Saturday 16 April 2016

Reading List, 16 April 2016

I feel a strange conflict about Christine Coulson's 'Behind the Scenes at the Met' in the NYT Magazine. On the one hand, it's an intoxicating view of the unseen spaces of a legendary museum ("At first glance, these areas are functional: places to stack boxes of Met shopping bags, store unused shipping crates and transfer vats of chicken salad between the public and staff cafeterias.") On the other, every time I think of it I hear the Family Guy 'No-one at the New Yorker has an anus' joke.

Ta-Nehisi Coates interviewed about writing a new series of Black Panther.

Jessi Hempel for Wired about Medium launching a a new content management system (similar to Wordpress's offer) and two beta experiments in deriving revenue from sites hosted on the platform, with promoted content and paid-access. It makes me sad that the future of the web is all about selling our attention and sealing off access, but I wonder how else we are to sustain it?

Lana Lopesi for the Pantograph Punch on the recent Pacific Art Association symposium in Auckland. Read it for generational themes and 'nothing about us, without us' resonance.

Anna Pickard's talk about writing release notes for Slack at Webstock earlier this year was a highlight of the conference for me, showing how care put into small things captures but also shapes company culture.

I have feelings about our gotcha media culture. Hadley Freeman's advice for elderly celebrities on being interviewed about trans rights is satirical but also speaks to my discomfort with the way people are being treated at the moment.

There's a connection between these two pieces which I'm still working out (about whose contributions are valorised and valued in a culture that prioritises authorial creation and innovation over maintenance): Debbie Chachra 'Why I Am Not A Maker' and Lee Vinsel & Andrew Russell's 'Hail the maintainers'.

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