Arts and Culture

Books on books on books

Why do we keep dividing the world of books into different genres — like romance novels, science fiction and literary fiction? Novelist Lauren Beukes says we should simply get rid of the whole idea of genre.More

Rashid Johnson, Antoine’s Organ, 2016.

Rashid Johnson is a rising star in the art world. Using signature materials like shea butter and black soap, he explores themes of race, yearning and escape, and grapples with what it means to come of age as a black artist and intellectual.More

rock and roll

For author Jennifer Egan — whose novel "A Visit From The Goon Squad" documents the inner life of lifelong rock and roll stars—the pauses in rock ballads might say as much or more than the riffs.More

Reaching for 0 decibels

The world is getting noisier and it's hurting us. When George Mickelson Foy got worried about all of the toxic noise in his life, he set on a quest for absolute silence.More

Not playing

John Cage’s "4’33” was first performed on August 29th, 1952, by pianist David Tudor. He came out on stage, sat at the piano, and did not play. The audience was not impressed. Kyle Gann tells the story in “No Such Thing as Silence."More

Marcel Marceau

For more than 60 years, the great French mime Marcel Marceau dominated stages around the world without ever saying a word. Shawn Wen documents Marceau's story in a book-length essay called “A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause.”More

Ada and the Memory Engine.

Lauren Gunderson is currently the most produced playwright in America. And she has written at least half a dozen plays about the forgotten women who changed science. She says we're living in a golden age for these remarkable stories.More

god and man

Yuval Noah Harari's sweeping and provocative Sapiens retells the history of our species from an entirely new perspective.More

Suzanne Lee of BioCouture explains how to make clothes from bacteria

What if we could harness nature to grow clothing for us?  London-based fashion designer Suzanne Lee explains how.More

Yogurt

The future belongs to a cultured dairy product, in science fiction writer John Scalzi's short story "The Day the Yogurt Took Over."  Read by Adam Hirsch.More

Still from "My Friend Dahmer"

Filmmaker Marc Meyers talked to Charles Monroe-Kane about the challenges of finding reliability in a character like Jeffrey Dahmer while not denying the monster he would ultimately become.More

Jet Lag

Christopher J. Lee says jet lag has become more than a temporarily scrambled body clock. It’s become a way of life.More

Esperanza Spalding / Shorefire Media

The jazz bassist and singer talks about the inspiration behind her latest album, 'Emily’s D+Evolution.'More

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

Gabriel Barletta

Doug Eck directs Google’s new “Magenta” project, an experiment in teaching machines to make art, leveraging advances in machine learning like neural networks to enable computers to do things like compose music.More

Books

As an acquisitions editor for Penguin Books, Jodie Archer saw many novelists struggling to write books that would sell. Then she went to grad school at Stanford, where she and her advisor created an algorithm to help.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 they were programmed to do? Blaise Agüera y Arcas would wholeheartedly disagree.More

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