- Writer Ben Okri says that in order to confront the climate crisis, we must write as if these are the last days:
Sometimes I think we must be able to imagine the end of things, so that we can imagine how we will come through that which we imagine. Of the things that trouble me most, the human inability to imagine its end ranks very high. It means that there is something in the human makeup resistant to terminal contemplation. How else can one explain the refusal of ordinary, good-hearted citizens to face the realities of climate change? If we don’t face them, we won’t change them. And if we don’t change them, we will not put things in motion that would prevent them. And so our refusal to face them will make happen the very thing we don’t want to happen.
We have to find a new art and a new psychology to penetrate the apathy and the denial that are preventing us making the changes that are inevitable if our world is to survive. We need a new art to waken people both to the enormity of what is looming and the fact that we can still do something about it.
- Writing for the LA Review of Books, Jessica Namakkal explores utopia’s settler colonialism problem:
The commune movements of the 1960s, which spanned the globe but proliferated in settler-colonial countries, were often the result of white settlers who had lived mainstream lives “dropping out” of college, the workforce, and suburban nuclear-family life to “go back to the land” and rediscover a more “natural” life. These back-to-the-land movements simultaneously claimed that they wanted to detach from the decay of modern life wrought by technology and industry while also stating they would be able to “restore” land that had fallen into disarray. Communities like Wilderland (founded 1964) in New Zealand and New Buffalo Commune (founded 1967) in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, explicitly appropriated Indigenous ways of living and knowing without engaging with the political and material reality of Indigenous people in the present. This particular settler-colonial practice that envisions Indigenous peoples as existing and thriving only in a pre-colonial world is what scholar Juliana Hu Pegues calls “space-time colonialism.” In this formulation, the Indigenous peoples of the pre-colony are perpetually stuck in the stasis of the past.
- The story of a dictator in Equatorial Guinea who is robbing his country of newfound oil wealth:
- Scientists have solved some mysteries related to the origin of Etruscans and the legend that they migrated from Anatolia. Writing for Haaretz, Ariel David reports:
The problem is that that very few Etruscan texts survived the Roman conquest and we don’t have a “Rosetta stone” that can help us translate them, Posth notes. What we do know is that the Etruscans used an alphabet that derived from the Greek one, but spoke a language that was most likely not Indo-European. This huge family of languages encompasses most of the tongues spoken between northern India and western Europe, including, Latin, Greek, Germanic and Slavic languages. One of the few non-Indo-European languages that survive today in Europe is Basque, spoken in parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.
So it’s understandable why historians have always wondered how a civilization with an entirely different language and culture arose in central Italy at the beginning of the Iron Age.
- This is funny:
- Nothing to worry about, just robots reproducing:
Now the scientists that developed them at the University of Vermont, Tufts University and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering said they have discovered an entirely new form of biological reproduction different from any animal or plant known to science.
- Be careful about aliens tricking you into, er, sex? This is a car crash:
- The aRt M@rKeT iS cOøL:
Required Reading is published every Thursday afternoon, 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.
The close, careful, and subtle observation I found this year is representative of precisely why I continue to gravitate to this fair.
How do we counter stereotypes about Black mothers, while stressing the importance of memory, determination, love, and corporeality?
Featuring underwater recordings from around the world, this immersive, site-specific installation is on view at the Lenfest Center for the Arts in NYC from February 3 to 13.
With two stellar retrospectives, one time-based installation, and several commissions by local artists, the Phillips Collection has dedicated its galleries to highlighting abstract work by Black artists.
As we begin a new year, a small moment on Queer Eye makes me think about the profound effect our stories can have on each other.
BRIC’s multidisciplinary program in Brooklyn has cohorts in Contemporary Art, Film & TV, Performing Arts, and Video Art. Applications are due March 10.
Some have criticized the racist monument’s planned relocation to North Dakota, near land seized from Indigenous people.
A group called the Boriken Libertarian Forces toppled the monument hours before King Felipe VI of Spain’s visit.
Still resonating with relevance, William Gropper’s incisive cartoons in defense of the WPA go on auction at New York’s Swann Galleries together with other works by celebrated WPA artists.
Archeologists excavating in Nijmegen, the Netherland’s oldest city, found the bowl in pristine condition.
A pioneer of street photography, Levitt worked in the most crowded and poorest neighborhoods of New York searching for the theater of everyday life.