briansholis + 2020   119

William S. Smith on Donald Judd’s Collected Writings and Interviews, Art in America
"Whether or not viewers could perceive these feelings in front of the work, Judd articulated them at length, often expressing contempt for the government, for large-scale social movements, for capitalism, communism, religion, and other grand “metaphysical schemes” that he felt anesthetized people and left them devoid of purpose."

"The self-regard implicit in the archival project is also reinforced by Judd’s feelings of persecution. Judd saw himself as an artist under siege, surrounded by frauds who were determined to get everything about his art wrong. He wrote with the self-awareness that he was becoming a historical figure, and he wanted to set the record straight."

"For Judd, credibility was a key aesthetic category (he used the term everywhere), referring both to art that unified material, color, surface, form, and space, as well as to the link between an artwork and its time.3 He proposed a model of artistic progress that was deceptively simple: a shift from the old to the new."

"Underlying all of his complaints is a mistrust of teleological systems. “Basically, I’m an absolute empiricist, coldhearted, not religious, not metaphysical,” he affirmed."

"Judd’s writings are worth reading because he looked at the world in total despair and his historical legacy with total trepidation. But he continued to make art and to protest."
2020  2020-02  ArtInAmerica  WilliamSSmith  DonadlJudd  ArtistInterview  criticism 
7 days ago by briansholis
Teju Cole, "Smell the ink and drift away," The Guardian
"Investigative reports are important, but in our intimate moments it is sensibility that best restores us to our human selves."

"They are expensive to make and rarely recoup their costs. In this way, they are a quixotic affront to the calculations of the market. The evidence of a few bestsellers notwithstanding, the most common fate of photobooks is oblivion. But it is precisely this labour-intensive and financially unsound character that allows them to sit patiently on our shelves like oracles. Then one day, someone takes one of them off the shelf and is mesmerised by the silent and unanticipated intensity."
TejuCole  TheGuardian  2020  2020-02  Photography  photobooks 
7 days ago by briansholis
Adam O'Fallon Price, "On Vacation," Affidavit
"It is chastening to realize how easily, with how little thought, we normally accept the non-negotiable terms of our lives."

"Getting thousands of miles away from home grants the distance necessary to see home clearly, to see how provisional the idea of home really is. Returning brings not only relief, but mild shock at how it’s all gone on in your absence."
2020  2020-02  Affadavit  AdamOFallonPrice  travel  Scotland 
7 days ago by briansholis
Yaniya Lee, "Always Being Moved," Canadian Art
When we widen what we understand to be the scope of influence, a different kind of recognition becomes possible


"Numerous are the possible structures of influence. Direct citation of clear intellectual derivation is but one. Sometimes we’re influenced by how people make us feel, and the ways they show us that we can live."

"Works of art don’t have to name or make obvious their influences— we can judge them based on their technique, their materials, their position (or not) in the history of art. But influence comes from the conversation you have at dinner, the way a person makes you feel, the memory of a room at dusk. Art aggregates social life. What influences you as a person also influences you as an artist. It informs what you make. An accounting can be done, and that accounting involves an attention to details that are peripheral, deep in the work’s opaque interstices."
2020  2020-03  YaniyiaLee  CanadianArt  influence  art 
7 days ago by briansholis
The Dark Revelations of Gerhard Richter | The New Yorker
"The shock of “Birkenau” retroactively exposes a thread of sorrow and guilt through an art of invariably subtle, at times teasing, ambiguities. His photographic images transposed to canvas and painterly techniques that exploit chance have often seemed deliberately arbitrary, as if to forswear feeling. He brings to everything an attitude of radical skepticism. But it has dawned on many of us, over the years, that plenty of emotion, like banked fire, underlies his restless ways."

"I like to imagine Buchloh as a negative conscience perched on Richter’s shoulder, amusingly scandalized as the artist hews again and yet again to ancient values of meaningfulness and pleasure.I like to imagine Buchloh as a negative conscience perched on Richter’s shoulder, amusingly scandalized as the artist hews again and yet again to ancient values of meaningfulness and pleasure.
2020  2020-03  PeterSchjeldahl  GerhardRichter  painting  MetropolitanMuseumofArt  art  ExhibitionReview  NewYorker  abstraction 
7 days ago by briansholis
Paul Elie, "Against the Idea of the Coronavirus as Metaphor," The New Yorker
"… the ubiquity of virus as metaphor may have left many of us unprepared to recognize and fear the lethal literal viruses circulating among us, and to prepare ourselves and our societies against them."

"Rather than applying societal metaphors to illness, we’ve applied illness metaphors to society, stripping them of their malign associations in the process. It may be that our fondness for virus as metaphor has made it difficult for us to see viruses as potentially dangerous, even lethal, biological phenomena. In turn, our disinclination to see viruses as literal may have kept us from insisting on and observing the standards and practices that would prevent their spread. Enthralled with virus as metaphor and the terms associated with it—spread, growth, reach, connectedness—we ceased to be vigilant. Jetting around the world, we stopped washing our hands.
PaulElie  NewYorker  2020  2020-03  metaphor  writing  culture  language  covid19 
7 days ago by briansholis
Michelle Millar Fisher & Andrea Fraser, "Why Are Museums So Plutocratic, and What Can We Do About It?," Frieze
MMF: "Museums with self-selecting, self-perpetuating boards can be just as plutocratic with public funding as they are with private funding – if not, in some ways, more so.

MMF: "Nevertheless, in most cases they were governed by wealthy individuals sitting on self-perpetuating boards in a structure that was modelled on private, for-profit corporations. That represented what the historian Peter Dobkin Hall called ‘civil privatism’ in his book Inventing the Nonprofit Sector (1992). It resulted in urban public spheres in which the most prominent ‘public’ institutions were fundamentally private and plutocratic in their governance structures. That, to me, is what is very specific about the US model: not so much that many museums were founded by individuals or that they depend on private funding, but that the system supports the non-democratic and often plutocratic governance of putatively ‘public’ institutions."

AF: "I think it is different because of the new focus on governance. In the 1980s, the focus was on corporate sponsorship. In the 1990s, it was on the corporatization of public and non-profit organizations in terms of privatization, professionalization, the shift towards corporate populism and the embrace of spectacle culture: blockbusters, starchitects, merchandizing, et cetera. But I can’t recall anyone – except, of course, Hans Haacke – really looking into governance structures."

AF: "Donors give and trustees serve because artists and museum staff beg them to do so. This has become the primary job of directors of institutions in the US. The rising costs of museums, which necessitate huge gifts from wealthy donors, are not primarily driven by board members. They are driven by the ambitious expansion plans of directors, the grand visions of starchitects and the skyrocketing prices of artists’ work. This growth is driven by competition and ambition, not by need."

MMF: "I am interested in figuring out how we foreground, amplify and listen closely to art workers who are not curators, directors or well-known artists. They’re the majority of art workers, and they’re the thousands of people who have, in the last year, shared their salaries anonymously on the Art + Museum Salary Transparency spreadsheet, or attended weekly meetings to coax into life a union to implement better working conditions. But I think the dawning realization that I’ve had over the past 15 years of working in different museums is that I’m not sure they’re spaces that can fundamentally be changed."

AF: "The challenge today is not to open boards to the non-rich, but to get people who are used to being clients, customers and contractors of organizations to step into governance roles. It’s a lot of work. I don’t think many artists see it as valuable, or see themselves as candidates for such roles."

AF: "The biggest challenge for museums in adopting the kinds of changes I’m proposing is that board dues are basically the only reliable source of revenue that they have. To eliminate board dues requires a shift in the economic structure of museums, which would have to include not only finding alternative sources of revenue, but also dramatically reducing costs."

AF: "The big shift is that the non-profit art sector in the US has become industrialized and this has changed labour relations in the field. Artists are now more likely to see themselves as underpaid gig-economy contractors than heroically deprived autonomous producers; museum staff are more likely to see themselves as underpaid workers than contributors to a philanthropic cause. That also implies an acceptance of a non-democratic, hierarchical corporate structure. The idea of organizing to participate in governance is almost harder to imagine in that context."
2020  2020-02  MichelleFisher  AndreaFraser  interview  ArtistInterview  museums  nonprofits  fundraising 
7 days ago by briansholis
Wendell Berry: The Poet of Place – Garden & Gun
"To stand by one’s word is everybody’s duty. To make words precise enough and clear enough to be stood by also is everybody’s duty, but I think that that has got to be the paramount duty of every writer, not just of every poet.

We can think of writers as people under obligation to produce exemplary language. But another kind of language that has been exemplary for me is, or was, the language of the fairly settled agrarian communities I grew up in. This was a language full of the names of people, places, tools, and kinds of work that were the common knowledge of a few hundred people living together over a long time. Farming neighbors working together must be capable necessarily of speaking precisely and clearly, and they are necessarily expected and obliged to stand by their words."
WendellBerry  2020  2020-04  SilasHoue  Garden&Gun  writing 
7 days ago by briansholis
Katy Waldman, "Rebecca Solnit’s Memoir Is Much More Than a Feminist Manifesto," The New Yorker
"Writing, then, becomes how Solnit declares her identity over the next several decades. Perhaps more important, it becomes how she creates her identity, because one cannot transform into an author without first transforming into a person with beliefs, values, and desires—in short, a person with something to say."

"Do Solnit’s words have an effect? Strangely, given her reputation as a polemicist, she seems to avoid resolution; many of her chapters end on unshowy, almost awkward lines. This quality speaks to a tension in her work—the extent to which her political activism is subsumed by her diffuse, lyrical sensibility. In fact, Solnit can be most persuasive not when dispensing feminist credos—“I wanted transformation not of my nature but of my condition,” she writes at one point—but when she is studying the fine grain of intimate experience."
2020  2020-03  RebeccaSolnit  KatyWaldman  NewYorker  LiteraryCriticism  BookReview  feminism  memoir 
7 days ago by briansholis
Karen Russell, "On Motherhood and Money," Wealthsimple
"I know so many parents filled with these same warring urgencies: a powerful love for their children, a wish to be present with them, an imperative to provide monetarily for them, and a hunger to make art — lunging forces that are rarely in alignment."

"Who gets to live a spacious hour? Who gets to spend time with their children, and time doing work that fulfills them? Raising children, writing books: risk is built into both undertakings. But I can’t help thinking that they shouldn’t feel quite this risky — that the low ceiling of dread so many of my friends and colleagues and students live under would begin to lift if health and child care were universally available. Everyone deserves this kind of radically free time — time underwritten by the security that comes from knowing your young children are safe, that a totaled car or medical emergency won’t send you hurtling towards the abyss. It shouldn’t take a windfall to make this possible."
KarenRussell  Wealthsimple  2020  2020-02  parenting  finances  writing  economics 
7 days ago by briansholis
Four Tet, "Baby"
Music by Four Tet, vocals by Ellie Goulding
Concept / Director: Joanna Nordahl
2020-02  2020  2020Faves  FourTet  MusicVideo  DroneFootage  electronic 
15 days ago by briansholis
Jason Farago, "Why Watch Video in a Museum? Let Steve McQueen Show You," The New York Times
The Oscar-winning filmmaker never abandoned his first career as a fine artist. His meticulously staged Tate Modern exhibition puts his commitment on display.


Good meditation on the installation of film & video in galleries.
JasonFarago  NYT  ExhibitionReview  SteveMcQueen  VideoArt  film  galleries  2020  2020-03 
4 weeks ago by briansholis
Kevin O'Connor, "Jayson Tatum Is Up to the Challenge," The Ringer
Tatum has officially taken The Leap, but the young Celtic’s fast rise to stardom wasn’t without its setbacks. Those close to Boston’s new leading man—family and coaches; Danny Ainge and Bradley Beal—detail how he overcame adversity every step of the way, and how his drive to carry on Kobe Bryant’s legacy goes far beyond that purple armband.
JaysonTatum  KevinOConnor  TheRinger  basketball  Celtics  NBA  2020  2020-03 
4 weeks ago by briansholis
#158 The Case of the Missing Hit | Reply All
A man in California is haunted by the memory of a pop song from his youth. He can remember the lyrics and the melody. But the song itself has vanished, completely scrubbed from the internet. PJ takes on the Super Tech Support case.
2020  2020-03  2020Faves  podcast  ReplyAll  1990s  PopMusic 
4 weeks ago by briansholis
Drew Austin, "Another Green World," Kneeling Bus
"Cities are where our culture locates activities that are supposed to be seen, because we’ve collectively decided they matter."

"In the physical built environment, cities are still the loci of narrative creation, even if that’s largely symbolic."
DrewAustin  RemKoolhaas  2020  2020-02  Countryside  cities  urbanism  Substack 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
The Long Time
"We now have the unprecedented ability to destroy our species and that has happened at such a speed that we haven’t evolved mechanisms—politically, scientifically or culturally—to manage such risks."

The five long-term paths

1. DEEP TIME: This enables us to engage with our place in the epic geological history of the universe. Deep time work can foster a profound sense of awe for the richness of life on earth.

2. MULTIGENERATIONAL EMOTIONS: This work is about how we connect emotionally across multiple generations.

3. LEGACY STANCE: This work goes beyond just empathising with past and future generations and is about how we build our desire and agency to leave a positive legacy.

4. MORTALITY CONSCIOUSNESS: We’ve got a hunch that our inability to deal with the future of the world beyond our lifespan is wrapped up with our inability to deal with the fact that our lives will end.

5. INTERCONNECTED WORLDVIEWS: Valuing the long term is also about understanding our place in the wider web of life, fostering a sense of connection to the non-human.
2020  2020-01  ClimateKIC  BeatricePembroke  EllaSaltmarshe  LongTimeProject  DeepTime  ClimateChange  environment  futurism 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Lindsay Caplan, "The Social Conscience of Generative Art," Art in America
"Importantly, computers continued to make their way into art and culture not in spite of their entanglement with the military-corporate research complex, but because of it. The artworks, exhibitions, actions, and texts that comprise the early history of generative art were meant not only to integrate computers into artmaking, but also to reimagine the political agency of artists and artworks alike. Generative art, in other words, was tied to a generative understanding of art’s political role."

"The political impetus of generative aesthetics might be easily lost in this sea of equations, formulas, and technical language, if not for Bense’s own insistence on the urgency of this approach. Bense argued that rationality is humanity’s first defense against fascism."

"Bense’s theory of generative aesthetics works to remove subjectivity from art and aesthetic judgment and imbue both with the transparency and clarity of science—striving, in his words, to “transform the metaphysical discipline into a technological one.”4 Underlying all the technical language of information, complexity, redundancy, and signs was an attempt to salvage meaning in an increasingly dispersed and confused information age, while at the same time expressing an anti-totalitarian skepticism about whether such shared meaning was possible or desirable."

"What is crucial to auto-destructive art is that disintegration, ephemerality, and, most important, destruction all figure centrally in the work."

"The worst manifestations of destructiveness—war, waste, environmental catastrophe, and the capitalist system behind them—all need to be laid bare and eliminated. But destruction, at the metaphorical level of the artwork or social critique, can be wielded to create a productive opening."

"Metzger’s values of spontaneity and randomness seem to contrast starkly with Bense’s prioritization of programming and transparency, but both are resolutely concerned with communication. Each sees the computerized creation of artworks as a concretization of some kind of more ethical collective life.

For Bense, this manifests in a circuit of communication based on universally affective signals and signs; for Metzger, in a shared social space that can connect individual and collective experiences, events, and temporalities. For both, the ethics of their envisioned systems stems from their transparency, dynamism, and ability to be understood by everyone. Both Bense and Metzger produced elaborate theoretical treatises—be it manifestos or multiple philosophical volumes. Clear communication is central to what they thought computers could give us, and essential to whatever future collective life they imagined such technologies might support."
2020  2020-01  LindsayCaplan  ArtInAmerica  MaxBense  GustavMetzger  art  ArtHistory  computers  GenerativeArt  aesthetics  politics 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
"Decolonizing Means Many Things to Many People"—Four Practitioners Discuss Decolonizing Design, Eye on Design
Tejada: "Unlearning the idea of what we elevate, as designers and teachers, forms a lot of this conversation. bell hooks mentions that the older you get, the worse unlearning becomes, because you’re so embedded and fixed in your ways. To unlearn the body of knowledge that you have, with all the money you spent on it, is hard to swallow."

Sanint: "I design the tools, space, and strategy, so this group of people can co-design together."
AnoushkaKhandwala  2020  2020-02  EyeOnDesign  RamonTejada  MiguelNavarroSanint  NeebinnaukzhikSouthall  AmyWu  GraphicDesign  decolonization  inclusivity  communication  RoundtableDiscussion 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Bruce Robbins, "John Berger’s Life Between Art and Politics," The Nation
"In these early years, Berger grabbed the spotlight not as a theorist but as a polemicist, picking fights with the establishment, happy to take on whatever it happened to be saying and whoever personified it in his mind. (Kenneth Clark was a particular bête noire.) According to Sperling, Berger needed an opponent in order to get himself going."

"Like others of his generation, Berger certainly suffered from a dashing of his revolutionary hopes. And yet he was never tempted by a depoliticized aestheticism. Throughout the various stages of his long and astonishing career, beauty and commitment were always intimates."

"By the middle of the ’70s, Berger was publicly triumphant. Yet it was at this very moment that he chose to retreat from public life and move to a mountain village above Geneva."

"But Sperling seems right that if demystification was indeed the keynote of Berger’s earlier writing on art, then his later writing marked a reversal—which does leave one wondering if Berger, now tapping his scythe in the foothills of the Alps, had decided to cut loose from history even while history kept chugging along."

"Peasants, like the world’s indigenous peoples, function today as repositories of knowledge that will increasingly be needed as a poisoned, overdeveloped world tries to model sustainable ways of life. "

"The attractions of small-scale but realized alternatives to actually existing social life were, of course, already a part of the 1960s counterculture. In this sense Berger’s move to the Alps was neither all that peculiar nor really a withdrawal at all. He was, like many veterans of the New Left, compromising on long-term goals in order to invest in community, in whatever form and on whatever scale it could be found."
2020  2020-01  BruceRobbins  JoshuaSperling  JohnBerger  biography  BookReview  art  criticism  Marxism  capitalism  peasants 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Jacob Lindgren, "Graphic Design's Factory Settings," The Gradient
"Design education not only teaches its technical and historical canon, or how to design, but more importantly teaches students how to be designers in society and in relation to capital. A school becomes a factory producing designers, one that, in keeping with the principles of “good design,” turns them into efficient and interchangeable parts ready to hit the market."

"That the the marriage of design and business in the pursuit of profit and progress be labeled as something as ubiquitous as “thinking” is telling as to what extent design is entrenched in industry."

"… the “Bauhaus model,” regardless of how close it actually adheres to the school’s ideology or actions, is the primary model in which contemporary programs are rooted."

"Even more encompassing than the Bauhaus’s model, but certainly as a result of it, design education and history are completely dominated by western principles and hegemony."

"What would it look like to identify and replace the current power structures and ideologies embedded in contemporary design practice and pedagogy? What tools are available to do so and who gets to decide how they are used?"

"Self-organized educational initiatives move closer to alternative pedagogies for graphic design while also serving as sites for rethinking the practice as one closer to a mode of inquiry then an effect of industry."

"With regards to graphic design—now largely immaterial labor—the proliferation of adjunct teaching positions, precarious (freelance) work, and a general culture of commodification of the self as entrepreneur (or entreprecariat) make the structures and apparatus through which power manifests ones no longer limited to existing within the “factory walls.”"

"Self-organized forms of education can reaffirm the very same neoliberal tendencies in education they intend to critique by relieving the institution of its responsibility to provide for its students and faculty. For this reason it’s important for these initiatives to be speculative and world-building in nature, but also to be rooted in and cognizant of the conditions that structure their range of possibilities."

"… we need to leave the factory, potentially by building our own school-as-exit."
2020  2020-01  JacobLindgren  TheGradient  WalkerArtCenter  GraphicDesign  capitalism  Bauhaus  education  AlternativeEducation 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Christopher Bollen, "Who Was Carlo Scarpa?" The New York Times
"In the decades after his death in 1978, Scarpa largely had come to be regarded as an ingenious but inessential roadside attraction on the superhighway of organic Modernism, eclipsed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn. That may have been because he produced so few original structures; most of his work consisted of interventions in pre-existing public buildings. It didn’t help that he worked largely in Venice, a city which, unlike Milan, has never been known for nurturing the new."

"BORN IN THE city in 1906 and raised largely in Vicenza, an hour away, Scarpa, who studied architecture at Venice’s Academy of Fine Arts but never became a licensed architect because he refused to take the government exam, idolized the work of the Vienna Secessionist Josef Hoffmann and Wright (who returned the admiration) and drew inspiration from abstract painters including Piet Mondrian and Mark Rothko. He traveled extensively in Japan, which helped inform his appreciation of humble materials like reclaimed timber and rusted metal, as well as his obsession with tiny details like hardware and nails."
2020  2020-02  ChristopherBollen  NYT  CarloScarpa  architecture  ModernArchitecture  Italy  geometry  renovation  ResidentialArchitecture 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Ingrid Burrington, "A Tour of Some Logistics Landscapes," Urban Omnibus
"But just as neoliberalism is more than a set of economic policies, logistics is more than an abstract term for ordering things: It’s a form of management, a security imperative, a world-making process unto itself. Not all systems are logistical, but to assume a logistics lens on the world tends to systematize it — making it mappable, standardized, subject to control, and predicated on perpetual growth almost always in need of optimization."

"The language of logistics tends toward comparisons to nature — a product does not have a timeline but a “life cycle,” supply chains run “downstream” and “upstream,” and logistics itself has a “flow.” In this framing, the movement of commodities is part of the natural order of things, and that natural order requires the utmost protection. In both state and federal treatment of American pipelines, the commerce and security imperatives of logistics become painfully evident."

"But this is what the logistics lens does: It prioritizes continuous flow, presumes infrastructural necessity, and can’t really imagine anything outside itself rendering it unnecessary."

"Ultimately, the greatest source of friction in logistics systems is simply the imprecision and uncertainty of the reality they seek to precisely contain. The earth doesn’t rotate with the precision of an atomic clock. Human beings are unpredictable and stubborn and defiant. Old buildings with old, slow elevators will still be old and slow even with a new routing algorithm. In this respect, the logistically seamless ideal of the smart city is and probably always has been more horizon than destination. And while the presumed rewards at that horizon of infinite order and control may appeal to some, it’s not clear that the journey toward it is worth the cruelties and destruction left in its wake."
2020  2020-01  UrbanOmnibus  IngridBurrington  technology  infrastructure  logistics  cities  urbanism  UrbanPlanning  capitalism 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Nicole Fenton, Tiny Content Framework
This is a tiny content strategy framework focused on goals, messages, and branding. This is not a checklist. Use what you need and scrap the rest. Rewrite it or add to it. These topics should help you get to the bottom of things with clients and other people you work with.
NicoleFenton  ContentStrategy  consuting  branding  writing  2020-02  2020 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Hassan Rahim interview, New Reader
"As someone who often finds difficulty in describing my own work, I really connected with the idea that images are allowed to be totally indescribable."

"That’s what it was back then. You could create this beautiful, elaborate campaign because it was all about like, five incredibly strong final images. Information moved much slower then, and those images were meant to go a long way. Some of those images are still so powerful, they will be ingrained in our heads forever."

"You used to be able to drop an anvil and let it reverberate. Now we’re constantly throwing little ninja stars in the air hoping something sticks."

"If you're only looking at and inspired by contemporary images, you're only going to be thinking about now."

"… for me it was important to see someone that felt like me, that looked like me, and that I could connect to on a more personal level. So for me, that straight up came from various subcultures, not from design. Everything I bring into design is usually coming from another place outside of graphic design. From music packaging, skateboarding, photography, or streetwear. I pulled inspiration from all around me …"

"There's a reason why I don't just put up all my work immediately. There’s projects you have never seen that I fully worked on. I just posted a project that I completed over a year ago. I have to let things sit."

"I am still learning so much everyday about how I want to work and what I need to comfortably have a sustainable practice."
art  design  HassanRahim  NewReader  GraphicDesign  influences  2020  2020-02 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Mark O'Connell, "Splendid isolation," The Guardian
"My relationship with time had always been characterised by a certain baleful anxiety, but as I approached the start of the decade in which I would have no choice but to think of myself as middle-aged, this anxiety intensified. I was always in the middle of some calculation or quantification with respect to time, and such thoughts were always predicated on an understanding of it as a precious and limited resource. What time was it right now? How much time was left for me to do the thing I was doing, and when would I have to stop doing it to do the next thing?

This resource being as limited as it was, should I not be doing something better with it, something more urgent or interesting or authentic? At some point in my late 30s, I recognised the paradoxical source of this anxiety: that every single thing in life took much longer than I expected it to, except for life itself, which went much faster, and would be over before I knew where I was.

Much of this had to do with being a parent. Having two young children had radically altered my relationship with the days and hours of my life. Almost every moment was accounted for in a way that it had never been before. But it was also the sheer velocity of change, the state of growth and flux in which my children existed, and the constant small adjustments that were necessary to accommodate these changes."

"And with this new phase of parenthood, I began to think how strange it was, given how precious those early years now seemed to me, that I spent so little time thinking about my own childhood, the lost civilisation on which my adult self now stood."

"A word he used a lot in talking about his work, and in describing the experience and value of the nature solo, was 're-enchantment.'"

"When you’re actually in it, the reality of the solo is, at least at first, one of total boredom. I cannot stress enough how little there is to do when you have confined yourself to the inside of a small circle of stones and sticks in a forest. But it is an instructive kind of boredom, insofar as boredom is the raw and unmediated experience of time."

"Then it occurred to me that there was something about the not knowing that was somehow right. Not having a human name to give the tree, a category in which to put it, made the tree more real and present to me than it otherwise would have, or so I allowed myself to believe."

"In these moments, I find myself thinking of the place itself as somehow conscious of my presence. To be alone in a forest, and to be thinking of the forest as somehow aware of you: I will acknowledge that this sounds like the very substance of nightmare, but, in fact, it is a strangely beautiful and quietly moving experience, and I think it must be what people mean when they talk about intuiting the presence of God."

"And I thought with a pang of how I was always hurrying him – to get dressed, to get out the door for school, to finish his dinner, to get ready for bed – and of how heedlessly I was inflicting upon him my own anxious awareness of time as an oppressive force."
MarkOConnell  TheGuardian  isolation  time  nature  NatureWriting  solitude  parenting  2020  2020-01  2020Faves 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Sheila Heti, "A Common Seagull," The Yale Review
"A friend drawn ugly becomes ugly. A life drawn sweet becomes more sweet. To draw your life is to attempt to transform it with your magic."

"The things that interest us most, that we live with, become trapped in our consciousness. Our minds, once we have an object in them, can never let that object be free. The ones we love, no matter how many ways we tell them they are free, live unfree in the jail of our mind. We cannot release into freedom those we love so long as we continue to think about them."

"This seems to me one of the central dilemmas of art making: What is the right way to keep working once the inspiration—the being taken possession of by the appropriate muse—has left you? How do you complete in a way that doesn’t distort or damage, what emerged spontaneously? Do you produce only fragments? Do you try to link the fragments by the thinnest threads that are as unobtrusive as possible? How do you finish what inspiration has left off? How the artist resolves this problem is everything."

"What does it mean to distrust the novelty of experience? To say instead that what one needs in order to create are not new things—not new grand adventures, not new wives or husbands or cities—but the same thing over and over again until a Platonic form of the thing builds up in the mind and becomes the model for what is written about, or painted?"

"It is this profound and inward attachment to his own domestic reality, which was repetitive, limited, and simple, that perhaps led my grandfather to praise Bonnard for the complete honesty in his intuitive emotional statements…"

"When I think about the death of my father, there are no edges to my recollection. How could my thoughts of that week, in a way the most profound week of my life, be in relation to a rectangle, to a rectangular frame? That week does not even know what a rectangle is."

"For George, happiness would always be there when he heard the word seagull, which could not be touched or eroded by the sight of an actual seagull. The idea of the thing is so much more shimmering than the thing itself. To let the repetitions of our life cohere into the Platonic form of our life—to contemplate our life not by looking at it directly but by way of our inward relation to it—might be the best way to feel that one’s life is not just a common seagull, but something balanced and faultless and sweet."
SheilaHeti  TheYaleReview  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  mourning  Bonnard  painting  art  PersonalEssay  creativity  writing  family 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Nathan Heller, "Is Venture Capital Worth the Risk?" The New Yorker
"In Venture World, everyone seems to be more or less on your wavelength. Its companies are geared toward unfussed people who keep their phones silenced and close. Venture capitalism is behind most of the platforms on which people lament the gaucherie of “late-stage capitalism”; it has become the chief industrial backer of the self-aware, predominantly upper-middle-class approach to life style now called woke.

A marriage between social enlightenment and manic growth defines the business of the past decade."

"Nicholas quotes early venture capitalists saying that they wouldn’t have got into the game if it hadn’t been for federal incentives; venture capital transformed from the pursuit of a few ultra-wealthy scions into a true profession. In the seventies, the government relaxed certain regulations—allowing pension funds to make high-risk investments, for instance—and lowered capital-gains taxes. These changes, plus firms’ embrace of limited partnerships, a legal structure that offered further tax shelters and protected passive investors, brought financial growth to the community that the incentives had founded. For the first time, a few venture-capital portfolios began to outperform the public markets. Many prominent venture capitalists now decry government controls and say they favor market meritocracy. That’s ironic, given that their industry exists as such only because of a sequence of supportive actions taken by the government."

"As a whole, the venture-capital industry has significantly outperformed the public markets only in the nineties—a decade that, you will remember, ended with the so-called dot-com bubble bursting"

"Institutionalizing venture capital has had good effects. For all its swagger about finding diamonds in the rough, the industry has always been largely about whom you know and what narrative you fit, with firms notoriously favoring socially maladapted young white men. This tendency has begun to change as its costs, financial and social, come to mainstream attention."
NathanHeller  NewYorker  2020  2020-01  VentureCapital  technology  SiliconValley  fundraising  investing 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, "Data Architectures," e-flux Architecture
"The facilities described in the report all share an aesthetic of total inaccessibility and anonymity: contemporary fortresses, with no windows or signs. They sit silently in urban landscapes, allowing a powerful infrastructure of surveillance to be hidden in plain sight, invisible to thousands of people passing by every day."

"While data centers are pivotal nodes in our social, political, cultural, and financial landscapes, their physical presence remains unassuming, banal, and anonymous. They mirror the asymmetric and abusive relationships between tech corporations and end-users."

"In fact, ninety percent of the world’s data was generated just in the last two years."

"… if data centers were a country, they would be the eleventh most energy consuming nation in the world."

"On server farms, the presence of humans is increasingly occasional and residual. Data centers are extreme buildings built for machines. Are they a new form of post-human architecture?"

"Data centers are an architecture for machines, but they are still modelled on human dimensions and needs."

"Can we imagine new models of a data permaculture, relying on the unstable course of the sun and the winds for energy, and decide to harvest data only when resources are available? Or conversely, what if we embrace the notion of an impermeable architecture completely liberated from humans, one where humans are reduced to an occasional visitor of a lightless, hot, ultra-efficient machine environments?"
2020  2020-01  eflux  IppolitoPestelliniLaparelli  environment  architecture  data  infrastructure  2020Faves 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Murray Whyte, "'My Parkdale is gone,'" The Guardian
"But the lively streetscape here masks a threat to what could very well be the last island of diversity in a city swamped by the flood waters of global capital. Huge international real estate investment firms have embedded themselves in Parkdale’s urban fabric, buying dozens of apartment towers and thousands of rental units."

"In the late 1990s, Parkdale could be chilling: group homes housed hundreds battling mental health and addiction issues; the less fortunate were left to the precarious realm of government rent subsidies and dilapidated, poorly-maintained rooming houses – or, just as often, the street. Along a deadened streetscape of mostly empty storefronts, drug deals happened in broad daylight, addicts raged and twitched, and Parkdale earned another name, Crackdale, day by day."

"It was built in the late 19th century as a summer refuge for the city’s wealthy, with opulent brick mansions on a small bluff overlooking the water. Six kilometres from the smoky and bustling downtown, it was close enough for those with means to easily reach – and to keep those without away."

"Gentrification, on the surface, seemed less of a threat than an impossibility. As the rest of Toronto surged upward in the early 2000s, Parkdale was forever “up and coming” – real estate code for a litany of social ills – and a target for only the heartiest of speculators. Some did come, sprucing up half a block here, a cluster of houses there, but Toronto’s real estate boom left Parkdale’s intractable poverty largely intact."

"The people who did come were new immigrants and refugees, heading to the last inner-city refuge of low rent. The tower units were squalid but cheap. And slowly, the tide of crime and drugs began to recede. Thanks to a long-standing federal policy, Tibetan refugees fleeing persecution in China took particularly strong root through the 2000s and 2010s, opening restaurants and grocery stores along Queen Street."

"In less than two decades, housing prices in Toronto doubled, then trebled, then quadrupled: the average price of a single-family home went from $251,267 in January 2000 to $1,044,527 in late 2018."

"By 2016, the last time the Canadian government collected census data, on paper, Parkdale had changed little: Almost 90% of its residents were renters, versus less than half for the city as a whole, making its 35,000 people more vulnerable to rental market swings than anywhere else. More than a third lived below the poverty line, 50% more than the broader city. While the immigrant population had grown to almost 50%, the data still showed that Parkdale was very much what it had always been: A haven for the vulnerable, reliant on the density of social services that had long clustered there. Nearly half of Parkdale’s residents were seniors, living alone, often in the rooming houses now under threat of reinvestment and renovation."
2020  2020-01  Parkdale  Toronto  MurrayWhyte  TheGuardian  gentrification  neighborhoods  immigration  RealEstate 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Astra Taylor, "The Right to Listen," The New Yorker
"The idea that the right to listen to one another should be defended in a democracy seems strange. That’s probably because we lack a shared vocabulary or framework for understanding listening as a political act."

"But to listen is to act; of that, there’s no doubt. It takes effort and doesn’t happen by default."

"A listener, when she realizes that she struggles to attend to only certain kinds of voices, apprehends the divisions in society. How we hear someone relates to that person’s gender, race, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, and wealth. Some voices are perceived as authoritative, others are ignored; some are broadcast around the world, others fade for lack of funds. Attempting to create what the essayist Rebecca Solnit calls “a democracy of equal audibility” is a social enterprise—it’s one of the tasks of feminist, anti-racist, and economic-justice movements. What would such a democracy sound like? Certainly not like one booming bass note."

"To defend our right to listen to one another, we must sometimes strain to hear voices that the powerful would drown out."

"How might Zuckerberg’s rhetoric strike us if we also saw the ability of citizens to hear one another as central to democracy? From that perspective, the deliberate pollution of our common listening space might register as an anti-democratic act. The listening perspective is especially useful today, in the age of digital media. While Facebook and other social-media platforms do facilitate speech, their business models revolve, in a fundamental way, around the manipulation and commodification of listening."

"… the history of thought about free speech does contain ideas that can be of use. Among them are the concepts of “audience interests” and the “right to hear,” which have been repeatedly recognized by the Supreme Court. These concepts see the First Amendment from a listener’s point of view. In addition to asking, “Do I have the right to speak,” Genevieve Lakier, a professor at the University of Chicago School of Law, told me, we can ask, “Am I, as a listener, genuinely hearing a diverse and representative array of views?”"

"As an activist on the left, I long assumed that my role consisted entirely of raising awareness, sounding alarms, and deploying arguments; it took me years to realize that I needed to help build and defend spaces in which listening could happen, too. As citizens, we understand that the right to speak has to be facilitated, bolstered by institutions and protected by laws. But we’ve been slow to see that, if democracy is to function well, listening must also be supported and defended—especially at a moment when technological developments are making meaningful listening harder."
AstraTaylor  NewYorker  2020Faves  2020  2020-01  listening  politics  democracy  activism  empathy 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Quinn Latimer, "New Mineral Collective: Core Desires, Counter Prospects," Canadian Art
"How to image and imagine that, how to see it—the glittery-political-ecological apocalypse all around us—and how to stop it? Can the optical record be framed as a form of resistance? Or is it always passive in its distance? These are some of the questions that New Mineral Collective, a collaborative platform under the auspices of artists Tanya Busse and Emilija Škarnulytė, seems to ask in this and other recent films and installations. Indeed, moving images seem to ask this of us."
QuinnLatimer  NewMineralCollective  ArtistsToWatch  CanadianArt  2020  2020-01  film  EssayFilms  geology  extraction  capitalism 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Florence Hazrat, "Pause and Effect," History Today
"During late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, classical texts were under threat as fewer and fewer knew how to punctuate them. Faced with a potential loss of meaning, scribes and scholars introduced a system of marking pauses, which included a pause between elements of a single sentence whose sense is not complete (which would become a comma), a pause between elements whose sense is complete yet their sentence is not (the future colon) and a pause between two sentences (the full stop)."

"The 15th century saw a boom of inventive punctuation, including the exclamation mark, the semicolon and brackets (or parentheses). New marks arise when a lack of clarity needs to be redressed, communication controlled and sense disambiguated, an emergency perhaps stemming from greater reliance on written diplomacy as well as the newly fashionable art of letter writing."

"What the interrobang does show, however, is that our prime concern today crowds around the absence of tone in writing."
culture  grammar  language  history  HistoryToday  FlorenceHazrat  2020  2020-01  punctuation 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Austin Robey, "How to Start a Cooperative," The Creative Independent
"If you are starting a business or organization, pursuing a cooperative model could be an excellent choice if you are looking to enable workers to keep any generated wealth within their community, and protect the value of workers’ labor from being extracted. Cooperatives can build local wealth, be more productive, and create quality jobs that tend to pay higher wages than investor-owned corporations.

Because they are more difficult to finance, cooperative business models are often easier to implement in instances when little startup capital is needed, and where workers are contributing their physical or freelance labor. This makes organizations that rely on a network of laborers or creative content producers a natural fit for the cooperative model."

"It’s important to remember that when we talk about cooperatives, we are talking about more than business entities or models—we are talking about core cultural values that give us humanity. The core function of a cooperative is to democratize ownership and control."

"By mobilizing communities around a common purpose and shared vision of co-ownership, we can grow networks and unlock huge competitive advantages. Co-ops win by planting their flag, articulating what they stand for, and amplifying stories of dignified work."
AustinRobey  2020  2020-02  TheCreativeIndependent  guide  cooperatives  capitalism  business 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Alice Gregory, "How Dorothea Lange Defined the Role of the Modern Photojournalist," The New York Times
"If Lange is remembered disproportionately for one photograph out of thousands, she is also remembered disproportionately for pictures in a career that also very much included words. After photographing her subjects, she rushed to take down what they said to use as a caption or a title, and then selected choice quotes, with an ear for the poetry of vernacular language."

"Looking at Lange’s career today, it’s possible to see that her photographic innovations were less visual and technical than they were interpersonal. She spoke while taking people’s pictures. Before asking them any questions at all, she talked about herself. She explained where she was from and her job as she understood it to be; she spoke of her children and of how much she missed them while on assignment. By revealing herself, subjects showed themselves to her in return. More than perhaps any other photographer’s work, Lange’s was less about bearing witness to history than it was about engaging directly with it, of being part of history itself."

"She was an artist under the guise of a journalist and an activist under the guise of a dispassionate civil servant, and it would be impossible to think of any of these roles today without her influence."

"Lange’s attention to texture and detail make individual human subjects look like evidence of a national crime."

"What does Lange’s career look like in 2020? It’s clear she was an anomaly from the start, an evident female star in a field dominated by men, a photographer whose work was both funded by the federal government and embraced by the contemporary art world of her day. She produced evidence of the worst moments in this country’s history: the migration of the sick and starved across the country during the Depression, the cruel folly of Japanese internment and the moral disaster of segregation. (In 1941, her photographs of black farmers in the South would accompany Richard Wright’s prose in the book “12 Million Black Voices.”) But it was in looking at these grim, often ignored corners of life that Lange found figures of resilience, dignity and unlikely survival. Her legacy combines two fields — art and journalism — whose entirely separate constraints and ethics can still, at their best, change the world."
AliceGregory  DorotheaLange  photography  NYT  2020  2020-02  ExhibitionReview  MOMA  documentary 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Arthur Lubow, "Empathy and Artistry: Rediscovering Dorothea Lange," The New York Times
"… the curatorial theme: Lange’s pictures require verbal commentary to be read legibly.

Curiously, though, the strength of Lange’s photographs at MoMA undercuts the exhibition’s concept. With or without the support of words, Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), created some of the greatest images of the unsung struggles and overlooked realities of American life."

"Seeking a deeper understanding of the economic crisis, Lange and her collaborators in the field interviewed her subjects, and she incorporated their words into her captions. She was the first photographer to do that systematically."

"The fame of “Migrant Mother” has cropped Lange’s reputation unfairly. She is a key link in a chain of photographic history. From Evans, she learned how to frame precise images of clapboard churches. But unlike Evans, who usually preferred to keep a distance and capture a building’s architectural integrity, Lange always wanted, as she said when describing how she made “Migrant Mother,” to move “closer and closer.” Her 1938 photograph, “Death in the Doorway, ” of a church entrance in the San Joaquin Valley reveals a blanketed corpse that someone, probably unable to afford a burial, has deposited. Evans would never have gone there.

In turn, Lange was revered by the documentary photographers who followed her. The greatest of them, Robert Frank, paid her direct homage in “The Americans,” shooting from the same vantage point the New Mexico highway that Lange had memorialized in “An American Exodus.”"
ArthurLubow  DorotheaLange  NYT  2020  2020-02  photography  ExhibitionReview  MOMA  documentary 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Amanda Mull, "Laptops Killed Work-Life Balance," The Atlantic
"Some disagreement exists over whether 2007 or 2008 was the first year that laptops outsold desktops in the general market, but 2008 was the first year that American employers bought more laptops than desktops."

"Instead of liberating white-collar and “knowledge” workers from their offices, laptops turned many people’s whole lives into an office. Smartphones might require you to read an after-hours email or check in on the office-communication platform Slack before you start your commute, but portable computers gave workers 24-hour access to the sophisticated, expensive applications—Salesforce CRM, Oracle ERP, Adobe Photoshop—that made their full range of duties possible."

"More than the smartphone, laptops ended “work hours” as a concept."
laptops  technology  computers  AmandaMull  2020  2020-02  TheAtlantic  business  WorkLifeBalance 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Parul Sehgal, "How to Write Fiction When the Planet Is Falling Apart," The New York Times
"'Can you still just tend your own garden once you know about the fire outside its walls?'"

"Offill doesn’t write about the climate crisis but from deep within it. She does not paint pictures of apocalyptic scenarios; she charts internal cartographies. We observe her characters’ lurching shame, despair, boredom and fatigue — solastalgia experienced in ordinary life, vying with the demands of aging parents, small children, the churn of the mind."

"The climate crisis, Offill shows, is reshaping not just our world but also our minds. “Weather” joins other new fiction in transforming the novel of consciousness into a record of climate grief. "

"She pointed out which fragments made it into the book, which ones didn’t. The key to her proc­ess, she told me, is time — hence the agonizing slowness of the writing. Only by waiting and continuing to stare at and sift these fragments does it become clear which ought to remain. So many, she said, lose their “radiance”; they reveal themselves to be merely clever."

"Offill has made no concessions, no feints to be taken seriously on anyone’s terms but her own. She has taken up a disparaged form, the “domestic novel,” stuffed it with ideas, histories of geology and the cosmos, while somehow stripping it down to its most austere, efficient form. With it, she pursues those very subjects — motherhood and the climate emergency — that can seem too large, too sentimentalized, too guilt-inducing to be subjects of successful, let alone serious, realist fiction."
2020  2020-02  2020Faves  ParulSehgal  JennyOffill  writing  WriterInterview  NYT  books  profile 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Katy Waldman, "A New Book on Elena Ferrante Rethinks What Criticism Can Be," The New Yorker
"There’s something uncanny about a group of bookish women using Ferrante’s tetralogy—which follows the lives of Lila and Lenù, two friends growing up in Naples during the nineteen-fifties—to impel a collective inquiry."

"Maybe, in this context, killing off the individual critic is only logical."

"The intimate tone lends a beguiling humanity to the book, inducing a pleasure more often associated with novels: the pleasure of character. For Chihaya, Emre, and Richards (Hill reveals less), select confessions promise not the key to one story—Ferrante’s—but the existence of a second, more enchanting story, which the first story only “enables.”

This is one of several ways in which the essays aspire to the condition of fiction. Specifically, they aspire to the condition of Ferrante’s fiction, which bristles with “shadow narratives”: Lenù’s novels, for example, paraphrase Lila’s apparently superior diaries. The wished-for ideal appears to be ambiguity and aesthetic unknowability. This means that, even as “The Ferrante Letters” showcases what is good about criticism (keen noticing, ingenious arguments, elegant and forceful expression), it can seem, at times, to disdain its own genre. It’s hard to object to ambition, the flourishes that make this book read like art. And yet it’s worth distinguishing between literary effects that charm or move a reader and those that increase her comprehension of a text. Book reviews aren’t here to make friends, even brilliant ones.

What, exactly, are they here to do? The most provocative claim in “The Ferrante Letters” is that criticism might not only illuminate a text; it might also mimic a work, inhabit its form. This makes for mesmerically reflexive reading, in which the authors, characters in a plot of their own making, gradually become subject to Ferrante’s themes."
KatyWaldman  NewYorker  2020  2020-02  criticism  LiteraryCriticism  writing  ElenaFerrante 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Dan Shipper, "CEO By Day. Internet Sleuth By Night," Superorganizers
"No matter what I’m doing, even something like putting together a big presentation, I start out by writing out the narrative. I’m not starting in Keynote, I’m starting in Google Docs."

"And one of the key things in a company is, How do you get everybody on the same page? How do you help them understand what’s important and what’s not important?

So one of the best solutions I’ve found to help with this is writing. Writing scales better than anything else. The beauty of things that are written down is that they can be consumed at any time, anywhere, by anyone in the organization."

"A lot of the work that I’ve done is using writing as a way to create a shared understanding between people so that there’s a foundation everyone can work off of."
DanShipper  SuperOrganizers  NoahBrier  productivity  management  research  Evernote  WITI  2020  2020-02  WriterInterview  SoftwareRecommendation 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Ian Bogost, "The Smartphone Has Ruined Space," The Atlantic
[Pair with Kyle Chayka's 2016 "Airspace" essay]

"Blockbuster is dead, but the emotional dread of its aisles lives on in your bedroom."

"Nowhere feels especially remarkable, and every place adopts the pleasures and burdens of every other. It’s possible to do so much from home, so why leave at all?"

"The den or the bedroom has to take on additional responsibilities, haunting them with the functions of locations where other activities once took place."

"… any place whatsoever—even the anthropological spaces that Augé thought gave human experience context—can become equally anonymous."

"… technology has allowed personal intimacy and connection to flourish too much, and anywhere. Now every space is a superspace, a place that might be fused together with any other."

"It’s not just that the work comes home with you, but that the office does as well. Infinitely portable, the smartphone turns every space it enters into a workplace. Once Salesforce is launched, whatever room you occupy is a conference room."

"These changes hollow out the spaces where specific activities once took place. The unique vibe and spiritual energy of the record shop or the clothing boutique evaporate away once Spotify or Amazon takes over for them. Peripheral spaces also decay, such as the transit lines or roads that lead to them, and the cafés or boba joints that flank them."

"It’s easy but disorienting, and it makes the home into a very strange space. Until the 20th century, one had to leave the house for almost anything: to work, to eat or shop, to entertain yourself, to see other people. For decades, a family might have a single radio, then a few radios and a single television set. The possibilities available outside the home were far greater than those within its walls. But now, it’s not merely possible to do almost anything from home—it’s also the easiest option. Our forebears’ problem has been inverted: Now home is a prison of convenience that we need special help to escape."
IanBogost  TheAtlantic  smartphones  architecture  media  technology  2020  2020-01 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Toby Shorin, "Building for the Culture," Subpixel Space
"I’ve noticed many founders prioritizing culture, visibility, and perception over product, customer development, and strategy. Maybe this is to be expected in a time where culture moves faster and is perceived as more important than ever. But I find it unusual that the tech industry seems unaware of a whole class of typical mistakes founders make in pursuit of cultural relevance."

"Having a good brand can serve business goals. But prioritizing it to the neglect of other needs is always damaging, especially for early-stage companies with limited funding."

"Content algorithms are programmed to reward visibility with more visibility, and the equation of visibility with value is also instantiated in social media interfaces, where the most recognizable game is “make the numbers go up.” Media technology changes what we look for in culture, and what we expect of ourselves. What we have today is a culture of culture: an online arena in which the perceived importance of visibility, influence, and culture itself are at an all-time high."

"Today’s founders want to be seen, to be relevant, to become part of the spectacle of hyperspeed online discourse. In fact, I suspect that in many cases the pursuit of cultural relevance is the reason for starting a business in the first place."

"Having a company entails being seen. It entails being known more widely than one can typically be known. It is a way of being at the center of attention."

"When it comes to public presence, everything a company does a brand does better—or with less effort. Realistically, it is much easier to run a great brand than it is to run a great company. A successful brand can be bon visuals, hype, and a twitter presence alone—customers aren’t even necessary. A brand, after all, is just a nexus of belief.

And this is exactly where problems arise. Founders that are primarily concerned with their public perception are likely to prioritize work that confirms it."

"As long as there are zero-cost ways to become visible to thousands of people, these desires aren’t going away. Media transforms our societies irreversibly."

"The internet is a technology of visibility, of seeing and being seen. As each aspect of our lives, as culture, business, and identity formation move into these networked spaces, each aspect will develop ways of seeing and being seen, and in this way they will become more alike. There was already a certain homomorphism between corporations and celebrities. Our new culture of seenness is accelerating this tendency. Businesses are becoming more like people who are becoming more like celebrities who are becoming more like businesses."
TobyShorin  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  management  leadership  SiliconValley  SocialMedia  SocialCapital 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Steel Stillman, "Judy Linn Interview on Bohemia, Suburbia, and Composing a Great Photo," Art in America
"For the photographer, responding to the itch to take a picture is crucial. You should never say no."

"I believe that photography is basically surreal, that its invention invented surrealism"

"Photography is a mechanical eye, but it has a persona. It translates the world in ways that become a conversation."

"I learned what style is one day in the ’80s, when Helen Levitt and I were shooting in Harlem at the end of a New York marathon. It was raining, and I was shooting in color, which was dumb because there wasn’t enough light for it. I was trying desperately to make something happen but coming up with nothing. So, I told Helen about this group of girls I’d seen with great-looking broken umbrellas and she went back up the block and got a good picture. The reason she did was because she was just showing what was there, while I was trying to make something happen. Style is not what you shoot, but how clearly you depict what is there."
2020  2020-02  JudyLinn  Photography  ArtInAmerica  ArtistInterview  HelenLevitt 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
How Leo Castelli and MoMA Charted Today’s Rocket-Fueled Art Market –
"What I found was that the Sculls’ purchase and gift of Map stands as a singular transactional masterpiece, an exemplary product of the remarkable relationship between Castelli, Johns, the Sculls (and their heated competition with the Tremaines), and MoMA, that shaped the course of art and the market for it over decades."

"What becomes clear in retrospect is how this competitive swirl around Johns, this relentless pursuit of the new, and even the audacious accounting of Map’s appraisal, presaged the burgeoning market for contemporary art that continues into the present."
2020Faves  GregAllen  ArtNews  LeoCastelli  ArtMarket  ContemporaryArt  JasperJohns  ArtCollecting  2019-11  2020 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Katherine Lucky, "The Last Shakers?," Commonweal Magazine
"“Unless you live the life,” Arnold had told me, “you cannot truly understand it.” And yet, one can at least understand the stakes. The Shakers are not a business, trying to sell chairs and soap. They are not advocates for gender equality or world peace. They are not a historical curiosity. The Shakers are a religious community. For them, the end means nothing less than the end of an idea of heaven."
2020  2020-02  KatherineLucky  Commonweal  Shakers  religion  AmericanHistory 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Jenny Odell, "The Myth of Self-Reliance," The Paris Review
"Just as I had studiously reproduced the form of the gull without knowing what it was, I saw that I had absorbed from my family and my upbringing a specific brand of individualism, valorizing and transmitting it unknowingly. I’d done this throughout my entire life, but especially in How to Do Nothing."

"But as I reflected on the panic button in the context of Butler’s “challenge to individualism,” it began to look more like an advanced, concrete version of an interdependence that we each bear in some form from the moment we are born. If my grandma was now hanging on by this particular thread, it simply highlighted the many other threads that keep us all aloft."

" The best version of Emerson’s individualism is bracing, like a splash of cold water to the face, or a friend shaking you by the shoulders in order to snap you out of a daze. But for me, as for many others, everything outside the self fades away too quickly in “Self Reliance”: all of the people and circumstances that have influenced my experience of independence, my conception of my self, and even the very terms with which I think."
JennyOdell  TheParisReview  RalphWaldoEmerson  literature  AmericanLiterature  2020  2020-02  SelfReliance  attention  philosophy 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
There’s Something About These Toronto Raptors - The Ringer
When Kawhi Leonard left town, most (cough) assumed the team’s chances at another title went with him. But the doubt has just fueled the reigning champions, who are currently riding a historic run.
DanDevine  TheRinger  2020  2020-02  TorontoRaptors  NBA  basketball 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Studio Oker's identity for Norwegian furniture maker Hamran centres around a bespoke serif typeface — The Brand Identity
Hamran is a Norwegian family-run business that makes bespoke kitchens, interiors and furniture. Founded in 1930, they design their predominately wooden products from start-to-finish, focusing on durability in order to reduce the ecological footprint.

Stavanger-based Studio Oker has rebranded Hamran, with the new identity centring around a bespoke typeface created in collaboration with The Pyte Foundry. The flared serif’s generous curves and flares represent the precise craftsmanship that is poured into Hamran’s products. Applications are laid out elegantly, keeping the focus on the typeface and the photography of Hamran’s beautifully-designed interiors.

Typeface: The Pyte Foundry
Norway  2020  2020-02  2020Faves  GraphicDesign  furniture  identity  branding  CustomType  TheBrandIdentity 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Oude Dijk monastery, designed by Shift Architecture & Urbanism, Dezeen
Dutch studio Shift Architecture Urbanism has extended the Oude Dijk monastery in Tilburg with a brick extension with a nursing home and apartments for its residents, the Sisters of Charity.

The four-storey block extends from the south-eastern edge of the historic monastery, which date back to the mid-19th century.

This extension provides 24 care home apartments and 36 apartments for those with limited care needs.

Continuing the cloister typology of the original monastery the extension is design to compliment the existing structure and gardens.
ShiftArchitecture&Urbanism  architecture  2020  2020-02  2020Faves  monastery  interiors  Dezeen  TheNetherlands 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
LM Sacasas, "The Convivial Society: Vol. 1, No. 2"
"What I am trying to get at is the epistemic and affective consequences of information super-abundance created by digital media and the related collapse of trusted institutions/authorities that might serve as a guide through the overwhelming cacophony of information we are all flooded with at any moment on any given day. The consequences, I’d say, are persistent cognitive exhaustion yielding either epistemic nihilism or potentially violent sectarianism."

"When we have a superabundance of information and a failure of trusted institutions, any effort to make sense of a situation, to connect the dots, will seem (and perhaps feel) not unlike conspiracy theorizing."

"We’ve always need to trust in order to know. The more there was to know, the more we’d need to trust. Unfortunately, at present, many are finding it increasingly difficult to trust just as our need for genuine knowledge and judgment grows.

In this light, polarization and group loyalty may be understood as a psychic/epistemic defense mechanism, exacerbated by the architecture of social media platforms. So, too, apathy, indifference, and varieties of ironic detachment."

[In a separate section of the newsletter] "It is taken from Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time to Keep Silence. In it Fermor recounts his stays at various monasteries during his travels throughout Europe and Turkey in the early 20th century. This is his description of his initial encounter with the rhythms and silence of the monastery. What has struck me in reading this is the notion that we are all carrying about a “tremendous accumulation of tiredness,” simply as a matter of living in the modern world. Naturally, I suspect that presently the situation has only been aggravated. Tiredness, exhaustion, burnout—these are our most characteristic states."
LMSacasas  2020  2020-01  information  technology  media  attention  misinformation  conspiracy  tiredness  sleep 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
LM Sacasas, "The Convivial Society: Dispatch, No. 2"
"The habit of immediacy atrophies the capacity to extend care toward the past or the future.

Digital media renders the present a black hole, everything is sucked into it: the past and the future, as well as our emotional and cognitive resources. Or, as Alan Jacobs, drawing on Thomas Pynchon has put it, it collapses our 'temporal bandwidth.'"
DanielBoorstin  AmericanHistory  politics  media  technology  attention  IowaCaucus  2020  2020-02 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Frank Chimero, "Who cares?"
"A well-made design system created for the right reasons is reparative. One created for the wrong reasons becomes a weapon for displacement. Tools are always beholden to values. This is well-trodden territory."

"The same can be said of design systems: producing tools to address the sprawl of digital technology isn’t only about enabling individual contributors, it is also about creating the conditions for them to feel safe and capable in their job.

One aspect of work stability is meeting real needs. The other is to have the work of meeting needs be valued."

"Assert value by performing maintenance and declaring it art. In Ukeles’ words, “Everything I do is Art is Art.” The manifesto was printed in Art Forum in 1971. The proposed show’s name? “CARE.” Of course."
FrankChimero  DesignSystems  design  care  2020  2020-02 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Adam Gopnik, "The Seriousness of George Steiner," The New Yorker
"'Pretentious,' though a word journalists sometimes used to describe him, was the last thing he ever was. He was never pretending. He was a humanities faculty in himself, an academy of one."

"...born in 1929, he was of the High and Higher and ever Higher kind, the kind who passionately believed, however fragile the belief might seem, in the power of serious art to redeem life."

"It was part of the genuine, and not merely patrician, seriousness of his view to see the war years as a fundamental rupture not just in history but in our faith in culture: educated people did those things to other educated people. It was not ignorant armies clashing by night that shivered George Steiner’s soul; it was intelligent Germans who listened to Schubert murdering educated Jews who had trusted in Goethe, and by the train load. This recognition of the limits of culture to change the world was the limiting condition on his love of literature, and it was what gave that love a darker and more tragic cast than any mere proselytizing for “great books” could supply."

"What was astonishing, given how fully he was committed to a demanding standard of literature, was how fully he committed as well to a popular role—one might almost call it, even if he would have cringed at the turn, a middlebrow role. His presence in the academy, though constant, was accented by his even larger presence in the journals and magazines, like this one, that he graced with his learning. At a time when most critical writers sought either, in the academy, to be entertainingly obscure or else, in popular pages, to be obscurely entertaining, he sought instead always to be earnest and enlightening."
AdamGopnik  NewYorker  GeorgeSteiner  LiteraryCriticism  obituary  2020  2020-02  PublicIntellectuals 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Greg Afinogenov, "Migration Exhibitions Obscure the Reality of Militarized Borders," Art in America
"In the United States, institutions now have an opening to articulate an alternative vision, one that not only confronts Trumpism but understands its links to the neoliberal consensus that came before, that not only showcases the work of artists who reject nationalism but identifies culprits and underlying structures. Yet, they find themselves torn between the radical vision of an open world and the temptation to flatter and reassure."

"Each of them misfired in a different way, but none because the artists included were insufficiently radical. The Phillips exhibition used the history of migration to evade the specificity of the present; the ICA exhibition sidestepped the human agency of border violence; and the Harvard exhibition took refuge in a narrative of hybridity that blurs the distinction between goods and people."

"The climate of moral crisis that led to these museum exhibitions originated partly with recent reports about concentration camps on the US-Mexico border, but the structure within which these camps were created dates back to the end of the twentieth century. By focusing on migration itself, instead of border enforcement, each of these exhibitions has taken a crime and turned it into an act of God—and thus reduced its own historical urgency to a bland thematic statement."

"All the exhibitions featured artists who, like Vo, use the movement of objects as a metaphor for the movement of people. People’s belongings figured repeatedly as a stand-in for the disruption and trauma of the migration process."

"All three shows were careful to avoid or minimize any notion that there may be people with names and addresses who are responsible for making certain kinds of migration violent and traumatic."

"What matters here is not the individual culpability of philanthropists but the manifest impossibility of attempting to make good on “the civic and social imperative of art” without pointing fingers at concrete people and organizations. In displaying the work of Tama, Moore, Akomfrah, and Akerman, the curators have clearly recognized that migration, pace Levinas, is a political question. Yet, like the shows at the ICA and Harvard, the Phillips’s wall texts and advertising ultimately confined themselves to nonthreatening winks about the real targets of the exhibition."

"What stripping out the perpetrators actually delivers is not nuance but exculpation. Informed by a laudable political impulse but unable to realize it, the exhibitions turned instead to the inoffensive notions that migration is a good thing, and that migrants shouldn’t be mistreated or abused."

"Is this asking too much of museums, which can’t afford to be too scrupulous if they want to survive in a world of declining arts funding? Perhaps. But even if we don’t expect them to change, we should still criticize them—in the name of the artists they exhibit, if nothing else. As an immigrant myself, I could identify with the experiences of longing and loss on display, but some wounds are inevitable and others are not. A politics that fails to distinguish between the two can offer only futile gestures."
art  politics  borders  museums  ExhibitionReview  ArtinAmerica  GregAfinogenov  migration  ContemporaryArt  2020  2020-02  2020Faves 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
New Time Machines Working Group
"The pathology of the world ending at any instant (1945-) is very different from its slow uninhabitability (1970-). Yet we live in both."

"Key, however, in the distinction between the threat of the end of the world and the end of time, is the differing means and ends that utter their coming. Apocalyptic Millenarianism doesn’t ask individuals to embrace a cosmos, but to commit to a single, unidirectional timeline. The sudden cancellation of the future holds little ground, and its declarations should be met with suspicion—even when they invoke crises that cannot be denied—because they don’t give us worlds."

"...astrology seeks to articulate and actively craft how time’s disposition and affordances are governed, taking the event more than the self as its subject."

"... the disjunction between magic’s appearance and its inhabitation, as practice resistant to enclosure."

"Perhaps one theory of political change lies in a transformation of the quality of time: not whether, but which, and whose, watches we consult."

"Today, a dominant experience of time is translated from orbiting planetary bodies to corresponding regulation in digital machines, which keep our devices in constant, unprecedented sync; mobile devices are an expression of the medium of time that enforces its serialization. There was a possibility for our devices to derive their initial logic from elsewhere. Rather than skeuomorphic telephones, these portable circuits, liquid, and glass might have become the explicit wayfinding tools of earlier designs for companion devices."
KeiKreutler  NewTimeMachinesWorkingGroup  2020  2020-02  2020Faves  time  astrology  synchronicity 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Frank Chimero, "Redesign: Gridniking"
"There is a point where a grid system becomes too elaborate and loses its finesse. The structures that are meant to support creative choices can become a cage. I’m a big proponent of “just enough grid.” Grids are scaffolding, structures meant to help get the main building done."

"Gutters matching the copy’s line-height is one of those standard design conventions I was taught in school. This acts as a starting point. I usually end up fudging the measurement in either direction for optimal optical happiness once the content is flowed into the layout."
FrankChimero  design  websites  grids  typography  2020  2020-02 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Jason Farago, "International Center of Photography Refocuses in a New Home," The New York Times
"This is the paradox: the average photograph has never been more banal or irrelevant, yet photography as a medium has never mattered more. In 2020 we are in desperate, desperate need of a richer discourse about this new, pervasive era of photography: how the lens-based image became a ubiquitous thing, and how any image or photographer can gain distinction in this flood of pictures. Cross your fingers that the International Center of Photography finds its way there soon."

"For it is a wounding mistake to think that reaching a broader and younger audience requires a lowering of ambitions, and I can name one institution that used to know that. It was at the International Center of Photography, back in Midtown, that the artist Coco Fusco and the curator Brian Wallis presented “Only Skin Deep,” their sprawling 2003 exhibition on the role of the camera in the construction of American racial categories. It was at ICP that Okwui Enwezor, the towering Nigerian curator, first mounted “Rise and Fall of Apartheid,” an impassioned and typically precise study of South African photography and history from 2012, which mixed fine art, photojournalism and bureaucratic documentation."
museums  2020  2020-01  JasonFarago  NYT  InternationalCenterOfPhotography  photography  ExhibitionReview 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Rob Mahoney, "How the Indiana Pacers Home-Brewed a Winner," The Ringer
The Pacers put a playoff team on the floor every season, no matter who’s on the roster. With Victor Oladipo returning, can they finally be something more? Here’s how Indiana home-brewed a winner, and why taking the next step won’t be so easy, even with its All-NBA guard in the lineup.
RobMahoney  TheRinger  NBA  basketball  Pacers  VictorOladipo  2020  2020-01 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Katrina Onstad, "The Woman Who Built Queen West," Toronto Life
The art dealer Katharine Mulherin transformed a rundown strip into the coolest neighbourhood in the city. Then she found herself priced out of the world she created. The untold story of her dazzling life and tragic death
art  obituary  QueenWest  Toronto  KatherineMulherin  KatrinaOnstad  TorontoLife  Parkdale  ArtScene  galleries  2020  2020-01 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Ginia Bellafante, "What We Lose by Hiring Someone to Pick Up Our Avocados for Us," New York Times
"The incursion of technology into every aspect of consumption has meant that only the indolent or pathologically tolerant wait for things."

"The act of turning grocery shopping into an occupation threatens something larger — we are losing a way to bridge differences in a world already collapsing from its stratification."
GiniaBellafante  NYT  2020  2020-02  technology  SocialInteraction  Starbucks  PublicSpace  outsourcing  apps 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
John Kaag and Douglas Anderson, "The Renegade Ideas Behind the Rise of American Pragmatism," Literary Hub
"Pragmatists such as James and Peirce remind us that philosophy connotes the willingness to live or die—to live and die—for our thoughts. Thoughts matter: they can quicken our end, or help us survive, at least for the time being."

"The existential crises of James and Peirce were grounded in two of the enduring concerns of classical American pragmatism and drove them to concentrate on seemingly disparate, but actually adjacent, concepts: the efficacy of individual freedom and the possibility of genuine communion."

"James’s desire for power—his hope that the world could be “up to us”—drew him away from his biological studies, toward a Frenchman who was in the process of constructing a philosophy of free will. Charles Renouvier was an unabashed loner, which might have been at least partially inspired by his argument that the individual will, even in total isolation, could be freely executed."
WilliamJames  CharlesPeirce  JohnKaag  DouglasAnderson  LitHub  AmericanHistory  pragmatism  philosophy  2020  2020-01 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Temma Ehrenfeld, "How William James encourages us to believe in the possible," Aeon Ideas
"We say it’s harder to listen now – the stakes higher, the conflict more intense. But has it ever been easy? James would have us listen to hone our own arguments, knowing that conflict can speed progress."
WilliamJames  philosophy  pragmatism  2020  2020-02  TemmaEhrenfeld  Aeon  AmericanHistory 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Becca Rothfeld, "James Wood’s inspired reading," Bookforum
"Wood’s distaste is always buttressed by reverence that mounts a demand for perfection: He cares too much about fiction to let it calcify into cliché."

"He frowns over the fiction he censures like a disappointed father. His disapproval is only a correlate of his abiding love."

"What makes Wood such a formidable opponent? The most obvious answer is the crackling sensuousness of his prose. He writes unusually tactile criticism, thick with images you can almost reach out and grasp."

"Wood’s writing is lush, but a wire of rigor runs through it, and the exactitude of its argumentation stings."

"What good fiction is at pains to reflect is therefore not reality in a vacuum, but reality glimpsed through the veil of a specific author’s vision. A vision is not entirely arbitrary, but it is not entirely inert either: It is interpretive, and that is why it can revive the world, rather than merely recapitulating it."

"The prose Wood prizes interposes itself between self and reality as intrusively as a frosted pane."

"One concrete and demonstrable affinity between Wood’s writing and the liberal tradition, at least as the latter is elaborated in the work of John Rawls, is that both tend to presuppose that we can extricate ourselves imaginatively (if not materially) from our circumstances so as to migrate briefly into someone else’s. If criticism competes with and sometimes converges with fiction, and fiction is isomorphic not with the world but with a vision, then the critic offers us not truth but perspective. Both a critical essay and a novel invite us into an experience that is not our own."
Bookforum  BookReview  BeccaRothfeld  JamesWood  criticism  2020  2020-01  LiteraryCriticism  LiteraryStyle 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
George Scialabba, "Back to the Land," The Baffler
"Farming is the deepest layer of his mind; writing—learned at the University of Kentucky and then at Stanford in a famous seminar with Wallace Stegner—is the upper layer. That upper layer itself is divided: the fiction (a selection was issued last year by the Library of America) and poetry are slow-moving and deep-gauged, beautifully observed and full of interior incident, never loud or didactic. The essays, by contrast, though full of elegantly phrased and powerfully rhythmic sentences, are intensely earnest, aiming not to entertain or even to instruct but to convince and move."

"This is splendid prose. It is disastrous advice."

"No amount of recycling, farming right, eating right, being neighborly, or being personally responsible in other ways will matter much if we don’t subsidize solar and wind power, raise mileage requirements, steeply tax carbon, drastically reduce plastic production, kill coal, and provide jobs for all those whom these measures would disemploy. [...] In a face-to-face society, virtue is the right lever. Unfortunately, we live in a mass society, thoroughly bureaucratized and institutionalized, dense with complex systems, which only large aggregations of people (or money) can move. We need more, not fewer, plans, laws, and policies, but democratically formulated ones."

"Berry’s prescription underestimates the opposition—they really have closed off every path to change except the most difficult one: sustained, society-wide, decentralized popular mobilization."

"Like most antimodernists, Berry is very good at reminding us what we have sacrificed by embracing modernity. One such sacrifice is a sense of place."
"But although it lends his writing gravity and grace, I’m sorry that Berry insists on giving the agrarian ethos a religious framework and on situating human flourishing within a “Great Economy,” by which he means not Gaia but the “Kingdom of God.” As a result, he speaks less persuasively than he might to those of us who feel that our civilization has somehow gone wrong, and that at least some part of traditional wisdom is indeed wisdom, but who cannot believe that this universe is the work of the Christian God, or of any God."
TheBaffler  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  WendellBerry  ethics  economics  landscape  farming  LandUse  BookReview 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Jenny G. Zhang, "How Bubble Tea Became a Complicated Symbol of Asian-American Identity," Eater
"What was happening, says Wei, was that there was a generation of young Asian Americans — originally primarily Taiwanese Americans, but inclusive of Chinese, East Asian, and other members of the Asian diaspora in the Valley near Los Angeles — who grew up hanging out every day in boba shops, where they studied, gossiped with friends, and went on first dates, all over the cold, milky, tapioca ball-filled drink that is bubble tea (or boba, or pearl milk tea, or zhenzhu naicha [珍珠奶茶], depending on where you’re from)."

"Although there’s a persistent belief that East Asian populations don’t consume dairy due to widespread lactose intolerance, by the time of the Tang Dynasty (618–907) in China, black tea (known as “red tea” in Chinese) was often drunk with butter, cream, milk, and other additives like salt and sesame, drawing from the practices of nomadic people in the north, Brown tells me."

"The fusion of those two traditions — milk tea and chewy, gelatinous pearls — eventually gave rise to bubble tea. Milk tea, typically made with powdered creamer introduced in Taiwan by American foreign aid programs during the Cold War, was a “favorite local drink” prior to the 1980s, as Nguyen-Okwu reports. "

"This development has been compared to the emergence of third-wave coffee shops, but it’s become clear, talking to professionals within the industry, that there’s another parallel even closer to home: the evolution of Chinese-American restaurants, which are increasingly being opened by college-educated Chinese Americans who grew up in the U.S. or moved here for school, and whose stylish, regionally specific restaurants are the product of choice, rather than the necessity that drove their parents’ generation."

"Asian-American expressions of longing for the boba shops of one’s youth are not just about the physical space, or the drink, or the companionship; they’re as much about the time, however fleeting, spent within the bubble of comfort and belonging. It’s about missing the period of your life when you could afford to let bubble tea occupy such a large part of it."
boba  tea  JennyGZhang  Eater  2020  2020-02  BubbleTea  cafe  food 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Jordan Orlando, "The Once and Future MOMA," The New Yorker
"The curatorial revolution is revealed by the new signage—the familiar “Painting and Sculpture” gallery sequence, interspersed with selective displays of “Prints and Drawings” or “Photography,” has been replaced by a single word, “Collection,” and this new scheme instantly does its trick.The curatorial revolution is revealed by the new signage—the familiar “Painting and Sculpture” gallery sequence, interspersed with selective displays of “Prints and Drawings” or “Photography,” has been replaced by a single word, “Collection,” and this new scheme instantly does its trick."
JordanOrlando  NewYorker  2020  2020-02  architecture  art  MOMA  museums  design  DillerScofidioRenfro 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Leslie Nguyen-Okwu, "Boba Explained: Types of Bubble Tea, and How to Order," Eater
"The word “boba” can refer to either a broad category of chunky drinks — including everything from iced tea with tapioca pearls to fresh juice loaded with fruity bits — or black tapioca pearls themselves. Boba tea, bubble tea, and pearl milk tea — in Taiwan, zhenzhu naicha (珍珠奶茶) — are essentially different names for the same thing; the monikers differ by location, but also personal preference. (In the U.S., the East Coast favors bubble tea, while the West prefers boba.) Whatever you call it, in its most basic form, the drink consists of black tea, milk, ice, and chewy tapioca pearls, all shaken together like a martini and served with that famously fat straw to accommodate the marbles of tapioca that cluster at the bottom of the cup."

"And while the term was once confined to tea shops, you’ll find throughout Taiwan that the boba trend is now being incorporated into desserts, sandwiches, cocktails, and even skincare."
Eater  LeslieNguyenOkwu  boba  tea  BubbleTea  Taiwan  cafes  food  2020  2020-01 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Craig Mod, "Running a Paid Membership Program"
"To conclude on pricing, let me just reiterate a point that may have been lost above: I believe it’s better to charge more and figure out how to “reach” that value than to charge less."

"I am tremendously grateful to everyone who has joined. I realize not everyone can afford to join, and I realize we’re all a bit bombarded by “memberships” and “subscriptions” these days. But ultimately — this is a good thing! A scant ten years ago this ecosystem barely existed. Now it’s ever-more normalized. This feels healthy. Directly supporting writers, artists, musicians, software developers, et cetera, feels like the final remaining puzzle piece of the last 30 years of independent creation. Computers democratized design in the ’80s/’90s, the web democratized publishing in the ’00s, and now proper payments infrastructure is democratizing creative sustainability."
CraigMod  newsletters  writing  pricing  membership  2020  2020-02 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Bak Gordon, Secondary School Romanshorn, Dezeen
Beige tiles and pale pink window shutters cover the exterior of this concrete secondary school in Romanshorn, Switzerland.

Designed by Portuguese practice Bak Gordon Arquitectos with local firm Architekturbüro Bernhard Maurer, the Secondary School Romanshorn replaces two outdated buildings.
2020  2020-01  2020Faves  architecture  BakGordon  education  concrete 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
Peter Schjeldahl, "The Art of Dying," The New Yorker
"I don’t trust my memories (or anyone’s memories) as reliable records of anything—and I have a fear of lying. Nor do I have much documentary material. I’ve never kept a diary or a journal, because I get spooked by addressing no one. When I write, it’s to connect."

"Death is like painting rather than like sculpture, because it’s seen from only one side."

"Closeness is impossible between an artist and a critic. Each wants from the other something—the artist’s mojo, the critic’s sagacity—that belongs strictly to the audiences for their respective work. It’s like two vacuum cleaners sucking at each other."

"When I started writing criticism, in 1965, in almost pristine ignorance, I discovered that I was the world’s leading expert in one thing: my experience. Most of what I know in a scholarly way about art I learned on deadlines, to sound as if I knew what I was talking about—as, little by little, I did. Educating yourself in public is painful, but the lessons stick."

"Advice to aspiring youth: in New York, the years that you spend as a nobody are painful but golden, because no one bothers to lie to you. The moment you’re a somebody, you have heard your last truth."
PeterSchjeldahl  NewYorker  memoir  dying  cancer  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  ArtCriticism 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
Dayna Tortorici, "My Instagram," n+1
"I told my friend, an art critic, that I was self-banishing to Instagram, the only social media platform that did not haunt me, get under my skin, and cause me to feel shortness of breath and numbness in my fingers. I had a theory that everyone was haunted by at least one of them, and which one depended on your insecurities, the type of people who gathered there, and the style of communication its interface allowed."

"Leaving Twitter for Instagram was like moving to Los Angeles, only cheaper."

"The satisfaction of self-publishing is difficult to describe. To press a button and see your own excrescence appear in the preordained format, minted, can feel like a kind of magic. It can make you feel like you count."

"This would be the place to speak about René Girard, about influencers, about the mise en abyme of mimetic desire: we want what other people want because other people want it, and it’s penciled-in eyebrows all the way down, down to the depths of the nth circle of hell where we all die immediately of a Brazilian butt lift, over and over again. But what is there to say? We know it, we know it, we know it. Still we keep scrolling, deeper down the well of our bottomless need."

"Instagram grows on subjectivity like a fungus whose shape and color varies from person to person, and to describe what it feels like to live with it is not to describe how it works. Nor is it to describe what it feels like for anyone else — a fact of which this essay is evidence."

"Considerations like comfort, accessibility, and acoustics were secondary to visual appeal. It was as if the landscape itself had dysmorphia, altering its physical appearance to fit an arbitrary standard that undermined its primary function. But maybe I had it backward. Maybe the point of a physical space was no longer to shelter physical people. Maybe a storefront was a marketing tool for a direct-to-consumer internet start-up, the way a website was once a marketing tool for a brick-and-mortar store."

"A voyeur knows what kind of viewer he is, but looking at Instagram, you are not always a voyeur. Neither are you always a witness, nor any other single kind of watcher. Each post interpellates you differently. Your implied identity slips with each stroke of the thumb."
DaynaTortorici  n+1  Instagram  Twitter  SocialMedia  identity  2020  2020-01  2020Faves 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
Jia Tolentino, "The Pitfalls and the Potential of the New Minimalism," The New Yorker
"Today’s minimalism, with its focus on self-improvement, feels oddly dominated by a logic of accumulation. Less is always more, or “more, more, more,” as Millburn and Nicodemus write: “more time, more passion, more experiences, more growth, more contribution, more contentment—and more freedom.”"

"Chayka aims to find something deeper within the tradition than an Instagram-friendly aesthetic and the “saccharine and predigested” advice of self-help literature. Writing in search of the things that popular minimalism sweeps out of the frame—the void, transience, messiness, uncertainty—he surveys minimalist figures in art, music, and philosophy, searching for a “minimalism of ideas rather than things.”"

"In a way, Chayka’s book replicates the conflict he’s attempting to uncover—between the security and cleanliness of a frictionless affect and the necessity of friction for uncovering truth."

"Underneath the vision of “less” as an optimized life style lies the path to something stranger and more profound: a mode of living that strips away protective barriers and heightens the miracle of human presence, and the urgency, today, of what that miracle entails."

"The difference between profound and superficial minimalism may be a matter of conceptual inversion: the question is whether you accept diminishment in order to more efficiently assert your will or whether you assert your will in order to accept the unseen bounty of self-diminishment."
JiaTolentino  KyleChayka  NewYorker  2020  2020-01  minimalism  lifestyle  bookreview  InteriorDesign 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
Molly Young interview on The Creative Independent
Journalist and critic Molly Young on the importance of curiosity, strategies for writing an effective magazine pitch, and what it means to create open spaces for dialogue and engagement on the internet.

"I think part of the sadness of growing into an adult is that you become trained to spend less time distracted by things. And what I try to do is re-access that ability to be interested in things, and then to not ask myself why I’m interested in them, but simply to explore them and trust that the reason will eventually become clear to me."

"The role of a critic is to have a really subjective opinion and to express it as beautifully as possible, period. Why would you want to read somebody who pretended to be objective? That’s insane and totally untrustworthy."
MollyYoung  criticism  TheCreative  2020  2020-01  WriterInterview  curiosity  BookReview 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
M. R. O‘Connor, “Dirt-Road America,” The New Yorker
“He continued to run his pharmacy but started an amateur cartography business on the side, tracing his routes on maps and taping them together, mailing copies to people all over America. “Part of my original thought was to get people out into the outback and to see their country,” he said. ’There’s more to travelling than being on the interstate going seventy miles an hour.’”

“Today, approximately thirty-two per cent of America’s public roads are unpaved. There are still, however, millions of miles of dirt roads in what the French call arriere-pays—the hinterland. The poet Beverley Bie Brahic describes arriere-pays as “the place we can’t quite see from where we stand: it’s around the next bend; it’s what draws us onward in our travels.”
maps  trails  NewYorker  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  driving  America  landscape  cartography  travel 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
n+1 editors, "Smorgasbords Don’t Have Bottoms," n+1
"Indies have benefited from the patterns of gentrification that have proved so punishing to other kinds of small businesses, and future growth may be inhibited by those same forces."

"Like Facebook, Amazon doesn’t put a high value on moderation, or any kind of human/editorial intervention, casting the very core of the bookselling business as one more efficiency to be optimized. Thus the everything store is not a store at all, but rather the retail economy in miniature, its seedier and illicit aspects brought to the surface, operating on an equal plane with more straightforward transactions — all of which Amazon profits from."

"Conglomerate publishing has responded with anxiety masquerading as newsy brashness. Given the choice between seeking out the new, the strange, and the shocking or hanging onto personalities and news hooks and follower counts, the Big Five opt for the latter. In an age of hyperconglomeration, there are profit goals to aim for and slots to fill. There are templates for success, never mind that they may be out-of-date, or that success in publishing, as in life, tends to be a freak occurrence."

"There are still numerous book editors who edit, and edit well, but they are operating at cross-purposes with their employers, for whom editors are most valuable as seekers of sure things, known quantities, and built-in platforms."

"The drift into vacuity signifies something more than the difficulty of describing boring books, a problem publishers have contended with as long as there have been publishers. One senses in jacket-copy rhetoric the hermetic, recursive antipoetry of consolidation."

"No one wakes up in the morning hoping to be as vapid as possible. But eventually you internalize the squeeze. Everyone down the chain adjusts their individual decisions to the whim of the retailer, or to their best guess at the whim of the retailer."

"The extreme whiteness of the industry is a crucial part of the problem, but so is a coercive bookselling environment and an ever greater tendency toward profit seeking. Without structural changes, the industry will float from one idea to the next, incapable of differentiating good from bad, deep from shallow."

"Even in the absence of revolutionary change, the truth is that as Barnes & Noble floundered and Amazon rose, independent bookstores across the US fought back against every mitigating circumstance and overturned every dire prediction. They may not save the industry, but their example is a source of constructive inspiration. And even as conglomerate logic tries to crowd those bookstore shelves with Trump books and influencer memoirs, there is a giant constellation of books being produced by America’s independent publishers, carefully edited and intelligently marketed, that are worth reading."
books  publishing  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  n+1  technology  Amazon  IndependentBusinesses 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
David Reinfurt interview on the Design Notes Podcast from Google Design
Design Notes is a show about creative work and what it teaches us. For the first episode of 2020, Liam speaks with David Reinfurt, founder of O-R-G, half of Dexter Sinister, and author of A *New* Program for Graphic Design. Together they explore the fluid notions of personal, corporate, and graphic identity throughout Reinfurt’s career, the importance of learning through practice, and the relationship between design and art.
DavidReinfurt  DesignNotes  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  podcast  GraphicDesign  DexterSinister 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
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