College Art Association

CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Jul 02, 2014

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.

A World without Tenure? That’s a World without Shared Governance, Too

We’ve been reading arguments against tenure for a while, of course, but there’s a real corporatist edge to recent contributions to the genre. These broadsides envision an Orwellian campus where freedom is servitude—specifically, intellectual servitude to the whims of education technocrats holding up their forefingers to test the winds of supposed market forces. What the antitenure crowd fails to acknowledge is that higher education, as an “industry,” is unique. (Read more from Vitae.)

What Is a Page in the Digital Age?

What is a page? What is a book? These are just two of the questions facing the cohort of museums participating in the Getty Foundation’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI), which is helping the field move into online publishing. The Walker Art Center has launched its OSCI publication, On Performativity, which provides another spellbinding answer to the question driving this initiative: How can we rethink the museum catalogue for the digital age? (Read more from the Getty Iris.)

The Incorporated Woman

Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and a host of other big companies in today’s “data-driven economy” share one thing in common: they make a living from harvesting personal data. To regain some ownership and control of her data, Jennifer Lyn Morone decided to become Jennifer Lyn Morone™ Inc (JLM), registered like all savvy corporations in Delaware. And what started as an art project—her brief as part of a master’s degree at London’s Royal College of Art was to “design a protest”—is now transforming her into a humanoid/corporate hybrid. (Read more from the Economist.)

Autonomous Filing Cabinet Embodies Our Everlasting Data Trail

A filing cabinet is following people around the Royal College of Art to remind us that our data is everywhere—and it will follow us everywhere. I Know What You Did Last Summer is Jaap de Maat’s final-year project, the finale to a two-year-long MA in information experience design. And anyone visiting the college this weekend will certainly get a dose of that design experience, as the clunky metal cabinet trundles toward them, stalking their every move. (Read more from Ars Technica.)

Summer Boundaries

Historically, it has been relatively common for some faculty members, particularly those with lower-level administrative responsibilities, to be informally on the hook during the summer months, expected to respond to email and keep up with loose threads, but to go uncompensated for their work during that time period. In addition to being a form of de facto exploitation, such patterns contribute to the gradual but steady marginalization of academic labor across multiple fronts. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

#arthistory: Instagram and the Intro to Art History Course

From museum selfies to the digital humanities, Instagram has become a major force in the art world. Artists now cultivate “Instagram practices,” art institutions have thousands of followers, and hashtags like #monalisa have over 200,000 entries. People in their late teens and twenties—the age demographic that dominates Instagram—contribute the majority of these posts, yet the app is more likely to be banned from college classrooms than encouraged. In a period when educators are grappling with divergences between social media–driven forms of communication and academic communication, Instagram has potential to both enrich content and strengthen the discipline’s relevance for contemporary learners. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

Building a Better Nonacademic Career Panel

Just last week, one of my graduate-school deans invited me to present on a nonacademic career panel with three other alumni. I’m happy to act as a resource for my alma mater—and for graduate students struggling to navigate their career options. But sometimes I wonder if I’m doing much good by showing up. I’m convinced that these panels do little to help their audiences explore, much less pursue, options outside the academy. (Read more from Vitae.)

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Brush? Looking at Six Famous American Male Artist-Critics

Artists have always had a complicated relationship with art criticism. “Do not be an art critic, but paint; therein lies salvation,” Paul Cézanne wrote to his fellow painter Émile Bernard in 1904. Eugène Delacroix wrote an entire essay on the subject in 1829 called “On Art Criticism,” in which he found that art critics—or “watchful dragons” as he called them—“have always presented difficulties.” If artists and art critics are such separate species, what are we to think of artists who themselves are art critics? (Read more from Artspace Magazine.)

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