CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Jul 09, 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.

Who Ought to Underwrite Publishing Scholars’ Books?

At almost any gathering of academic publishers or librarians, you’ll hear someone float the idea—sometimes phrased as a question—that the model for publishing scholarly monographs is broken. Two sets of ideas aired at the Association of American University Presses’ recent annual meeting don’t say the model is damaged beyond repair. But the proposals, both from groups outside the university-press community, suggest that it needs to be retrofitted, at the least. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

We Should Allow Failing Arts Organizations to Die

Arts organizations are already dying. In Detroit, in New York City, in the United Kingdom. From operas to art galleries. This is no longer an urban versus rural debate. A nonprofit versus for profit debate. A “one discipline is dying” but “others are inexplicably thriving” debate. This is a simple acknowledgement that the industry is in decline. And I think that not only should we allow it, we should encourage it. (Read more from Medium.)

Race, Gender, and Academic Jobs

I am currently the lowest-paid tenure-track faculty member in my department and was told by the man paid to manage me that if I wanted a raise I would probably need to get a new job or at least an offer that might prompt a counteroffer. So I went on the job market and was lucky enough to score a campus interview for an assistant professor position at a liberal arts college in an ideal location. Let’s just call this place Rich Liberal Arts College. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Does the Mojave Desert Need an Artist-Built Swimming Pool? Maybe

The art world loves a work of art that requires trekking to a remote location. There’s Spiral Jetty, one of the most iconic pieces of land art in existence, on the northern shores of the Great Salt Lake. New Mexico has Lightning Field, Walter de Maria’s installation of four hundred stainless-steel poles that serves as Minimal sculpture at most times and a veritable light show during lightning storms. These experiences are about long journeys, landscape, and meditation. Now there’s another piece to add to this list: Social Pool by the Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia, who was a resident at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)

At Mellon, Signs of Change

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has a reputation for moving in mysterious ways. For forty-five years, it has steadily handed out money—lots of it—to sustain the humanities and the performing arts. As times have gotten tougher, Mellon’s deep pockets have become increasingly important. The foundation tends to attract an unusual level of anxiety and interest, like a rich uncle whose quirks and whims keep poorer relations on their toes. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

When Copy and Paste Reigned in the Age of Scrapbooking

Cutting, pasting, collating—this feels like a new behavior, a desperate attempt to cope with a radical case of information overload. But it’s actually a quite venerable urge. Indeed, back in the nineteenth century we had a similarly intense media barrage, and we used a very similar technology to handle it: the scrapbook. (Read more from the Smithsonian.)

By Design

There are toxic words in every field and, when it comes to design, two of the most ominous are “sculptural” and “artistic.” Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with design projects exhibiting either quality, but those that are described as doing so seldom do. Instead, they are likely to be any or all of the following: bland, silly, blingy, pretentious, shoddy, derivative, ugly, ridiculous, or unjustifiably expensive. (Read more from Frieze.)

Make Sure the Artists Are on Board

The artist-trustees at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles—John Baldessari, Catherine Opie, Barbara Kruger, and Ed Ruscha—went from filling what could have been seen as ­symbolic posts, demonstrating the ­museum’s commitment to living artists, to playing a critical role in the museum’s ­recent public-relations crisis and its recovery-in-progress. Other contemporary art museums are also making space for at least one artist on their boards. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

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