Mark your calendar - the Odyssey Works book will be released at Book Court in Brooklyn on November 9. Eric Bogosian will be there, leading a conversation with us about the ideas in the book and launching what is not only a book but an invitation to participate in a performance happening that very weekend. I'll post an invite when I have it.
Wonder. It’s something we long for, isn’t it? I do, at least. That’s why when I saw the ad for the Wonder exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in DC, I had to go. What an audacious and somewhat unimaginative title: Wonder. What kind of a curatorial tour de force could justify such a choice?
The show was a series of installations by, as NPR put it, nine leading contemporary artists, including Leo Villareal (who did the Bay Lights installation on the SF Bay Bridge), Patrick Dougherty (who famously weaves twigs into bulbous architectural forms), Maya Lin (who controversially designed the Vietnam War Memorial down the road), Janet Echelman, Jennifer Angus, and four more. Each artist occupied a single large room and was apparently given pretty free rein. The art was decently stimulating, of an unusual scale, and well executed… so why did I walk out feeling a little anxiety and a little despair rather than the uplift I had hoped for?
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After the terrorist attacks in Paris I was moved to write this short piece for Medium on why art matters.
Like so many others, I awoke Saturday to news of the Paris attacks. Awash in waves of anger and worry I checked Facebook and email to see if my friends there were alright. They were, thank God, but I couldn’t stop watching CNN. This attack seemed different than previous attacks — it hadn’t targeted the pillars of the financial, military, or governmental complexes but ordinary people going about their lives, watching soccer, enjoying a concert, eating at a restaurant. A day that had promised to be unspectacular was now freighted with a sense of the irrevocable.
How could this happen? How could a religion that equates the killing of one innocent with the killing of the whole world be used to justify such carnage? Outrage overflowed social media and the news: Russia is to blame! The invasion of Iraq is to blame! Islam is to blame! The grasping for explanations was relentless and entirely unsatisfying. read more...