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CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Sep 16, 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.

President Obama Awards 2014 National Humanities Medal

The White House has awarded ten distinguished recipients the 2014 National Humanities Medal. The awardees include historians, writers, a philosopher, scholar, preservationist, food activist, and an education course. President Barack Obama conferred the medal in a September 10, 2015, ceremony in the East Room. (Read more from the National Endowment for the Humanities.)

Bookish: On the Art World’s Publishing Boom

Depending on how you look at it, the art-book industry is either in precarious straits or the midst of a golden age. Brick-and-mortar bookstores specializing in art books continue to close, giving way to online purveyors like Amazon, which don’t do so well with pricy art tomes. And traditional trade publishers have cut back on funding art titles. Meanwhile, blue-chip galleries, flush with cash in a booming art market, have picked up the slack with increasingly ambitious publishing programs. At the world’s wealthier galleries, an in-house imprint has become an essential part of business, as common as a front desk, PR team, and exhibition checklist. (Read more from ARTnews.)

How Art Reveals the Limits of Neuroscience

These days neural approaches to art are all the rage. We find it somehow compelling to think that the brain holds the answers to the questions about, well, everything that matters to us, including art. It’s hard not to be impressed by the excitement scientists feel as they try to hunt down aesthetic experience in the brain using the advanced methods and technologies of cognitive science. But art is an elusive quarry, and it leaves its clumsy predator flailing in the dust. (Read more from the Chronicle Review.)

The Brave New Museum Sputters into Life

With so many visitors—particularly the young—obsessively attached to digital devices as instruments of learning and sharing, even the most traditional art museum officials can no longer deny the imperative for technological interventions in what used to be a relatively unmediated relationship between viewer and object. First there were audio guides and websites. Now art museums are embracing everything from apps to robots to interactive pens, hoping to discern how best to enhance the gallery experience for savvy digerati, without ruining it for die-hard technophobes. (Read more from the Wall Street Journal.)

Why Art School Can Be a Smart Career Move

Art-school grads aren’t the highest earners overall, but neither are they doomed to become starving artists. “There’s a ton of evidence that prospects for graduates from art schools today are better than they’ve ever been before in terms of income, their ability to survive economic turbulence, and their preparedness for the job market of the 2020s,” says Jennifer Lena, a Columbia University professor who is senior research scholar for the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. (Read more from Forbes.)

The International Fight over Marcel Duchamp’s Chess Set

In the process of researching Marcel Duchamp’s chess life for a commissioned art project, Scott Kildall found old pictures of the artist’s own hand-carved chess set, created around 1917. He loved the aesthetic and wanted to recreate the beautiful objects. So Kildall turned to another digital-fabrication artist, Bryan Cera, to work out how to model 3D-printable versions derived from the archival pictures. (Read more from the Atlantic.)

The Google Art Heist

The more playful Google gets, the more paranoid I get. So when I heard that, building on its plan to digitize all books, Google had opened a Cultural Institute in Paris to digitally replicate and curate all art and culture on earth, I wanted to check it out. From the most famous paintings of the Uffizi to an archive of South Korean film to virtual galleries of the pyramids, the institute has already amassed an impressive collection. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Peer Review, Preprints, and the Speed of Science

A few weeks ago my collaborators and I submitted our latest paper to a scientific journal. We have been investigating how noroviruses subvert the molecular machinery of infected cells and have some interesting results. If it passes peer review, our paper could be published in three or four months’ time. If it’s rejected, we may have to rework the manuscript before trying our luck with another journal. That will delay publication even further—it’s not unheard of for papers to take a year or more to get out of the lab and into the world, even in the digital age. (Read more from the Guardian.)

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