In a time of digital hyperacceleration and an ever-shifting technocultural landscape, we encounter an influx of trends, microgenres, and fads. But how do we talk about music when so much of what we listen to feels transitory and historically inconsequential? Marvin Lin explores our critical voice in the face of such expiring aesthetics.
Towards a New Digital Landscape
With dismal representation by women and people of color in tech and art fields, it’s time to imagine a new landscape of digital art, one that’s diverse and equitable, writes Black Contemporary Art founder Kimberly Drew. Here she highlights—in their own words—18 artists shaping this new terrain.
Homage to the 21st Century
After a 1964 coup in Brazil, intense censorship scattered artists across the globe or forced them to adopt less public forms of art-making. One, Antônio Henrique Amaral, is best known for large paintings of bananas, a critique that the military dictatorship was turning Brazil into a banana republic. “They can’t censor bananas,” said Amaral, who passed away April 24 at age 79, in this final interview.
Christopher Nolan: A Practical Magician of Modern Movies
A master of misdirection, director Christopher Nolan seems to methodically tell us what he’s doing, only to blindside us with his astonishing narrative reveals and reversals. Watch films like Memento, Batman Begins, and Inception with a concentrated gaze, and somehow he still manages to pull the rug out from under you—or, he leaves the rug in place but pulls out the room instead.
Museum as Publisher?
On the perils and promise of publishing as an institutional act
No !%@#s Given
“The web is where the exceptional force the hands of the famed and established to recognize they’ve been pushing things forward, without their blessing or awareness,” writes Andrew Flanagan of thestand4rd, the St. Paul independent hip hop/R&B quartet that has thrust itself into the limelight—even attracting the attention of Kanye West—in the 11 months since uploading its first single on SoundCloud.
Pop and the Traveling Image
“An early Pop artist was originally a Pop culture viewer,” says art historian Tomáš Pospiszyl. “Being a producer and a consumer was never so close.” Moderated by independent curator Charlotte Cotton, this discussion brings together key voices from Eastern Europe, Japan, and the UK to discuss the role of the traveling mass-produced image during the 20th century—and tell the story of international Pop.
Polemic of Blood
Ever since a suicide attempt at age 15, death has been a constant companion for Ron Athey—even more so since 1985, the year he tested positive for HIV. Until it wasn’t. Healthy on the 30th anniversary of his diagnosis, the 53-year-old performance artist reflects on the “post-AIDS” body, the 1994 performance that put him at the center of the Culture Wars firestorm, and his homecoming after six years abroad.
Five Decades, Six Galaxies, and Counting: The AACM at 50
Musical revolutions tend to have a spontaneous outlier quality about them, writes Greg Tate. Fifty years ago in Chicago, far from the Manhattan clubs that drew jazz luminaries like John Coltrane, Sun Ra, and Ornette Coleman, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was born. Since then the group has carried “freedom swang” around the globe and, through a new wave of visionaries, into the future.