Saturday 12 December 2015

Reading list, 12 December 2015

What I've been reading this week ...

This NYT feature on 'female artists now in their 70s, 80s and 90s we should have known about decades ago' floated across the transom this week, recalling for me Brooklyn Museum's work in 2010 writing Wikipedia entries rather than a catalogue for their exhibition of the work of female Pop artists, a project which in turn inspired the Wikipedia project we did at The Dowse in 2014/15, and my own ongoing editing work.

Last weekend I talked to some people about the massive changes in scale faced by libraries and museums as they go from trying to collect and preserve a physical world to trying to collect and preserve a digital world. This article in The Atlantic by Adrienne Lafrance tells the story of one piece of PulitzerPrize-winning journalism and its journey on to, off of, and back onto, the web.

Eric Rodley's write-up of MCN in Minneapolis reminded me again of the fact that this is the conference I am saddest to have not yet attended. The quality of content is one thing, but the creation of a community is another even greater achievement. I have mentally ticketed his recommendation of Liz Ogpu's keynote for summer watching.

John Herman's piece ''Access Panic'' for The Awl, on the media's role after the problem of people's access to information has been solved. Still digesting this, but *fascinating*.

In a project titled 'Adjustment of Colonial Terminology', the Rijksmuseum is reviewing the titles and descriptions of artworks in its collection, and removing or changing racially-charged terms such as 'Negro' and 'Hottentot'. Apparently staff recently reported on the project at a conference - I'd love to know how it was received.

This week I was interviewed by MBIE and MCH as preliminary research for a review of the Copyright Act. When asked what the challenges are facing the arts sector, one of the key things I identified was the shrivelling mainstream media coverage of the arts. At the same time when newspaper publishers in particular seem to be in a race to the bottom that's paved with clickbait, we as consumers are becoming increasingly good at filtering out 'irrelevant' news. Galleries once relied on arts sections in newspapers to put exhibitions and artists in front of browsers who might be interested even when they thought they weren't: no matter how much we boost posts on Facebook, we can't replicate the value of good newspaper presence. Which is all a long way of saying that this review of John Stackhouse's Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution makes a number of similar points.

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