Will two previously incarcerated Pussy Riot members, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, be able to get compensation from the Russian Government, despite a lack of support from the Russian public?
Drones: Now delivering pizza. What else will we think of doing with our military technology? [GOOD]
Despite wars flaring up in the Middle East, ex-Mayor Bloomberg tells everyone to calm down. He’s taking an El Al flight to Tel Aviv, just to protest the FAA’s decision not to let U.S. flights in or out of the country. GOOD. LUCK. [New York Magazine]
After more attacks on Palestine, Nobel laureates, artists, and public intellectuals are calling for a military embargo. On the list are names like Alice Walker, Brian Eno, and Ismail Coovadia, the former South African ambassador to Israel. [Algérie Résistance]
The term “Normcore,” which started out as Brad Troemel’s tongue-in-cheek reference to DIS Magazine fodder (office casual, IKEA, Under Armour) now seems to have extended to plastic surgery. The “New New Face” is a surgical tactic to round out and normalize older women’s faces, and naturally, an artist is mining it. Amalia Ulman is getting plastic surgery to grow as close as possible to blandness.
The author voices the same problem I have with the jogging and have had all along with Normcore “détournement”: “I just wonder if capitalism is so inescapable that there is no radical alternative left to us other than performing it?” Again: an artist is chopping up her body, in order to comment on Normcore. [Bullet Magazine]
Reproductive rights advocates are turning to the states to get around the Supreme Court’s decision to allow religious companies like Hobby Lobby to drop birth control from its employees’ health care. [Slate]
Which artists are going to shake President Obama’s hand this year? The National Medal of Arts award nominees are out and the only visual artist on the list is James Turrell. The Brooklyn Academy of Music has also been nominated. The ceremony will happen this coming Monday, July 28. [NEA]
A petition to “Save the Corcoran” has successfully stalled the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s merger. Due to financial problems, the Corcoran Gallery of Art plans to cede control of its collection to the National Gallery and operate the College of Art and Design under George Washington University. [The Art Newspaper]
Baynard Woods, editor for Baltimore’s City Paper tries, however unsuccessfully, to get Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to talk about her views on art. “Of course I like art, I went to goddamn Oberlin,” she told Woods.[City Paper]
Seems like the polls were right. Detroit pensioners vote to back the Grand Bargain, which is a huge step forward in the city’s effort to protect the DIA’s collection. [Detroit Free Press]
Day two in stories about giant amphibious art in China: Yesterday in Guiyang City a giant inflatable duck disappeared. Today, Chinese censors are banning Internet reports about a giant inflatable toad floating in Beijing Park. Why? Because people are comparing it to ex-President Jiang Zemin. [BBC News]
Plans for New York’s as-yet-to-be built Museum of African Art have been shelved for more modest ones. What would have been a $135 million project has now been cut by $40 million. It seems that younger institutions, though they may want to fight for the right to make mega-million-dollar institutions (like Whitney, MoMA, Lincoln Center) just don’t have the backing. [The New York Times]
Not art-related, but terrifying: Newsweek has a cover profile on Vladimir Putin and his life of “an endless procession of gilded rooms.” He does not like or understand the Internet. He’s referred to by his inner circle as the “Tsar.” He loves dogs. He is emotionless. He views ceding power as the greatest criminal act. [Newsweek]
“Are you the person that we can ask questions? Or are you just a guard?” The New York Times interviews a security guard at the Guggenheim’s James Turrell exhibition. [The New York Times]
The Metropolitan Opera won’t bow to protesters who’d like to see the opera take a stance on the Russian government’s controversial gay rights laws, and also the government’s denial of Tchaikovsky’s sexuality. Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” premiered as the opera’s season opener last night. [Bloomberg]
The Art Loss Register has used some rather questionable methods to track lost art work. For example, the Register led a collector to believe a painting was not stolen, when in fact it was, so that he would buy it and unwittingly help the company collect a fee for its retrieval. [The New York Times]
Did Russia censor all 26,439 Squarespace sites over a satirical gay art PDF? So reads the headline of an article reporting on Loo.ch, the New York-based art, technology, criticism, and travel website run by Ukrainian expats Natasha Masharova and Anatoli Ulyanov since 2010. They believe two pieces criticizing Russia’s new anti-gay propaganda laws caused the block. Sounds plausible, but could more than one of these 26,439 other sites have published a few critical words on the law? [Animal]
Blackberry is in a “death spiral.” They laid off forty percent of their workforce and report a second quarter loss of one billion on 1.6 billion in revenues. Queue the think pieces. [Washington Post]
Art collector Peter Brant, also owner of the Greenwich Polo Club, introduced a Groupon to a recent weekend event. In addition to the polo match, VIPs were given a tour of Brant’s art center; the rest watched the horses. [Boston.com]
Carolina Miranda interviewed Ed Ruscha for NPR. [NPR]
Russian art collective and punk band Pussy Riot is this week’s target in Putin’s general, persistent crackdown on everything. Three of the collective’s ten members defended themselves against state charges of “hooliganism” when the case went on trial Monday, July 30th.