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jenlindblad

writer // curator /// stockholm // new york
hej [at] jenniferlindblad [dot] com

"

Now come socialbots. These automated charlatans […] have quirks, life histories and the gift of gab.

Researchers say this new breed of bots is being designed not just with greater sophistication but also with grander goals: to sway elections, to influence the stock market, to attack governments, even to flirt with people and one another […]

Christian Rudder, a co-founder and general manager of OkCupid, said that when his dating site recently bought and redesigned a smaller site, they witnessed not just a sharp decline in bots, but also a sudden 15 percent drop in use of the new site by real people. This decrease in traffic occurred, he maintains, because the flirtatious messages and automated “likes” that bots had been posting to members’ pages had imbued the former site with a false sense of intimacy and activity. “Love was in the air,” Mr. Rudder said. “Robot love.”

Mr. Rudder added that his programmers are seeking to design their own bots that will flirt with invader bots, courting them into a special room, “a purgatory of sorts,” to talk to one another rather than fooling the humans […]

But the bots are likely to venture into ours, said Tim Hwang, chief scientist at the Pacific Social Architecting Corporation, which creates bots and technologies that can shape social behavior. “Our vision is that in the near future automatons will eventually be able to rally crowds, open up bank accounts, write letters,” he said, “all through human surrogates.”

"

NYT

this is really fascinating.

— 1 year ago with 6 notes
#technology  #digital age  #socialbots  #new york times  #robot love  #bots 
Hacktivists as Gadflies, Brecht Vandenbrouckefor the New York Times [14/04/2013]

Hacktivists as Gadflies, Brecht Vandenbrouckefor the New York Times [14/04/2013]

(Source: jesuisperdu, via icpbardmfa)

— 1 year ago with 284 notes
#hacking  #hacktivist  #new york times  #illustration 
"We travel for pleasure, for a door-slamming sense of “I’m outta here,” for a change of air, for edification, for the big vulgar boast of being distant, for the possibility of being transformed, for the voyeuristic romance of gawping at the exotic; and sometimes we travel because we have been banished. I was banished once, and it fortified me."
Paul Theroux, “My Travel Wish List,” New York Times

(Source: The New York Times)

— 1 year ago with 3 notes
#Paul Theroux  #travel  #banishment  #new york times 
The Times of New York Candle. Conceptualized by Tobias Wong, realized by Josee Lepage.

The Times of New York Candle. Conceptualized by Tobias Wong, realized by Josee Lepage.

— 3 years ago with 3 notes
#design  #tobias wong  #new york times  #scent 
I wrote an new piece for Art Observed on Subodh Gupta’s exhibition opening tonight at Hauser & Wirth in New York. I tried out a slightly different tone in this one, so please give it a click below and let me know if it’s too cheesy, and/or if I’ve been reading too many Holland Cotter reviews! I know a lot of you are writers, art lovers, and readers and I’d love to hear your feedback either in messages or hej [at] jenniferlindblad [dot] com. 
(» Go See – New York: Subodh Gupta’s “A glass of water” at Hauser & Wirth, through June 18, 2011 - AO Art Observed™)

I wrote an new piece for Art Observed on Subodh Gupta’s exhibition opening tonight at Hauser & Wirth in New York. I tried out a slightly different tone in this one, so please give it a click below and let me know if it’s too cheesy, and/or if I’ve been reading too many Holland Cotter reviews! I know a lot of you are writers, art lovers, and readers and I’d love to hear your feedback either in messages or hej [at] jenniferlindblad [dot] com. 

(» Go See – New York: Subodh Gupta’s “A glass of water” at Hauser & Wirth, through June 18, 2011 - AO Art Observed™)

— 3 years ago with 2 notes
#subodh gupta  #art observed  #holland cotter  #new york times  #writing  #exhibtions 

fernandofrenchPage One: Inside The New York Times. Watching this trailer gave me a journalism boner.

(Source: fernandofrench)

— 3 years ago with 57 notes
#new york times  #journalism  #page one  #movies 
"Now, though, many museum directors are finding virtue in necessity. Shows built largely from in-house collections have drawn well, they say, and curators are introducing the public to unsung treasures. […] Museums all over the country are now concentrating on their permanent collections rather than staging blockbusters that rely on borrowed works of art. A survey by the Association of Art Museum Directors this year found that nearly three-quarters of its members were planning shows based on their permanent collections, compared with a little more than half who planned such exhibitions in 2005. […] But Maxwell L. Anderson, the director [of the Indianapolis Museum of Art], said the blockbuster era was merely in hibernation. “That itch will come back as the economy recovers,” he said."

Robin Pogrebin, “Museums Are Exhibiting Works from their Own Collections” (NYT)

Blockbuster era in hibernation - beware!

— 3 years ago with 5 notes
#collections  #collecting  #museums  #new york times 
Re-writing history

I’m reading a book right now for my Historicity course called Re-Thinking History by Richard Jenkins (1991). Jenkins lays out the basic concept of reading history critically - not taking the historian’s view as fact, but rather as one of many (inherently biased) accounts. This criticality, he argues, has long been a given in other disciplines: philosophy, sociology, and the like - but had not yet made its way into mainstream notions of history. It was apparently groundbreaking at the time, and I wonder if perhaps the reason it seems so basic to me is that even as far back as middle school, I remember my social studies teacher telling us that primary and secondary source materials helped us to reconstruct the past, but that we never had access to one essential truth.

This is also the method I was taught in my museum education days, when, instead of reciting a wall plaque to the visitors about the artworks, I would engage them in seeing, thinking, and connecting. “What do you see here?” “What does this remind you of?” “What do you see that makes you say that?” What matters is facilitating people’s connection to the artwork, making them feel knowledgable not by laying out a clearly defined essentialist history, but by opening access from the viewer’s wealth of experiences to the image.

 

Paul Thek, Untitled (Meat Piece with Flies), 1965, from the series Technological Reliquaries. Image courtesy the NYT.

Holland Cotter’s review in this morning’s NYT of Paul Thek: Diver, a Retrospective at the Whitney Museum got me thinking - what artists does history miss? In today’s ever-expanding international art schedule, there are so many galleries, museum shows, and studios that, if unvisited or undocumented, go unnoticed. If you blink, you miss out. Thek studied painting at Cooper in the late 1950s, and ran in circles with Susan Sontag, Eva Hesse, and Peter Hujar. He was alert to the work of Johns, Kaprow, Oldenburg, Rauschenberg, Bueys, as well as the Arte Povera movement. He spoke the language of the great minimalists and neo-avant gardes. In the late 1960s, Thek travelled to Europe, where he was warmly received, and dabbled in creating large scale collaborative ephemeral environments. When he came back to New York, the 1960s were over and no one apparently remembered him. (I find this hard to believe, but the “facts” remain.)

He’s also devastatingly gorgeous:

Paul Thek in the Palermo Catacombs, 1963. Image courtesy the NYT.

Thek was 54 when he died of AIDS in 1988, but according to Cotter, he “had already slipped through the cracks of art history. Or rather he had fallen into one of the deep trenches that divide history into artificial islands with names like Pop and Minimalism.” Cotter seems all too aware of Jenkins’ concept of history-construction. In a look through the exhibition site, the images make it clear that this artist was of quality, and worth a re-writing. “And what of Thek today?” Cotter asks:

"There is little room for him in the existing history books, with their cut-and-dried geographies. Nor is his art a natural fit in conventional museums like the Whitney. The meat pieces are still frontal attacks on formalism, the art world’s closely guarded safety zone. The installation leftovers are moldy stains on the modernist white box: organic to its inorganic, dirty to its clean; emotion to its reason.

So if Thek is taken seriously, and his widespread influence demonstrates that he is, traditional history has to be resurveyed and rewritten. It will no longer be a tale of fortress islands but of ships and swimmers moving among them. It will be a history of gigantic obsolescence, and precious semi-permanent slightness, of active anger and hard-earned relief. (“Afflict the comfortable; comfort the afflicted,” is how Thek put it in a late painting.) And, of course, in that history he will take his rightful place.”

Installation shot: Paul Thek at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Image courtesy the NYT.

But will he? It depends entirely on art historians and the textbooks future students and scholars will read. Although the mounting of the show itself seems like a miracle, Cotter, as a critic, must make some comment on the exhibition. He describes the show as “ragged, moving and much-anticipated” and, later, “less than we hoped for, perhaps, but more than anticipated.” This is an interesting distinction - hope and anticipation. If the base of knowledge is zero — if we know nothing about the artist to begin with — then isn’t something better than nothing?

Not in the slightest. It is here that the curators make a huge difference in the perception of the work: if the installation had been ugly or somehow unpleasing to critics and connoisseurs, Thek may have been slandered, or, even worse, forgotten. His name, and all the work attached to it, would have slid further into anonymity. I’m glad the “organizers” (why is the Whitney not using the word “curators”?) Elisabeth Sussman and Lynn Zelevansky, made this exhibition happen, and I will definitely check it out in December.

If nothing else, you can always count on Cotter for some beautiful, thought-provoking prose. I like his metaphor of artistic movements as coarsely-delineated “geographies” and artists and their networks as “islands” and “archipelagos.” I am making a mental note to return to these phrases again soon.

— 3 years ago
#paul thek  #new york times  #holland cotter  #art history  #rewriting  #richard jenkins  #whitney museum  #art education 
Marina Abramović's ex-partner of 12 years, Paolo Canevari. After Ulay, her previous partner of 12 years, Abramović dated Canevari: an artist 16 years her junior. They split in 2009, but for the record, girl sure knows how to pick ‘em!

Marina Abramović's ex-partner of 12 years, Paolo Canevari. After Ulay, her previous partner of 12 years, Abramović dated Canevari: an artist 16 years her junior. They split in 2009, but for the record, girl sure knows how to pick ‘em!

— 3 years ago with 3 notes
#marina abramovic  #paolo canevari  #new york times  #love 
Not QUITE what I was hoping for but…

Museum of Arts and Design Show Will Linger in the Air - NYTimes.com

You may remember from a previous post how intrigued I am by scent art - the olfactory being one of the less explored senses. When I saw this headline I squealed - scent art, it’s heeeeere! - but apparently the exhibition consists of 12 legendary ground-breaking perfumes/fragrances throughout history.

The undertaking reminded me of Francesco Vezzoli’s ad campaign for the fake fragrance Greed, and I wondered how the scents would be visually displayed?

"The scents will be wafted around the museum’s second-floor galleries by atomizers in an exhibition space designed by the architect Toshiko Mori, and they will be presented with labels identifying only their creators and the years they were made. The packaging and brand names usually associated with them […] will not be seen.”

I commend the MAD and Chandler Burr for the exhibition idea and bold display, and perhaps this will open the doors for future scent art! Can’t wait to see it when I’m in New York in December!

— 3 years ago
#chandler burr  #museum of arts and design  #new york times  #perfume  #scent art  #toshiko mori  #francesco vezzoli  #greed  #art observed 
Museum smorgasbord: There’s an app for that

As per usual, it’s like the NYT read my mind — in my seminar two weeks ago, we talked about how developing technologies can either help or hinder the learning process in museums/galleries. I am working on a longer piece about this, but for now, here are some quotes from Edward Rothstein’s article, From Picassos to Sarcophagi, guided by Phone apps. Having toured a few institutions with its aid, he dismisses the MoMA’s app as merely (and more hassle than) an audioguide, and lauds the American Museum of Natural History for their use of wifi/GPS to help find lavatories. Surely, there is a better use of this amazing technology than that. Unsurprisingly, the creme-de-la-creme in sophistication is the Brooklyn Museum, whose app uses contemporary web vernacular (tags, likes, etc.) to guide visitors. But it leads Rothstein into a more overall existential question about the apps, calling them “scarcely literate cybergraffiti that does nothing to help reach a deeper understanding of the works or reveal their artistic traditions or cultural significance. The museum becomes a smorgasbord of objects, their importance a mystery.”

The real point of these guides is to help us form a deeper connection with the objects. Since everyone learns differently - some like more didactic information, some like to reflect on questions the artist may be asking the viewer to consider - I am eager to embrace the app as a “point of entry” into the work. However, when it becomes a question of ownership - about likes, tags, and views - does it take away from the experience of seeing art? Do we have to “own” art in order to connect with it? Here are a few more snippets from the article I found interesting.

  • I have used museum apps to help me navigate museums. But I have generally felt used along the way, forced into rigid paths, looking at minimalist text bites, glimpsing possibilities while being thwarted by realities.
  • Such assistance is surely welcome. The best museums bewilder us at first. They might show something unfamiliar, overwhelming or breathtaking, and thus something disorienting. We only begin to comprehend what we see when we put it in context, shaping a new conceptual map, making sense of the displays. A guide helps by offering an entry point, helping to construct a frame of reference.
  • But the app’s limitations overshadow its strengths.
  • The app also ends up undermining the structure of individual galleries, particularly when they have narratives. The app isolates objects rather than connecting them.
  • The app’s real point, though, is its embrace of populist Web culture, in which votes and tags are supposed to yield a kind of collective wisdom.
  • It is best to consider all these apps flawed works in progress. So much more should be possible. Imagine standing in front of an object with an app that, sensing your location, is already displaying precisely the right information. It might offer historical background or direct you through links to other works that have some connection to the object. It might provide links to critical commentary. It might become, for each object, an exhibition in itself, ripe with alternate narratives and elaborate associations.
— 3 years ago
#nyt  #new york times  #new york  #education  #edutainment  #museums  #grad school  #curating 
Modern Love

I used to be addicted to Modern Love in the NY Times Style section, and would read it at brunch with my college friends - right after the wedding announcements, of course -  and still dream of someday writing my own. But recently this interest has waned… that is, until this week’s essay, which deals with a queer, gender-transitioning relationship:

"Eventually my partner and I broke up, though it would be dishonest to blame his surgery for our split…

After we went our separate ways, new questions arose: What gender was attractive to me? Who would I date? Was I still a lesbian, as I had once decided? Was I attracted strictly to preoperative transgender men? Could I ultimately be straight? The more I explored dating, the more I felt at odds with the queer community, though I also felt guilty about my failure to sustain love for someone who was transgender.

Now, several years later, my current relationship may seem to be a straight one; my partner is a non-trans man. I’ve found that there’s privilege but also invisibility that comes with passing — an aspect of my life about which I continue to struggle. I will always consider myself queer, recognizing that my sexuality and gender identity resist definition. The conflicting feelings of guilt and relief remain.”

While I certainly identified with the author in her conflicting feelings, I feel as though the ending negated the love story. “The Anatomy of a Breakup” was not so much about her relationship with someone else as it was about her relationship with herself - the writer’s evolving feelings about her own sexual identity.

But her citing of Starbucks as a place she feels hetero is way off base - some of the hottest queer baristas alive work at Starbucks.

— 4 years ago with 4 notes
#dating  #love  #modern love  #new york times  #queer  #transgender  #lesbian 

In Virginia Heffernan’s August 20th New York Times piece What ‘Fact-Checking’ Means Online, she relates,

"The day I became a fact-checker at The New Yorker, I received one set of red pencils and one set of No. 2 pencils… . The red pencils were for underlining passages on page proofs of articles that might contain checkable facts… . The No. 2’s came next. With them you would draw strike marks through words - and sometimes individual letters - that were confirmed with the help of reference books from the magazine’s library."

What a “quaint old procedure,” as she later describes the now-outdated process. As a self-professed linguophile (which Urban Dictionary regrettably defines as “one who loves language so much that it becomes an irritation to all those in contact with said person”), it appeals to my interest in all things academic: books, notebooks, the meticulous world of copyediting. Not to mention the cuteness of school supplies - which, year after year, continue to tantalize me, and unfathomably so. (Cue ridiculous scene from chick flick “You’ve Got Mail” in which Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks drool over a bouquet of freshly sharpened No. 2 pencils.)

This interest is partly due, perhaps, to some of my childhood heroes, Cam Jansen and Harriet the Spy. In the first, Cam solves mysteries with the aid of her photographic memory. Whenever she wants to remember something, she closes her eyes and says “click” - a gesture which now seems ridiculously annoying, but which at the time caused pangs of jealousy! In the second, Harriet loses friends when they discover her notepad filled with juicy “observations” that would put Gossip Girl to shame. I’m sure I read the book, but it’s the image of Harriet from the 1996 Nickelodeon film that remains in my mind.

Played by a young Michelle Trachtenberg, Harriet is a clever girl with braided hair. She walks around notepad-in-hand, pencil neatly tucked behind her ear, waiting to uncover the next big story in her neighborhood. I found her bold and daring, and being a bit bossy myself (I can’t help it, I’m a Taurus!), I identified with her desire to uncover secrets and set things straight.

Whenever I came home from school beaming, it was over a 100% on a spelling test. For a kid in a turbulent world, it was a way to measure control. And it came with rewards. One time, after a series of good spelling tests, my mom came to pick me up from school with a parakeet in the trunk - my first real pet! The shame of mistakes was equally as manic - I remember skipping dinner to cry after my failure to include a “o” in Luxembourg. There was just something so awful about not knowing something so apparent to the rest of the world.

I have tried to trace my obsession with words back to my childhood, and it occurs to me that perhaps it has to do with the fact that English was my third language and is now my native tongue. With a Swedish father and Finnish mother, I was transplanted to Los Angeles at the age of four. Thinking it might slow me down, my mom opted not to put me in ESL (English as a Second Language). With no idea why no one could understand what I was saying, I engaged in full-immersion: I went to English pre-school, sat in front of Sesame Street and soaked in the flashing images and words until it somehow made sense. Now, English is my best language and I can’t imagine feeling about it the way I do about my varying levels of competency in Swedish, Italian, Spanish, or German - that I just can’t get it completely right.

Along with St. Lucia’s Day and Christmas on the 24th, I rejected Swedish and Finnish in the household. I wanted to be like everyone else - and it is perhaps this youthful overcompensation, this need for control, that led me to my perfectionism today.

For its obvious connotations, I dislike the term “Grammar Nazi” but there’s no other way to describe my fixation with proper spelling and punctuation. I can tolerate - and myself play with - creative punctuations. I am also not that GOOD at grammar. (“Is it equally AS manic, or equally manic?” I g-chat to friends who couldn’t care less.) But I will not date someone who mistakes “they’re” and “their” (not to mention theyre!). Friends berate me for it, but for me, it’s a non-negotiable. I can’t count the number of times I’ve started an interesting email correspondence with a love interest only to have it fizzle after a barrage of poorly spelled replies. (Maybe his right pinky spazzed out? Maybe his keyboard malfunctioned? Maybe he wrote it in the middle of the night?)

As an adult, good spelling and proper punctuation (though not as standard as they should be) go mostly unrewarded. As a copyeditor of my college’s art and lit mag I stayed up late correcting capitalization, and, two years later, comfily employed while my friends prayed every night for jobs, I edited resume after resume in an attempt to help them gain even an ounce of leverage in this dog-eat-dog recession job market. It is not a hope for recognition or reward that motivates me; there is no metaphorical parakeet I strive for. For other word-obsessed comrades I think you will agree with me - my need for perfection in this area is somehow ingrained in my very being.

I now freelance for art blogs with varying degrees of small staff size; none have paid fact-checkers and all expect their writers to have a high standard of writing. Each come with their own set of style guidelines, but most is just common sense. If I submit a typo-filled article to sites, these mistakes could go unnoticed and will reflect poorly on both me and the site. Although I don’t have a printer or a set of red and No. 2 pencils by my side, I don’t want to miss dinner due to a long, shame-filled cry session once the articles have gone live. I read, re-read, and re-read again.

— 4 years ago with 3 notes
#New Yorker  #childhood  #fact-checking  #grammer  #language  #language acquisition  #linguistics  #love  #new york times  #scandinavia  #spelling  #virginia heffernan  #harriet the spy  #cam jansen 
"

'This is a country with a lot of rents,' says Professor Giavazzi [an economics professor at Bocconi University], sitting in his office one recent afternoon, using the economists’ term for excess profits that flow to a business because of a lack of competition. 'You need a notary public, it’s like 1,000 euros before you even open your mouth. If you’re a notary public in this country, you live like a king.'

So how does Italy keep going? Given the numbers, you expect it to be flat on its back. But when you visit, there are hardly any signs of despair, even in Biella, where hundreds of factories and warehouses have closed in the last decade. Why? One answer is the black economy, say economists. Roughly one-quarter of Italy’s G.D.P. is off the books.

Italians, notes Professor Altomonte, are among the world’s heaviest consumers of bottled water. “Do you know why? Because the water in the tap comes from the government.”

To Professor Giavazzi, the future here doesn’t look like Greece. It looks like Argentina.
“Before World War II, Argentina was rich,” he says. “Even in 1960, the country was twice as rich as Italy.” Today, he says, you can compare the per capita income of Argentina to that of Romania. “Because it didn’t grow. A country could get rich in 1900 just by producing corn and meat, but that is not true today. But it took them 100 years to realize they were becoming poor. And that is what worries me about Italy. We’re not going to starve next week. We are just going to decline, slowly, slowly, and I’m not sure what will turn that around.”

"
Four key quotes from David Segal’s piece in the NYTimes, "Is Italy Too Italian?"
— 4 years ago
#italy  #new york times  #fashion  #economics