Arts and Culture

Jukebox hero

In 1985, The New Yorker writer Susan Orlean started traveling around the country to find out how Americans spend their Saturday nights. One thing she discovered? How many Saturday night songs there are.
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Wooden Japanese figures

Author Min Jin Lee grew up Korean-American and she thought she knew her ancestors.  But when she moved to Tokyo, she discovered a history she didn’t know. The history of Koreans in Japan.More

Germany

The refugee crisis is front and center in Germany. So when German novelist Jenny Erpenbeck met a group of African refugees camping out in Berlin, she started asking questions about the lives they were forced to leave behind.More

Gabriel Barletta

Doug Eck directs Google’s new “Magenta” project, an experiment in teaching machines to make art, leveraging advances in machine learning...More

Books

An algorithm might not be able to spit out a chart-topping song —at least not yet—but it might be able to help you write a bestselling...More

Computer code

When a computer program fixes a writer’s novel, or improvises a few bars of music, is that real creativity? Are they not just doing what...More

Vijay Iyer

Celebrated jazz pianist Vijay Iyer has a Ph.D in music cognition and a penchant for asking big questions - like, what is music? And what does it do for us? Steve Paulson caught up with Vijay backstage before a recent concert, where they talked about improvisation and the parallels between jazz and basketball.More

Blues People

Alex Abramovich recommends "Blues People: Negro Music in White America" by Leroi Jones, who later changed his name to Amiri Baraka.More

striped floor

In collaboration with David Lynch, Mark Frost co-created one of the most enduring fictional universes of all time — Twin Peaks. Bookending the series' return to TV in 2017 after 25 years, Frost has written two innovative novels that take a deep dive into the history of the surreal logging town. More

Screenshot from "Desert Bus" playthrough by Phrasz013.

A simulated eight-hour bus drive earns you one point. Why would anyone want to play a game like that?More

The Foo Show set, in virtual reality.

What's it like to host a talk show in virtual reality? We talk avatars with Will Smith, host of “The Foo Show.”More

Phoscheck drop during the 2013 Springs Fire, one of an ever growing list of wildfires in California due to hot, dry conditions and drought.

Reflecting on the devastating fires in California, we revisit a conversation with a longtime "hotshot" crew firefighter, Mary Pauline Lowry.  More

Umbrellas as art

Celebrated curator Hans Ulrich Obrist has a vision: get art out of galleries and into the real world.More

Making music online and off

If you’re a music-loving teen in a tiny town with no music scene, Bandcamp is a lifesaver. Jes Skolnik, editor of the Bandcamp Daily, weighs the pros and cons of online music communities.More

Early fall on the virtual Walden pond.

Game developer Tracy Fullerton tells us why Henry David Thoreau would play her new game. It’s called “Walden.”  More

Death By Audio

Matt Conboy, co-founder of one of NYC’s most famous indie music venues, tells us how “Death By Audio” died.More

Mark and Laurie, The Wedding

Our digital producer, Mark Riechers, tells us why he got married in a movie theater.More

George Saunders

2017 Man Booker Prize Winner George Saunders talks about his creative process, his fledgling Buddhist practice, and the enduring fascination with Lincoln and the Civil War.More

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