Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
By Vivien Schweitzer
When Meredith Monk performed her “Click Song No. 1” on Thursday, it sounded as if she was accompanied by an array of percussion. But she was alone onstage as she offered a taste of her remarkable extended vocal technique, a petite figure framed by an enormous bright blue screen that changed colors throughout the program.
The event, at the David Rubenstein Atrium, formed part of the opening evening of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. Jane Moss, the center’s vice president for programming, was inspired to create this multicultural festival of sacred music as a spiritual retreat for New Yorkers awash in a digital din and floundering on the multitasking treadmill.
By Holland Cotter
“Elegance is refusal,” Diana Vreeland declared. But not always. She would have had a tough time selling that line of logic to the financier and elegance addict J. P. Morgan, a notable nonrefuser in practically every area, including art. He bought porcelains by the pound, drawings by the ream, bucketsful of Near Eastern cylinder seals and box upon box of rare books, chucking the junk and keeping the gems. Such was his way.
Nor did he hold back in commissioning the architect Charles Follen McKim to design the personal office and library for him at the corner of 36th Street and Madison Avenue that will reopen on Saturday after a $4.5 million restoration. The 1906 building is part of the Morgan Library & Museum.
By Robert Smith
Harry Houdini was known for escaping from handcuffs, straitjackets and water tanks, but his greatest trick was escaping from the dustbin of history. After all, how many popular performers can you name from 1902? Yet more than 80 years after his death, Houdini is still referred to as the greatest magician who ever lived.
A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York, called Houdini: Arts and Magic, looks at the visual legacy of Harry Houdini and how his fame managed to survive.
The answer to that question, at least in part, lies in the nature of Houdini's legend, which was so simple that kids are still passing it around the playground. There once was a man who could escape from anything …
Beyond ABCs of Lady Gaga to the Sociology of Fame // University of South Carolina Professor to Offer Gaga Course
By Katharine Q. Seelye
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta may not sound famous, but the University of South Carolina is offering a course next spring devoted to her — and the sociology of fame.
Apparently one secret to becoming famous is to change your name. Ms. Germanotta now goes by Lady Gaga.
What else accounts for the soaring popularity of the 24-year-old global phenom? The question has intrigued and inspired Mathieu Deflem, 48, a sociology professor at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, who plans to teach a course called “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame.” He believes it is the only such full-time college course in the country.
He wants to explore what makes a person famous and what being famous means in today’s culture. Or, as the course description puts it: “The central objective is to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga.”
Friday, October 29, 2010
By Luba Zakharov
In the same way that writers of theological texts speak to one another through the arguments they fashion, so too do painters ‘write’ theology in their works. In Albrecht Dürer’s engraving, Saint Jerome in his Study (on the left) Jerome is seated at his desk, with a holy light shining above his head, exemplifying the meaning of his name, Hieronymus (in Latin), which comes from ‘gerar,’ meaning holy and ‘nemus,’ which means, ‘a grove.’ The textual basis for Jerome’s iconography (and for the iconography of all the saints) comes from, The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine, published in the 13th century.
I recently asked 24 young artists who were Christians to consider two questions:
What does your craft require of you?
What does the church require of your craft?
Their answers revealed the tensions they felt trying to “fit” into two worlds whose differing values seemed to pull them in opposite directions.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
By Carole Cadwalladr
Even if you deliberately set out to try to dream up the least probable superhero ever, it's unlikely that you'd manage to come up with a character as far-fetched as Batina the Hidden. Forget Wonder Worm, or a man born with the powers of a newt, Batina is a superhero of a kind the world hasn't until now seen. It's not just that she's a Muslim woman, from a country best known for harbouring al-Qaida operatives – Yemen – but that she wears an altogether new kind of super-person costume: a burqa.
She, along with her fellow crime-fighters, a vast team of characters from around the world, including Jabbar the Powerful from Saudi Arabia and Hadya the Guide from London, collectively known as "The 99", are the world's first Islam-inspired superheroes. And this week, in what is perhaps the ultimate comic-book accolade, they will join forces with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. DC Comics, the US publishing giant, will publish the first of six special crossover issues in which The 99 will be fighting crime alongside the Justice League of America, the fictional superhero team that includes Superman and Batman.
By Alexandra Silver
Editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible Michael Coogan recently applied his thorough knowledge of Scripture to a universal and eternally relevant topic: sex. In God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says, he discusses everything from marriage and prostitution to "fire" in God's own loins (yeah, you may want to reread the Book of Ezekiel). Coogan puts the Bible, which is often inconsistent on such hot topics, in perspective, and you may find yourself surprised by what the ancient texts have to say.
Your book begins with a discussion of the erotic Song of Solomon. Does its inclusion in the Bible mean there was a positive attitude toward sex back then?
I think there was a positive attitude toward sex in general, because reproduction was essential. Anything that led to reproduction was certainly viewed positively, and the idea of refraining from sex for religious reasons was something that was fairly unusual in Judaism in most periods. In many passages it's a highly erotic text, and it was a text that rabbinic literature tells us used to be sung in taverns. Yet when I was in seminary many decades ago, it was razored out of many of the Bibles that we had.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
WikiLeaks, the website that publishes leaks from sources in the government, corporations and other institutions, has been in the news a lot lately for the headaches it is causing the Pentagon on information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.Some of that published military material has now found its way into an unexpected format -- a work of art.
"Post Newtonianism," by Josh Bricker, is a two-channel video work that uses audio from aWikiLeaks video released earlier this year documenting a U.S. military offensive in Iraq that is believed to have resulted in the deaths of two Reuters news staffers, among others.The artwork recently was selected as one of the top 25 videos from a field of more than 23,000 submissions in the Guggenheim Museum's YouTube Play competition.
In the piece, the screen is divided into two panels, one of which features actual wartime footage while the other shows scenes from the war-themed video game "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare." On the soundtrack, audio from the WikiLeaks video gradually merges with audio from the video game.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Found in Translation (Part 3) // How the author of "The Hours" learned to write for his reader, not himself
Cory Doctorow is a best-selling science-fiction writer, champion of creative commons and, now, self-publishing pioneer. He's distributing his latest book, a collection of short stories called With a Little Help (read an excerpt here), without the aid of a publishing house. Instead, he has turned to his online community, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, to help build buzz, get advice and even copy edit his new book.
Doctorow tells NPR's Michele Norris the key to making money off a business model that's built around the word "free."
"I'm doing everything," he says. "I'm doing everything I've ever done that ever made me money, and everything that anyone else has ever done that seems to have made them money."
In other words, Doctorow is giving away free e-books in hopes of getting people buy the paper books; he's offering print-on-demand paper books with four different covers through Lulu.com; he's soliciting donations; and he's printing 250 hand-sewn limited-edition hardcovers that will run $275 each.
Rolling through New York City in the back seat of his black Maybach, Jay-Z touches a button to let more light through the translucent roof, then tugs back a window curtain to peek out at the rainy streets of his hometown. The rapper went from a Brooklyn housing project to a top corner office near Times Square, a path traced in "Empire State of Mind," his anthem to the city that has taken a place next to Sinatra's. At age 40 and still rapping, Jay-Z inhabits the rare zone where cultural cachet and corporate power meet.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
How we deal with the things, people, and ideas that push our disagreement and irritation buttons is at the heart of this week’s show with Evangelical thought leader and educatorRichard Mouw. In the audio above (download mp3, 2:49), Mouw shares a story of Thérèse of Lisieux, a late 19th-century French Carmelite nun who couldn’t stand another nun in her convent. Lisieux found solace in the idea that the nun who irked her was God’s creation and should be appreciated as a divine work of art.
In her spiritual journal The Story of a Soul, published posthumously in 1989, Lisieux wrote these lines:
“I felt that this was very pleasing to Our Lord, for there is no artist who is not gratified when his works are praised…”
Friday, October 15, 2010
Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture
From Spoken Verb's Facebook Group:
"Spoken Verb is an organization promoting social consciousness and change through spoken word, dance, and other various art forms. It involves fostering and developing the craft of poetry and performance in conjunction with physical movement to help both its members and supporters grow as artists, thinkers, and people. It is a largely performance based group as well as a group that places importance on creative progression of its members.
Spoken Verb is Duke University's only spoken word organization."
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Historians seem to agree that the first photographic images were created around 1825 by Joseph Nicephore Niépce, a French scientist who experimented with various imagery techniques, including heliographs made on pewter plates. This week, the Getty Conservation Institute is presenting research that reveals new details about how Niépce created those first photographic likenesses.
Monday, October 11, 2010
The Reality Center
916 Lamond Ave.
Special musical guests!
Check out this episode of NPR's "The State of Things," where Enuma joins host Frank Stasio to discuss the book.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
In Defense of "Naive" Reading // Robert Pippin considers the proper place of "the arts" in the academy
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Among the many projects competing for Lennon fans’ attention is Sam Taylor-Wood’s feature film, “Nowhere Boy,” which looks at Lennon’s adolescence and his complicated, often conflicted relationship with his Aunt Mimi, who raised him, and with his more footloose mother, Julia.
The Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio), meanwhile, offers an ambitious schedule of Lennon and Beatles films, as well as a photo exhibition, through Dec. 31. Numerous concert tributes will celebrate Lennon too, including a concert by the surviving members of his first band, the Quarry Men, at the Society for Ethical Culture on Saturday night.
But the two most compelling offerings are “LENNONYC,” a comprehensive documentary about Lennon’s New York years — his final decade, or virtually his entire post-Beatles career — by Michael Epstein, and an expansive CD reissue series that was overseen by Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, that includes the eight studio albums he made between “Plastic Ono Band,” in 1970, and “Double Fantasy” and the unfinished “Milk and Honey,” in 1980. [Read On...]
Thursday, October 7, 2010
200-Year-Old Echoes in Muslim Center Uproar // Mosque Debate Recalls Conflict Over NY's Oldest Catholic Church
By Paul Vitello
Many New Yorkers were suspicious of the newcomers’ plans to build a house of worship in Manhattan. Some feared the project was being underwritten by foreigners. Others said the strangers’ beliefs were incompatible with democratic principles.
Concerned residents staged demonstrations, some of which turned bitter.
But cooler heads eventually prevailed; the project proceeded to completion. And this week, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Lower Manhattan — the locus of all that controversy two centuries ago and now the oldest Catholic church in New York State — is celebrating the 225th anniversary of the laying of its cornerstone.
For those of us Duke Divinity students who are in American Christianity this semester, our reading this week (in Nancy Koester's Fortress Introduction to the History of Christianity in the United States) touched on how public schools in the 19th century largely reflected basic Protestant values. Catholics were described as "papist" and "unpatriotic."
Hostility toward perceived threats to "American values" is nothing new. How might the debate over the Islamic community center in Manhattan run parallel to the Protestant/Catholic debate of 200 years prior? Are they different? How so?
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Spanish-speaking world who once ran for president in his homeland, won the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday. Vargas Llosa has written more than 30 novels, plays and essays, including "Conversation in the Cathedral" and "The Green House."
The Swedish Academy said it honored the 74-year-old author "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat."