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2013: That Was The Year That Was

My first posts for the year wrapped up my coverage of Election 2012 with commentary on images of the second inauguration of Pres. Barack Obamai in January ’13. Subsequent topics included the sources of artspeak and photospeak; social promotion and grade inflation in post-secondary art and photo programs; Robert Heinecken’s contributions to the medium; the Kennedy clan pimping J.F.K, Jr. to the media from childhood on; the photographers who replicate the work of painters; the myth of the “photo community”; rude and unprofessional behavior from the Lucie Awards, and more. [...]

Return of the Prodigal

I’ve begun to consider the possibility that my brain does manage to wrap itself around these evolutionary shifts in digital technology without extreme difficulty. Which in turn suggests that perhaps this recurrent process helps to keep my brain active and young (or, more precisely, youth-like) by pushing me to learn new skills, to replace old habits with new or revised ones, and in one way or another to get some exercise for the mind. In short, I’ve begun to weigh the mental-health benefits of living la vida digital, with its steady reconfiguring of my neural pathways. [...]

2012: That Was The Year That Was

Preoccupation with curation and management of “The Silent Strength of Liu Xia,” the touring exhibition of 26 photos by the dissident Chinese photographer, artist, and poet, also included design, publication, and content development of a substantial website for that project. That led to my putting various plans for this blog on hold. I have nothing else of that magnitude on the runway, so I’m returning to those ideas with renewed energy. [...]

Slow Boat in China (3)

Because Liu Xia now lives under house arrest, incommunicado save for periodic visits with her mother, I can’t run any decisions past her, as I would automatically in organizing a show by a living artist. Thus I have to trust to my instincts, along with my sense of what I’d want others to do with my work if I were in her shoes. [...]

Slow Boat in China (2)

Unimaginable that — except as explicit satire — 100 writers and artists from the former Soviet Union would inscribe by hand today the loathesome principles set forth by Zhdanov and enforced thereafter by his goon squads. What a bizarre reaffirmation of a long-discarded set of prescriptions and proscriptions this book represents, then — a self-abasing modern version of the obligatory “loyalty dance” performed under his portrait as a morning ritual by all mainland Chinese citizens at the height of Mao’s cult of personality. [...]