Posted inArt

The Perplexing Role of Metrics in the Arts

Metrics are everything these days — they’re used to find ways to measure outcomes, finding ways to prove that your effects are having an impact, finding [insert buzzword and buzzverb], or [insert another buzzword and buzzverb], etc, etc. If in no other setting, most people are at least vaguely aware that metrics are a huge part of the major conflicts that have been taking place in the nation’s education system — specifically, the way in which many so-called “reforms” in education tie programmatic or teaching success to standardized testing scores. But issues around metrics exist in every sector, including the arts. The stakes in the arts may not seem as dire or far-reaching as in education, for instance, but it’s all part of a societal shift toward relying on fairly abstract numbers to dictate how decisions are made around funding, opportunity, and what groups of people are targeted in programming.

Posted inBooks

Private Creativity and Queer Spirituality

It’s hard to talk about spirituality in the US today without bringing up a lot of baggage — conflicts between religions about who has it right or who is the most righteous, not to mention all the stereotypes that accompany each religion and its practitioners. And it’s certainly not easy to talk about religion and contemporary visual art, as visual art is so often assumed to be above or outside or beyond religion somehow.

Posted inArt

Good Intentions and Big Ideas: Feel Good Grants That Exploit Artists and Reduce Arts Funding

The people behind the ZERO1 Fellowship got one thing right — “public policy is increasingly ill-equipped to manage a society with the kind of boundless creativity that technology like the Internet enables.” What they seem to get wrong is the notion that this is a grant program that serves to directly benefit the arts, or at least one artist.

Posted inPerformance

John Waters Does Vegas?

While skimming through my Facebook news feed last week, I noticed that Murray Hill had posted a picture of himself with Patti Lupone in her dressing room, following a performance of her show Far Away Places, which ran for a couple of nights at the new lounge/cabaret space 54 Below, near Times Square. Just below the picture Murray had a note about the resurgence of nightclub acts he’s noticed of late.

Posted inBooks

Eclectic Influences: The Artists Space Bookstore

It’s actually been going on for about two years, but like many visitors to the Artists Space gallery prior to May 2012, you may not have noticed the bookshop project. Now that it’s been placed right inside the entrance of the organization’s new event space at 55 Walker Street in Tribeca, it’s impossible to miss the lengths of shelving that line the walls around you.

Posted inArt

Can We Queer the (Art) World, and Why Should We?

I’m going to start this essay with the conclusion. Why should we be looking for different ways of thinking about and living in the world? Because many of the dominant political social, and intellectual structures that currently underpin our society have proven themselves to be colossally flawed, so we need to begin looking for different ways of doing and thinking about things.

Posted inArt

New Data Reveals Artists Aren’t Gettin’ Paid

Tonight, the group W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy), will release the results of the artists survey they conducted with Artists Space, a gallery in Soho. The survey found that 58% of the nearly 1,000 artists interviewed (including visual and performing artists) received no compensation at all for exhibiting or presenting their work at nonprofits in New York.