CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Feb 13, 2013

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Interview with NEA Chief of Staff Jamie Bennett

With Rocco Landesman’s announcement to step down from the chairmanship of the NEA, can you reflect on the major accomplishments of his and your tenure and assess the impact—current and future—on the field? What do you see as unfinished business at the agency? (Read more at Barry’s Blog.)

Artists in Egypt Work in a Tense Atmosphere

The Muslim women in Marwa Adel’s photographs are shadows, repressed by custom, religion, marriage, and regret. While nude, the figures are obscured by sepia scrims, scrawled upon with stifling words—as if their true selves may never be known. Like their creator, a single mother edging at the bounds of artistic freedom in a patriarchal society, the images are at once vulnerable and defiant. (Read more in the Los Angeles Times.)

Decompressing Salaries

It’s a dilemma many universities face: how to attract new, top faculty with competitive salaries without being unfair to senior professors, whose salaries often are tied to a pay scale or plan that hasn’t kept up with the outside market. Weighing recruiting needs against a desire to alleviate the morale-busting effect of salary compression on faculty, one Midwest university has launched a series of initiatives to address it. (Read more at Inside Higher Ed.)

In Search of a Good Critique

From the hiring side of the table, we’ve all seen job candidates who seem to be doing well only to fall flat in one venue: they ace the teaching demo and the dinner meeting but stumble during the research talk. Perhaps the candidate was disorganized, too strident, or just long winded and boring. Whatever the cause, the outcome is a strong negative ding when it comes time to vote on the hire. (Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Less Is More: The Rise of the Very Limited Edition

Good design used to be a simple matter. Was the object easy to use? Simple in appearance? Made from high-quality materials? Value for money? Those were the important questions. But today design is significantly more complex. Before a product ever gets to a consumer, it has usually been subjected to investment analysis, prototype development, focus-group discussion, and advertising campaigns. (Read more in the Art Newspaper.)

Why It’s Time for Galleries to Dump the Jargon

Do you like nature, and art? If so, you might like something called On Vanishing Land, produced by the British “sound artists and theorists” Mark Fisher and Justin Barton. What they’ve produced, which will be in an art gallery called the Showroom, is “a new form of sonic fiction from the dreamings, gleamings, and prefigurations that pervade the Suffolk coast.” Themes “of incursion” by “unnameable forces, geological sentience, or temporary anomaly” will, apparently, “recur throughout.” (Read more in the Independent.)

Help Desk: A Uniform Presentation

My question concerns the issue of a “signature style” and the importance of projecting an image of consistency, particularly on one’s personal website. I’ve done a lot of different things and tend to work in the medium that I feel best expresses what I am trying to communicate. As a result, I’ve got a real mix of things: photos, text-based pieces, assemblages/sculptures, some video work. While I can personally see the threads of consistency running through the work, I’ve been cautioned that I need to “grow up, pick one thing, and get known for it.” (Read more at Daily Serving.)

The Price of a Bad Review

Librarian questions quality of a publishing house. Librarian publicly criticizes said press on his personal blog. Two years later, librarian and current employer get sued for libel and damages in excess of $4 million. That’s been the progression of events for Dale Askey, associate university librarian at McMaster University in Ontario, where he’s been working since 2011. (Read more at Inside Higher Ed.)

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