CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Dec 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.

Confronting America’s Shameful Mass Incarceration with Art

Yoko Ono and Chris Burden are known for challenging the relationship between the art and the audience. The thirty-three-year-old performance artist Lech Szporer does this, too. But, unlike the hard-to-define nature of his antecedents, Szporer’s The Cage Project and its kin clearly express their purpose, and the performances are accompanied by actions that the larger public can more easily recognize as real. (Read more from the New Yorker.)

Help Desk: Culture and Compensation

The problem: sincere offers, from sweet, well-intended people, to show my work without compensation. The result: my polite refusal is taken as a slight, and I’m thought of as ungrateful. These people think they are doing me a favor and are confused when their request is turned down. What I’d like to have access to: an article written for the layperson that elucidates the situation. (Read more from Daily Serving.)

For Art to Flourish and Leave Its Trace

Art museums pledge to collect, display, study, interpret, and conserve works of art because those objects provide rich and soulful echoes of who we are. How will art made using interactive, decidedly variable, hastily obsolescent high-tech media fare? Digital and computer-based artworks are an active force behind retooling the museum and expanding methods of stewardship. (Read more from the Voices of Contemporary Art Journal.)

Researchers Observe Effects of Art on the Brain

When it comes to art, beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but some scientists now are looking for it in bursts of brain waves. Seeking a biological basis for our response to art, researchers from the University of Houston recorded the electrical brain activity from 431 gallery visitors last year as they explored an exhibit of works by the conceptual artist Dario Robleto at the Menil Collection. (Read more from the Wall Street Journal.)

Influencing How Students Discuss Content

When students are talking with each other about content, many of us worry. We’ve all heard less-than-impressive exchanges. For example, four students are in a group discussing three open-ended questions about two challenging readings. In less than five minutes, they’re already on question three. Or, they’re working with clickers, supposedly exchanging ideas about a problem, but the group has already decided on one member’s solution. (Read more from Faculty Focus.)

Thoughts about Ashgate and Libraries

By now you are probably aware of the ongoing discussion about the fate of Ashgate Publishing, which was acquired by Informa last summer. Over the years Ashgate has increasingly become a respected venue for art historians, especially younger scholars publishing their early books on diverse and often groundbreaking topics that were organized—as the press matured—into a variety of interesting series. (Read more from the ARLIS/NA Collection Development SIG Blog.)

Breaking It to Your Family

We often discuss the effects of the tenure track on faculty lives. Much like the military, family members are also “drafted” into the academic lifestyle. Last month, we discussed how to break it to yourself that tenure does not mean less work. Here, we address this hard fact as it relates to families. The reality is that, even after gaining tenure, you may well face a relentless and often invisible set of career demands that can confuse and frustrate family members. (Read more from Inside Higher Education.)

Academic Job Hunts from Hell: Inappropriate, Hostile, and Awkward Moments

A doctoral student on the job market described a truly uncomfortable moment during a campus visit. An assistant professor giving her a campus tour stopped in front of an office filled with packing boxes and gestured inside, stating with a wistful air, “This is mine, or rather was. They are firing me; hence the opening.” Then he stood there, waiting for her reaction. My informant was so shocked that she responded, “That’s nice….” (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

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