Weekend

Required Reading

This week, John Lurie isn’t happy, galleries are leaving LA’s Boyle Heights, threats to PoMo architecture, the corpse flower that doesn’t want to open, cute brutalism, and more.

Dylan Gebbia-Richards’s large-scale paintings features colors and materials that seem to escape from their canvas. See more of these wondrous works on Colossal. (via Colossal)
  • The New Yorker did a very weird profile of John Lurie (the musician and artist) and almost everyone interviewed for the article shot back with a letter, because the writer, Tad Friend, either has an ax to grind or … honestly, who knows. The New Yorker profile is on their website, and the response is posted on a dedicated blog. It reads:
To the editors of The New Yorker,
As friends and colleagues of John Lurie, we are offended by Tad Friend’s article “Sleeping with Weapons”. Many of us were interviewed for the piece only to have our words misquoted, twisted, or ignored. We are writing after so many months because, due to its constant presence on the internet, the article continues to affect John both personally and professionally.
John has advanced Lyme Disease, and we question the ethics of denying its existence by referring to it only as a “mysterious ailment”.
By giving credence to the point of view of someone Mr. Friend states was stalking John, the article made light of and in fact exacerbated an already dangerous situation.
We are dismayed at the profile’s near omission of John’s significant work as a musician and painter.
We assert that the man presented in the article is not the man we know.

Yet even as the closures might seem to mark a turning point for the neighborhood’s anti-gentrification battles, larger development issues loom on the horizon — issues that will not be resolved even if every gallery in Boyle Heights were to immediately pack up and leave, and issues that, for now, B.H.A.A.A.D has largely not addressed.

The Department of City Planning is in the middle of rewriting zoning code for the neighborhood, developing a draft community plan that will set boundaries for development in the area. This includes proposals for higher-density building around public transit and the designation of an innovation district for the industrial portions of the Flats (where MaRS and other galleries are located).

  • All week, various social media have been kicking Alex Jones and his insane Infowars program off their platforms. All, except Twitter, which is claiming that Infowars hasn’t violated their terms of service. CNN disagrees:

But a CNN review of Jones’ accounts show that all of the videos that initially led the other tech companies to take action against Jones were in fact posted to Twitter by Jones or InfoWars. All were still live on Twitter as of the time this article was published. CNN noted this in a request for comment from Twitter on Wednesday morning, before Harvey’s email was made public. The company declined to comment at the time.

Those videos were not the only content CNN found in its review of Jones’ and InfoWars’ Twitter accounts that suggest the social media platform’s statements about its stance are incorrect, or that its rules are not being applied to Jones and InfoWars.

  • Postmodern architecture is being threatened by demolition, as a new wave of construction is eyeing spots previous build with the mishmash style. Writing for Domus, Manuel Orazi says:

The fact is that many postmodern buildings are at risk of demolition at the very moment that a mass of young scholars and critics [1] throughout Europe and the USA are carrying forward the legacy of the postmodern figurative canon, which only in architecture managed to find a collocation that despite not being perfectly defined, is at least accepted. Having burst forth after the Biennial by Paolo Portoghesi in 1980 (but in reality already present beneath the ashes of radical architecture, and the more polished style of “Oppositions”), the “end of citationist, historicist and anti-functionalist prohibition” had very strong echoes in design, from Memphis by Ettore Sottsass & Co., and in fashion, particularly in the global domination of Swatch watches under the artistic direction of Alessandro Mendini. Following years of the SuperDutch and those of the rappel à l’ordre, Postmodernism re-emerged with the millennial [2] generation, also due to videos, from Katy Perry to Thegiornalisti. The latest example which is representative of a general trend is the recent theatre by Matteo Ghidono at the Milan Triennale, a mishmash of allusions to Aldo Rossi (the ephemeral wooden theatre), Sottsass (the self-definition of “pagan temple”, the gaudy colours on the backdrop) and Rem Koolhaas (the balloon).

  • Everyone was excited that the corpse flower at LA’s Huntington Library and Museum was going to open up, but, alas, it’s a slacker. But this tweet was too good not to share and the whole thread (of institutions talking about their corpse flowers) is strangely fascinating:

  • The latest take down of content-based marketing platforms, particularly those that target themselves as “women’s media,” like Refinery29. Josephine Livingstone writes:

Women’s media has run on advertising dollars forever, after all. There exists not a single mainstream women’s magazine that does not rely on money from the fashion and beauty industries. Not Vogue, not Cosmopolitan. All these magazines compromise their editorial freedom to maintain relationships with their advertisers. Vogue cannot run a huge story criticizing a brand that advertises in its pages. This is an open secret in journalism, but one so old that people barely care.

Women’s media has also run on the first-personal travails of women. Though it sets a wildly different editorial tone, the Money Diaries invoke the ghost of xoJane, which exploited readers and writers alike by holding a “contest” for the best “It Happened To Me” first-person story. What happened was that it ran an endless stream of unpaid blog posts in which readers were invited to offer up their most traumatic experiences in return for zero dollars. The site came to represent the worst of the Personal Essay Industrial Complex, in which a publication creams the profits off women’s trauma, especially women of color, in the name of feminist solidarity.

The authors of the essay, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stress their analysis is not conclusive, but warn the Paris commitment to keep warming at 2C above pre-industrial levels may not be enough to “park” the planet’s climate at a stable temperature.

They warn that the hothouse trajectory “would almost certainly flood deltaic environments, increase the risk of damage from coastal storms, and eliminate coral reefs (and all of the benefits that they provide for societies) by the end of this century or earlier.”

… “We note that the Earth has never in its history had a quasi-stable state that is around 2C warmer than the preindustrial and suggest that there is substantial risk that the system, itself, will ‘want’ to continue warming because of all of these other processes – even if we stop emissions,” she said. “This implies not only reducing emissions but much more.”

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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