Sunday links

22nd August 2020

John Wyver writes: apologies for missing last week, but here’s a new collection of stuff that I’ve found interesting and, in the case of the videos from #DNC2020, inspiring. Thanks, as always, to those in my Twitter timeline.

How the pandemic revealed Britain’s national illness: if you click on only a single link here, make it this one to Tom McTague’s brilliant analysis of our woes for The Atlantic.

• What happens if Donald Trump fights the election results?: for The New Yorker, Eric Lach tackles one of the most urgent questions of the moment – and not just for the States.

The plot writes itself: Sarah Churchwell on American fascism, in history and counterfactual, for TLS – terrific, but [£].

The Chicks – The Star-Spangled Banner: so much that’s great to share from 2020 Democratic National Convention, starting with this…

How the Criterion Collection crops out African-American directors: a fascinating New York Times interactive by Kyle Buchanan and Reggie Ugwu.

• Mirror neurons and cinema – further discussion: this is pretty specialist, but I find it fascinating – David Bordwell offers a space for discussion of cinema and cognitive neuroscience from Vittorio Gallese and Michele Guerra, and from Malcolm Turvey. I can’t begin to summarise this here, but do take a look if you’re interested in how we respond to films, and how they are designed to have effects on us.

Let’s deal with the carbon footprint of streaming media: an important, detailed analysis by Laura U. Marks for After Image.

• You won’t get through half of this thread (it’s very long), but trust me it’s a delight…

Coming to you live – the origins of outside broadcast television: another of Andrew Martin’s informative blog posts for BBC Genome, with fine pictures.

The revolutionary glowing rectangle: peerless archivist Rick Prelinger on the early video activism of Top Value Television in the 1970s.

The impossible stream – why you can’t just stream the Lincoln Center Archive: an informative Broadway World article by Alexa Criscitiello about the complexities of performance documentation rights and royalties.

Now is the best time to invest in physical media: such a key argument, about the problems of a reliance on streaming services, by Kayleigh Donaldson for Pajiba.

Democrats hold virtual roll call to nominate Joe Biden: just wonderful from the virtual convention…

• Two weeks for Joe Biden’s 24 minutes In Wilmington: Ruby Cramer for Buzzfeed News with the background on the virtual convention…

Janis Friedlander Svendsen is with Glenn Weiss in Brentwood: … and this is a super-lovely FB post written by the fiancé, Janis, of the guy, Glenn, who co-ordinated all the #DNC2020 feeds and directed the 58 cameras. Wonderful photo too.

The New York City of our imagination: Dan Barry and Todd Heisler present a New York Times interactive about the ways in which the music of the metropolis has changed – smart, imaginative and moving.

• I learned so much from this…

A Taste of Honey: Lucy Scholes writes a Tortoise ‘Slow Review’ about Shelagh Delaney’s ground-breaking 1958 play.

• Stepping out: in a gorgeously written essay for New York Review of Books, Clair Wills asks, What do we write about when we write about dance?

The sun will shine again – how music is helping Clemency heal: from BBC Arts, a remarkable and moving article written by Sophie Elmhirst about presenter Clemency Burton-Hill’s slow recovery from a brain haemorrhage, and the all-important role of music.

• Art lessons: my goodness, this is wonderful (but £) – from the summer issue of LRB, beautiful notes (and photographs) about looking at pictures, written in 1996 by the late Peter Campbell, the artist and graphic designer who died in 2011 — and my friend.

Searching for America’s 1930s post office murals – a photo essay: a glorious, resonant Guardian feature by El Paso-based photographer Justin Hamel about the 1,200 murals painted in American post offices during the 1930s, which collectively he calls ‘undoubtedly the largest public art project in the US.’ The header image is Hamel’s image of The Horse Breakers by Fletcher Martin, originally painted for the Lamesa, Texas, post office, which now hangs in the community center.

Uncertainty principle – an interview with Eric Fischl: I’ve been a huge fan of the work of the Canadian painter ever since we filmed with him for our Channel 4 series State of the Art in 1986, and I greatly appreciated this interview with him for Apollo by Thomas Marks; below, Self-Portrait: An Unfinished Work (2011), by Eric Fischl. Courtesy the artist and Skarstedt, New York; © Eric Fischl/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The politics of rediscovery: Katie da Cunha Lewin is really good for LA Review of Books on the problems of ‘rediscovering’ women artists.

See through words: an eye-opening essay about metaphor designers by Michael Erard for Aeon.

The realism of magic: John Gray for New Statesman on Chris Gosden’s The History of Magic: From Alchemy to Witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present.

• Winston Churchill and the media in the 1945 British general election: an OUP blog post from Richard Toye, professor of modern history at the University of Exeter, drawn from his new book Winston Churchill: A Life in the News.

Why the Germans Do It Better by John Kampfner review – notes from a grown-up country: David Edgerton for the Guardian on a new volume with the theme ‘of a country that does things well, and has come to terms with its history’.

The racist legacy of computer-generated humans: Theodore Kim for Scientific American about the biases built in to the CGI rendering of skin and hair.

Rise Up at the Democratic Convention | Joe Biden For President 2020: and of course, I have to sign off with this – watch, weep and hope.

PS. And it was only after watching this for the fourth or fifth time that at 2:29 I spotted the Boss and Patti…

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