CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — May 27, 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.

Does Color Even Exist?

Color perception is an ancient and active philosophical problem. It’s an instance of the wider category of sensory perception, but since the color spectrum fits on a single line, it has always been of particular interest. In her new book Outside Color, M. Chirimuuta gives a serendipitously timed history of the puzzle of color in philosophy. To read Outside Color as a layman feels like being let in on a shocking secret: neither scientists nor philosophers know for sure what color is. (Read more from the New Republic.)

Help Desk: Support for Artists

I espouse fair-labor initiatives such as W.A.G.E. to pay artists. However, my own projects are often un- or underfunded; if a stipend covers a significant portion of my expenses, that seems like a success, even if I take a loss on my own time and labor. As a consequence I’m unable to pay myself, much less my collaborators, contributors, and volunteers. How do I navigate this paradox? (Read more from Daily Serving.)

A Few Good Reasons to Drop Out of Art School

Earlier this month, the first-year students in the MFA program in visual art at the University of Southern California announced that they were all dropping out. It was also a brave gesture—not heroic, but one made at a personal cost and resonant with the larger situation in art right now. The MFA is not only a prerequisite for teaching art but a marker of professional seriousness in the art world: if you want to get your work into the Whitney Biennial, so the conventional wisdom goes, you’re going to need a degree. Abandoning one on principle is no small thing. (Read more from the New Yorker.)

Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Arts Management: An Exposé and Guide

Are you tired? Rundown? Listless? Do you constantly meet the diversity quota in meetings? Well, if you answered, “yes” to these questions, you are not alone. I, too, suffer from only-one syndrome. I, too, am the person that everyone turns to when a question arises about “outreach” to people of color. As a student, intern, and employee in the field of arts administration, I have a desire to change my answers to “no,” which has sparked my commitment to promoting systemic change in performing arts organizations through racial and ethnic diversity management and engagement. (Read more from HowlRound.)

Why We Should Let the Pantheon Crack

John Ochsendorf wants to tear down Rome’s iconic Pantheon. He wants to pull apart its two-thousand-year-old walls until its gorgeous dome collapses. Destroying it, he believes, is the best way to preserve it. But the Pantheon that Ochsendorf, a professor of engineering and architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has in mind to destroy is less than 20 inches high, and it’s made of 492 three-dimensionally-printed blocks. (Read more from Nautilus.)

This Is What Happens When You Slash Funding for Public Universities

On February 25, three University of Arizona graduate students had a meeting with Kelli Ward, a Republican state senator. They were lobbying against massive new cuts to state spending on higher education; the number being thrown around was $75 million. Under the state constitution, attending the university is supposed to be as “nearly free as possible,” but due to state budget cuts, tuition had increased more than 70 percent between 2008 and 2013 for in-state students—the severest hike in the country. (Read more from the Nation.)

Do Touch the Artwork at Prado’s Exhibit for the Blind

It’s a warning sign at art museums around the world: “Don’t touch the artwork.” But Spain’s famous Prado Museum is changing that, with an exhibit where visitors are not only allowed to touch the paintings—they’re encouraged to do so. The Prado has made three-dimensional copies of some of the most renowned works in its collection—including those by Goya, Velázquez, and El Greco—to allow blind people to feel them. (Read more from National Public Radio.)

I Know What You Need to Do This Summer

What should you do over the summer to prepare for the academic job market in the fall? In the next few months, you should aim to solidify all of the elements of your record that you can. That includes your dissertation if you are still ABD, as well as your publications, teaching, conferences, and references. Perhaps you might even do some initial research toward new projects. (Read more from Vitae.)

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