“David Cronenberg’s next film looks set to be an adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel Cosmopolis, about a multibillionaire fund manager who spends a long day trying to get across Manhattan in a swanky stretch limo and ends up losing everything.”
“An invasion led by artificially intelligent machines. Conscious computers. A smartphone virus so smart that it can start mimicking you. You might think that such scenarios are laughably futuristic, but some of the world’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) researchers are concerned enough about the potential impact of advances in AI that they have been discussing the risks over the past year. Now they have revealed their conclusions.”
“An enormous collection of writings and drawings by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci will go on public display for the first time in September, organisers said Monday. The Codex Atlanticus contains a vast array of his work, from studies of bird flight to sketches of complex machinery.”
“Imagine a world in which 85 percent of the people are male and 80 percent are white. A world in which women and members of other races are a token presence, with most assuming passive, subsidiary roles. Corporate America, circa 1950? Try the present-day world of video games.”
“For months it has been known simply as Steven Soderbergh’s untitled project for the Sydney Theatre Company. The secret nature of the production that opens in December has been tantalising.” Part of the reason for the silence, it seems, is that the script is based on a real-life case that’s not over yet.
“In its third annual Network Responsibility Index, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found that of HBO’s 14 original prime-time series, 10 included content reflecting the lives of gay, bisexual and transgender people. That totaled 42 percent of the network’s programming hours…. By contrast, on NBC and CBS only 8 percent and 5 percent, respectively, of prime-time hours included them, the report said.”
Since the bombing last November of Pakistan’s Lahore International Arts Festival, “targets have included a cafe belonging to the Peerzada family who stage the festival, and theatres across the city in co-ordinated overnight raids.” Despite the sense that “every time people go out for the evening, there is a danger that was not there a couple of years ago,” the arts are persevering in Lahore, with both artists and audiences united against the fundamentalists who seek to stop them.
“Ever since news of the Brandeis scheme rocked the art world six months ago, the tragic fate of the Barnes Foundation outside Philadelphia has been rumbling around in my head. … Myriad details between the Barnes and the Rose are different, including the apparent participation of their respective state attorneys general, but the basic principle is the same. Donor intent is at issue.”
“In the seductive display of Titian’s Triumph of Love, currently at the National Gallery, you discover that the Venetian master painted this sensual image of Cupid as a ‘cover’ for another painting. This means a second canvas that fitted over and concealed a picture beneath. It was not that rare a practice in the Renaissance. But why?”
“The two great-granddaughters of the composer Richard Wagner held their first Bayreuth Festival this weekend — and have promised to reveal the Wagner family’s link to the Nazis. They even want to tackle the question of whether their grandmother, Winifred Wagner, slept with Hitler.” They also say they plan to modernize the festival and “make it less elitist and less secretive.”