Excerpt from: The Culture Crash by James Panero

While the argument Singer is making here is about philanthropy, one could extend that to any effort made at all. Why make art when you can volunteer at a soup kitchen and make a real difference? The author’s rebuttal I find a little lacking and I think our artists have made a much better case. […]

From Rob Walker's "Linkpile"

Artists plan to encase vacant Detroit home in ice: “To draw attention to foreclosures that have battered the region.” Yeah? is there a big problem with people not knowing about foreclosures and vacant housing in Michigan? I think that info is kind of, you know, out there. Why not do this in Westchester County or […]

Miami's Community Avengers

Have No Fear the Community Avengers are Here! As the right wing mob mobilizes to shut down democratic debate on health care reform; as Van Jones is forced from the White House through distortions of the truth and plays on racial and political fears; as the recession deepens – the masked marauders known as the […]

SFMOMA | OPEN SPACE » No More Posters! Let’s See Action!

My specific point here is that it’s time for activist design to go further than simple commentary. Not that commentary can’t provoke change or discourse, but in an age where anyone with a laptop, a wireless connection, and a Facebook account can procure the figurative equivalent of 100 people all wielding bullhorns at a protest […]

Politics of Surrealism

Some interesting tidbits from The Politics of Surrealism by Helena Lewis (NY: Paragon House, 1988) ” tried to link together two revolutions: that of the mind, by liberating the unconscious, and the social and economic revolution of the masses. The Surrealists always maintained that one of the most important ways to undermine capitalism is to […]

Art and Revolution – The MIT Press

As hopeful as it is incisive, Art and Revolution encourages a new generation of artists and thinkers to refuse to participate in the tired prescriptions of marketplace and authority and instead create radical new methods of engagement. Raunig develops an indispensable, contemporary conception of political change—a conception that transcends the outmoded formulations of insurrection and […]

Anti-Smoking Ads: pain, suffering and dismemberment works.

Anti-smoking ads historically highlight one blunt fact: smoking kills. But the World Lung Foundation has analyzed the effectiveness of ads around the world targeting various cultures and discovered it’s not that simple. Sandra Mullin, senior vice president at Communications for the World Lung Foundation, says the most effective ads highlight the pain, suffering and dismemberment […]

Is "professionalization" in art equal to success?

I caught a link on We Make Money Not Art to this Artworld Salon article that contemplated the criticism of an increasingly professionalized art world. The article questions, “What’s wrong with professionalization?” after citing examples of back-handed comments towards the MFA and PhD in the arts. The questions it raises are: does “professionalization” make artists […]

James Balog, art and journalism

Listening to James Balog I realized there is another point on our spectrum; journalism.  At another point is the “political expressionist” and then, somewhere else, is the political artist (which maybe we need a more descriptive name). Balog brings back reports, takes photos, and shows images of climate change.  Most of the affect on power […]