- One of the people involved in the first NFT house (which we posted about last week in Required Reading) is saying the Mars House is a “fraud.” Dezeen reports:
Kim told Dezeen that she contracted Pedemonte to work on the project through freelance marketplace Freelancer.com. She claims she did not agree to give the 3D visualiser any rights to the artwork.
“Mateo provided freelancer rendering service for which I own the copyright of Mars House,” she said. “He was properly compensated for his services.”
But in a comment on Dezeen’s story about the sale of the house, Pedemonte claimed he was “co-author of Mars House project”. “Krista Kim never owned this project fully,” he wrote.
- Art historian TJ Clark writes about Hieronymus Bosch for the London Review of Books. It’s worth it for Bosch fans into close looking:
Human beings, of course, have a taste for the implausible — that’s what made Bosch’s fortune. And ‘taste’ here is a euphemism. Better call it ravening appetite. When in 1567 the Duke of Alba arrived in the Netherlands, he took time off from putting down heresy to send some henchmen to the Nassaus’ palace in search of the Garden painting people were talking about. William of Orange’s head of household refused to tell them where it was hidden. And he was, so the record has it, tortured to the point of death for having ‘faict refuz de bailler une painture de Jeronimus Bosseman’. (The servants were professionals: by 1568 the Garden was on the road to Madrid.)
- For The Offing, Los Angeles artist Alex Paik writes a short piece about a work by Crys Yin in his collection. It’s a beautiful look at how the art around us impacts our lives. He writes:
I have been cooking primarily comfort food recently as a way to cope with the compounding sense of isolation coming from the pandemic, new parenthood, and living in a new city. For many Asian Americans, food is one of the primary ways in which we remain connected to a country that is both our home and not our home. As a child of immigrants, my racial identity was formed not by the memories of a Korea I never knew, but rather by the ghost of an idea of Korea that my parents preserved and created in their minds as they moved across the world. To be Korean-American is complicated and contradictory — simultaneously knowing that I will always be not whole, an almost-American, while at the same time identifying with that lack as a way to create a sense of self and a sense of belonging to an imagined racial group. Anne Cheng describes this circular process in “Melancholy of Race”:
The racially melancholic minority is doubly versed in the art of losing. The racially denigrated person has to forfeit the full security of his/her imaginary integrity… but then is forced to take in (rather than project that lack to another) and reidentify with that loss: a double loss.
- Writing for the New Yorker, Kyle Chayka talks to Beeple, the NFT artist who made out like a $69M bandit. This quote is everything:
“I’m more popular than all of these people, and if they’re making this much then I would probably make a fucking shitload of money,” Winkelmann [aka Beeple] told me he thought at the time. “Oh, sweet baby Jesus, this is ridiculous.”
- Ken Burns continues to be a giant of documentary. David Marchese talks to him:
Q: Is there a belief about America that you held as true in 1981, when you made your first documentary, but that you now hold as false?
A: Of course. The opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty. Doubt is the mechanics of faith in a way; it’s testing and not being too sure. Learned Hand — could there be a better name for a judge than Learned Hand? — said liberty is never being too sure you’re right. That’s a wonderful, kind of un-American statement. Because we are certain that we’re right. I am aware that I imbibed, growing up, an exceptionalism-without-question view of us. Which I have spent my entire professional career dismantling — to the place where I then thought I could at least show glimmers of where exceptionalism might take place or has taken place. […] I think I’ve learned how to avoid both the ratification of simplistic heroes and villains and to muddy the water with the shades of gray. It’s the only way in which actual life takes place.
- Miriam Axel-Lute and Keli A. Tianga interview two Asian American volunteers (Ed Nakawatase and Tamio Wakayama) who worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the American civil rights movement:
Tianga: Did either of you witness or experience violence?
Nakawatase: I wound up in jail over Christmas in 1963 with a group of SNCC [members]. It was a mixed group of women, both Black and white, and of men, all Black except me, and one of them was John Lewis. We had gone to a Huddle House, which was a greasy spoon in the Atlanta area, and got picked up, arrested, and jailed for criminal trespass. I was being arraigned, I was telling the [officers] I want to go in with those guys, meaning [the] Black SNCC people, as opposed to being in some jail by myself. And [there] was just incredible bewilderment. The guy looks at me, and says—I’m paraphrasing—“You’re not colored,” meaning I’m not Black, “so, [you’re] white.” So he put me in the white city jail for a couple days, and then three days in the county jail.
- The newly released Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism puts forth a solid definition of anti-Semitism and a set of guidelines for how to identify what is and is not anti-Semitism. Writing for Jewish Currents, Barry Trachtenberg, who is Associate Professor of Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University, explains why he signed:
In contrast to my concerns regarding the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, the JDA repudiates notions of Jewish exceptionalism by locating anti-Semitism squarely as an ideology of hatred that is equivalent to and as pernicious as racism. The JDA’s first guideline states unequivocally that, “It is racist to essentialize (treat a character trait as inherent) or to make sweeping negative generalizations about a given population. What is true of racism in general is true of anti-Semitism in particular.” By drawing this comparison with racism, the JDA pushes back against the misguided belief about anti-Semitism that it is a unique and unparalleled form of hatred, as exceptional as Jews themselves. Not only does this belief strip anti-Jewish hatred from its historical context and make it much harder to combat, it gives rise to the notion that anti-Semitism is a permanent, almost natural, feature of our world and thus cannot be undone.
- Sure you may have watched an Avengers film but have you ever thought of what superheroes get paid? Over at Mashable, Alexis Nedd writes:
In that same movie, Captain America mentions his unsuccessful search for a place to live in New York. Captain America can’t afford Brooklyn, but Clint’s got three kids and isn’t visibly worried about saving for their college educations. Furthermore, Vision is “born” in Age of Ultron, making him legally four years old when he purchases the deed to the Westview lot seen in WandaVision. Unless a bank approved a loan for a toddler-aged weapon with no social security number, someone helped Vision buy property in a high-tax New Jersey suburb. But Sam has to humiliate himself to get a loan to save his nephews’ home? That’s not okay.
- Private investors sent a bottle of Château Pétrus 2000 into space to see if it would age differently. Euronews reports:
… Preliminary results from the tasting released on Wednesday (March 24) show differences in color, taste and aroma between the space wine and the Earth wine.
- China is really going hard against international fashion corporations criticizing the use of Uighur labor in the Xinjiang region. The Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings even removed two Burberry-designed “skins” from its popular Honour of Kings online battle game. John Ye of the South China Morning Post writes:
Tencent’s decision, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter, was related to Burberry’s position on Xinjiang-produced cotton as a member of the Better Cotton Initiative. London-based Burberry said last year that it did not use any raw materials from Xinjiang, where Beijing denies claims of genocide and forced labour in the region.
Honour of Kings, a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, became the world’s first game to average more than 100 million daily users last year. Its users, 95 per cent of whom are in China, spent US$2.6 billion on the game in 2020, making it the most profitable mobile game in the world, according to data-tracking firm Sensor Tower.
- A good segment by John Oliver on the joke that is plastic recycling:
- Lil Nas X’s new music video is making waves:
- There’s a curious trend in Russia … I’m not going to ruin it, just watch:
Required Reading is published every Saturday, 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.