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CAA News Today

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.)

Filed under: CAA News

Get involved in an issue that you care about! CAA invites members to apply for service on one of its nine Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees. These committees address critical issues in the visual arts in an attempt to deal with, and respond to, the pressing concerns of CAA’s members.

Communicating via listserv throughout the year, each committee takes on the objectives it has set for itself, which include: programming ARTspace at the Annual Conference; establishing best practices, standards, and guidelines; sharing and examining pedagogical practices; examining new and developing technologies; addressing issues critical to emerging professionals as well as concerns of diversity and gender; extending the reach of CAA internationally; and clarifying and debating matters of fair use, copyright, and open access. This vigorous exchange of information reveals common goals and leads to solutions that will help CAA members to weather their changing professional landscape.

Committees are active at the Annual Conference in February, where each presents one or two sessions on a subject of its choosing. These sessions, sometimes collaborations between committees and sometimes dealing with workforce issues, are meant to be of immediate value to CAA members. Also at the conference, the committees hold face-to-face business meetings and discuss the past year’s accomplishments while targeting ideas for future projects. Participation on a committee is an excellent and fruitful way to network with other CAA members; for some individuals it is a stepping-stone to service on the organization’s Board of Directors.

The public face of several CAA committees appears most visibly at the conference. The Services to Artists Committee, for example, conceives nearly all content and programming for ARTspace, ARTexchange, and the Media Lounge, while the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee organizes events on professional-development issues that take place in the Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge during the conference.

Online, the Committee on Women in the Arts publishes the monthly CWA Picks of exhibitions and events related to feminist art and scholarship, among other activities. CAA’s Museum Committee is currently reviewing several of CAA’s Standards and Guidelines as they relate to museums. This committee also organizes conference sessions on museum leadership and exhibition history and works to provide resources for professionals in academic art museums.

The International Committee warmly welcomed twenty travel-grant recipients from around the world at the 2014 Annual Conference in Chicago and will host fifteen travel-grant recipients at the 2015 conference in New York.

The Professional Practices Committee continues to study, develop, and revise CAA’s Standards and Guidelines, so that these documents, once approved by the CAA board, become authoritative, comprehensive documents for art-related disciplines. The Committee on Diversity Practices’ current projects include organizing a 2015 conference session called “Diversity and Pedagogy: The Global Factor,” overseeing the Resource Directory for Diversity Practices, and expanding CAA mentoring programs.

The Committee on Intellectual Property updated the Image Resources page on CAA’s website and continues to monitor the tricky terrain of copyright and fair use, which dramatically affects the work lives of artists and scholars. The Education Committee is currently launching new initiatives concerning curriculum, pedagogy, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. This committee especially seeks new members from studio art, design and/or museums.

Committee members serve three-year terms (2014–17), with at least one new member rotating onto a committee each year. Candidates must be current CAA members and possess expertise appropriate to the committee’s work. Members of all committees volunteer their services without compensation. Committee work is not for the faint of heart; it is expected that once appointed to a committee, a member will involve himself or herself in an active and serious way.

The following vacancies are open for terms beginning in February 2015:

CAA’s president, vice president for committees, and executive director review all candidates in early November and make appointments in December, prior to the Annual Conference. New members are introduced to their committees during their respective business meetings at the conference.

Nominations and self-nominations should include a brief statement (no more than 150 words) describing your qualifications and experience and an abbreviated CV (no more than 2–3 pages). Please send all materials to Vanessa Jalet, CAA executive liaison. Deadline: October 17, 2014.

Filed under: Committees, Governance, Service