- The best art critics working today don’t identify as such. They are Internet culture critics and work at places like The Awl, Gawker, Gizmodo, et cetera. In December of 2014, Sam Biddle discussed what he calls “Chart Brut,” the markup documents of conspiracy theorists. These markup docs are all over the web right now. [Gawker]
- Have you ever heard of anything more badass than a pair of witchy, gender-bending, surrealist lesbian artists (who lived next to a graveyard!!!) donning disguises to fight the Nazis? Neither have we. Meet Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore. And please, someone, make a movie about their lives. [The Daily Beast via Saint Lucy]
- James Rojas on the value of including artists in urban planning: “For us, the building blocks of a city comprised more than simply structures, streets, and sidewalks but equally encompassed personal experience, collective memory and narratives. We felt these were the less-tangible, but no-less-integral, elements of a city that transform mere infrastructure into place.” [KCET]
- Myopia is on the rise. [The Wall Street Journal]
- Donald Judd furniture is ripe for knockoffs. Calvin Klein’s furniture designs have been inspired by Judd. A reflection on what the original and the reproduction means, and to whom. Warning: It’s bit dense. [Triple Canopy]
- Democrats in Congress are proposing legislation that would grant artists resale royalties, a policy known as droit de suite. We’ve discussed this before. Twice. Let’s hope this round of legislation is a little more fruitful. New York representative Jerrold Nadler: “At a time when more than 70 other countries properly compensate visual artists for their work, it is time for the United States to do the same.” Coming as a shock to no one, auction houses were pissed about last year’s similar attempt. [The Art Newspaper]
- More good news from Washington: the National Endowment for the Arts is seeking an accessibility specialist whose job it would be to “assist with advocacy and technical assistance efforts for making the arts available to individuals with disabilities, older adults, and people living in institutions.” We’re not sure what the job entails, but it’s definitely a worthy endeavor. And the benefits are great. [USA Jobs]
- Art collectors Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson have given the Art Institute of Chicago $400 million in art. The Art Institute’s donation comes with a crucial caveat: the museum will display the collection of 42 works for 50 years. That’s rare, for collectors to exert that type of influence. [Chicago Tribune]
- Very excited about Net Art Hell, a new podcast launched by writer Gene McHugh. In each episode, he spends several minutes discussing a single work (like Faith Holland’s “Shaving Cream on RedTube”), and McHugh’s slow, monotone voice has the air of performance. [Net Art Hell]
- Apparently Apple’s incursion into the Milan design fair to promote their new iWatch has been distasteful all around. Welcome to our new favorite term: iBotch. Also, why is the comments section of Dezeen the crankiest place on the internet outside of Fox News? [Dezeen]
- More on Apple Land: we’re living for how much that actual Apple pavilion looks like one of the knockoff Apple Stores that have cropped up all over China in recent years. [The Guardian]
Artist Rollin Leonard produced “Anatomize” as a screening for Transfer awhile ago, and has now put it up online. As you can see on the website, each artist is assigned a body part, and has created a corresponding image. You’ll find a fuzzy intergalactic butt, breast cancer, robot telekinesis, extreme clitoral enhancement, ghost gang signs, heart attacks, and lots of penises (our favorite). We’ll talk in more detail about these images in the coming days, but for now, two highlights: Sally McKay‘s blood sucking mosquito in veins and Hyo Myoung Kim‘s mutating ball of eyeballs.
A laundry list of things happening this week: an outdoor exhibition about nature-kind-of waves goodbye to the ever-receding sublime, a building sorely in need of repair becomes its own cut-up colossus, artworks act like love letters to monuments, and people celebrate places made significant by other people. Last, but certainly not least: Giant. Dollhouse.
In the world of social practice, artists don’t always know what their colleagues are doing. That’s my first take on Open Engagement (O.E.), an annual conference; this year it ran at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The conference itself surely helps remedy that, since it gathers together all types of S.E.A. (an acronym for socially engaged art used by the conference).
Cinemagraphs (aka Hair GIFs): The lowest form of GIF. I’ve explained why I don’t like them in the past, so I won’t go in to it again today. Mostly, I’m posting this as a reminder to myself that some GIFs really are terrible.