ReactorWeekend

Required Reading

by Hrag Vartanian on March 23, 2014

The hypnotic GIFs of  (via Colossal)

This is one of the hypnotic GIFs of Hungarian/German graphic designer David Szakaly (via Colossal)

This week, the Oxford comma debate, artists and being liked, science and bisexuality, longform on Twitter, best pizza in New York, and much much more.

 Are you for or against the Oxford comma? Here at Hyperallergic, we used to be against and last year we changed our minds and are now for:

 Starting on March 13, Atlantic writer Teju Cole publishing an essay, “A Piece of the Wall,” on immigration and Arizona entirely on Twitter, through 250 tweets over seven hours.

 An interview with comic book artist G. Willow Wilson discusses her muslim female superhero, Kamala Khan, for the Ms. Marvel series:

Being a Muslim in America, I’ve noticed that there’s a ton of crossover between the Muslim community and geekdom. Part of that is outsider culture: When you’re growing up as a minority and you feel somewhat alienated from the mainstream, you’re going to seek out other people who feel that way. That’s what geek culture is traditionally about.

 The scientific quest to prove bisexuality exists:

Spend any time hanging around bisexual activists, and you’ll hear a great deal about biphobia. You’ll also hear about bi erasure, the idea that bisexuality is systematically minimized and dismissed. This is especially vexing to bisexual activists, who point to a 2011 report by the Williams Institute — a policy center specializing in L.G.B.T. demographics — that reviewed 11 surveys and found that “among adults who identify as L.G.B., bisexuals comprise a slight majority.” In one of the larger surveys reviewed by the institute (a 2009 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine), 3.1 percent of American adults identified as bisexual, while 2.5 percent identified as gay or lesbian. (In most surveys, the institute found that women were “substantially more likely than men to identify as bisexual.”)

 Yesterday, Google honored Canadian-American abstract painter Agnes Martin with a doodle:

 Should we be preparing for the kids of Baby Boomers who will soon be inheriting their parents’s fortunes? This New York Times article mentions:

In this new Gilded Age, rich Americans are more likely to have made their own fortunes than to have inherited them.

… But the baby boomers are only now retiring. Once that process accelerates and reaches its inevitable conclusion, get ready for a flood of princelings — and some potentially worrisome consequences for social mobility in the United States, as the immense earnings of an already stratified economy are entrusted to a new generation. The inheritance boom will come, eventually. What’s unclear is what the country will look like afterward.

… For one, the wealthy tend to give away a big chunk of their money, leaving less for their heirs, Wolff says. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg and many others, for instance, have signed onto the “giving pledge,” promising the bulk of their estates to charity.

… the United States might look a little more like aristocratic Europe, with its Downton Abbeys and super-hyphenated names — maybe with a few more tattoos.

 An interesting essay about artists and being liked over at The Lefsetz Letter (h/t @marcdschiller):

… too many young artists are looking to be liked as opposed to significant …

… The truth is, if you’re afraid to be hated, your art is going to be worthless.

… And the end result is we’ve got a lot of me-too stuff that is almost a parody of itself. Because we no longer have artists, but wannabe business people.

 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has banned Twitter (touchy, touchy), but that hasn’t stopped over 1.2 million tweets from being sent in Turkey post-ban and half a million in the first 10 hours after the ban. And now my favorite response to the Turkish government’s insanity, DNS graffiti:

Also, now Turkish President Abdullah Gul says the ban will be lifted, and he slammed the ban, appropriately, on Twitter. Btw, the only other country to ban Twitter entirely is China.

 Wait, what!?!?! Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilization’ in coming decades:

Modern civilisation is heading for collapse within a matter of decades because of growing economic instability and pressure on the planet’s resources, according to a scientific study funded by Nasa.

Using theoretical models to predict what will happen to the industrialised world over the course of the next century or so, mathematicians found that even with conservative estimates things started to go very badly, very quickly.

Referring to the past collapses of often very sophisticated civilisations – the Roman, Han and Gupta Empires for example – the study noted that the elite of society have often pushed for a “business as usual” approach to warnings of disaster until it is too late.

 This new study has some upsetting news for equality advocates (h/t @Fengxii):

Playing as a black character in a video game, commonly viewed as a laudable choice promoting diversity, still can foster or strengthen racist attitudes, according to a recently published study.

White players act more aggressively after playing a video game with a black avatar or character, says the study, led by a researcher at Ohio State University.

The research also showed a stronger likelihood for white participants to openly express stronger negative attitudes toward African-Americans, and to show implicit attitudes linking them to weapons.

 Did you ever wonder what will happen to the site-specific Charles Simonds work, “Dwellings” (1981) at the current Whitney Museum of Art? Well, artist/critic Mira Schor asked aloud on Twitter and got a response:

 This investigative report by the New York Times looks at a lot left empty in a prime section of Manhattan for 47 years. When I first say this I thought the report could easily have been an art work by Hans Haacke, whose “Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, A Real Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971” (1971) art work from the 1970s has the same sense of delving deep into the realities of real estate to see a greater truth. Reporter Russ Buetner writes:

Their battleground was some 20 barren acres along the southern side of Delancey Street, where, in 1967, the city leveled blocks of rundown apartment buildings. More than 1,800 low-income families, largely Puerto Rican, were sent packing and promised a chance to return to new apartments someday. Now, nearly 50 years later, the land is still a fallow stretch of weed- and rat-ridden parking lots, though in the waning days of the Bloomberg administration, the city announced that the land would finally be developed into a complex called Essex Crossing, to include retail markets, restaurants, office and cultural space. And new apartments.

 The Pakistan edition of the International New York Times (formerly International Herald Tribune) had a big white space where the cover story about Pakistan and Bin Laden should’ve appeared. The newspaper told Bloomberg that a local Pakistani printer did it without notifying them. The result is rather spooky (image via @raju):

BjVfT0BCQAAP-1c-640

 New York’s 25 most iconic pizzerias, according to Eater, which writes:

These are the establishments that have shaped our collective understanding of New York City pizza. Some of these restaurants are very old, while others are new. The map spans all five boroughs and includes recommendations on what to order at each pizzeria.

 And the US and the UK join the likes of China, North Korea, and Russia, as enemies of a free internet, according to Reporters Without Borders. Their report includes this interesting twist:

The U.S. edition of The Guardian is still able to publish information from Edward Snowden, while the British edition is not, but the country of the First Amendment has undermined confidence in the Internet and its own standards of security. U.S. surveillance practices and decryption activities are a direct threat to investigative journalists, especially those who work with sensitive sources for whom confidentiality is paramount and who are already under pressure.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning EST, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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