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This house in India by Matharoo Associates transforms from an “impregnable shell” into a glass pavilion, allowing residents to vary the amount of light, ventilation and privacy in their home. (via Dezeen)

  • Artist Dread Scott writes about Trump’s anti-flag burning tweet and his own history with the first amendment:
    • Some have argued that Trump’s tweet about flag-burning is a distraction from the real issues, like who he is appointing to his cabinet or his conflicts of interest. Believing that this is a distraction is dangerous logic that would end up accommodating Trump’s fascist program. His response to Colin Kaepernick’s courageous refusal to stand for the national anthem was to say, “he should find a country that works better for him” (people have often made this suggestion to me as well). Historically, fascism has required extreme nationalism and created sections of people who have no rights. Fascism suppresses dissent. Trump is targeting protest—and, specifically, protest that challenges national cohesion.
  • Thought on the Oakland warehouse fire and how we can support artists:
    • Their assessments of the tragedy emphasize the illegal nature of the space, which was neither zoned for housing nor permitted to host events. The New York Times called it a “fire trap;” the Daily Mail, always searching for opportunities to sensationalize, called the space a “death trap” and a “commune”, describing the party as a “rave”—a term that’s nearly impossible to define.
    • As we mourn this tragedy, we can take heart in the fact that the electronic music scene was born out of, and made resilient by, struggle—and that no amount of crackdowns has been able to stop it. Far from being fearful or resigned, the response from artists in the Oakland community has affirmed the importance of these spaces for people who use art to survive in the face of lives characterized by oppression.
  • Riz Ahmed on ethnicity/religion and Hollywood:
    • “I’ve done three or four solid films now that became cult classics. And everyone’s like, ‘What’s it like being a Muslim?’ That’s offensive. Really, that’s what it is, offensive. What you’re saying is that you cannot see me as creative or an artist or a human being first.
  • People are cooing over this Time cover (I’m not one of them) but it does fall into a long tradition of subversive (if too subtle) political graphic design:
  • The protests agains the director of Boys Don’t Cry (1999) at Reed College in Oregon are pretty shocking. One blogger gives their opinion on the situation and writes:
    • These posters voiced a range of responses to the film including: “You don’t fucking get it!” and “Fuck Your Transphobia!” as well as “Trans Lives Do Not Equal $$” and to cap it all, the sign hung on the podium read: “Fuck this cis white bitch”!! The protestors waited until after the film had screened at Peirce’s request and then entered the auditorium while shouting “Fuck your respectability politics” and yelling over her commentary until Peirce left the room. After establishing some ground rules for a discussion, Peirce came back into the room but the conversation again got out of hand and finally a student yelled at Peirce: “Fuck you scared bitch.” At which point the protestors filed out and Peirce left campus.
    • This is an astonishing set of events to reckon with for those of us who remember the events surrounding Brandon Teena’s murder, the debates in the months that followed about Brandon Teena’s identity and, later, the reception of the film. Early transgender activism was spurred into action by the murder of Brandon Teena and many activists showed up at the trial of his killers. There were lots of debates at the time about whether Brandon was “butch” or “transgender” but queer and transgender audiences were mostly satisfied with the depiction of Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry. The film appealed to many audiences, queer and straight, and it continues to play around the world.
  • The Canadian writer behind Pizzagate is a soul-less excuse for a human being who takes no responsibility:
    • On Nov. 7, the hashtag #pizzagate first appeared on Twitter. Over the next several weeks, it would be tweeted and retweeted hundreds or thousands of times each day.
    • An oddly disproportionate share of the tweets about Pizzagate appear to have come from, of all places, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Vietnam, said Jonathan Albright, an assistant professor of media analytics at Elon University in North Carolina. In some cases, the most avid retweeters appeared to be bots, programs designed to amplify certain news and information.
    • “I really have no regrets and honestly really grown our audience,” she said.
  • How much has Trump industries has made off of his Presidential campaign? A lot:
  • Let’s not forget being gay suggests so little about your as a person in US culture anymore:
    • Trump’s “Fifth Avenue White House” designed by a gay man who died of AIDS in 1985
      • His company, Donghia Companies, reportedly grossed $67.5 million in 1982, the same year he executed Trump’s penthouse and the lobby at Trump Tower. The company, which still exists, included not only the design firm, Donghia Associates, but also companies that marketed a line of furnishing and textiles that are still on display in the Trump residence.
  • Looking at the simple “Twinkie,” the New York Times “found a blueprint for how private equity executives have amassed some of the greatest fortunes of the modern era.” Buckle your seatbelt:
    • The collapse and revival of Hostess illustrates how even in a business success, many workers don’t share in the gains. The episode also provides a snapshot of the economic forces that helped propel Donald J. Trump to the White House.
    • Since losing his job at Hostess in 2012, Mark Popovich has had three jobs, including one that paid about $10 an hour, half what he made at the Twinkie-maker. A lifelong Democrat and devoted “union man,” Mr. Popovich said he supported Mr. Trump, the first time he ever voted Republican.
    • “It’s getting old, getting bounced around all the time,” said Mr. Popovich, a 58-year-old Ohio resident.
    • Such frustrations stem from broader shifts in the economy, as all types of companies turn to automation to cut costs and labor unions lose their influence. While these changes have helped keep companies profitable, private equity has used these shifts in the workplace to supercharge wealth far beyond that of the typical chief executive.
    • And yet, Mr. Trump did not focus on private equity on the campaign trail, instead blaming the plight of the American working class on a shadowy cabal of elitist Democrats and Wall Street bankers who support trade deals that ship jobs overseas.
  • Jacques Derrida talking about the Seinfeld tv sitcom shows how academics can appear ridiculous outside of their rarefied environments. Also, he clearly has no idea what she is talking about (h/t Open Culture):


Required Reading is published every Sunday morning ET, and 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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This week, addressing a transphobic comedy special on Netflix, the story behind KKK hoods, cultural identity fraud, an anti-Semitic take on modern art, and more.

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.