CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Sep 09, 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.

The Great Debate: Why Galleries Could Take Even More Money from Their Artists

The cultural researcher and Larry’s List cofounder Magnus Resch concluded, based on a survey of eight thousand art galleries in the US, UK, and Germany, that running an art gallery is tough, with more than half turning over less than $200,000 a year and 30 percent running in the red. It’s his solutions—many of them classic business techniques—that have whipped up the debate. None more so than the suggestion that most artists should be paid only 30 percent of sales, not the traditional 50/50 split. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Fixing Grad School

Talk about graduate school being broken is beginning to sound like a broken record. Yes, it’s too focused on preparing students to become the tenure-track professors that populate academe’s endangered-species list. Yes, the better part of a decade is probably too long to spend as an apprentice, forgoing a living wage and likely accruing debt. And yes, too many people never finish. So now what? (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Clearing Up Ambiguity

So what is it about ambiguity that it has to be praised to high heaven by all and sundry? Above all, how did it come to take on, at least for some, a cloak of liberal righteousness, to shift from being an aesthetic to a moral virtue, as if the text that wasn’t clear, that didn’t state its preferences clearly, were ethically superior to the text that does. In every other sphere of expression, ambiguity is a flaw. (Read more from the New York Review of Books.)

Part of Your World: On the Arts and Well-Being

What’s the most important issue in the arts? Is it declining audiences? The fact that it’s so hard to make a living as an artist? Changing demographics and cultural equity? Unsustainable business models? New technologies? Government funding? Arts education? Gentrification? Creative place-making? Spend any time reading up on arts policy and philanthropy or attending conferences in the arts and you’ll see plenty of attention devoted to all of these topics and more. (Read more from Createquity.)

Inquiry: Art History for All

That an art history–trained graduate has highly desirable and eminently transferable skills across a range of art and nonart professions ought to be good news for art history going forward, especially as there is evidence that the areas of the UK economy related to culture are growing faster than others, and outperforming the economy as a whole. (Read more from Apollo.)

The ABC of Art Criticism: Some Recent How Tos

It has often been said that writing about art is like dancing about architecture. Nearly as often, it has also been said: But I’m going to do it anyway. Whether or not the dance analogy captures all the futilities and elations of the endeavor, writing about art, experience proves, is an activity unlikely to abate. Indeed, as art’s institutional and popular reach has grown ever more expansive in the early twenty-first century, the proliferation of adjunct written discourses has perhaps never been greater. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

The Meaning of “Inclusiveness” in a Job Ad

Lots of job ads for faculty positions include a sentence along these lines: “Inclusiveness and diversity are academic imperatives and thus are university goals, and your letter should articulate how you will cultivate diversity on our campus.” Does that mean the search is only open to minority candidates? (Read more from Vitae.)

How to Be an Adjunct (and Also a Cliché)

Understand that behind the hierarchical sense of superiority there is a cowering insecurity among the tenured who are beginning to see themselves as the minority they are. Hear them throw around the phrases “student-centered learning” and “student concerns.” Figure out “student-centered learning” is a euphemism for “good customer service,” and “student concerns” means “faculty gossip.” Realize all this language increasingly dehumanizes adjuncts and students. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

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