Round-Up: Instagram art history, favela chic and ‘artwashing’


How Instagram mimics the history of art, the poor state of online discourse, “artwashing,” favela chic and Jennifer Egan’s Twitter storytelling. It’s all here in the Round-Up of art and culture notes from all over:

- George Lucas’ museum is going to … Chicago! My campaign worked! On a serious note, Kriston Capps over at Citylab has a considered piece on why new cultural projects shouldn’t be greeted with “irrational fanboy enthusiasm.”

- A Wisconsin bar has built a fake Brazilian slum for the World Cup. As people critique “favela chic,” it makes me think about how I’ve always felt just a tinge of discomfort at some of the art projects undertaken in shantytowns (like this one and this one). What are the long-term benefits for locals besides the temporary jobs they might create? And is this favela chic of a different sort?


- If World War III happens, I blame Seth Rogen and James Franco.

- Since we’re on the topic of celebs: Actors Brad Pitt and Peter Capaldi are going to spearhead an effort to restore the Glasgow School of Art’s fire-damaged building.

- The Web and the state of public discourse: a couple of very interesting pieces by Laura Hudson in Wired and Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic about how we talk to each other online.

- A manifesto about manifestos. I’m surprised Buzzfeed hasn’t done this yet.

- A fascinating essay by Ben Davis on the ways in which Instagram parallels what fine art has done over centuries.

- The very small world of superstar artists.

- In the 1970s and ‘80s, SoCal photographer Jo Ann Callis worked on a series of fetish-inspired images that she kept under wraps until now.

- Musicians at New York’s New Museum have been playing the same song over and over as part of a piece by Ragnar Kjartansson. And some of them are going a little batty.

- How did a gnarly work by Ivan Albright become a crowd-sourced selection for the Art Everywhere US art-on-billboards project? Good question.

- On “artwashing,” or the ways in which developers use art and artists to give their projects a feel-good vibe.

- Tensions between longtime artists and recent arrivals in Newark.

- Derek Fincham over at Illicit Cultural Property says that reporters should be more careful not to overstate the connection between terrorism and antiquities looting.

- Move it? Or jack it up? The National Trust for Historic Preservation is trying to figure out what to do with Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, which has been subject to more regular flooding in recent years.

- Novelist Jennifer Egan’s Twitter storytelling.

- Truly weird: Marilyn in a dump. (Hyperallergic.)