Back in June I had more than a few sceptical words about the Royal Shakespeare Company’s collaboration with Google, Midsummer Night’s Dreaming. Truth to tell, I thought it was a misconceived mess, although with a glorious live event for a privileged few at its heart. Now at BBH Labs Google’s Creative Director Tom Uglow has written An epilogue: 21 Things I learnt from Midsummer Night’s Dreaming with the RSC. It is an exemplary retrospect – thoughtful, positive, humble, not at all defensive and full of praise for his partners at the RSC. This should be required reading for anyone approaching a disruptive digital project in the cultural world. More links below, with thanks this week to @ruthmackenzie, @lessig, @filmnickjames, @matttrueman, @alexismadrigal and @Coxy323.
• Questions for the future of the arts: in an important provocation Michael Kaiser for The Huffington Post questions the value of cinema broadcasts of opera and theatre:
The rationale given for the value of these broadcasts is that they build new audiences, although the jury is still out on this. From my unscientific observation, it seems we are merely substituting one source of entertainment for another for the same, traditional audience.
• The Big Parade: Luke McKernan watches King Vidor’s 1925 First World War film and muses on the mutability of art across time.
By default most US productions capture images at 23.976 Hz, using the NTSC 1000/1001 timebase. We used the 1000/1000 timebase, giving Chivo the ability to shoot in the lightbox at a variety of rates: 24/25/30/48/50/60.
• The song of Solomon: a terrific piece on Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave by Wesley Morris at Grantland.
• Mysteries of Houston… and St Paul, and Portland, and Vaccaville: in Screen Machine no 5, Huw Walmsley-Evans makes an engaging case for America’s Unsolved Mysteries – and I really like the use of gifs to illustrate this and other articles in the online publication.
• The exquisite repulsion of American Horror Story – an essay on abjection: a new piece by Anne Helen Petersen for the Dear Television blog – what more recommendation do you need?
• Crisis, what crisis?: Andrew Haydon at nachtkritik.de (but in English) on theatre criticism today.
• Kandinsky drawing in 1926: I’m not quite sure why I have never seen this remarkable footage of the artist at work, shot at the Galerie Neumann-Nierendorf in Berlin by Hans Curlis in 1926 (via OpenCulture) …
• Chris Burden’s big art of big ideas lives large at the New Museum: Jerry Saltz at Vulture on the New York retrospective of a dangerous artist.
• Empires of attention: the text at Test of Matt Locke’s recent BBC Radio 4 talk ‘about what I’ve learnt about the way attention defines our culture’.
• The Reading Brain in the Digital Age – The Science of Paper versus Screens: a really good piece by Ferris Jabr in Scientific American about how reading on paper is different from reading on screens.
• Two-hit wonder: D.T. Max at The New Yorker on tech entrepreneur Jack Dorsey of Twitter – and now Square.
• Only the literary elite can afford not to tweet: a convincing argument for the value of Twitter by Anne Trubek for SFGate.
• The wrong way for Pompeii: Ingrid D. Rowland for the New York Review of Books on the neglect of the Roman city.
• 15 years ago, Congress kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. Will they do it again?: a compelling piece by Timothy B. Lee for The Washington Post about US copyright legislation – truly.
• … and – Lou Reed and band in ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, filmed in 1997: