Ideas, Arrangements, Effects is a rare, straightforward handbook for teachers, community organizers, artists on how to create communities we aspire toward.
SAN FRANCISCO — Just as design is often seen as an afterthought for new technologies, art is often seen as superfluous to the more quantifiable work behind social change and the rhetorical and charismatic qualities of change leaders.
The slogan “Silence=Death” remains one of the most recognizable images from the art produced during the AIDS crisis in America. Created by the activist art collective Gran Fury, it complemented a movement of creativity that held social change as its core. Now, over 30 years since the term “AIDS” was first recognized, the collective’s retrospective Gran Fury: Read My Lips at NYU captivates this tumultuous time in American history and shows us that, perhaps, we haven’t progressed much.
In this week’s recommended reading … photo essays on Afghanistan and the death of Osama bin Laden, a profile of Barbara Kruger, art won’t make you unemployed, how death (or imprisonment) changes an artist’s work, Hans Ulrich Obrist talks to Julian Assange, and a profile of suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning.
While the visual associations with Jacob Riis’s famous series How the Other Half Lives are inevitable, artist Robyn Hasty ambitious new photo essay using the wet-plate collodion process is very very different. Titled “Homeland,” Hasty’s current project aims to document grassroots efforts to rebuild and re-envision life after the collapse of the American economy a few years ago.
Don’t expect this series to be an exploration of poverty as the young artist sees great social potential in these American visionaries that live in cities, farms, and almost anywhere you can imagine.