Art is now, above all, purchasable – and this commodification is apocalyptic in precisely the opposite way of the exposition. In the classic exposition we displayed objects as a means to celebrate the possible future or the material potential of the present. In the gallery, as in the auction house, we still celebrate exorbitant sales as an expression of apocalyptic insecurity, but the only recapitulation here is the affirmation of purchasing power – of the current and future investment prospects of Basquiat, of a world possibly without materials, of a world entirely composed of capital. There is no celebration of aesthetic or material potential, or a celebration of possible advance, only the grotesque spectacle of meaningless wealth reinforcing itself – the market hollowing out and infecting one of our last bastions against the market’s pull.

The Big Basquiat Sale Is Art’s Capitalist Apocalypse

28.05.2017 • Permalink

Trump’s alleged screw-up with the Russians reveals yet again what we have learned many times in the last four months: The successful operation of our government assumes a minimally competent Chief Executive that we now lack. Everyone else in the Executive Branch can be disciplined or fired or worse when they screw up by, say, revealing classified information or lying about some important public policy issue. But the President cannot be fired; we are stuck with him for 3-1/2 more years unless he is impeached, which remains a long-shot.

Source: Bombshell: Initial Thoughts on the Washington Post’s Game-Changing Story

As David Brin keeps pointing out: who benefits? The leak may well come from the Russians themselves. Trump is set to meet the NATO brass soon, and he basically just told them “I cannot be trusted”. Europe must no decide how NATO proceeds, absent its arguably most important member.

Update: I stand corrected.

16.05.2017 • Permalink

[W]hen Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing all over one of the great Louis’s tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician.

Pat Metheny on Kenny G. Vicious.

04.05.2017 • Permalink

The academic production of knowledge should not be used to make profit, but to improve society. Academic knowledge is, or at least should be a common. The fact that academic knowledge is now part of the ‘for profit’ business can only be understood as the failing of the state and the dominance of neoliberalism.

The end of Academia.edu: how business takes over, again

01.05.2017 • Permalink