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In Memoriam: Liu Xiaobo

Chinese poet, dissident, and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo died of acute liver cancer on Thursday, July 13, 2017 while in police custody. Liu Xiaobo’s wife, the noted poet and photographer Liu Xia, has been under extralegal house arrest since Liu Xiaobo received the Nobel prize. Liu Xia’s whereabouts are currently unknown. With her husband now dead, she has become de facto the most internationally recognized symbol of opposition to the oligarchy that rules mainland China. […]

Six Four Eighty Nine (Twenty Five)

Today Photocritic International commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing on June 4, 1989. […]

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. […]

Dog Day Afternoons: Bits & Pieces (3)

Late last year I gave a talk in London, “Dinosaur Bones: The End (and Ends) of Photo Criticism,” in which, among other things, I bemoaned the fact that the newspaper and magazine industry has begun to replace specialized critics grounded in the visual arts (like me) with “cultural journalists,” generalists with no depth of […]

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. […]