An Activism of Affirmation
An Xiao Mina
From #BlackLivesMatter to the #UmbrellaMovement, the Web helps artist-activists inform, inspire, and organize around key issues. But art can play a special role within social-change movements as well: It can help transform the Internet into a space for affirmation, self-worth, and emotional healing.
Tania Bruguera: Artivism and Repression in Cuba
Leaving her Havana home on May 24 after a 100-hour public reading of The Origins of Totalitarianism, Tania Bruguera was intercepted by police—again. After releasing a white dove and throwing Hannah Arendt’s book into the sky, she was driven off in what Cuban curator Gerardo Mosquera calls “a unique case in art history: a street performance that was completed in response to its very repression.”
Il Treno di John Cage
A 1978 trip to Bologna to witness “a prepared train”—a happening on wheels, featuring John Cage and a host of Italian collaborators.
Why the Hell Ornette Went All Up In Eden
“It’s hard to think of any musician whose sonic convictions have been so personally liberating for themselves and so determined to liberate others,” writes Greg Tate of Ornette Coleman, who passed away June 11. “His music did all the things jazz was supposed to do, but in ways that made everybody else, from Coltrane to Cage, sound like they were too fixed, ordered, calibrated and two-dimensional.”
Taylor Renee Aldridge and Jessica Lynne
When a white, male critic wrote that African-American artist Alma Thomas’s paintings echo “the special middle-ground pleasures of domestic life,” Taylor Aldridge and Jessica Lynne wondered: How might this assessment look if written by a Black critic?
Light and Freedom: William Klein’s Pop Politics
Of his first film, a study of illuminated advertising signs in New York City, William Klein remarked, “I think it’s the first Pop film.” Critic and curator Ed Halter examines the Pop resonances in Klein’s work, from the beauty and the “brain-washing” quality of Times Square signage in Broadway by Light (1958) to the politically charged Vietnam-era satire Mr. Freedom.
Further Speculation on Digital Arts Media’s Future(s)
Brian Droitcour, Willa Köerner, Antwaun Sargent, and others weigh in on digital art publishing’s possible futures.
Archi-tourism is a web community waiting for its own digital address, writes Alexandra Lange. She longs for a dream site—“Archimaps, Designtrip, whatever”—to map her architectural explorations using smartphone photos. The trick: how to keep that contagious energy as you make snaps into an archive.
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.