CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Apr 01, 2015

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.

Why Experts Are the Last People You Want to Include in Creative Brainstorming

In a team setting, certain kinds of experts often wield power over the rest of the group, setting an example for junior teammates to follow. Ironically, these same experts often lose their ability to think up and weigh the wildly creative solutions that can lead to team breakthroughs. Smart beginners resent them for that. (Read more from Fast Company.)

The Long, Twisted History of Glitch Art

Nick Briz, a Chicago-based artist, educator, and organizer, has defined “glitch” as “an unexpected moment in a system that calls attention to that system, and perhaps even leads us to notice aspects of that system that might otherwise go unnoticed. Glitch art, then, is anytime an artist intentionally leverages that moment, by either recontextualizing or provoking glitches.” The glitch draws back the curtain on our sleekest devices and virtual constructs to reveal raw pixels and code, a surreal landscape of unformed possibilities. (Read more from the Kernel.)

Am I an Activist?

A few months ago, I was on a conference panel about activism at the junior faculty level. Apparently when you ask people about activism in my field of religious studies, my name pops up, which baffles me. Am I an activist? I wouldn’t give myself that label. (Read more from Vitae.)

Just How Important Is Color?

When was the last time you thought about color? Save for the occasional breathtaking sunset, or “The Dress” phenomenon last month, how often do you consciously stop and think about the specific shades of the world around you? Unless you’re a fashion designer, painter, or an interior decorator, it’s probably something you take for granted. A recent video by Valspar Paint highlights just how awe-inspiring color really is. (Read more from Pacific Standard.)

Rights to Scholarly Work

For many years, Ohio State University had an understanding with its faculty: the institution might claim intellectual-property rights to innovations, inventions, and patentable research, but scholarly works belonged to professors alone. Now a new draft intellectual-property policy is threatening that agreement in the eyes of some faculty members. The ongoing debate has implications for defining scholarly work in the digital age and for just how much of an academic’s work—digital or not—his or her institution can claim to own. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Precious Art Analyzed without Damage Using New Laser Technique

Precious works of art in need of preservation or authentication could in future be studied using a new laser technique, developed by a collaboration of British and Italian scientists, that can analyze layers of paint without causing any damage to the object itself. This new technique will be of real benefit to curators of cultural heritage who need to preserve and authenticate precious works of art without harming them. (Read more from

O Adjunct! My Adjunct!

I spent half of my undergraduate career figuring out what I didn’t want to do. I started off in the journalism program, switched to literature, was undecided for a few panicked, free-floating months, and studied photography for a time. But the spring of my sophomore year, I enrolled in a fiction-writing workshop with an instructor named Harvey Grossinger. What I didn’t know at the time—and what I wouldn’t figure out for the better part of the next decade—was that Harvey was an adjunct. He didn’t tell us, and I didn’t know to ask. As an undergraduate, I never heard the term. (Read more from the New Yorker.)

Lip-Syncing to the Academic Conversation

From the moment they begin doing research, scholars are told to connect their work to “the conversation.” They should stay on top of scholarship in their field, responding to the critiques of their contemporaries as well as the dogma of their disciplines. But what happens when that conversation takes place behind a pay wall through which you cannot afford to pass? What happens when your work ignites a dialogue that you can no longer follow? (Read more from Vitae.)

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