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CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


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.

The New World of Net Art

When internet art first emerged in the early 1990s, it was regarded as something that dealt almost exclusively with the architecture of the World Wide Web itself. During that period, the German-born Wolfgang Staehle constructed The Thing, an electronic bulletin-board system that served as a forum for discussions about and dissemination of what was referred to as “net art.” But as the web has evolved, so too has the notion of what might be considered internet art. (Read more in ARTnews.)

Internet Real Estate, Art, and Power: The Cases of Artsy and .art

The forthcoming introduction of generic top-level domains—which will replace the .com or .net suffix with specific words or terms, such as .food, .movies, or .microsoft—poses new speculative opportunities as dizzying as those of Zola’s nineteenth-century Paris. Last year, e-flux announced that it had applied to manage the proposed .art domain. The application fee alone was $185,000, and the successful applicant will pay ICANN a further $25,000 per year. There is clearly money to be made in top-level domains, but the management of .art may be more than a business; it holds within it the power to act as gatekeeper. (Read more from Rhizome.)

2011: Michael Sanchez on Art and Transmission

Are we living in an aftermath? The unspoken consensus seems to be that, in relation to the art of the previous decade, the early 2010s are a caesura—a waiting period at best, analogous to the early 1970s in relation to the ’60s, or the early ’90s in relation to the ’80s. Those older historical moments were not just lulls, however, but scenes of profound discursive and technological mutation. And likewise, over the past few years, a set of technical innovations have arisen that have reconfigured conditions for the production and distribution of art. (Read more in Artforum.)

Smart Phones and Academic Research

For academics, smart-phone cameras can be used to gather and document information during field research, augment presentations, and connect to a wider audience through the myriad of communities online. Scholars in fields as different as clinical medicine and art are using smart-phone technology to not only aid in research, but also to share their findings with people who would not otherwise be engaged with their academic research. (Read more in Just Publics @365.)

Google Leads Search for Humanities PhD Graduates

Those worried about the value of studying the arts and humanities, particularly at the postgraduate level, take heart: Google wants you. In a boldly titled talk at a recent conference at Stanford University, Damon Horowitz, director of engineering—and in-house philosopher—at Google, discussed the question of “Why you should quit your technology job and get a humanities PhD.” (Read more in Times Higher Education.)

Connoisseurship, Physics Envy, and the Wages of Error

What is the nature of connoisseurship as a form of knowledge, and how precisely does it differ from other fields? To what special forms of cognitive error is it prone? What does the art historian do to arrive at an attribution when there is no evidence to go on other than what is before our eyes? (Read more from Neil Jeffares.)

Learning from Taksim Square: Architecture, State Power, and Public Space in Istanbul

In a matter of days, “Taksim Square” has become a household name akin to Tahrir Square, shorthand for a youthful protest movement against the brutality of state power in the Middle East. What began as a peaceful sit-in to protest the uprooting of trees from Gezi Park, one of Istanbul’s last open green spaces near Taksim Square, has morphed into a broader Occupy movement against the Turkish government. For an architectural historian, it is no accident that the great plans to remake Taksim, as well as the protestors’ speeches and actions, often invoke history and architectural memory to buttress their arguments in the present. (Read more in the SAH Blog.)

Just Look at the Data, If You Can Find Any

Advisers and prospective students need something more than a scattered helping of infrequently updated best-case scenarios. We need externally verified, reasonably comprehensive data about individual programs and maybe even individual advisers. Aggregated data about graduate schools have limited usefulness when individual programs have such variability in their placement outcomes. Also, aggregated data place little pressure on individual universities to reform themselves. (Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)



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