Celebrate #WorldCameraDay: Enter FlakPhoto’s The Polaroid Project Giveaway

Today is National Camera Day. To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the amazing FlakPhoto to give away five copies of The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology.

Photo by Andy Adams, FlakPhoto

Submission is FREE and you have three chances to win. FlakPhoto will draw 5 random winners from the comments, retweets and shares on Sunday, July 2.

Published to accompany a major traveling exhibition, The Polaroid Project is a creative exploration of the relationship between Polaroid’s many technological innovations and the art that was created with their help. Richly designed with over 300 illustrations, this impressive volume showcases not only the myriad and often idiosyncratic approaches taken by such photographers as Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ellen Carey, and Chuck Close, but also a fascinating selection of the technical objects and artifacts that speak to the sheer ingenuity that lay behind the art. With essays by the exhibition’s curators and leading photographic writers and historians, The Polaroid Project provides a unique perspective on the Polaroid phenomenon — a technology, an art form, a convergence of both — and its enduring cultural legacy.

Barbara Crane, Private Views, 1981.
Dennis Hopper, Los Angeles, Back Alley, 1987.
André Kertész, August 13, 1979, 1979.
Mark Klett, Contemplating the view at Muley Point, Utah 1994, 1994.

Head over to FlakPhoto for all the giveaway details and how-to. (Psst. You can also get the scoop on a special discount to save 40% on The Polaroid Project.)

Be sure to tell your photography friends about the giveaway, and good luck!

Watch a wonderful Polaroid video and learn more about the exhibition currently on view at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.


BRUCE CONNER wins the 2017 Dedalus Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award

The Dedalus Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award is awarded annually to the author or authors of an outstanding exhibition catalogue published in a given calendar year that makes a significant contribution to the scholarship of modern art or modernism. This award is given in addition to, and as the complement of, the prestigious Robert Motherwell Book Award.

We are proud to announce the 2017 award went to BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE by Rudolph Frieling and Gary Garrels, published in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

“The historic exhibition catalogue BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE offers a rigorous accounting and analysis of a pivotal American artist whose pioneering work in various media, including film and video, works on paper, assemblages, photographs and photograms, performance, and more, continues to exert tremendous influence on artists working today.

The catalogue offers a highly anticipated contemporary perspective on Conner, providing a definitive examination of his output and place in postwar art. It features a wide range of artworks and ephemeral materials never before published.”

To learn more about the exhibition, listen to the Modern Art Notes podcast interview with curator Gary Garrels.

Save 30% on the catalogue with online purchase—enter discount code 16W6596 at checkout.


The Polaroid Project: Instantly fun. Forever iconic.

Recently named a notable opening by the New York Times, The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology is on view at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art starting on June 3.

The richly designed catalogue provides a unique perspective on the Polaroid phenomenon—a technology, an art form, a convergence of both—and its enduring cultural legacy.

 

Through the corporation’s own artist support program, which provided many with materials, Polaroid helped shape the artistic landscape of the late twentieth century. The Polaroid Project showcases not only the myriad and often idiosyncratic approaches taken by such photographers as Dennis Hopper, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ellen Carey, Andrea Wolff, Ansel Adams, Chuck Close, and many more, but also presents a fascinating selection of the technical objects and artifacts that speak to the sheer ingenuity that lay behind the art.

 

The impressive exhibition displays a variety of image sizes and formats produced over decades of time, and has been organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis/New York/Paris/Lausanne, in collaboration with the MIT Museum, Cambridge, Mass., and the WestLicht Museum for Photography, Vienna. If you are lucky enough to be in the Fort Worth area, don’t miss Ellen Carey‘s artist talk on June 10.

Enter to win a copy of the catalogue via our Goodreads giveaway (through July 1).


The Artist Behind the Iconic Silence = Death Image

This fall, UC Press will publish After Silence: A History of AIDS Through Its Images, written by acclaimed artist and activist Avram Finkelstein, who was one of the creators of the major protest posters and graphics deployed during the AIDS epidemic of the early 1980s.

Finkelstein was a part of every major radical queer activist group, including Gran Fury, ACT UP, and the Silence = Death collective, which produced one of the most iconic and lasting images that would come to symbolize the AIDS activist movement: a protest poster of a pink triangle with those same words “Silence=Death.”

The graphic and the slogan still resonate widely today and are often used — and misused — to brand the entire movement, appearing in a variety of ubiquitous manifestations. Finkelstein previously addressed the issue of authorship and ownership on the New York Public Library’s blog, saying that once a political poster reaches the public sphere, “it belongs to those who respond to its call. So while I had a hand in producing Silence=Death, I would argue that it was the AIDS activist community that actually created it, a community in search of its voice, one that went on to find it through the activation of its own social spaces.”

In the following video, Finkelstein also discusses the design decisions that were made to create the famous image, and the weight of the meaning of “silence,” eloquently stating that: “Institutionally, silence is about control. Personally, silence is about complicity.”

 

With After Silence, Finkelstein exposes us to a different side of the traditional HIV/AIDS history through his writing about art and AIDS activism, the formation of collectives, and the political process while also providing a toolkit for how art and activism can save lives.

After Silence is available this November. Pre-order your copy today.


Celebrating the City: Photos from the MAS NYC Awards Ceremony

What a night! On Monday evening, the Municipal Art Society of New York honored Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas and editors Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro with the Brendan Gill Prize. Praising the contributions of all who worked on the book, the jury recognized the project’s rich and varied social histories, stating, “By inviting a diverse host of collaborators to contribute to this beautifully plural portrait of our urban archipelago, the book resonates the resiliency of the myriad of communities that contribute to our city’s dynamism.”

The editors were presented with the award at the Celebrating the City ceremony, with Rebecca appearing by video from her San Francisco home, and Joshua on site to accept the award in his home city. Check out the photos from the event below! (Photos by: Vlad Weinstein)

Continue reading “Celebrating the City: Photos from the MAS NYC Awards Ceremony”


30 Fantastic Books for the Mother in Your Life — from the Art Lover to the News Junkie

We’ve compiled a list of recommended reads for the mother figure in your life — whether her interests lie in cultural artifacts or the 24-hour news cycle, Hollywood backlot backstories or intriguing historical tales. This list could be for any reader in your life — and that’s fine, too! — but when we typically think of a mother, these words come to mind: creator (and creative), teacher, protector. We think this reading list embodies those traits. Enjoy!

For the Art Lover

Summer of Love: Art, Fashion, and Rock and Roll edited by Jill D’Alessandro and Colleen Terry, with essays by Victoria Binder, Dennis McNally, and Joel Selvin

Slow Art: The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell by Arden Reed

Of Dogs and Other People: The Art of Roy De Forest by Susan Landauer

Ed Ruscha and the Great American West edited by Karin Breuer, with contributions from D.J. Waldie and Ed Ruscha

For the Cinephile

Hard-Boiled Hollywood: Crime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles by Jon Lewis

Lois Weber in Early Hollywood by Shelley Stamp

Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Selected Writings and Interviews, Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Alfred Hitchcock, edited by Sidney Gottlieb

Hellboy’s World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins by Scott Bukatman

For the Music Aficionado

Listening for the Secret: The Grateful Dead and the Politics of Improvisation
by Ulf Olsson, edited by Nicholas Meriwether

Loft Jazz: Improvising New York in the 1970s by Michael C. Heller

Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus by Krin Gabbard

Ronnie Gilbert: A Radical Life in Song by Ronnie Gilbert

For the Literary Bookworm

Thoreau and the Language of Trees by Richard Higgins, with a foreword by Robert D. Richardson 

Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro 

Autobiography of Mark Twain: The Complete and Authoritative Edition Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3 by Mark Twain

A Poet’s Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov by Donna Hollenberg

For the Wine Connoisseur

French Wine: A History by Rod Phillips

I Taste Red: The Science of Tasting Wine by Jamie Goode

Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine by Bill Nesto and Frances Di Savino

Riesling Rediscovered: Bold, Bright, and Dry by John Winthrop Haeger

For the History Buff

A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict by Gershon Shafir

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror by Eric Stover, Victor Peskin, and Alexa Koenig

The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology by Aldon Morris

Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans  by Corey D. Fields

How Would You Rule: Legal Puzzles, Brainteasers, and Dilemmas from the Law’s Strangest Cases by Daniel W. Park

For the News Junkie

Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary by Ronald Rael

The FBI and Religion: Faith and National Security before and after 9/11 by Sylvester A. Johnson and Steven Weitzman

Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other by Mugambi Jouet

Reproductive Justice: An Introduction by Loretta Ross and Rickie Solinger

In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte by David Bacon


Jennifer L. Roberts Awarded the 29th Annual Eldredge Prize by the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Congratulations to Jennifer L. Roberts on winning the Smithsonian American Art Museum‘s 29th Annual Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship for her book, Transporting Visions: The Movement of Images in Early America.

The jurors wrote in a joint statement:

“Roberts’s adventurous account provides an exciting indication of where the field of American art is going as it pushes analysis of visual material into new terrain.”

UC Press is incredibly proud of this recognition in particular, and the continued acknowledgement of our American Art History publishing program by the Eldredge Prize: we have now won this distinguished award a total of nine times.


Jennifer L. Roberts is Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. She teaches American art from the colonial period to the present, with particular focus on issues of landscape, expedition, material culture theory, and the history of science, and is the author of Mirror-Travels: Robert Smithson and History and Jasper Johns/In Press: The SI-207-2017 2 Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print.

 

 


Celebrating Slow Art Day

While slow movements have garnered attention and interest over the years, Slow Art Day is an annual event that may not be on every one’s radars, but is in fact very easy to embrace and celebrate.

The Slow Art Day website describes their mission in simple terms: “help more people discover for themselves the joy of looking at and loving art.” They lay out three clear steps of action for interested participants, that truly essentially come down to looking at art, and slowing yourself down in the process.

Arden Reed, author of the forthcoming Slow Art: The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell, begins his book with a DeLillo quote that also prescribes a way of looking, experiencing, and connecting.

“The less there was to see, the harder he looked, the more he saw. This was the point. To see what’s here, finally to look and to know you’re looking, to feel time passing, to be alive to what is happening in the smallest registers of motion.”

—Don DeLillo, Point Omega

 

Slow Art explores broader questions about spectatorship, questions about how we look at art now. In a recent blog post Arden Reed “advocates an aesthetics of slowness.” Take a cue from his book—and from Slow Art Day—and visit your local museum tomorrow to see what draws you in, makes you pause, enthralls.

If you’re inspired to share your experiences, post a photo or describe a feeling and tag us: @educatedarts #SlowArtDay.


Crossing the ‘Borderwall’: Projectiles

Depending on your intake of current event news, the wall—existing and potential—between the United States and Mexico has been a staple feature of this administration’s diet. Among other things it’s divisive, unrealistic, and up for debate on how it will be funded, but author Ronald Rael looks at it in a completely unique way: as an architect, as a citizen, and as someone who grew up occupying the borderlands himself. Ciudad Juárez-based journalist Judith Torrea describes his new book as “astonishing and magical: a realm where the absurdity of a wall is transformed from obstructive and negative to an affirmation of shared humanity.”

The below excerpt appears in a section of the book entitled, ‘Recuerdos/Souvenirs’, which proposes unsolicited counterproposals, both tragic and sublime, for the existing wall along the border.

Automobiles carrying people and drugs are not the only things traveling through the air over the wall. During the Middle Ages, with the rise of fortified castles and city walls, the catapult became an essential tool to launch objects and even bodies over protective walls. It was also a time when the cannon became a standard method of breaching walls. With the catapult’s and the cannon’s shared history of launching humans through the air, it is unsurprising that these medieval technologies would resurface in reaction to the anachronistic security barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Among the projectile launchers created to hurdle the wall are catapults, used by drug traffickers to hurl marijuana and other contraband over the borderwall. Packages of marijuana are bulkier than heroin or cocaine and therefore more difficult to smuggle hidden in vehicles or carried by hand. The catapults confiscated by Mexican authorities are built upon trailers that can easily attached to a truck, making them very portable. These “pot-a-pults,” which can be as tall as 9 feet, are constructed with steel and a strong elastic band and can hurl marijuana bales weighing approximately 4.4 pounds each. These borderland trebuchets have been discovered in use along the Arizona-Mexico border near the cities of Naco and Agua Prieta.

More powerful are the cannons used to launch packets of marijuana over the borderwall into Calexico, California, from Mexicali, Mexico. These homemade cannons are fashioned from plastic pipe and makeshift metal tanks containing either compressed air (produced by an automobile engine) or encapsulated compressed carbon dioxide. These cannons have been known to fire thirty-pound canisters of marijuana up to 500 feet. Thirty-three such canisters, fired out of one of these cannons and valued at $42,500, were recently discovered near Yuma, Arizona.

So, have people also been launched over the wall? An episode of the television program MythBusters tested the theory that in addition to drugs, immigrants themselves were becoming human projectiles and being flung two hundred yards across the border into the United States. The show constructed a human-sized slingshot to see if it was possible. The tests involved the launch of a mannequin over a fictional U.S.- Canadian border and used a chain-link fence topped with razor wire to mark the border—a vision clearly inspired by the U.S-Mexico wall. And although the MythBusters team was able to propel the dummy 211 feet, it was concluded that it didn’t seem possible to launch humans accurately enough to ensure their safety.

Although there is no evidence that migrants are being launched over the wall, human cannonball David Smith Sr., who holds the distance record for being shot into the air (201 feet, in 2002), is the first person whose launch by cannon over the U.S.-Mexico borderwall has been documented. Although it is illegal to enter the United States from Mexico except at an official port of entry, U.S. Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar granted Smith permission to cross in this unconventional fashion. So, in 2005, with passport in hand (which he waved to the crowd before blasting off from Tijuana, Mexico), he sailed over the wall and landed squarely in a large net awaiting him in San Diego, California.

When Smith was asked why he did it, his reply was simple: “I did it for the money—I get paid!”

Selections from ‘Recuerdos’ were read aloud by the author to UC Press staff earlier this spring (watch a short video from that talk), and we’ll be sharing excerpts here in the coming weeks.

Learn more in recent features on Borderwall as Architecture in The Architectural RecordThe London Review of Books, The New York Times, and a podcast produced by UC Berkeley’s Berkeley News.


Ronald Rael is Associate Professor in the departments of Architecture and Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Earth Architecture, a history of building with earth in the modern era that exemplifies new, creative uses of the oldest building material on the planet. The Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum have recognized his work, and in 2014 his creative practice, Rael San Fratello, was named an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League of New York.

 


Nonstop Metropolis Wins the Municipal Art Society of New York’s 2017 Brendan Gill Prize

We are excited to announce that the Municipal Art Society of New York has awarded this year’s Brendan Gill Prize to Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City AtlasCONGRATULATIONS to editors Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro!

The Gill Award jury recognized the book:

“For its thought-provoking, well-informed essays, and innovative, story-telling mappings, as a work of art that brings rich life, social and literary history, and perspective to the urban journeys all New Yorkers share. By inviting a diverse host of collaborators to contribute to this beautifully plural portrait of our urban archipelago, the book resonates the resiliency of the myriad of communities that contribute to our city’s dynamism.”

About the Brendan Gill Prize:

In 1986, the MAS trustee, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, announced the creation of the Brendan Gill Prize. Inspired by the renown New Yorker theater and architecture critic, social historian and former MAS President, the endowed prize has been given annually for the past 29 years to the “creator of a building, book, essay, musical composition, play, film, painting, sculpture, choreographic work or landscape design, that best captures the energy, vigor and verve of our incomparable city.” The creation must have been accomplished in the previous year and is not for a life’s work. The Brendan Gill Jury, comprised of eight civic-minded professionals representing the arts and design community, selects the awardee through nominations submitted to the MAS website and e-newsletter. The list of previous winners is attached; the range is diverse, and the book, Josh, and Rebecca are in extraordinary company.