News & Notes
I have more browser tabs open than is strictly healthy. But sometimes they tell the story of cultural evolution more vividly and concisely than any abstract argument. At the least, they’re a kind of prose poem of what grabs my attention as a researcher of audiences and their expectations.
Some of these articles describe change, some call for it. Some object to it—which is always part of the story. (Some are no longer recent, and that tells you even more about my browser habits.)
Here goes, in impressionistic rather than chronological order:
- I Got Shushed at a Yo-Yo Ma Concert: The churchlike atmosphere audiences expect is killing classical music.
- Daring to be fun—Thoughts from Communicating the Museum: Chicago
- How Immersion Makes Art Accessible (Video of a keynote by co-founders of Meow Wolf)
- The Bleak Reality of the Instagram Experience: Pop-up attractions like the Happy Place are built for selfies, but does anybody actually enjoy going to them?
- The Morality Wars: In 2018, culture is being evaluated for its moral correctness more than for its quality.
- What problem in our community is our museum most uniquely equipped to solve? Continuing to understand and measure how the Oakland Museum of California changes lives in our community.
- All-too-easy listening: The music industry sells classical as soothing background music—robbing a great art of its power.
- Orchestras – start living more dangerously! Two centuries ago Berlioz was told to write ‘tamely.’ Why does today’s musical establishment still fear outsiders and the new?
- Opera needs to change. Prototype festival shows one new path.
- Opera Philadelphia: The HBO of the Opera World?
- Was Modernism Meant to Keep the Working Classes Out? In the 19th century, more working class readers started partaking in contemporary fiction. Modernist literature, however, was specifically not for them.
- ‘Museums Are Not Inherently Any Way’: MTL Collective On Decolonize This Place and Reimagining Museums
- The myth of meritocracy: The cultural sector has become a self-endorsing closed shop and it’s high time for a shake-up…
And two from the other side of our coin: science engagement. (Substitute “arts” for science if you’re so inclined; the points hit home in both domains.)
- The Myth of ‘Dumbing Down’: If you write about your expertise from a place of contempt, maybe you’re not so smart after all.
- Science educators need to talk about the identity of scientists
I don’t endorse everything in these articles, obviously. But they’re a snapshot of a field waking up in some historic ways. And now I get to close some of those tabs…
Let me know what you think (my email).