A museum tallies its anniversary gifts, a free MFA (in less than an hour!), a digital vault for historic works of video art, a new biennial grows in Chicago, and a high fashion movement in Congo. Plus: The low pay of part-time college faculty, and an artist proposes swapping a decayed house for great work of public sculpture in Kansas. Lots going on in the Roundup:
— Roughly a quarter of part-time college faculty and their families are on public assistance, according to an analysis by UC Berkeley.
— An artwork based on surveillance survives a court challenge.
— Russian artists try to find a way to work around obscenity laws.
— Critic Jerry Saltz writes a worthwhile long read on museums as historical warehouses in a period dominated by the contemporary on the occasion of the opening of the new Whitney Museum in New York.
— An MFA you can get in under an hour — without paying a dime. Bay Area artist Jeremiah Jenkins has set up his own art institute at a San Francisco project space, where visitors can get their own (unaccredited) degree in no time. Best part: You won't have to study theory or be $40,000 in the hole afterward.
— In Kansas City: An artist is proposing swapping a condemned house on the city's economically depressed East side with a public sculpture belonging to the Nelson-Atkins Museum.
— The Museum of Modern Art has been digitizing its collection of analog video. And it is now creating a digital vault to secure them. Some good geek reading.
— How viral accounts often strip the history out of art.
— Facebook is now OK with nudity, as long as it's art. FYI, the link that follows contains naked woman's parts à la Gustav Courbet.
— An unusual conservation job: Taking care of Auschwitz's gruesome objects.
— Teju Cole has an interesting essay on how photographs can convey crisis without actually showing violence.
— "I went in a Bacon fan, and left wondering how he conned so many people." Critic Jonathan Jones is totally over Francis Bacon.
— Speaking of cranky critics, Dave Hickey says the art world totally sucks and it's the fault of identity politics. I'm sure there's a parallel universe where this makes sense.
— Conceptual artist Allan McCollum, who is interested in creating masses of unique, yet similar objects, made a conceptual work that resides in the pages of a newspaper.
— A fledgling biennial for architects rises in Chicago. Tribune critic Blair Kamin offers analysis. (Subscription required.)
— Curbed has an explainer on that surreal drought photo that appeared in the New York Times.
— Remember Jennicam? An interview with the woman behind the first Internet lifecast — who, these days, prefers to remain private.
— Al-Jazeera has a beguiling little documentary about an unusual high fashion movement in Congo: The Society for Elegant People, among whom style (and color) are used to make statements of joy, peace and power. (Starts after the 7:00-minute mark)
— And last but not least, Artnet stories that sound like they could also run in the Onion.