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CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Jun 12, 2013

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.

When Artworks Crash: Restorers Face Digital Test

Paintings fade; sculptures chip. Art restorers have long known how to repair those material flaws, so the experience of looking at a Vermeer or a Rodin remains basically unchanged over time. But when creativity is computerized, the art isn’t so easy to fix. For instance, when a web-based work becomes technologically obsolete, does updated software simply restore it? Or is the piece fundamentally changed? (Read more in the New York Times.)

Crowdfunding Academic Research

When a professor from a small liberal-arts college in central Pennsylvania decided to take on a massive research project two summers ago, he went through the usual, often futile, process of applying for federal and private grants. But when funds were short a year later, he went down a nontraditional route—turning to the public and the internet for help. In fifty days, Juniata College’s Chris Grant and his research partner, Gina Lamendella, raised $10,800 through a crowdfunding website called iAMscientist. (Read more in Insider Higher Ed.)

Self-Sabotage in the Academic Career

Pogo recognized long ago that we often are our own worst enemies. Sure, he was a cartoon character, but he had a point—especially in higher education, where self-sabotage seems to be a standard characteristic of academic careers. In my thirty years as a professor, five years as a dean, and three years as a provost, I have observed many academics harm their own careers, often without realizing it. Here are fifteen ways in which you can be most self-destructive. (Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Help Desk: Curating Like a Fool

I’m an artist and art writer and would like to complete the trifecta by seriously trying to curate. However, since I’ve only been on the curated side of the table, I know embarrassingly little about the nitty-gritty of it. For example, when I have a proposal ready, do I inform the proposed artists of my intentions before or after I submit the proposal? Who arranges and pays for shipping work? I only know how I’ve personally been treated and not what is typical. I’m too afraid of looking like a fool to give it a shot. (Read more in Daily Serving.)

“Stuff Matters”: The Crucial Work of the AIC’s Collections Emergency Response Team

The Collections Emergency Response Team, says Eric Pourchot, institutional advancement director at the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, “came out of the experience we had after Hurricane Katrina, as many of our members from AIC had served on teams that went down to the New Orleans and Gulf Coast area to help cultural institutions recover as best they could from that disaster.” (Read more in Can You Dig It?.)

Are Video Games the Next Great Art Form?

In 2005, the late film critic Roger Ebert created a storm of controversy when he wrote that video games could never be art. While Ebert wasn’t the first person to address the subject, he was one of the first mainstream critics to do so, and his statement set off a rash of essays, blog posts, and talks arguing for (few) and against (many) his position. The subject has drifted in and out of popular culture ever since, with different scholars weighing in here and there. Recently, a number of museums, including the Smithsonian and MoMA, staged exhibitions featuring video games as art, throwing the topic into focus again. (Read more in Pacific Standard.)

Experimenting with Facebook in the College Classroom

While discussing the nuances of regression analysis, I saw some of my students smiling. It wasn’t a smile of understanding; it was a response to seeing a Facebook comment on their smart phone. I later learned that 99 percent of the students in the research method class were Facebook users, routinely checking for updates ten to twenty times a day. The next semester, I decided to embrace social media and created a Facebook page for the class, which was comprised of twenty-five students. It was actually fun and easy. In less than two hours, I had created a page with relevant material for the course. (Read more in Faculty Focus.)

The Deduction for Charitable Contributions: The Sacred Cow of the Tax Code?

In his most recent budget proposal, President Barack Obama seeks to impose a cap on itemized deductions in the personal income tax return—which includes the deduction for charitable contributions. This provision, part of the administration’s strategy to raise revenue to pay for government spending, has been a part of every White House budget proposal since 2009, and every year arts advocacy organizations join the rest of the nonprofit sector in opposing the changes. So far, the cap has been successfully warded off, but there’s growing concern that if Republicans and Democrats ever agree on sweeping tax reforms, the charitable deduction will be on the chopping block. (Read more in Createquity.)

Filed under: CAA News