Otello, among other things I learned
about Modernism. I learned about uncompromising artists such as Ezra Pound who
thought if you couldn't read Greek or Sanskrit, you could learn it and then maybe you could get a handle on his
poetry. He sure wasn't going to explain it to you.
liked that approach. Terms such as "user friendly" or "accessible" were not in
vogue. I could not have imagined that they ever would be. I liked the idea of
the primacy of art and artists. I still do personally, but it doesn't help much
with making program notes in the early part of the 21st century.
lot has happened since The Ed Sullivan
Show. Whereas Ed never explained anything, you may now go to any fine-arts
museum today and order up a headset. You may then stand before any artwork and
listen to a voice telling you what to think about that artwork. People pay for
those headsets. Sometimes it's a movie star telling you.
now walk by works of art, take a picture of a painting or sculpture with their
magic phone, and then move to the next painting or sculpture. Repeat.
are in the age of mediated culture, which means we are in the age of mediated
reality. Few things are experienced without a screen through which to view and
record: instant memory! Reality needs to be realized through something--a
gadget, a device, a guide.
all that--this amazing rapid shift in human consciousness--I know that I should
not be so aggravated by the very low-tech program notes (although they are
available online). They are downright homely in comparison to all the other
vehicles through which we are bombarded with information. Moreover, dare I say
it, program notes may be irrelevant. Anyone may gather information about
anything whenever and however they want. Why rely on printed--how archaic!--program
notes? The information age is a DIY world.
it is with this idea I come to realize a reason for program notes to be.
installment tomorrow, honest)
"Berkeley Rep scrutinized InstantEncore and the competition. We opted for IE and have no regrets. Designing our mobile site and app was affordable, collaborative, and on-time. We launched both, and we love them. We can’t wait to see what they do for the Theatre."