Saturday, 19 January 2019

Reading list, 19 January 2019

"Using his own fortune, Verdi built the retirement home for opera singers and musicians, a neo-Gothic structure that opened in 1899. The composer died less than two years later, but he made sure the profits from his music copyrights kept the home running until the early 1960s, when they expired. Today guests pay a portion of their monthly pension to cover basic costs – food and lodging — while the rest comes from donations." I love this so much.

"What role the Rothko served remains unclear to me." I love this a bit less (the trend, not the article). The Rise of the Mindful Museum.

More from the Walker's "Museum Resolutions" series: Laura Raicovich, Dismantle the Myth of Neutrality and Antony Romero's Build Social Relations Over Property Relations  

Ted Loos in the NYTAfter the Quake, Dana Schutz Gets Back to Work

I'm not sure what to make of this article yet, despite reading it twice. Good to read alongside the Schutz piece above; pity McLean didn't tie it off with Michael Parekowhai's chrome Cook sculptures. Ian McLean, Paper Tigers: The New Iconoclasm and Identity Politics, in Di'van: A Journal of Accounts, issue 4.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Reading list, 12 January 2019

I haven't linked to anything tech-related in ages. But I've been following Shelley Bernstein's thoughtful write-ups of her tech decisions for her workplaces for more than a decade now, and they're always worthwhile. On choosing collaboration tools to bring together a very diverse group: Prototyping a Change Network with the OF/BY/FOR ALL First Wave.

I also don't often link to workplace advice but this NYT article is much better than the title suggests. It actually delves into common issues with time-management and particularly how people get into toxic and stressful situations around things like answering emails - the four general personality types, how each responds to stressors, and how you can improve your instinctive approach. The 4 ‘Attachment Styles,’ and How They Sabotage Your Work-Life Balance.

Also unusual. As with Shelley, I've been following my friend Nat Torkington's 4 Short Links digest for years now. This page of project management aphorisms from NASA has some of your typical engineer machismo, but also some really great insights and timeless advice. 100+ Lessons Learned for Project Managers.

Back on the normal path. This article on the Guardian helped explicate a current artistic movement I've been struggling to wrap my head around, without going PhD-level on it. Political, forensic, hi-tech: how 'research architecture' is redefining art.

Colleen Dilenschneider on why members of cultural organisations don't renew. Valuable for parsing what people really mean when they say things like "I'll sign up again next time I visit".

Seb Chan on salary cloaking (ie. not stating salary ranges in museum job advertising)

My friend the typographer Kris Sowersby, founder of Klim Type Foundry, is one of the most prolific people I know - and one of the smartest. For some purely good writing, check out his design notes on his recent reversed-stress typeface Maelstrom, and Bethany Heck's review of Maelstrom in use.

An interesting set of responses to a question on Twitter about "actual examples" of decolonisation in museums.

And a profile of Kaywin Feldman, gearing up to take over the National Gallery of Art in Washington, bit of a personal hero.


Sunday, 6 January 2019

Reading list, 6 January 2019

Fighting in your weight class: it's stimulating to read big critics robustly taking on big institutions and big shows, as with Peter Schjeldahl for the New Yorker and Roberta Smith for the NYT on the Met's Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera.

Ongoing, from the Macron report on restitution: Jason Farago assembles a roundtable for the NYTArtwork Taken From Africa, Returning to a Home TransformedFrench antiquities dealers slam ‘shocking’ report on restituting African art  and The repatriation debate intensifies as calls for post-colonial restitution grow—but is it legal? in The Art Newspaper; Thomas Marks' editor's letter for ApolloRethinking the restitution of African artefacts.

And from a different political angle - tensions between France and Italy play out through museum loans: For Italy’s Populists, Everything Is a Nationalist Cause. Even Leonardo.

"Museums are not neutral. Displays of European Art are not neutral. White supremacists know it. We must see it too." Alexander Kauffman for Hyperallergic, Committing to Anti-Racism in Galleries of European Art.

Things I plan to read when I'm back at work (tomorrow, sigh) - Culture 24's latest report from the end of 2018, Understanding the social purpose of digital technology for arts and heritage organisations.

"The food we consume, what we enjoy, how we acquire nourishment, literally all the mechanisms that touch how we eat are fascinating. But the museums of ice cream, pizza, and avocado don’t provide any of that insight". Pissed off by the museum-of-X phenomenon but from another angle; Erin DeJesus for Eater, Fake Food Museums Are Our Greatest Monuments to the Brand Hellscape of 2018.