so little fanfare, to the history of 20th and 21st Century music. Don’t take my word for it. “Nadia Boulanger,” says Quincy Jones, “was the most astounding woman I ever met in my life.” And he’s met a few.

"Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them." James Somers runs down the history of the massive book-scanning project and of Authors Guild v. Google - and how "perhaps the most adventuresome class action settlement ever attempted" was taken apart despite the best interests of all the parties.


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