The Walker Curates the News: 09.22.14

Tamms Year Ten, Mothers of Tamms prisoners participate in I am a Mom march to AFSCME, April 4, 2012, James R. Thompson Center, Chicago IL, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo by Adrianne Dues

Tamms Year Ten. Mothers of Tamms prisoners participate in “I am a Mom” march to AFSCME, April 4, 2012, James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, IL. Photo: Adrianne Dues. Courtesy the artist.

The “post-human” vocoder sounds of Kraftwerk, Afrika Bambaataa, and Laurie Anderson have a surprising origin: top-secret military projects. A New Yorker video tells the fascinating story of the evolution in uses for a war-time voice encoding technology initially deployed in World War II missions, from Germany to Hiroshima.

  • “Up and coming” at 80: British artist Rose Wylie’s bold, “quasi-cartoonish” paintings only started to gain attention five years ago. Now we hear of a belated but bountiful accolade: she’s just won the £25,000 John Moores prize, an honor previously bestowed on artists like David Hockney and Peter Doig.
  • The MacArthur Foundation has just named recipients of its 2014 “genius” grant: twenty-one creative individuals in an array of fields—including cartoonist Alison Bechdel, documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, and public artist Rick Lowe—will each receive $625,000. The presence of Project Row Houses founder Rick Lowe on the list is a “big win” for social practice art, writes the LA Times’ Carolina Miranda. “Lowe’s award, in many ways, helps confer mainstream prestige to the form. But it also highlights the level of commitment that well-produced activist art can demand.
  • Focusing on activist makers from Suzanne Lacy to Antanas Mockus, the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s new show examines junction of art and social justice programs, asking: “Should we judge activist art on the way it looks or the social change it creates?”
  • For the new edition of its biennial Art 50 list, Newcity Art names fifty influential artists who call Chicago their home, from socially engaged artist Theaster Gates and photographer Dawoud Bey to “non-commercial” art collective Temporary Services.

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