Since October 2017, eight professional drivers have died by suicide in New York City (that we know of). This is the most visceral manifestation of the immense pressure the cab industry is currently under, thanks to the mostly unrestrained growth of ridesharing. Doug Schifter was a black car driver who wrote a column, “The Driver’s Seat” for the trade publication Black Car News. He became one of the casualties on February 5, 2018. Selections from Schifter’s columns, as well as his suicide note, are read by his brother George to narrate Field of Vision’s new documentary short Days of Black and Yellow.
Schifter’s words, distorted through a ghostlike recording, conjure a grim picture of labor under assault by an under-regulated competitor. “I’m making half as much as I used to, and it’s not getting any better. When I started out, driving was a job you could build a life on. Drivers had some dignity. We earned a reasonable living because the number of vehicles was kept below public demand. The city regulated — maybe over-regulated — things, and there was enough for everyone.” His somber reflection is harshly contrasted with the casual pitilessness of chipper news show pundits reporting on how companies like Uber are thriving. “If you can’t make enough money driving, find something else to do, right?” smirks one Fox Business ghoul. Directors Lotfy Nathan, Willie Miesmer, and Ray Levé provide a vivid encapsulation of a vital contemporary labor issue in under ten minutes. Hyperallergic has the exclusive premiere of the film, which you can stream above.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Who Will Decide on the Future of a Miami Native Burial Ground?
Native activists say sacred remains and objects dug up from a Brickell construction site should remain there, but mega-developer Jorge Pérez is pushing back.
How Can a Curator Approach South Asian Futurisms?
How do I acknowledge my shortcomings while reckoning with obscured histories and the exclusion of subaltern narratives in the fine art landscape? A working checklist for curators.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The Complicated Legacy of Camilo Egas
The Ecuadorian painter, a leading figure of Latin America’s Indigenismo art movement, has been both praised and scorned for his representation of Indigenous peoples.
Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility
“I think about the young kids, the teenagers, and I think being able to see yourself represented in art is so powerful,” says the artist.
Haggerty Museum of Art Presents Tomás Saraceno in Dialogue With Dr. Somesh Roy
The artist and researcher will explore soot’s effects on climate change and public health in this online conversation.
Hundreds of Artworks by NYC Teenagers Go on View at the Met
The talented seventh through twelfth-grade students are recipients of the 2023 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
NYC’s Flatiron Building Sells for a Whopping $190M
The sale to outsider bidder Jacob Garlick puts an end to the protracted legal battle between the iconic skyscraper’s five former owners.
McKnight Visual Artist Fellows Discussion Series at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The series features 2021 Fellows David Bowen, Mara Duvra, Rotem Tamir, Ben Moren, and Dyani White Hawk in conversation with renowned curators and critics.
The Best Memes Roasting the “We ❤️ NYC” Campaign
A graphic designer on Twitter created a hilarious send-up of the universally reviled logo, and the rest is history.
Did You Know These Museums Were Free for New Yorkers?
The “Free Admission” campaign is advocating to make ticket pricing information more transparent to visitors, who may be confused or misled by institutions’ language.
Right now they’re working on AI bots to write these articles and edit news photos for you. The gee-whiz, golly wow response by the MSM of job-killing tech will one day come home to roost. Maybe then this will all be seen for what it really is – the theft of the dignity of work.
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