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Posted inMusic

Bubble Bath: Deconstructing Pazz & Jop

Every year, the Village Voice holds an annual poll, inviting nearly every critic in the biz to vote on the best albums and singles of the given year. Because of its size, it’s generally the best way to measure yearly progress in pop music: the numbers actually mean something. The thing is huge; 493 critics voted in 2012. Although there’s less change than I would have liked, there’s been definite progress since last year. The 2011 Pazz & Jop albums chart contained only one major album, a collaboration between two artists who have both done better work elsewhere. The singles chart alternated between arty album tracks and crass pop-rap rampages beloved by opportunists always on the lookout for new ways to one-up their colleagues. What made it onto Pazz & Jop last year was not what people really loved, but what they didn’t hate, the result of a standoff between the ideologically opposed magazines Rolling Stone and Pitchfork – the winners were the albums mediocre enough to survive. Rather than a consensus, I thought, we had a lack of consensus.

Posted inArt

I Read Banned Books …

Even though Hyperallergic is primarily a blog about art and visual culture, there’s no question that we’re also super nerds who read a lot. So I felt it would be remiss if we didn’t pay at least a short tribute to Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of books and literacy and the freedom for everyone to read whatever the hell he or she wants, which unfortunately is still more of an ideal than a universal practice.

Posted inArt

Office Space: The Conceptual Art Show?

In 2011, the American Dream has deteriorated to looking like an empty office space with abandoned cubicles, lone water fountains and abandoned family photographs of the past employees. On two floors of the midtown Manhattan Lipstick Building, and only an elevator ride away from Bernie Madoff’s old office, a group of artists transformed an empty office into an art exhibition, 14 & 15, by placing conceptual art around the lavish office, playfully moving objects that had been left in the offices and changing how viewers understand office space. However, much like the current economic state with the gap between the wealthy top 1% and everyone else, only the select few seem to be able to experience this exhibition.

Posted inArt

YouTube Archive + Anarchy, Part 1

For a fan of art like me, YouTube is a gold mine. I remember when I was in college about the only access I had to the art and music scene in New York City was pouring over the New York Times in the library. The rest was imagination. YouTube brings art and music closer, no matter where you are or when you are. It’s a crazy archive that holds art, new and old. Sometimes its been sanctioned by the artist. Sometimes, not so much. The best thing about art on YouTube is the access that it allows for the viewer and also because of the exposure for artists. Some artists and gallerists might have an issue with that last point. But quite frankly, that’s their problem. Click through for a journey into YouTube’s anarchic archive of art and artistic materials.