CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — May 04, 2016

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.

How Identity Politics Captured the Art World

The background radiation is still there, two decades later, from the infamous 1993 Whitney Biennial—the so-called multicultural, identity-politics, political, or just bad biennial. Establishment art history at the time was a broken model, built on white men and Western civilization and certain ossified ideas about “greatness” and “genius.” New artists looking for new ways to speak to new audiences couldn’t get their voices heard or work seen. (Read more from New York.)

When the Art Gallery Closes

Although I am sad about the closing of Mixed Greens, the way the gallery presented its departure from the contemporary art scene in Chelsea feels more like a hopeful new beginning than an ending. This positive and inclusive attitude and a devotion to transparency set Mixed Greens apart from many other New York galleries. (Read more from Bmore Art.)

A Call to Replace Adjuncts with Tenure-Track Faculty Members

In his ten months as the University of Oregon’s president, Michael H. Schill has been a stalwart proponent of raising the academic profile of an institution that trails its peers in important areas, including graduation rates and research dollars. To reverse that trend, Schill says, the university needs to raise $2 billion, replace adjunct professors with tenure-track faculty members, and focus its marketing more on academics and less on athletics. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Catalogue of Internet Surf Clubs

The term “surf club,” which originated from the Nasty Nets group blog tagline “Internet Surfing Club,” is often used to describe group artist blogs where the prevailing subject is internet culture and aesthetics and where the roles of artist, curator, and archivist are blurred. Art club or online art club describes similar artist group blogs that explore digital illustration and collage or use a group blog to explore connections between works of noninternet art. (Read more from Rhizome.)

How Drawing Focuses the Mind

Sketching something close up and looking at it from afar are approached in quite different ways by the brain. When you see something familiar, the higher-order parts of the visual system quickly piece together information from the eyes to help you to understand what you’re looking at, whether it’s a whalebone corset or a designer lingerie set. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Help Desk: Quid Pro Quo

Until recently, I have only accepted offers to attend press previews at large-scale institutions when I knew I was going to write about the exhibition. Increasingly, I can’t predict whether I will want to write about a show until I see it. Is it okay—ethically, journalistically—to accept these invitations, attend press previews, and not write about the exhibition? (Read more from Daily Serving.)

Neoliberal Tools (and Archives): A Political History of Digital Humanities

Advocates position the digital humanities as a corrective to the “traditional” and outmoded approaches to literary study. Like much Silicon Valley rhetoric, this discourse sees technological innovation as an end in itself and equates disruptive business models with political progress. Yet despite the aggressive promotion of the digital humanities as radical insurgency, its institutional success has largely involved displacing politically progressive humanities scholarship and activism in favor of manufacturing digital tools and archives. (Read more from the Los Angeles Review of Books.)

Learning from My Teaching Mistakes

As a professional failed academic, I get asked if my decisions in graduate school were to blame for my failures. The answer is, of course, yes and no. Similar to anyone else with a PhD who isn’t delusional or lying, my relationship with my doctorate contains multitudes of defeats. And now, six years after I finished, I’ve got some perspective on both what I screwed up and what I didn’t. (Read more from Vitae.)

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