- Facebook sounds like a mess, and the characters behind it don’t sound like nice people. Wired has an extensive story:
Facebook’s other problem was that it didn’t understand the wealth of antipathy that had built up against it over the previous two years. Its prime decision makers had run the same playbook successfully for a decade and a half: Do what they thought was best for the platform’s growth (often at the expense of user privacy), apologize if someone complained, and keep pushing forward. Or, as the old slogan went: Move fast and break things. Now the public thought Facebook had broken Western democracy. This privacy violation—unlike the many others before it—wasn’t one that people would simply get over.
- Artist Molly Crabapple is the talent behind the visuals of the Green New Deal video prepared by The Intercept with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and others. It’s worth a look:
- Kelly Crow of WSJ takes a look at Gagosian and new things emerging in the art advisor space:
Christie’s arch-rival Sotheby’s is in the art-advisory business, having paid up to $85 million three years ago for Art Agency, Partners, a firm founded in 2014 by a trio of art advisers. But the jury is still out on the long-term effect of its performance. In its latest financial disclosure, Sotheby’s said the firm made $6.1 million last year, up from $5.8 million the year before but down from $6.6 million in 2016. Sotheby’s said the amount initially paid for the firm reflected the house’s need to bolster the roster of its contemporary-art experts and boost private sales, which it said the firm has done. It also said the AAP-related sales tracked in its financial statements comprise fees paid to the firm but don’t include private sale or auction activity by the advisory firm’s clients.
Mr. Gagosian said he hasn’t been tracking revenue at Sotheby’s art-advisory firm, though he said the latest figures “don’t sound too exciting.”
At the same time, Gorey may also linger in obscurity because he was an intensely private person. He had friends, but he seems to have kept a measure of emotional distance from everyone. “I feel that he was somehow unable and/or unwilling to engage in a very close friendship with anyone, above a certain good-humored, fun-loving level,” the poet John Ashbery, who knew Gorey at Harvard, told Dery. Nor did he have any long-term romantic relationships; “I am fortunate in that I am apparently reasonably undersexed or something,” he once said. Gorey has at times been labeled a recluse, but it seems more accurate to say that he was a loner who experienced the world by proxy, through the culture that he so voraciously consumed and produced. “[H]e lived much of his life on the page, in the worlds he conjured up with pen and ink, and did most of his adventuring between his ears,” Dery writes. “In large part, the art is the life.”
- Today in terrible art reviews, a critic at the National Review takes a stab at the Tintoretto exhibition in Washington, DC, and states the obvious, namely that seeing the work in situ is better. And this paragraph is just nutty. Let’s just all get on our jets to Venice then:
You expect, as in the case of Tintoretto, to see a retrospective in two separate museums. You expect to wander to three other places in Venice to see lots of major Tintorettos and a dozen other churches if you’re really committed to see individual altarpieces. The Venice retrospective succeeded because, in terms of marketing and how the curators arranged the shows there, visitors were almost commanded to go the extra mile, literally. Italians expect you to absorb things by osmosis, slowly, in bits and pieces. In Washington, you don’t, can’t, and shouldn’t. You have to do it in one place, with the best work, or don’t do it at all.
- A good description about DNA tests and what they do and do not tell us:
- This isn’t new, but it’s worth watching. It’s a short documentary about Brooklyn from 1949:
- Activists have known this for a long time but still (emphasis mine):
Sustained, long-term activism can take a detrimental toll on activists’ mental health. These recent deaths — of people affected by and actively working in social justice movements — have renewed the conversation around how activists have to work to protect their mental health as they work to protect the rights of their communities.
… They’re timely conversations, as social and political issues like March for Our Lives or Black Lives Matter take center stage in our national dialogue. And it’s not just issues of gun violence or racial inequality that keep activist up at night. Environmental disaster, attacks on reproductive justice, the rise of violent white nationalist terrorism — all these are fights that social justice activists and advocates feel compelled to address. And the pressure can be suffocating.
- David Lynch has a creepy cameo in the video for the new Flying Lotus release, “Fire Is Coming,” which is directed by Steven Ellison and David Firth:
- An interesting take on the order you should watch the Marvel cinematic universe (I’m not sure if I have an opinion on this, except to say the films are much better than the TV serials):