The Week in Culture — 2.13.17

Read up on everything you may have missed this week in the world of culture.

“Fair Trade: A Museum Expansion for an Open Park”

Courtesy of Liz Farrell Landscape Architecture PLLC

“Public space should be public.” So writes Michael Kimmelman, the New York Times’ architecture critic in an op-ed about the American Museum of Natural History’s planned expansion into Theodore Roosevelt Park, of which an acre — the acre the enlarged museum will soon abut — is gated and private, only open to local residents. As Kimmelman recounts, battle lines are being drawn between proponents of opening up the park (and connecting it a new museum entrance for more seamless indoor-outdoor use), and those who hope Theodore Roosevelt Park will remain, in their words, a “serene parkscape.”

“National Museum of Singapore Opens ‘Digital Gallery’”

Gallery10 at the National Gallery of Singapore

You may have been reading elsewhere about the emerging use of virtual reality in museums. But while most applications of VR in the museum world have been related to temporary shows (and more as a novelty than anything), the National Gallery of Singapore has gone one step further: a dedicated exhibition space for a rotating schedule of immersive video installations. The gallery, dubbed Gallery10, is described by the museum as “an experimental space where the traditionally binary ideas of art and science are both celebrated and deconstructed, and their boundaries transcended and redefined to present an immersive, multi-disciplinary exploration of the world around us.”

“A real life look at the crazy odds and tortured dreams of making it in La La Land”

Gina Ferazzi, for the Los Angeles Times

This may be the most important thing you read all week. John Geronilla is a struggling director, hopping from freelance job to freelance job (he also fixes computers on the side.) His girlfriend, Stephanie Hoston, isn’t much different; while she’s appeared in a handful of commercials in the past, she too is always looking for her next gig. Together, Geronilla and Houston personify the often transient lifestyle of the actors, directors, and other creators living on the un-famous “fringes” of Hollywood. “If you look at ‘La La Land,’ the first five actors on the credits are the elite. The 30 or so others are working class. Uber drivers, waiters, whatever,” says Geronilla.

“For $90, Frank Gehry will teach you architecture and design”

Finally, this isn’t really an article, but who doesn’t need a little more Frank Gehry in their life? Masterclass is an “online education platform” that brings world-renowned experts in their field to teach online classes to the masses. Serena Williams taught tennis; Christina Aguilera gave vocal instruction; and now Gehry is giving you pointers on how to create your first cardboard architectural model. Even if you can’t afford the class, click to 1:04 in the video for a pretty sweet spin move.