99U: Escaping the Time-Scarcity Trap.
Digital Reader: Scribd Dials Back Its Audiobook Service.
“Both of Scribd’s bold moves made the service attractive to potential subscribers, but they came at too high of a price. Rather than just draw in paying customers, Scribd attracted the type of customer it does not want - those who would use the service as it was intended by consuming as much content as they can.” My italic emphasis.
Medium: The Evolution of Magazine Covers.
Genuinely entertaining article.
Romanesko: ‘The rapacious Ms. Huffington seems to believe that journalism skills are worth not
Studio360: When Forgery Isn’t a Crime.
“Landis makes his copies in just a couple of hours, often in front of the television, using cheap materials from stores like Hobby Lobby and Walmart.” Whoopsie. So much for museum “experts”.
Guardian.UK: Boy trips in museum and punches hole through painting.
Not that it was a factor, but since when do fine art museums allow drinks to be carried around (other than expensive patron dinners)?
William Reichard: Ursula Le Guin answered my writing question!
NY Times: Native American Artists Display Works in Santa Fe.
This weekend is Santa Fe’s biggest. I may poke my nose in. When you live here, a certain amount of complacency settles in ...
Bookanista: A broken wing.
Edith Wharton’s Summer. Less-known, sounds tres interesting. Added to my reading list.
NY Times: The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t.
“If the prices of traditional media keep falling, then it seems logical to critics that we will end up in a world in which no one has an economic incentive to follow creative passions. The thrust of this argument is simple and bleak: that the digital economy creates a kind of structural impossibility that art will make money in the future.” My italic emphasis.
MeFi discovers Zozobra.
Lordy, what an FPP. It’s like the NM State Historian wrote it. The burning of Zozo’s great ... the dancing? Not so much. The drinking at the event, however, is spectacular ...
Paris Review: Smoking with Lucia Berlin.
Beautiful remembrance. Writers, you’ll admire this.
The Bookseller: On blogger critique of books.
The Millions: How to Title Every Book You Ever Write.
My first novel: Sandalwood on Aiken.
Second novel: So Low When You Are Passing Through.
Collection of stories: Friesian Hall.
Third novel: The Texas Housekeepers.
Fourth: October in Hamilton.
Fifth: The Wisdom of Broken Guitar Tuners.
You know, some of those aren’t bad ...
Guernica: Just Out of Frame, Alex Carp interviews Sarah Stillman.
“I think I’d been so worried about either scaring them off or making them uncomfortable that I wasn’t respecting the full nature of their experience. I wasn’t fully willing to ask the difficult questions and let the women make choices about what they did and didn’t want to talk about. I was almost preemptively censoring them.” My emphasis; careful there. That’s like taking photos of someone, and dumping all responsibility on their model release. Many can’t foresee what widespread publication may do - but you as the creator do, clearly.
New Yorker: Is Nefertiti in Tut’s Tomb?
Finally, an article that explains why the researcher believes the alleged hidden chambers will contain Nefertiti. I’ve been searching and searching for more context. I can relax now.
Later, related: Ancient Egypt: A history in six objects. Free Coursera course.
NPR: Are Americans Indifferent To Art?
Comparing the audience of ‘Tut’ to ‘Motorcycle’ is a bit lame. I would posit very different audiences.
The ‘experience’ observation is a true one, I deem. Folks come to Santa Fe in droves for the periodic special markets (Folk Art Market, Spanish Market, Indian Market), and remain a steady stream for the ‘regular’ tourist sights and sounds. We are a Southwestern Disneyworld, with no rides and a background of colorful and expensive artworks ... but history and differing cultures come to life during our markets. Those are the real ‘experience’ times, and prove to be increasingly popular.
I’ve told the story about ‘art appreciation’ before; affluent retirees come here in their huge RVs, pull on the walking shorts, knee-high socks, official Reebok ‘walking sneakers’ ... and set out to ‘do Canyon Road.’ They then proceed to walk through every gallery as fast as they possibly can, looking at every piece of art for a couple of seconds. This is not ‘doing’ Canyon, nor is this taking in any art, except by osmosis. There are so many styles, so many eras ... this osmosis cannot do more than color one’s grey matter for a day, or at most a week, and then it is gone. All that is left is the memory of the slog up one-way Canyon, in the heat of the day, looking for public bathrooms the City should have provided decades ago.
Then there are the affluent retirees who have second homes here, who are merely looking for something to color-coordinate with their other furnishings, and impress summer or winter guests with. The ladies dig in the shops, the men stand outside and fiddle with their smartphones. You see men in gaggles all over town, bored spitless. Or hunchback with camera in hand, pack containing tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, taking the same shots a million others have taken ... with their Nikon D810’s set on “Program Auto”.
Finally, the 1%. The true art collectors and art lovers. They pass through the schools of tourists like sharks, finding that one piece, and then suddenly biting hard to get the best price.
What of the young? They’re struggling to find a foothold in this town. Our new mayor has made them a marketing target, but Santa Fe has some issues. Little nightlife; most of our sidewalks roll up at 9PM, even on weekends. Our Catholic Hispanic population is deeply uneasy over the hedonistic practices of the modern young. Our outdoors pursuits require above-average physical fitness (we’re at 7500 feet, most trails start at 9,000, even young visitors need a couple of days to acclimate). Young families find very few things for small children to do [try selling history and fine art to an 8-year-old], and restaurants tend to be child-unfriendly. Kids need to run around.
New Mexico has been pushing outdoor beauties hard, but the fitness thing is the biggest hurdle. I remember a young couple on the Aspen Vista trail, not more than a half-mile from the trailhead, lying on a bank with two rental MTBs, panting, emptying their [only] water bottles, worn out from altitude and lack of fitness. I think Angel Fire’s done the best. They’ve put in various summer downhill sports on their ski slopes, and run the ski lift (so visitors don’t have to hike uphill). But again, that approaches Disneyworld/Amusement Park sort of lengths.
Much as I don’t want the quaint nature of town to change, if we want more tourism, if we want our amazing selection of art to be appreciated (and purchased), we need to address our ‘experience’ deficit. A little mud on the walls is no longer enough. For children, for the 20-somethings, for the grossly obese who are becoming more and more common (we are a town of very narrow sidewalks and doorways).
Santa Fe, throughout history, has always been a bit slow at adapting, but eventually arrives in style. We’ll manage these new challenges later than sooner ... successfully.
ArtDaily: 3,000 years of the horse in art displayed at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Fun theme. The proportions of horses over time ... emphasis on neck, hindquarters, etc. ... endlessly fascinating.
PS Mag: Read—Don’t Just Talk—to Your Kids.
Guardian.UK: A forensic study of JFK’s death taught me that tiny details can be critical.
“Manchester’s working principle – if someone mentions curtains, ask which colour and, if they were chewing gum, which flavour – disfigured magazine journalism in the US and UK for a while, in pieces that told us more about the soft furnishings than the subject. But the general instinct is correct: tiny gestures and decisions can have massive significance.” Linked for that one sentence. Better in biographies than novels, though. Austen feels spare compared to modern attempts.
Book Patrol: The worlds first multicolored printed book.
“Thanks to Cambridge University we can now see inside the world’s first multicolored printed book ...” My goodness, how nice.
The Atlantic: Story of My Life - How Narrative Creates Personality.
Scotsman.UK: Art knows no boundaries, only influences.
“Culture – high, low, and the everyday – has always been mongrel; it’s always been hybrid. It bears the imprint of other times and people, crosses history and geography, and contributes to the creation of something new. We should say no to self-imposed cultural immigration controls. Culture should know no borders.” Well-argued. Yet I can’t feel ‘pro-culture’ about the use of Native American symbols as fashion accessories at raves. Now that I know how Picasso found his influences, I’m not sure about that either. The context of how some arts have been transmitted - via conquest, enslavement - surely such context matters? How the arts are used - with respect, or as throwaway objects - matters?
I don’t know. Just voicing my uneasiness with such a simple, no-commitment answer. If culture had no border, it would be like the rainbow of color without distinction ... we’ll all be a runny greenish-brown goo.
NPR: The Art Of Drinking Absinthe, The Liquor Of Aesthetes.
“In Five O’Clock Absinthe, the late-19th century poet Raoul Ponchon wrote that, if you have warm absinthe, boire du pissat d’âne ou du bouillon pointu — which translates, more or less, to ‘you might as well drink donkey’s urine or “enema broth”’ instead. So cold water it was.”
Luminous Landscape: The Perfect Photograph.
Wonderful, the story within. Not that you don’t already know the answer, but it’s beautifully expressed here.