Sunday links

26th June 2016

Inevitably much of this week’s reading has been dominated by the many excellent pieces about the referendum and its fall-out (especially from the Guardian, which has been playing a blinder), but here are links to a selection of other bits and pieces that I have found interesting the past seven days. Thanks to those who have pointed me towards some of them, via Twitter and in other ways, and apologies for the absence of name-checks.

Thoughts on the sociology of Brexit: I initially intended not to post any post-mortem links, but this is an outstanding analysis from Dr Will Davies thePolitical Economy Research Centre at Goldsmiths.

Where to begin with kitchen sink drama: viewing notes on British social realism from Neil Mitchell at BFI.

Blow Up – the importance and influence of Michelangelo Antonioni’s stylish, thought-provoking drama: a great Cinephilia post (including the script, co-written by Edward Bond, and a 1969 interview with the director) about one of the very best British movies of the 1960s.

And here’s the original long form of the trailer, which is a startlingly resonant trace of its time:

Hang Sang-soo – modernist romance: for Mubi.com, Christopher Small introduces the films of the South Korean director, honoured with a NYC Museum of the Moving Image retrospective.

Mark Lee Ping-Bing – interview: Daniel Eagan for Film Comment interviews the great cinematographer, perhaps best known for his work with Hou Hsiao-hsien.

• Always for pleasure – the adventures of Bill and Turner Ross: for Sight & Sound, Robert Greene on the digital documentary makers from Sidney, Ohio.

• I have found a new way to watch TV, and it changes everything: Jeff Guo at The Washington Post watches films and TV on fast forward; I can’t tell (a) whether or not this is a serious piece, and (b) whether or not his idea is brilliant!

A very short history of digitization: just been pointed towards this very informative Forbes piece by Gil Press.

• This AI learned to predict the future by watching loads of TV: a short piece by Matt Burgess for Wired on an algorithm that watched 600 hours of TV and then predicted 43% of the time what would happen. But there’s good news as well:

Despite [the algorithm making] promising progress, humans still made more accurate predictions than the algorithm. A separate experiment involved 12 people being asked to predict what would happen next in the videos: 71 per cent of they guessed correctly.

• The aesthetics of online videos: a dense but rewarding essay by Stephen Groening that serves as the Introduction to an online issue of Film Criticism:

The aim [of the issue] is to take a step away from the self-enforced duality of treatment between those (theatrically-released) films worthy of aesthetic criticism and those (domestic) videos [on Youtube and elsewhere] whose aesthetics are simply unaddressed. It is certainly impossible now to write about any artwork as if it was separate from the world, but we can concentrate on the sensation and perception of online videos. We can analyze their techniques, styles, formulae, and textual characteristics.

• Joseph Wright’s Derby homecoming: dazzling, daring – and still in danger: rare indeed are the Jonathan Jones pieces that I like enough to feature here, but this is a terrific Guardian report on the purchase of two Wright canvases by Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

• Moholy-Nagy and photographic processes: informative video from the Guggenheim with curator Sylvie Pénichon tied to the current exhibition, Moholy-Nagy: Future Present (until 7 September):

Francis Bacon – creating order from chaos: Stephen Smith for the Guardian on the achievement of the artist’s ‘cat res’.

William Mitchell at work, 1960: John Grindrod at Dirty Modern Scoundrel highlights this fascinating short about the sculptor and industrial designer who worked with cement to make public art – and this is the Pathé film, Cement Murals:

• The FT‘s warning to its media rivals: ‘If you’re trying to play a game of scale, you’re going to lose’: Ian Burrell at The Drum focuses on the FT but has wider implications for the news business now.

One click at a time: Owen Hatherley for London Review of Books on post-capitalism.

How American politics went insane: Jonathan Rauch for The Atlantic:

Trump didn’t cause the chaos. The chaos caused Trump. What we are seeing is not a temporary spasm of chaos but a chaos syndrome.

Uprising in the Rust Belt: exemplary reporting from Keith O’Brien at Politico Magazine about the enthusiasm for Trump among disadvantaged white working-class voters who previously would have been hard-core Democrats; do I need to remind you to hear the echoes as you read?

• How an archive of the Internet could change history: a fascinating argument by Jenna Wortham for The New York Times:

Social media might one day offer a dazzling, and even overwhelming, array of source material for historians. Such an abundance presents a logistical challenge (the total number of tweets ever written is nearing half a trillion) as well as an ethical one (will people get to opt out of having ephemeral thoughts entered into the historical record?). But this plethora of new media and materials may function as a totally new type of archive: a multidimensional ledger of events that academics, scholars, researchers and the general public can parse to generate a more prismatic recollection of history.

When Walt went to China: Charles Clover for the Financial Times on the opening of Disney’s theme park near Shanghai (above).

• Exclusive video: the RSC’s ground-breaking A Midsummer Night’s Dream: … and just because we all need a bit of uplift, click to look at this lovely video (which I don’t think I can embed) with RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman on ‘the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done’ – and do watch to the end.

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