Friday, July 1, 2016

Only built for internet linx

1. I recently watched a talk between Arthur Jafa and bell hooks wherein Jafa says that cameras, regardless of the race of their operators, function as surrogates for the white gaze. This was bumping around in the back of my mind as I read this week's Race/Related newsletter, which features a conversation between NYT photo editor Sandra Stevenson and Harvard professor and Aperture guest editor Sarah Lewis on black representation in photography. In light of Jafa's statement, is it any surprise that film photography is rife with racial bias on an operational level?

2. Try reading all of the quotes in this article about Pitti Uomo without throwing your computer out the window. It's really hard!

3. Must-reads on the state of education, discrimination, inequality, and the "surrendering of advantage" in America: Nikole Hannah-Jones' heartbreaking piece on school segregation in New York City and Jia Tolentino on the recently decided Abigail Fisher case.

4. Ludacris is having a concert at Guantanamo Bay on the 4th of July.

5. "Álgos (longing) is what we share, yet nóstos (the return home) is what divides us. It is the promise to rebuild the ideal home that lies at the core of many powerful ideologies of today, tempting us to relinquish critical thinking for emotional bonding. The danger of nostalgia is that it tends to confuse the actual home with an imaginary one. In extreme cases, it can create a phantom homeland, for the sake of which one is ready to die or kill. Unelected nostalgia breeds monsters."

6. Delete your account.

7. "Denouncing a view or person as racist is easy but trying to reestablish links between left wing parties, movements and white working class communities is the harder job": on Brexit and "when being racist doesn't matter." UPDATE 7/2: London Review of Books contributors looking back and looking forward on the Leave vote.

8. I don't have much to say about Fanta Sylla's Black Film Critic Syllabus except that it's perfect.

9. "What is required now of architecture, especially academic architecture, is not another retreading of the usual antagonisms. Resipsa loquitur: The boring and never-ending Facebook-adjacent arguments around this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale are primarily about mindless parametricist fundamentalism versus patronizing do-gooder fundamentalism. Who cares? Only the difficulty of real adversarial engagement, not fantasy critiques launched from the ivory tower at the profession, will further the conversation. Architecture will not advance one step as either a symbol of the one percent or as a tool of the other 99 percent; it must adapt and grow beyond its currently servile relationships with capital and/or community. What is required is nothing less than a wholesale attack on the discipline’s stagnating orthodoxies, left and right." Peter Zellner going all the way in on the failures of the traveling House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate exhibit (whose Los Angeles arrival I was [unfortunately?] out of town for) is everything. The housing crisis will not be solved with more "brutalist" event websites and intellectually lazy panel discussions.

10. Anyway! Craft beer sucks and Jon Taffer agrees with me, so.

Bonus: I'm always thinking about the mall and thinking about different ways to think about the mall which often leads me to find things like this, a long but worthwhile paper on programmed music in shopping centers, which of course means I also have to remind everyone of these K-Mart bangers from the early 90s.

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Maira Gall