Author Archives: Lorie Novak

The Real Bias Built In at Facebook 

What you see on the social media giant is based on an algorithm. It’s anything but neutral.

The Real Bias Built In at Facebook – The New York Times

The first step forward is for Facebook, and anyone who uses algorithms in subjective decision making, to drop the pretense that they are neutral. Even Google, whose powerful ranking algorithm can decide the fate of companies, or politicians, by changing search results, defines its search algorithms as “computer programs that look for clues to give you back exactly what you want.”

But this is not just about what we want. What we are shown is shaped by these algorithms, which are shaped by what the companies want from us, and there is nothing neutral about that.

Makes me think of the witch in Snow White: “Magic mirror, on the wall – who is the fairest one of all?” Read full article for a good explanation how the algorithms on Facebook (and google) are controlling what we say while pretending to be neutral

Social in Practice – Superflex

Superflex’s Hospital Equipment Goes to Gaza
—artnet News

“Casualties of recent fighting in the Gaza Strip may well find themselves undergoing surgery atop an operating table that is also an artwork. In what the three-man Danish collective Superflex calls a “readymade upside-down,” the artists organized for a museum exhibition of top-of-the-line medical equipment which then went to a setting defined less by well-heeled visitors than by life-threatening injuries.

 As a result, Al-Shifa Hospital is the beneficiary of some $90,000 worth of goods,..” read more

Faith Ringgold Looks Back on Her Life in Art, Activism, and Education

Faith Ringgold photographed in New Jersey on Nov 23, 2015. KATHERINE MCMAHON

“[I realized] I can’t tell your story, I can only tell mine. I can’t be you, I can only be me,”

An important and inspiring read with need to know history > The Storyteller: At 85, Her Star Still Rising, Faith Ringgold Looks Back on Her Life in Art, Activism, and Education

Faith Ringgold, The American People Series #20: Die, 1967.

Ringgold’s original plan had been to study art. But when she showed up at City College’s School of Liberal Arts, she was informed that it did not admit women. “They’re sitting there trying to make me understand that I cannot get a liberal arts degree there,” she said, “and I am refusing to understand. And out of it, one woman says”—Ringgold dropped her voice to a whisper—“ ‘She can do it. Let me tell you how. She can [enroll in the School of Education] and major in art.’ ”

Faith Ringgold, Tar Beach, 1988.

www.faithringgold.com

Source: The Storyteller: At 85, Her Star Still Rising, Faith Ringgold Looks Back on Her Life in Art, Activism, and Education | ARTnews

 

 

MOVING TARGETS: THE WORK OF LAURA POITRAS

Great piece from ArtForum on the Laura Poitras exhibition at the Whitney. Includes excerpts from her diaries.

MOVING TARGETS: THE WORK OF LAURA POITRAS by Stephen Squibb – artforum.com

excerpt from diaries:

By asking people to lie down in Bed Down Location, I want them to enter an empathetic space and imagine drone warfare—not simply to understand it from news articles but to ponder the sky and imagine that there is a machine flying above you that could end your life at any moment. What does that feel like? Many people in the world are living under skies where that is a reality. [read article]

Holland Cotter in the NY Times also has a good, informative review

Images from Laura Poitras’s “Anarchist” series, which are drawn from documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden.

[The title, Astro Noise, refers to the faint background disturbance of thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang and is the name Edward Snowden gave to an encrypted file containing evidence of mass surveillance by the National Security Agency that he shared with Poitras in 2013. ]

 

IS THERE LIFE ON MARS? GOODBYE TO DAVID BOWIE

Many posts on the great David Bowie and his impact on popular culture and the arts. He was fearless and one of my personal heroes “for [more than] one day.” His retrospective David Bowie is that I saw in Berlin was one of the most memorable exhibitions I have seen in recent years. He was fearless is his art, seemingly not afraid to fail by trying something new —  an inspiration.

IS THERE LIFE ON MARS? GOODBYE TO BOWIE BY JACK HALBERSTAM | Bully Bloggers
(One of best pieces I have read)

“…For me, as for so many, David Bowie represented a glittering, odd, unearthly reminder that life is about change, risk, madness and mayhem, and that while our domestic structures work hard to keep the madness at bay, we must be ready at all times to “turn and face the strange.”… “

And Bully Bloggers is a great blog to follow: “The Bully Bloggers are a queer word art group.  We write about everything queer, so, pretty much everything.  Politics, culture, etiquette, vampires, cartoons, the news, philosophy, utopia and revolution.  This blog is our Bully Pulpit; we preach to the converted, the unconverted and the indifferent.  We are very serious, but in a silly sort of way. ”

and here is a great slideshow of the many David Bowies.

And his goodbye..

Walid Raad

A post honoring the important Walid Raad show at MoMA

In his MoMA retrospective, Mr. Raad devises a set of fantastic tales from a few hard facts and a backdrop of war.

Walid Raad’s Unreality Show Spins Middle Eastern History as Art – The New York Times

Official political history is as self-assured sounding and logically suspect as presidential primary promises. This is the kind of history — a modest amount of matter plumped on clouds of hot air — that the Conceptual artist Walid Raad devises in his Museum of Modern Art retrospective: a set of fantastic tales spun from a few hard facts, with the live equivalent of an operatic mad scene at the center.

Among the facts the art is built on, though they go unmentioned, are details of the artist’s life. He was born in Lebanon in 1967 and left that country as a high school teenager to escape what would be more than a decade and half of continuous warfare, with invasions by Israel and Syria and endlessly splintered sectarian conflicts. [read more]

———

another good article:
Hyperalleric:Unreliable Informants: A Walid Raad Primer

Frederick Douglass’s Faith in Photography

Frederick Douglass’s Faith in Photography
How the former slave and abolitionist became the most photographed man in America.
By Matthew Pratt Guterl, New Republic

“New, cheaper techniques of reproduction, Douglass believed, allowed for a truer, more precise impression of the person on display. They also made it possible for the subject of the photograph to determine, to some extent, how people read and understood the image. Frame by frame, the authors of the volume show how carefully Douglass tried—in an age where, for so many people of color, this was simply unimaginable—to control meaning.” [read complete article]

W.A.G.E. ::: wo/manifesto

wo/manifesto

W.A.G.E. (WORKING ARTISTS AND THE GREATER ECONOMY) WORKS TO DRAW ATTENTION TO ECONOMIC INEQUALITIES THAT EXIST IN THE ARTS, AND TO RESOLVE THEM.

W.A.G.E. HAS BEEN FORMED BECAUSE WE, AS VISUAL + PERFORMANCE ARTISTS AND INDEPENDENT CURATORS, PROVIDE A WORK FORCE.

W.A.G.E. RECOGNIZES THE ORGANIZED IRRESPONSIBILITY OF THE ART MARKET AND ITS SUPPORTING INSTITUTIONS, AND DEMANDS AN END OF THE REFUSAL TO PAY FEES FOR THE WORK WE’RE ASKED TO PROVIDE: PREPARATION, INSTALLATION, PRESENTATION, CONSULTATION, EXHIBITION AND REPRODUCTION.

W.A.G.E. REFUTES THE POSITIONING OF THE ARTIST AS A SPECULATOR AND CALLS FOR THE REMUNERATION OF CULTURAL VALUE IN CAPITAL VALUE.

W.A.G.E. BELIEVES THAT THE PROMISE OF EXPOSURE IS A LIABILITY IN A SYSTEM THAT DENIES THE VALUE OF OUR LABOR.

AS AN UNPAID LABOR FORCE WITHIN A ROBUST ART MARKET FROM WHICH OTHERS PROFIT GREATLY, W.A.G.E. RECOGNIZES AN INHERENT EXPLOITATION AND DEMANDS COMPENSATION.

W.A.G.E. CALLS FOR AN ADDRESS OF THE ECONOMIC INEQUALITIES THAT ARE PREVALENT, AND PROACTIVELY PREVENTING THE ART WORKER’S ABILITY TO SURVIVE WITHIN THE GREATER ECONOMY.

W.A.G.E. ADVOCATES FOR DEVELOPING AN ENVIRONMENT OF MUTUAL RESPECT BETWEEN ARTIST AND INSTITUTION.

W.A.G.E. DEMANDS PAYMENT FOR MAKING THE WORLD MORE INTERESTING.

Founded in 2008, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) is a New York-based activist organization focused on regulating the payment of artist fees by nonprofit art institutions and establishing a sustainable labor relation between artists and the institutions that contract their labor.