Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365-plays project has launched. “But in spite of the group-hug dynamic, doubts about the artistic coherence of the whole project have crept in. With low or non-existent production budgets and truncated rehearsal times, there’s no guarantee that every production will be as good as the next, or that it will be what Parks intended. Then there’s the issue of how audiences will perceive the playwright’s work.”
“Generation X has come to mean more than just a specific group of post-boomers, more even than a marketing demographic—people who will go see Last Days one evening and drop $5 on a pumpkin-spice latte the next morning. It has also come to serve as a marketing model, in this post–Reality Bites world, for how all young Americans should live out their 20’s. Now we are all Generation X.”
“After a long illness, the groundbreaking home-entertainment format VHS has died of natural causes in the United States. The format was 30 years old. No services are planned. The format had been expected to survive until January, but high-def formats and next-generation vidgame consoles hastened its final decline.”
President Bush has renominated Ken Tomlinson as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, “the agency that directs U.S. overseas broadcasts even though the nomination has been stalled in the Senate amid allegations of misconduct.”
The pioneering critic and writer was 64. “Throughout her life, Willis combined her obsessions in essays on pop culture. She was deeply respectful of pop culture—something proper intellectuals disdain.”
Richard Powers’ “The Echo Maker,” a scientific tale of memory and identity in the age of Sept. 11 and the Iraq war, has won the National Book Award for fiction.
“An across-genre journalist if ever there was one, Rockwell started at the Times as classical music critic in 1972, served as chief rock critic simultaneously from 1974-80, went back to strictly classical (1980-1992), then to European cultural correspondent* (1992-1994), editor of the Arts and Leisure section (1998-2002), arts columnist (2002-2004), and finally chief dance critic, his current post. The Times is currently in search mode for his successor in that post.”
Tacita Dean, an English artist best known for her contemplative films, has won this year’s Hugo Boss prize, a $50,000 award from the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Greg Sandow reports some success: “You combine classical music with alternative pop (an umbrella term that may not really exist, but which I’m using here to mean all kinds of pop music that isn’t on the pop charts, including alternative rock and electronica).”
Did David Martinez buy a Jackson Pollock for $140 million, as the New York Times reported last week? Martinez says no. Yet the Times is sticking by its story…