As you brave the summer heat in New York City, keep an eye out for five replicas of the Trylon and Perisphere sculpture, which was at the center of the 1939 World’s Fair held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Nicole Saraniero has the details for Untapped New York:
This miniature replica of the Trylon and Perisphere was built as an information booth that stood at the center of Times Square. The eye-catching booth both advertised the fair and provided helpful information about how to get there and what to do when you arrived. The booth stood at 46th Street and Broadway, mere steps away from the headquarters of its sponsor, Loews Metro Goldwyn Meyer. In the photograph above, workers are giving the booth a fresh coat of paint for the upcoming fair season. In the first year of the fair, a reported half a million people visited the booth.
In the LA Times, Sofía Aguilar reflects on crocheting as a way of honoring her Mexican heritage while grappling with the art form’s colonial history, moving beyond the mainstream view of it as merely a “hobby”:
But up until recently, I’ll admit that crochet has sometimes felt like a betrayal of my identity. As the child of a Mexican family, I’m all too familiar with the costs of colonization and loss of culture. Enjoying something as European as crochet, even when it’s harmless and fun, can feel strange and wrong, or at least it did for me. Especially when the crochet community online and in real life, which is heavily saturated by white creators and artists, asks questions like “Is this just a white girl hobby?” Not that I was surprised.
I love to crochet, but I love it even more now knowing its connection to a culture that, in so many ways, has made me who I am. With every stitch, every loop and every turn of the hook, I’m carrying on the legacy of my great-grandmother, my mom and the cultural history of Mexico. Take Diego Armando Juarez Viveros, one of the most prominent male crocheters from Mexico who crochets large, wearable works of art to connect with and honor his Indigenous heritage. Or Yolanda Soto-Lopez, a Mexican American woman who has amassed millions of online fans for her crocheting tutorials on YouTube.
Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara pens an op-ed in the Miami Herald on his continued incarceration at Guanajay for his anti-authoritarian activism and role in a larger fight for equality and justice:
Today every young Cuban is a political prisoner. A censored artist. An exile inside and outside Cuba. Even if you’re an accomplice of the system, you will inevitably be crushed like the others, because to be young is to be daring and reckless, eager to bring change to the world. It means fighting for love, dreams and utopia. But these qualities are considered crimes in Cuba, and that condemns us all to martyrdom.
Dominic Pattern reports for Deadline that Hollywood film studios plan to stall negotiations until the fall, when Writers Guild of America (WGA) union members on strike are likely to run out of money and have no choice but to roll back their demands:
The severe method comes out of the guild’s successful battle with the agencies in 2021 over dismantling the lucrative practice of packaging. The WGA picked off one agency after another until final holdout WME backed down, a tactic seen as a warning sign by many in the studio and streamer C-suites.
Convinced that “giving in,” as another insider put it, to the writers will result in every contract cycle from the WGA, IATSE, the Teamsters and more ending in a strike, the AMPTP is aiming for the bottom line.
Publicly, the AMPTP are refuting the so-called October surprise.
And as Hollywood actors prepare to go on strike, some cast members of Netflix‘s Orange Is the New Black say that they were never paid fairly for their work on the blockbuster series, which premiered 10 years ago this week. Michael Shulman writes for the New Yorker:
A decade on, however, some of the cast feel disillusioned about how they were compensated, both during the original run and in the years since. Television actors have traditionally had a base of income from residuals, which come from reruns and other forms of reuse of the shows in which they’ve appeared. At the highest end, residuals can yield a fortune; reportedly, the cast of “Friends” has each made tens of millions of dollars from syndication. But streaming has scrambled that model, endangering the ability of working actors to make a living. “So many of my friends who have nearly a million followers, who are doing billion-dollar franchises, don’t know how to make rent,” Glenn told me. That struggle has brought sag to the precipice of a potential strike, authorized by more than ninety-seven per cent of about sixty-five thousand voting members. (The negotiation deadline, after an eleventh-hour extension, is tonight.) In certain ways, “Orange” was an early indicator of how lopsided the streaming economy would be, and a number of cast members are now conflicted: they’re proud to have been on such a progressive, influential show, but feel shortchanged out of the wealth that it created. “We all took a risk together,” Alysia Reiner, who played the corrupt warden Natalie (Fig) Figueroa, said. “And the reward for Netflix does not seem in line with the reward for all of us who took that risk. I can go anywhere in the world and I’m recognized, and I’m so deeply grateful for that recognition. Many people say they’ve watched the series multiple times, and they quote me my lines. But was I paid in a commensurate way? I don’t think so.”
Critic Parul Seghal explores why so many of us are suspicious of romanticizing “storytelling” and upholding narrative frame as an almost supernatural means of creating change in a fascinating piece for the New Yorker:
And if a story betrays us? The solution, it seems, is to cast about for a better one. The journalist Nesrine Malik makes this case in the 2019 book “We Need New Stories”: “It is pointless to fight fake facts, or true but cynically twisted facts, with other facts. The new stories we need to tell are not just the corrections of old stories, they are visions.” Narrative Initiative, which is dedicated to “durable social change,” is one of a number of organizations devoted to such strategies; “impactful, enduring social change,” it holds, “moves at the speed of narrative.”
Anyone in my line has every incentive to fall in step, to proclaim the supremacy of narrative, and then, modestly, to propose herself, as one professionally steeped in story, to be of some small use. Blame it on the cortisol, though: there’s no stanching the skepticism. How inconspicuously narrative winds around us, soft as fog; how efficiently it enables us to forget to look up and ask: What is it that story does not allow us to see?
Clutter is certainly not for everyone, but as Annie Mindoro Atherton writes in the Atlantic, that comforting jumble of tchotchkes and meaningful objects can be precisely what makes a space feel like home:
Cramming our spaces with painful tokens from the past can seem wrong. But according to Natalia Skritskaya, a clinical psychologist and research scientist at Columbia University’s Center for Prolonged Grief, holding on to objects that carry mixed feelings is natural. “We’re complex creatures,” she told me. When I reflect on the most memorable periods of my life, they’re not completely devoid of sadness; sorrow and disappointment often linger close by joy and belonging, giving the latter their weight. I want my home to reflect this nuance. Of course, in some cases, clinging to old belongings can keep someone from processing a loss, Skritskaya said. But avoiding all sad associations isn’t the solution either. Not only is clearing our spaces of all signs of grief impossible to sustain, but if every room is scrubbed of all suffering, it will also be scrubbed of its depth.
“Pretty privilege” discourse is back, and @faganchelsea brings a refreshing analysis of what this concept can tell us in practical and economic terms:
As @livingwith.leo explains, being able to spot White women’s art is an art form in itself!:
Kermit the Frog would be on the workers’ side and we all know it:
If Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar liked TikTok trends:
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.