“Whether it’s supersized chess and checkers in Buffalo or giant Scrabble at The Wharf in Washington, D.C., the games appeal to children and the young adults who have flooded into cities in recent years, and whom developers and businesses are eager to court. They’re part of a larger push for ‘playable’ cities, and for urban public spaces to be active rather than contemplative.
“A new commission [from ABT] is a risk best handled by the choreographers who can produce works that offer seasoned polish and dependability. … And although, in the history of large commissions, there inevitably exists a freedom of creative impulse, that freedom must not reach too deep, for the fall off the cliff is steep and far. There is simply too much at stake: time, money, reputation. I have always wondered, Where then do choreographers get the freedom to potentially fail?”
If programming under new director Klaus Biesenbach continues to privilege male artists and spectacle, and the board continues to make decisions that appear more self- than public-serving, how does an art community assert its agency? In recent years, members of the Los Angeles artworld have tried to do just that, protesting decisions by MOCA directors that seemed insensitive to the lived experiences of vulnerable artists.
For more than a year, the Detroit-based experimental theater company The Hinterlands has been staging what they call “µTopian Dinners” – literally preparing and sharing a meal with guests. The company sees the project “as a kind of a laboratory to investigate the cultural values that are reinforced through eating, meals, and cooking. … Implementing this process of non-textual translation via food practices carries a kind of power in the fact of it being a non-verbal form of communication, but one that nonetheless is extremely culturally specific.”
There have been Christian churches in what is now the state of Kerala for at least 1,600 years, but the ones that have been built there in recent decades are a wild combination of Le Corbusier modernism, tropical Art Deco, SoCal commercial, and maybe even some Bollywood and Vegas thrown in. (slideshow)
“When Darrin Webb, a bookkeeper for Donadio & Olson, pled guilty to embezzling over $3.3 million from the literary agency late last month, it seemed like a bizarre episode in the industry was reaching a close. Webb’s theft, which leaves a storied agency facing the possibility of bankruptcy and a cadre of authors with holes in their bank accounts, was, by all industry accounts, an aberration. The tale, though, may not be over, as a lawyer is considering taking action against the firm and could file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the authors affected.”
Journalist Alina Cohen looks at four photographers’ projects – street hustlers in L.A., high schoolers in a Southern town where the proms were still segregated, victims of the 1963 Birmingham (AL) church bombing, and small-town Irish teens on the day before their 18th birthday – and talks to the photographers about their obligations to their subjects.