- 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.
Bobby Wilson Combats Indigenous Stereotypes Through Humor
The artist-performer’s career undulates, ever so gracefully, across multiple mediums and registers of generational pain, healing laughter, and Indigenous joy.
Rare 19th-Century Silhouette Album’s Secrets Unlocked
Traveling portrait artist William Bache’s album depicts famous figures like Thomas Jefferson as well as people whose identity was previously unknown.
Nevada Museum of Art Presents Adaline Kent: The Click of Authenticity
For the first time in nearly 60 years, the innovative yet under-recognized artist is the subject of a retrospective exhibition. On view in Reno, Nevada.
Artists Show What They Can Do With a Google Phone’s Camera
Works by 20 photographers are now on view in Manhattan for the seventh season and 100th project coming out of the Google Creator Labs.
Met Museum Kicked Me Out for Praying to My Ancestral Gods
My danced prayer to looted Cambodian antiquities was too much for the New York museum.
The Public Theater in NYC Presents Plays for the Plague Year
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’s theatrical concert chronicles the 2020 lockdown and the hope and perseverance that emerged from it.
A Museum Guard’s Ode to the Healing Power of Art
In All the Beauty in the World, Patrick Bringley revisits the many ways that art meets life, and life art, and how death is often the bridge between them.
UK Extends Export Ban on Coveted “Portrait of Omai”
London’s National Portrait Gallery was given a few months to acquire the work, which depicts the first Polynesian visitor to the UK.
Mondays at Pratt Institute: Weekly Openings of Work by Graduating Artists
Free and open to the public, Pratt Shows celebrate the school’s graduating students. MFA and BFA work on view this spring in Brooklyn, New York.
The Sculptor Making Art With Loved Ones’ Ashes
Inspired by the three-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Julian Stair’s exhibition honors the lives of eight people with cinerary jars.
Art Institute of Chicago Under Scrutiny Over Sacred Nepali Necklace
The 17th-century object remains on display at the Chicago museum despite Nepal’s calls for repatriation.
LSU School of Art Grants Highest MFA Stipends in the Southern US
With funded assistantships, full tuition waivers, and generous stipends, Louisiana State University helps students lay the groundwork for a successful lifelong art practice.
Art Problems: How Do I Get a Public Art Commission?
Want to leave a mark on your city or town, but don’t know where to start? Paddy Johnson has some tips.
Rose B. Simpson Embeds Ancestral Histories in Clay
She has taken clay and used it to recall its ancestral roots in Pueblo culture and address the present history of postcolonial recovery and ongoing trauma.