Category Archives: Social Implications

Capitalism Can Save Art! Down With Capitalism!

It’s difficult to craft a logical response to something as inconsistent and unreasonable as Camille Paglia’s recent Wall Street Journal essay “How Capitalism Can Save Art.” But, when links to the piece ended up in my Facebook feed this week, I knew I had to give it a shot. Paglia concludes that “our fine arts have become a wasteland”due to our country’s shrunken industrial base and the “routine defamation of capitalism by armchair leftists.” Continue reading


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Filed under Academia, Art, Controversial Art, Economy, Politics, Social Implications

Will Computational Creativity Lead to the End of Art?

A Disklavier is a mechanized piano that interprets computer input.

If a computer composes a symphony, should the resulting musical piece be considered a work of art? And how does a computer-generated work affect our perception of human-made works? These are not theoretical questions. A recent article in Pacific Standard highlights Simon Fraser University’s Metacreation project, which aims to investigate computational creativity, in part through the development of “artificially creative musical systems.” Continue reading

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In the News: Murals

  • The recently discovered ancient Mayan murals in Guatemala’s Xultún archeological debunks many myths about the culture.

    The Washington Post profiles Baltimore’s Open Walls project, which brought murals to the city’s Station North Arts a& Entertainment District created by artists from all over the world and curated by 23-year old street artist Gaia. [WaPO]

  • The Wall Street Journal’s Anthony Paletta writes about the challenges of mural preservation. [WSJ]
  • The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the newly unearthed murals at Guatemala’s Xultún archaeological silent that offer new insights about ancient Mayan culture, and discredit many myths about the civilization. [SFChronicle]
  • Philadelphia Mural Arts Program had a kick-off celebration for Philly Painting, a project of large-scale murals that will transform a four-block stretch of the city’s Germantown Avenue, and give full-time pairing jobs to area residents. [Newsworks]

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The Practicing Artist

A couple of Sundays ago, the NY Times Magazine included a feature on Jeffrey Deitch, formerly the owner and director of Deitch Projects, and now the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. When asked what “artspeak” he finds most annoying, he answered “When people refer to an artist’s ‘practice.’ Would you refer to Rauschenberg’s work as his practice?” This is a complaint I’ve heard before. In her 2007 article for the Times, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Art,” Roberta Smith also rails against the use of the word “practice” in reference to an artist’s work: Continue reading

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Links List: Artists harming animals in Berlin, a nude statue gets a dollar bill bikini in Arizona, and Occupy Cooper

  • The Berlin administrative court has stopped a German artist who planned to strangle two puppies on stage as part of a performance, “Death as Metamorphosis,” in the Spandau district of Berlin. Thank goodness animal rights prevail here. [The Local]
  • That’s not the only animal v. artist battle in Germany right now. Berlin University of Arts students Iman Rezai and Rouven Materne plan to guillotine a live lamb if the results of an online vote tell them to. Sounds cruel AND derivative. Does anyone else remember a project like this involving a bunny from 2004-2005? [Gawker]
  • Tempe Arizona artist Bill Tonneson caused a stir when he erected a nude statue, inspired by “The Venus of Willendorf,” across from a church and preschool. His solution: using hot glue and dollar bills, he’s created a bikini for her. []
  • Earlier this week, Cooper Union announced via the NY Times that it would begin charging tuition to its graduate students, as part of an effort to generate income to cover operating deficits. The next day, hundreds of students and alumni gathered in Cooper Square in protest, before marching to a larger student movement in Union Square. [Gallerist]

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Filed under Art, Controversial Art, Education, Political Art, Social Implications

Links List: Glenn Beck rails against PSU, Thomas Kinkade drank himself to death, and the British Police mess up

  • "Rediscover your radical imagination! This course will focus on creating art within Portland-based activist initiatives, such as marches, actions, and causes different grassroots community groups are working on, like the Occupy and Decolonize movements." This course is not approved by Glenn Beck.

    Surprise. Surprise. Glenn Beck is upset that the good taxpayers of Oregon are funding classes like “Art Within Activism” and “Revolutionary Marxism: Theory and Practice” at Portland State University. Another reason to move to Portlandia. [The Portland Mercury]

  • Was the “Painter of Light” a drunk?  It seems as though Thomas Kinkade did not pass peacefully in his sleep, but passed out. A Santa Clara County dispatcher can be heard in a recording saying: “Apparently he has been drinking all night and not moving.” [The Daily]
  • The British Police accidentally released Lee Wildman, a prime suspect in the £2 million art heist at the Durham City Oriental Museum. [Northern Echo]

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Filed under Art, Controversial Art, Education, Political Art, Social Implications

Draw It With Your Eyes Closed

Paper Monument, the arts journal that brought you the cheeky but amazingly useful pamphlet, I like your work: art and etiquette, has now published Draw it with your eyes closed: the art of the art assignmenta 128 page paperback with assignments, essays and anecdotes from over 85 artists, including John Baldessari, Dana Hoey, William Pope.L, Amy Sillman, and Paul Thek, whose “Teaching Notes” served as inspiration for the publication.

Assignments include:

“Take an 18 x 24 inch piece of paper and make a drawing using nothing but your car.” — Heather Heart

“Take a color walk. Give yourself at least one hour of uninterrupted time. Do not plan your walk in advance or combine it with other activities (commuting, shopping, etc.). Try not to talk or interact with other people during this time. You will not need to bring a cell phone, journal, camera, or iPod. You will not be graded or evaluated on your color walk.

You can begin your color walk anywhere. Let color be your guide. Allow yourself to become sensitized to the color in your surroundings. As you walk try to construct a color story or a narrative based on  color you observe. What are the colors that you become aware of first? What are the colors that reveal themselves more slowly? What colors do you observe that you did not expect? What color relationships do you notice? Do colors appear to change over time? We will discuss the color walks in our next class.” –Munro Galloway

“Go into your studio. Using all of the clothes you are wearing, make a work of art. Leave the studio naked.” –Anonymous

“The course RECONSTRUCTION has three assignments, to be completed in any order over the course of the semester:

a. Take something apart.
b. Make something out of something else and donate it to a thrift store.
c. Make something and bury it.” — Helen Mirra

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