By Deb A.
As the first recipient of a DARE Art Prize, composer Samuel Hertz will produce a chamber piece below the frequencies audible to the human ear.
The £15,000 prize was created to mark the tenth anniversary of a groundbreaking academic and creative partnership between Opera North and the University of Leeds. Its aim is to encourage artists and scientists to collaborate on investigating "new approaches to the creative process."
The aptly named Mr. Hertz will work with a scientist from the University of Leeds to compose a low-frequency piece that can be felt but not heard, and to examine the effects this infrasound may have on emotions and wellbeing. The results will be released in a year's time.
Mr. Hertz, a classically trained composer and performer who works in a range of acoustic and electronic media, was selected from a shortlist of five entries, which itself was culled from applications from around the world, representing all media. The shortlisted artists were Gary Zhexi Zhang, who sought to create an interactive film installation modelled on the behaviour of slime; Marina Rees, who proposed an installation featuring live underwater transmissions and a whale choir; Melanie King, who aimed to build an installation of illusions based on astronomy; and Robin Dowell and Joanna Lampard, who envisioned creating sculptures, images or books based on the idea of scientifically classifying emotions.
By Deb A.
With so many potential sources of division around the world, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to unite his diverse city through literature.
One Book, One New York (#OneBookNY) aims to get each one of New York City's 8.5 million residents to read a book; more specifically, to read the same book, at the same time. Similar schemes have been successful in other American cities, such as Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle... and unsuccessful in New York in 2002, when organisers couldn't settle on a title.
This time the book will be selected via popular vote, through online voting and digital voting booths set up throughout the NYC subway system. The shortlist, sifted out from the suggestions of an advisory panel of professional bookworms, consists of five award-winning novels:
The publishers of the five shortlisted novels will each donate 4000 books to over 200 libraries around the city to prepare for the big read, which will begin in March once the winner is announced.
The initiative is more than a symbolic show of unity: public discussions and other events in each of the city's five boroughs will encourage people to engage not only with ideas, but with each other. The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, which is running the programme, also hopes One Book, One New York will support independent booksellers throughout the city.
This year's One Book, One New York will be the first iteration of an annual event. Which books would you pick for New Yorkers to read this year? Let us know in the comments below.
By Deb A.
You've seen the poster: a familiar blue-red-beige stencil style that shows a Muslim woman wearing an American flag as her hijab. It, along with two others by Shepard Fairey and one each by Jessica Sabogal and Ernesto Yerena, is part of the We The People campaign, which was launched to "ignite a national dialogue about American identity and values through public art and story sharing." Behind the effort is an organisation that calls itself an "art machine for social change": The Amplifier Foundation.
Headed by photographer Aaron Huey, The Amplifier Foundation funds collaborations between grassroots movements and contemporary artists in order to amplify their voices. Its stated goal is "to flip artists into activists and observers into participants." Alongside the We The People campaign, it has funded efforts to liberate Native American activist Leonard Peltier, to collect art for the Women's March on Washington, to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, and to protest the high incarceration rate of black men in the United States.
The Amplifier Foundation's images are available free for download, but if you want the stickers--or simply to support social justice through art--get ready to donate.
All images via The Amplifier Foundation.
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