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Posted inArt

Viral Image to Real Rubbers: Pop Pope

MILWAUKEE — When a story, an image of a work of art, or an essay goes viral, it has struck a cultural nerve, somewhere, and people can’t stop passing it on. The work itself becomes freed of the space where it was first realized; it is taken over by global internet culture and social networks, co-opted by BuzzFeed, threaded on reddit, and then picked up by mainstream media outlets.

Posted inBooks

Reconsidering John Dewey’s Art as Experience

It’s hard to tell how many young Americans know the name John Dewey today. Those who attended New York City’s New School might know of him as a co-founder and one of the minds behind the progressive agenda that formed the intellectual and social foundation of the school’s early years. Others might recognize the name because of his most well-known work, as an early theorist and proponent of progressive education for students of all ages. And some might be aware of him as a thinker who, in some ways, was discussing post-modern ideas about a hundred years before post-modernism. For those to whom his name is very familiar, he is said to be one of the most, if not the most, influential American philosophers. But here I want to talk about one of his lesser-known works, Art as Experience, which brings together some of his larger political and philosophic ideas in a discussion of aesthetics and culture, and their role in a robust society.

Posted inArt

Unexpected Sounds of Protest

Sharon Hayes can be a difficult artist to like. Her work often centers around “speech acts,” which the wall text in her current exhibition at the Whitney defines as “when speech functions not only as communication but as action.” Just beyond that text is an example: a barren area containing only a black platform of steps, a poster and a speaker that blares out one of Hayes’s speeches. In other words, there’s not always much to look at.