Monday, November 11, 2013

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders - vote by Friday morning!

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Is the Great Recession Over for the Arts?":

This is a really great article for relating to topic talked about in Tech Management and Olivier's Nose. At the end of the article it asked some questions we as a class asked. The first question was "Can a origination be perpetuity?" I think this question is an extremely good question because when writing mission statements most arts organizations create a statement that would would allow the organization to last forever, which does not necessarily done. There can be great arts organizations that do not last forever. I think we shouldn't focus on sad cases such as New York City Opera but, focus on the great companies that can now start from New York City Opera. The rest of the questions the article gave really seemed to be tips for organizations, many of which seemed like things which an organization should be doing to anyways like, being honest with employees, and remain true to the organizations mission. The two tips that I really thought were useful was advising the creation of a smaller board to help make decisions quick and, don't lower your budget on marketing. The smaller board particularly stood out in my mind because it seemed as if that was something to be done in emergencies and that it could be dangerous do to the fact it could leave out important chains of command. A dangerous thing to do when a business is in trouble. I think that this article was great, and I am really glad I read it to get exposed to the economical side of the arts. 
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "All the News That Fits the Print: The Failure of A...":
This article sheds light on the side of the arts that we often don't get to read about: the positive one. As this article says, the vast majority of articles in the press about the arts are about the failure of companies or how the arts are in decline. Sure, some companies have financial problems or aren't doing great because of their subscriber base or some other reason, but it's important to note that there are also companies that are doing well. Symphonies, ballets, and operas are usually the sectors of the arts that get slammed for being "too elitist/expensive/out-of-touch" for the general public and the realities of a not-too-distant recession, and the press harps on this constantly. However, something this article doesn't really talk about, but is another part of this, is how some orchestras have adapted to the changing times. The Pittsburgh Orchestra recently did a compilation of Pixar hits and another of the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, and, as Sophie mentioned, they are performing The Planets with projections of space. Classical music companies are still able to attract a large audience and donors, as his examples of the symphonies in St. Louis, Houston, and Detroit show, and it would be great if the press was able to balance their reporting with this positive stories as well. 
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "Why Creativity Thrives In The Dark":
Artists have used the concept of chiaroscuro for centuries, and it demonstrates how the human eye sees more details when confronted with shadows and highlights. So it would not surprise me if creativity thrives in the dark; however, I had several issues with this article. In their experiments, what kind of lights did they use? There is a difference between cool and warm lights, and I know personally that warm lights make me comfortable enough to explore ideas. I also had questions about the Toni Morrison statement (Don't get me wrong, I love her work!). "It's not being in the light, it's being there before it arrives." When I'm working in a dimly lit environment, the sun is usually going down. This gives me exposure to a dim light and shadows. But I'm not waiting for the next day's sunrise. I'm waiting for the midnight's darkness. I think the night's darkness itself encourages creativity because our minds must fill in what we cannot see. We have to create our worlds, whereas the light would give us all of the answers, and that's just boring. I wasn't really impressed with this study, actually. I found it lacking certain facts. The article said that when "the lights switch off, something in the brain switches on." Well what part of the brain? What switches on and off? I think what they've done is a good start, but I hope they would finish this experiment with scientific studies on the brain. I'm also interested to know if there is any connection between this experiment's research and depression. It is known that lack of light exposure can lead to depression for some, and it is widely known that many creative people are prone to mood disorders and depression. The Ohio State University did an experiment on mice with sleep apnea and discovered that mice who were exposed to dim light at night increased depression and anxiety. So although darkness increases creativity, is it at the cost of our sanity? Is it something we want to gamble away? This all depends on how much that individual wants to explore the unknown. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Can Art Teach Patience?":
I disagree with the statement, "Our increasingly online, instantaneous existence accounts for those numbers, obviously." Yes, the modern emphasis on speed, contributed to by the internet, no doubt plays a large role in why people look at paintings so quickly. However, we can't state that this is the definitive sole cause for this behavior. There are other factors that certainly play into it. For example, just as mentioned in the article, when I went to see the Mona Lisa, I only looked at it for about 15 seconds. This wasn't because I wasn't interested- it was because I was in a huge room in a claustrophobic crowd of people all looking at a painting more than 50 feet away, behind a glass wall and ropes so that the closest you could possibly get, if you managed to fight your way through the crowd, was maybe 20 feet. I liked the painting, but there were paintings just as interesting in the next room over, and it wasn't as uncomfortable an experience viewing them. I know that personally I love spending long amounts of time in museums- the only reason I would hurry through them is if I was eager to see all of the pieces in a limited amount of time. I'm sure I could spend more time looking at art- it's a problem that all of us have, and it should be addressed in the context of short attention spans caused by the internet. however, we should also examine how we could better set up museums and other spaces so as to encourage prolonged observation, as opposed to rushing through to make sure we see everything. Bemoaning the attention spans of the young isn't going to fix the problem, and not everyone has access to an art class that forces them to spend 3 hours in a museum. We have to find practical solutions to ensure that people actually look at the art, instead of rushing past and only seeing it. Perhaps ways to solve this would be by having smaller rooms with fewer paintings, instead of the overwhelming galleries that are often the display space (I always find myself distracted by the art next to the piece I am looking at). Maybe we could organize the art in a way that would encourage connections between the pieces, so people would see one and then go back to a previous one. We have to think of actual solutions. 
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Black Swans and Trojan Horses: Why That Internship...":
After reading the multiple articles posted on the Green Page regarding this issue, I feel very conflicted. I have always had the attitude that unpaid internships can both be good and bad. It really depends on the specific internship and person who is seeking the internship. I completely agree that it should not be legal for companies to have unpaid interns replace or work in a position where a paid employee would have otherwise occupied. Companies that are having unpaid interns work in real positions are playing the system. However, at the same time, I think that unpaid internships are an important part of education, and students and other young people would struggle to break into their aspired industries without them. For example, many theatre companies offer unpaid internships. In most cases, theatre companies are not able to offer wages to their interns because the money is already being spent elsewhere. If unpaid internships were altogether banned, many aspiring theatre students would have a harder time breaking into the industry. Also, one of the articles described how getting fired from an unpaid internship is not a huge deal since you are not being paid in the first place. However, I would completely disagree with this, as developing relationships and contacts in the industry is something that is invaluable when entering the work force.

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