Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.
How Do Artists Get Gallery Representation?
While it’s possible to go it alone, it’s hard to understate the importance of a supportive, dedicated gallery to your career. The right gallerist doubles as a sounding board while you develop your work, a public platform for your practice, and a source of income. (Read more from Artsy.)
Seven Residencies That Can Help Emerging Artists
For young artists fresh from art school or an MFA program, studio space may be prohibitively expensive, and leaving the nurturing bubble of school is daunting. Residencies can fill that gap—if these up-and-coming artists know which ones to apply for. (Read more from Artnet News.)
The Distracted Classroom: Transparency, Autonomy, and Pedagogy
If we want to make a dent in the problem of digital distractions in class, we must begin by clarifying the policies we have created and the reasons behind them. Those reasons might look different from teacher to teacher. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)
Another Year on the Academic Job Market
Perhaps the summer months can provide you some time for concentrated focus on your next—and hopefully last—round on the market. Here is one person’s perspective on what you might do between now and the next academic hiring season. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)
Your Syllabus Doesn’t Have to Look Like a Contract
Zac Wendler was tired of the same routine at the beginning of every semester. He would hand out his syllabus—five or so pages of text—and students would glance at it and wait for him to walk them through it. Then for the rest of the semester, they would ask him questions that could be easily answered if they had read the syllabus. (Read more from Vitae.)
Protesters Call on ICA Boston to Cancel Dana Schutz Show
An exhibition of Dana Schutz’s recent work opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and it won’t be without controversy. Protestors released an open letter expressing their disappointment that the museum is honoring an artist they believe should instead be held accountable for her portrait of Emmett Till, Open Casket. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)
Why We Shouldn’t Punish Small Museums for Deaccessioning
AAM and AAMD contend that their member institutions should only deaccession artworks in their holdings for the express purpose of either acquiring new works or, in the AAM’s case, caring for existing works. It’s an ideologically pure, dependably crowd-pleasing position to take. (Read more from Artnet News.)
Look Up, See a Masterpiece
You’re strolling around an art museum, and one painting catches your eye. Intrigued and mesmerized, you think to yourself, “Now that’s a masterpiece!” Many intangibles go into that judgment, but new research suggests it is partially inspired by one easily measured variable: the painting’s placement on the wall. (Read more from Pacific Standard.)
Dear CAA members,
CAA exists to serve its members and the wider community of arts and culture professionals. Many of our members are facing challenging fiscal dynamics in their own institutions. They have seen opportunities to attend professional conferences and discretionary departmental budgets decrease. Even more concerning is the lack of new professional opportunities for those entering the field as the number of full time and tenured positions continues to decline.
We know how integral our staff is to serving our 9,000 individual and 600 institutional members. Recently, we took a closer look at our staffing at CAA in relation to changes in the higher education landscape, the visual arts field, and the ecosystem of associations. We discovered that in order to move forward as an organization CAA had to reduce its organizational footprint. Coming to this realization was difficult but we also knew we did not want to simply cut staff.
With this reality in mind, last spring we worked to reduce the size of the CAA staff. Based on my recommendation, the Board of Directors adopted a 2018 budget that matched realistic revenue projections against actual expenses. We offered an Employee Exit Incentive Plan, a plan of choice, to all staff. Several people took the plan. We are saddened to see staff at CAA leave. Some have served the organization for many years and contributed to much of what makes CAA tick. But we also know they are headed for new adventures professionally and personally, and we are proud to offer them support and security as they embark.
The departures at CAA gave us a rare opportunity to restructure the organization, to look at every department and assess its work and goals. It also gave us the chance to hire for a few new mission-driven positions. Programming is important to CAA and its members, and as part of the new structure we expanded programs and placed publications, one of our flagship programs, in that department. The publications department will not change fundamentally and will continue to produce exemplar issues of Art Journal and The Art Bulletin, as well as outstanding digital content in Art Journal Open and caa.reviews. Tiffany Dugan has been named the director of programs and publications to lead the new department. Communications and marketing will also grow as a department as it joins forces with membership services, a pairing that will bring more clarity to how we communicate with our members and how we will look to build our membership in the coming years. The newly formed communications, marketing, and membership department will be led by Nick Obourn. Lastly, our finance department will take the IT department under its wing, forming what will be the center of operations for CAA. Teresa Lopez will lead that department.
We know this is a lot to digest, but we felt it necessary to explain things in full. Restructuring CAA was difficult for us as an organization, but it was a decision we had to make to gain stability and ensure that we exist to serve our members and professionals in the visual arts for another 106 years. These changes will not result in any reduction of services or support to our members and the visual arts field at large.
In the coming weeks we will also announce exciting new offerings for our members at CAA. Stay tuned!
We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles, February 21–24, 2018 for the 106th Annual Conference.
Please reach out to us at 212-691-1051 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions at all.
Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.
On Graduate Education: Is it Worth it?
If you are reading this, you are likely a graduate student in the field wondering whether to stay. How will I pass my qualifying exams? Do I really have to take German? How do I find a topic for my seminar paper? Will I ever get a talk accepted to CAA? (Read more from Rutgers Art Review.)
Defining Warm and Cool Colors: It’s All Relative
The concept of warm and cool colors has been written about for hundreds of years. Most theories start with the classic six-point color wheel: three primary colors and three secondary colors. (Read more from Just Paint.)
First-Ever New York City Cultural Plan Calls for Funding Institutions in Underserved Communities
New York City spends more on arts and culture than any other city in the US—and more than any single state. The budget of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs exceeds that of the NEA and NEH. Until now, City Hall has never embarked on a comprehensive review of where all that money goes and what it does. (Read more from ARTnews.)
Kenny Schachter on Learning to Love the LA Art Scene
Los Angeles is a weird place. Angelenos, I observed, have a messianic otherness about them, self-consciously calling attention to themselves and their city in the third person. There’s a refrain heard over and over again: This is so LA. (Read more from Artnet News.)
Tensions in the Art Classroom
A well-known in the art world as a professor specializing in comics and outsider art has resigned from his position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago amid tensions among the institution, his students, and himself. The resignation is one more example of the ongoing debate between academic freedom and issues stemming from teaching controversial or offensive subject matter. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)
If There’s an Organized Outrage Machine, We Need an Organized Response
Anticipating the possibility of an internet mob harassing a professor because of something he or she said can seem a bit like prepping for a lightning bolt. Yes, people get struck by lightning, but it feels like a freak occurrence. It’s easily avoided, some might say, by not flying a kite in a thunderstorm. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)
Stop Telling Students Free Speech Is Traumatizing Them
One idea that pops up during the endless national conversation about college campuses, free speech, and political correctness is the notion that certain forms of speech do such psychological harm to students that administrators have an obligation to eradicate them—or, failing that, that students have an obligation to step in and do so themselves. (Read more from New York.)
Mattress Protest and Its Aftermath
A case of alleged rape at Columbia first yielded much sympathy for the accuser and her unusual protest, but ends with the university apologizing to the accused. The case has had a lasting impact on the discussion of sexual assault on campus. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)
Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.
Summer Art Pilgrimages
Artists and curators—including Doug Aitken, Taner Ceylan, Tacita Dean, Flavin Judd, and Lisa Yuskavage—tell us about the journeys they have embarked on, or hope to make, to see something special. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)
How Dutch Art School Students Survived Their Thesis Shows
Students from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, a renowned Dutch visual arts and design college based in Amsterdam, have just turned in their graduation work and their thesis shows, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to look back at the tricks, tips, and clever ways they were able to circumvent the strict regime of their school. (Read more from Creators.)
On Carl Andre, Ana Mendieta, and the Cult of the Male Genius
After a five-year worldwide tour, the sculptor Carl Andre’s major retrospective has reached its final stop at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. MOCA has appeared to make minor fanfare on its behalf. There has been little to no advertising of the show. The opening wasn’t well attended. (Read more from the Los Angeles Review of Books.)
Medievalists Try to Diversify the Field
The room for the 9:00 AM keynote lecture, “The Mediterranean Other and the Other Mediterranean: Perspective of Alterity in the Middle Ages,” at the annual International Medieval Congress wasn’t crowded. Most attendees—more than 2,400 of them, from fifty-six countries—were still arriving or recovering from jet lag. When the introductions began, one person noticed that all of the speakers discussing “otherness” were white, European men. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)
Brad Troemel Accuses Fashion Designer of Ripping Off His Art
A few looks from the Vika Gazinskaya Spring 2018 ready-to-wear collection appear to take direct inspiration from the work of Brad Troemel—without permission, acknowledgement, or arrangement. Through a few posts on Instagram, Troemel alleges that the dresses directly lift designs and imagery from paintings he showed in New York last November. (Read more from ARTnews.)
Why NCAC Objects to “Restore Campus Free Speech” Bills
NCAC recently sent a letter to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urging him to veto a bill dubbed as a measure to “restore” and “preserve” free speech on state college campuses. But why would an organization devoted to free expression object to an effort to safeguard free speech at universities? (Read more from the National Coalition against Censorship.)
Why Collaborative Curating Makes Sense for a Divided Political Era
In the wake of election of Donald Trump, artists and curators have been wrestling with the idea of how to respond creatively, through their practice, to the current charged political climate. Such is the challenge that curators Amanda Hunt and Eric Crosby have explicitly given themselves with their exhibition 20/20, opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. (Read more from Artnet News.)
Advancing Participation in the Survey
Without some demonstration of career utility, courses like art history serve as just another core requirement to be endured, rather than valued. While challenging, this situation also presents art historians with the opportunity to present the history of art as something relevant, practical, and helpful to otherwise disinterested students. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)
Lessons from the Scaffold Controversy: “Museums Are Inherently Colonial Institutions”
It’s been just over a month since Minneapolis was hit with the Scaffold controversy. We asked several American curators to consider the controversy’s lessons for the larger museum world. Their responses set a new tone for how cultural institutions can work with local indigenous communities. (Read more from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.)
Falling in Love with a Felix Gonzalez-Torres Go-Go Dancer
It was the squeaking of the shoes that caught my attention. I knew exactly what was going on, and that the pale blue platform which I had seen empty a minute earlier was now occupied. I quietly rushed through the gallery to the small room where I saw him. Upon walking in, I froze and stared. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)
Thomas Campbell on Why He Stepped Down from the Met
I’ve moved the museum forward in many respects. We’ve modernized and come into the twenty-first century. We have an extraordinarily strong program. We’ve grown our audience by 40 percent. We’ve digitized. And we’ve done a lot of planning for the future. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)
Most of a Mexican Museum Collection Fails Authentication
Almost all artifacts described as the oldest in the permanent collection of the Mexican Museum are either forgeries or cannot be authenticated to display in a national museum. That’s the finding of a report commissioned by the museum board and submitted in late June by Eduardo Pérez de Heredia Puente, an associate of the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City. (Read more from the San Francisco Gate.)
The Women Who Built the New York Art World
Over the course of ten years, between 1929 and 1939, four of New York City’s most iconic museums emerged: the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Frick Collection, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. These institutions are now world famous. But their founders—predominantly women—are relatively unknown. (Read more from Artsy.)
How to Chair a University Department and Not Be Terrible at It
This summer, I am completing a five-year stint as chair of my department. I know a lot more about chairing than I did when I took on the position, so I thought this might be a good time to share some lessons for those now taking on similar positions in their institutions or considering doing so in the future. (Read more from Pacific Standard.)
The Rise of the Thought Leader
The rich have empowered a new kind of thinker—the “thought leader”—at the expense of the much-fretted-over “public intellectual.” Whereas public intellectuals like Noam Chomsky or Martha Nussbaum are skeptical and analytical, thought leaders like Thomas Friedman and Sheryl Sandberg “develop their own singular lens to explain the world, and then proselytize that worldview to anyone within earshot.” (Read more from the New Republic.)
How to Build Your Own Career Fair
Career fairs pose special challenges for doctoral students and postdocs. Some people I advise describe feeling discouraged that the organizations they encounter at local career fairs are misaligned with their specific career interests. One reason is that the diversity of PhD programs in many institutions makes it impractical to bring together employers who appeal to a large portion of attendees. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)
Do Free Speech and Inclusivity Clash?
Greg Lukianoff has spent much of his career making life miserable for college and university lawyers. So some members of the National Association of College and University Attorneys might have been surprised to hear the head of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education suggest that students—not campus officials—are increasingly the people he worries most about in campus free speech debates. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)
Decoding the Trump Regime
Political art, however well intentioned, isn’t going to stop Congress and the President from swapping billions in Medicaid for tax cuts for the rich, endangering millions of lives. When the artist Sharon Louden asked on Twitter, “Can things get worse?,” expressing bewilderment and frustration with the latest Republican assault on the Affordable Care Act, I could only reply “Most certainly.” (Read more from Hyperallergic.)
Getting In and Out
Two weeks after watching Get Out, I stood with my children in front of Open Casket, Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till, the black teenager who, in 1955, was beaten and lynched after being accused of flirting with a white woman. My children did not know what they were looking at and were too young for me to explain. (Read more from Harper’s.)
David Goldblatt on Artistic Freedom, Censorship, and Moving His Archive Out of South Africa
Until recently, the South African photographer David Goldblatt had arranged for his archive to go to the University of Cape Town upon his death. That changed in February 2017, when he announced that he would be moving both the collection and, in time, his entire archive to Yale University. (Read more from ARTnews.)
Contradictions in How We Think about Teaching
Students think ability matters more than effort, and teachers think teaching is a gift that is given more than a skill that can and should be developed. Students want easy answers, and teachers want techniques that work right the first time. Both share the fear of failure. Is this a comparison from which we might learn something? (Read more from Faculty Focus.)
Can We Increase the Impact and Reach of Scholarly Research?
Occasionally, the Learned Publishing editorial team enjoys browsing our archives and reflecting on the changing anxieties, strategies, and values within our community over the years. One hot topic among authors in the last decade is the increasing pressure to reach beyond the traditional confines of journals and faculty tenure cycles. (Read more from the Scholarly Kitchen.)
Do the Prices at Auction Muddy Our Interpretation of Art?
Art and money have always been uncomfortable bedfellows. Works can’t get made in a vacuum and the machinations of the market help to keep them relevant. The trading records of works of art—who bought them, who sold them, for how much and why—arguably contribute to a more rounded art-historical picture. (Read more from Apollo.)
US Arts Nonprofits Generated $166.3 Billion in Spending in 2015
The average American culture vulture spends an additional $31.47 whenever he or she attends an arts event: almost $17 on food, about $4.50 on souvenirs and gifts, over $3 on local transportation. This is the microlevel of $166.3 billion in economic activity that the nonprofit arts sector contributed to the US economy in 2015, according to an Americans for the Arts study. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)
Eighteen Artists Share the Books That Inspire Them
Some artists wear their literary loves on their sleeves. More often than not, though, we have no idea what artists are reading, no idea what books have shaped their life and work. So we asked eighteen of our favorites to help compile an eclectic, artsy summer-reading list. (Read more from Artsy.)
Why Didn’t Great Painters of the Past Reach the Level of Realism Achieved Today?
They did. I’d argue to the death that they exceeded it. Forgive me if I come off as pedantic, but this exact question hits me passionately. The biggest misconception among nonartists and amateurs is that more detail equals more realism in art. (Read more from Quora.)
Should Robot Artists Be Given Copyright Protection?
When a group of museums and researchers in the Netherlands unveiled a portrait entitled The Next Rembrandt, it wasn’t a long-lost painting but a new computer-generated artwork that had analyzed thousands of works by the famous seventeenth-century Dutch artist. The result is a portrait based on the styles and motifs found in Rembrandt’s art but produced by algorithms. (Read more from Phys.org.)
Old Criticisms, New Threats
Professors have long been political targets. But a spate of recent threats against scholars—including two that have led to campus closures—is raising fresh concerns about safety and academic freedom. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)
Protect Scholars against Attacks from the Right
Threats to scholars are growing. John Eric Williams of Trinity College and Dana Cloud from Syracuse University are among the latest professors to face “physical threats or harassment, or both, for their political speech.” Yet at a time of declining funding for higher education, administrators often become less courageous and more beholden to deep-pocketed donors. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)
City of Atlanta Settles Lawsuit with Street Artists
The city of Atlanta has agreed not to enforce an ordinance that requires street artists to obtain a series of approvals to retain murals that already exist or to paint new ones. The decision resolves a lawsuit filed by a group of local artists and property owners, and the settlement was part of a consent order signed last week by US District Judge Amy Totenberg. (Read more from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)
What Did You See in That Painting?
In a small-scale study, a research team led by Francesco Walker of Vrije University has presented evidence that children and adults look at works of art quite differently, with kids focusing first on visually stimulating elements. Adults, in contrast, try to make sense of the thing from the get-go. (Read more from Pacific Standard.)
The World’s Art Is under Attack—by Microbes
We’re used to seeing famous works of art and historical artifacts marred by the elements. They can be eroded by wind and water, faded by sunlight, or nibbled by insects. But cultural relics can also be damaged by hordes of even tinier invaders: bacteria, fungi, and algae. (Read more from Popular Science.)
Artist Sam Durant Was Pressured into Taking Down His Scaffold. Why Doesn’t He Feel Censored?
Sam Durant’s sculpture Scaffold had been exhibited in Europe three times, but upon landing in Minneapolis for the reopening of the Walker Art Center’s Sculpture Garden, it sparked a media firestorm. Native American activists said it trivialized one of the ghastliest episodes in Dakota indigenous history. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)
NCAC Statement Criticizing Decision to Destroy Controversial Sculpture
As a coalition of national and international organizations devoted to promoting creative freedom, we strongly oppose the Walker Art Center’s decision to dismantle and destroy a controversial public sculpture. Scaffold, a 2012 work by Sam Durant, was intended to comment on capital punishment and its disproportionate effect on people of color. (Read more from the National Coalition against Censorship.)
Classicist Receives Death Threats from Alt-Right over Art-Historical Essay
Sarah E. Bond, a historian of Rome and an assistant professor in the Classics Department at the University of Iowa, has received death threats and is being targeted by the alt-right for publishing an article on polychromy in the ancient world. “They viewed the piece as ‘liberal professor says that all white statues are racist,’” Bond said. “And that is clearly not what the piece is about.” (Read more from Artforum.)
Threats for What She Didn’t Say
Scholars vary in how and to what extent they engage with the public. Sarah Bond from the University of Iowa works at the high end of the engagement spectrum, via a blog, social media, and a column in Forbes. She’s described her efforts as a way of making antiquities accessible to all, but recent threats she’s received demonstrate the potential perils of that outreach. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)
As the 1 Percent Washes Their Money through Arts Funding, Artists Respond
At the 2017 Whitney Biennial, visitors were greeted by a not usually seen in museums: “The two greatest stores of wealth internationally today [are] contemporary art [… and] apartments in Manhattan.” The words, from Larry Fink, a member of President Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum and the CEO of BlackRock, were written over a craggy graph carved into the wall that tracked the rising value of the debt levels owned by the firm. (Read more from Salon.)
How Artists, Scientists, and Entrepreneurs Get Their Creative Juices Flowing
It takes imagination to be creative, and it takes creativity to innovate. Pentagram’s legendary graphic designer Paula Scher gets her best ideas when she is in boring situations: “I realize that when I’m sitting in a taxicab in traffic, or on my way to the airport, or waiting to get on a plane, or trapped in some other boring situation, that’s when I get the best ideas, because I’ve got nothing else interfering with it….” (Read more from Inc.)
The Ten Essays That Changed Art Criticism Forever
There has never been a time when art critics held more power than during the second half of the twentieth century. As part of the larger midcentury “culture wars,” art critics began to take on greater influence than before. For a time, two writers in particular—who began as friends and remained in the same social circles for much of their lives—set the stakes of the debates surrounding the maturation of American art that would continue for decades. (Read more from Artspace Magazine.)
How A $165 Million Painting Is Funding Criminal Justice Reform
Agnes Gund recently sold a $165 million painting to benefit social justice and is challenging others in the art world to follow suit. Proceeds from the sale of Roy Lichtenstein’s 1962 Masterpiece, which once hung over her mantel, will go toward the new Art for Justice Fund, an initiative designed to support criminal justice reform at state and local levels throughout the country, primarily through the sale of art. (Read more from the Huffington Post.)
Cultural Appropriation: A Roundtable
In a roundtable, the artists Salome Asega, Ajay Kurian, and Jacolby Satterwhite; scholars Homi K. Bhabha and Joan Kee; Artforum editor Michelle Kuo; and writer, artist, and activist Gregg Bordowitz examine the urgent and omnipresent politics of representation, appropriation, and power. (Read more from Artforum.)
Andrea Fraser Tracks Down Museum Trustees’ Political Donations
The artist Andrea Fraser is mapping the connections between major American museums and the political elite to expose institutions’ ties to the White House. Using publicly available information, she is documenting all political donations made in 2016 by museum patrons and trustees, many of whom contributed to Donald Trump’s election campaign. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)
Anti-Intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America
There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. (Read more from Signs of the Times.)
If Google Teaches an AI to Draw, Will That Help It Think?
The point of SketchRNN is not only to learn how to draw pictures, but to “generalize abstract concepts in a manner similar to humans.” They don’t want to create a machine that can sketch pigs. They want to create a machine that can recognize and output “pigness.” (Read more from the Atlantic.)
The Unseen Labor of Mentoring
It’s extremely flattering that students recommend me to peers who need extra support. However, it can also be frustrating to continuously manage unscheduled drop-ins when I’m trying to grade papers, prep for class, respond to emails, write letters of recommendations, and prepare for meetings. (Read more from Vitae.)
Law and Order
Plagiarism, cheating, tampering, and submitting false records all threaten the integrity of your class and diminish other students’ honest work and effort. Given that misconduct is both disturbingly pervasive and potentially ruinous, how should teaching assistants proceed if they are concerned a student may be running afoul of the rules? (Read more from GradHacker.)
Drinking and Conferencing
At the International Congress on Medieval Studies, as at most academic gatherings, socializing typically unfolds in the presence of alcohol: at the daily wine hour, at large dinners with plentiful cocktails, at champagne celebrations of prizes awarded or careers coming to a close, at casual meetings with friends anytime between sessions when we can gather for a drink. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)
How Are Funders Boosting Engagement across Diverse Communities?
We occasionally stumble across a news item that compels us to step back and take stock of the larger arts philanthropy landscape. Such is the case with news from New York City, where an impressive cadre of funders joined forces earlier this spring to engage diverse audiences. (Read more from Inside Philanthropy.)
Dear Art School Grads, Do What You Love—but Never for Free
Even if your dream job is to do something creative full-time, you’ll have to get used to the business side of whatever you do. That means shaking habits you might’ve learned in college to produce great work, or ditching assumptions that led you to take that unpaid internship. Above all else, it means always charging what you’re worth—starting now, no exceptions. (Read more from Fast Company.)
Should Artists Have to Talk about Their Work?
An artist’s ability to give a Big Talk has been part of the job for years. There are many ways an artist can shape this talk—this overview of his or her work—or willfully avoid shaping it. But when did we decide that artists have to be able to talk about their work in order to justify the work’s value, or its existence? (Read more from Glasstire.)
Jerry Saltz’s Life as a Failed Artist
It pains me to say it, but I am a failed artist. “Pains me” because nothing in my life has given me the boundless psychic bliss of making art for tens of hours at a stretch for a decade in my twenties and thirties, doing it every day and always thinking about it, looking for a voice to fit my own time, imagining scenarios of success and failure. (Read more from Vulture.)
World’s First Graphene Paint Launches in the UK
The miracle material graphene—considered the strongest substance known to science—has been used to make ecofriendly paint by the manufacturer Graphenstone. The paint is made from a pure lime base that has been combined with graphene—a recently engineered material hailed as the thinnest, strongest, and most conductive ever developed. (Read more from De Zeen.)
Is LA’s Art Scene Growing Too Quickly?
For years, Los Angeles seemed perpetually about to come into its own, always a soon-to-arrive international art city. Now that international attention and infrastructural shifts suggest it has arrived, the question becomes how to save some of the freedom that LA’s always-emerging state previously allowed it. (Read more from Apollo.)
Structures of Power and the Ethical Limits of Speech
Broad constitutional protections mean that, when it comes to artistic expression, direct government censorship is limited and declining. In contrast, private constraints on expression are on the rise: they range from the limits set by social-media platforms and self-censorship resulting from market demands to programmatic decisions made in response to political pressure from ad hoc groups. (Read more from Truthdig.)
Theory from the Ruins
The polemical theories of the Frankfurt School remain indispensable in the present age, when the dilemmas and malaises once specific to Western societies have expanded to encompass the whole globe. As a new era of irrationalism dawns on humankind, with corruption and mendacity becoming an openly avowed modus operandi for all shades of government, the Frankfurt analysis urges itself upon us once more. (Read more from Aeon.)
Tread Carefully with the Socratic Method
Many of us use some version of the Socratic method in our classrooms to stimulate critical thinking. What if a student takes offense to something we said—perhaps while we were playing devil’s advocate—and accuses us of some form of discrimination? On today’s hypersensitized campuses, that has become a very real possibility. (Read more from Vitae.)
Why Are Americans So Hostile to State-Funded Art?
Before the establishment of the NEA, arts and culture support remained the project of urban elites, business communities, and institutional philanthropy. When the government eventually intervened, it supported artists through passive systems like tax exemptions for cultural organizations and for donations by wealthy patrons. (Read more from the New Republic.)