Tag Archives: what is culture?

Join the culture cadre

The United States is one of the few modern societies that, from the top, generally ignores most of its internal cultural development, and ruthlessly politicizes the rest. We haven’t been verging on cultural wasteland-edness for generations on accident—it’s imprinted on … Continue reading

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A happy holiday on Mercury, for artists and writers

Just in time for Christmas, or Yule, or Saturnalia, (or what have you) the right jolly old elves at the International Astronomical Union have gifted upon as all ten newly named impact craters on planet Mercury, each in honor of … Continue reading

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AntHill Art

I have no words for how cool I think Anthill Art is. And animal lover I may be, these are nonetheless some creatures that are a creepy-crawly bane of my existence. So if a few colonies are wiped out in … Continue reading

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Arts and culture as economic profit centers

Some might have doubted whether the economic value of the creative arts could ever be quantified. Many others probably preferred that they wouldn’t be. Arts and culture are ethereal; economics are the opposite of that. There was never supposed to … Continue reading

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Happy birthday Marina Abramović (you scare the hell out of me)

My take on performance art is…complicated. My better self has the same respect, the same esteem, for this art and these artists as I do for any art, any artist. My kneejerk self, though, tends to look at performance artists … Continue reading

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Who is burning the Heidelberg Houses?

Art has to transform something, beyond its own medium and materials. It has to transform a space, even a landscape. Often in doing so, it transforms some minds. Which is intended, or at least hoped for. But then there are … Continue reading

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I culture you: Hop aboard

Humulus lupulus: the hop flower. Fruit of a herbaceous perennial vine, cultivated mainly in northern temperate regions, used extensively as an antibacterial herbal additive. Which is nice. But for my money, hops have one beautiful, noble purpose: they’re what turns … Continue reading

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Bent rules and blurred lines

If you can’t ad-lib your art, then why bother? Just ask this tiny dancer who turns a structured preschool recital into her own interpretive debut. And after that, just for good measure, we’ve got Postmodern Jukebox‘s unexpected take on Robin Thicke’s … Continue reading

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Saving art by shutting it away

At some point, if we’re smart enough and responsible enough to make the sacrifice, we have to stop being consumers of art and start being conservators. And it is indeed a sacrifice. The art that demands our protection is not … Continue reading

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Banksy in Manhattan

Sometimes the artist becomes a brand, a profit center. Usually when that happens the results are regrettable. But sometimes the artist hangs on to his or her integrity. Sometimes the lure of fame and success aren’t enough to dilute the … Continue reading

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Kill your Buddha

I try not to too often use this soapbox as a dispensary for artistic advice (my good friend Robin K. has that all sewn up for writers over at More Ink and for visual artists at Ink and Alchemy). But … Continue reading

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Inside the Whitney’s I-You-We exhibition

It’s not often that a storied art collection like that of New York’s Whitney Museum gets up and changes address. But that’s exactly what’s going to happen in 2015, when the museum’s new downtown building is complete, and the Whitney … Continue reading

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To glimpse a Van Gogh

Funny thing about Vincent Van Gogh‘s series of sunflower paintings. As a subject, they’re as synonymous with the artist as any could be. His self-portraits and his visions of starry nights are iconic, of course; when it comes to still-life, … Continue reading

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Art is set to conquer its final frontier

Artist expression seems to be our oldest form of expression, or at least our oldest enduring one. As such, our artists (which includes all of us, when you think about it; all of us who have ever been…) have by … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Rembrandt

Today’s Google Doodle offers a helpful reminder that on this day 407 years ago, there was born in the Netherlands a man who would modernize art, make it accessible, and who would create a body of work so real, so … Continue reading

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