What's Cookin': The Art21ndex

What’s Cookin at the Art21 Blog: A Weekly Index

Fonzie in a scene from the Happy Days episode, "Hollywood, Part Three of Three," preparing to jump on water skis over a shark. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

  • What is the relationship between the cheerfulness of technology, the recognition of cyber-ecology, and the profound sorrow of human expression? In his post, blogger Ivan Lozano quotes Ollivier Dyens’s essay The Emotion of Cyber-space: Art and Cyber-Ecology, as part of his preparation to participate in a panel discussion in Arlington, VA called We Have Decided Not to Die for the Arlington Arts Center’s TRANSHUMAN CONDITIONS show, curated by Jeffrey Cudlin. Is the role of the artist destined to change?
  • Can we blame the contemporary art object for being unethical? Would we blame money itself for the financial crisis? “There’s a lot of discussion and almost no consensus about the difference between ethics and morals, so let’s be broad about it: both are proposals about how to live,” Ben Street writes to us from London. Street address the question in the way he first interpreted it: can there be anything ethical about art itself, or is it perpetually at one remove from the conversation? Can art itself be, now, a proposal about how to live? Street makes some key points in his attempt to answer these question and reflects on the relationship contemporary art has to modernism. Read Ben Street’s insightful letter concerning his views on how ethics and morals in art stand in tandem with how the artist, the art object, and viewer may be aligned with an overall visual authority.
  • Blogger and art dealer Edward Winkleman responds to Ben Street’s letter about ethics and morals in art in this post, The Non-Existence of Ethical Art. He remembers Oscar Wilde’s famous words,  “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.” Winkleman agrees with Street — “to suggest that “art” can be either ethical or unethical is to personify an object.” Don’t miss reading this post and ask yourself, “How does this conversation relate to what I am currently making/thinking about in the classroom, studio, writing, or even my day at the office?”
  • What are Doris Salcedo, Alfredo Jaar, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Jenny Holzer, and Allora & Calzadilla up to these days? The Weekly Round-Up includes: melancholy photographs, bronze truisms, museum interventions, a giant battleship… and much much more!
  • TEACHING WITH CONTEMPORARY ART: Has contemporary art Jumped the Shark Tank?  Denis Dutton may have criticized Damien Hirst’s Medicine Cabinet and Jeff Koons‘s Vacuum Cleaners as “reckless investments,” but the opportunity to use these works as a springboard for defining and redefining art with students is really quite priceless. In this post, Joe Fusaro suggests trying things out, opening the discussion by asking: Does an idea qualify as a work of art? Can an artist have an idea, instruct other people to make it, and take the credit?
  • INSIDE THE ARTIST’S STUDIO | Rachel Moore is an American artist and currently a Fulbright Fellow at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. She holds a BFA from Alfred University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Rachel is a co-founder of Spoke, an exhibition space in Chicago, IL. Her work explores the complexity of relationships within cultures and subcultures, as well as within both built and natural environments.
  • VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Susan Rothenberg | Emotions — Episode #099:  Filmed at her home and studio in New Mexico, artist Susan Rothenberg explains how she transforms personal experiences and feelings into works that can become an “emotional moment” for the viewer. While discussing the loss of her dog, Rothenberg describes the process of recovering a memory of her pet through the act of painting.
  • YOU DECIDE! Viewers choose Art21’s 100th Video Exclusive! Don’t forget to vote!