A statue has elicited nervy indignation from Wellesley students. Here’s why they’re not justified in their discomfort.
What the great cultural arbiters have always done is insist on the power of art in the face of other kinds of power—the power of bottom lines, flow charts, metrics, big data.
Going to a museum in the era of #MuseumSelfie is less about what you see and how it makes you feel than what you get to check off your bucket list.
It’s heartbreaking to live in a country where art is expendable.
Once upon a time the Museum of Modern Art was a home away from home for anybody who cared about modern art. This is how you destroy a major cultural institution.
TEDxMet skirted Silicon Valley clichés—there was no Singularity worship, no teach-a-starving-child-to-code palaver—but it offered no erudition or insight or even surprise. All it offered was the sensation of being borne along on a lazy river of what TED likes to call “ideas.” That, rather than any individual lecture, was what made TEDxMet so dispiriting. Not for these folks was the museum a place where, like Rilke at the Louvre, you could be struck dumb by an archaic torso of Apollo and realize that you must change your life. The experience of art is too risky for TED. Instead art was reduced to just another nifty kind of shareable content, accelerating rather than resisting the tech world’s malign delusion that it participates in creative activity.
By Jason Farago
For decades now in America we have been witnessing a steady and sickening denigration of humanistic understanding and humanistic method. We live in a society inebriated by technology, and happily, even giddily governed by the values of utility, speed, efficiency, and convenience. The technological mentality that has become the American worldview instructs us to prefer practical questions to questions of meaning – to ask of things not if they are true or false, or good or evil, but how they work.
by Leon Wieseltier