Headlines: Net Neutrality, Basel, Queer Biennale
1) What Does The End of Net Neutrality Mean for Artists?
Earlier this week, net neutrality was repealed in the United States, and in the wake of the FCC’s decision many are wondering how the new internet will affect independent creators. The repeal of net neutrality means that internet service providers will now be legally allowed to slow down service to certain websites, or block certain websites from being access unless users pay a fee. Effectively, the change in policy may lead to the internet becoming a lot more like cable TV. Many artists are afraid of the negative impact this will have on their work -- independent blogs, social media accounts, and smaller websites have become an essential promotion, sales, and networking tool for artists. The introduction of tiered paywalls and limited access could have a quick and deadly effect for many up-and-coming artists, not to mention independent business owners.
2) What Do Art Award Winners Really Gain?
The Art Newspaper asks a tough question: are art awards really worth winning? The article delves into the way that a prestigious art award -- like the U.K.’s Turner Prize, for example -- can affect sale prices and collector interest in a winner’s artwork. Many collectors seem to agree that while the knowledge that an artist is an award winner can generate interest and create a sense of elevated importance, the aesthetic qualities of the work is what really sways them toward purchasing. Also worth noting is that while it’s generally assumed that winning artists will be monetarily compensated, this isn’t always the case. The general consensus seems to be that an art award might generate exposure on a national level, but that awards and prestige can never be a replacement for tangible artistic talent.
3) Art Basel Opens
Art Basel, an annual art fair that’s become one of the most hotly anticipated art events in the world, kicked off this week in Basel, Switzerland. ArtNews offers a preview of some of the most interesting works, including pieces from Yayoi Kusama, Charline Von Heyl, and Alex Katz.
4) On The "Darkness" of the 2018 Queer Biennale
Coverage of the 2018 Queer Biennale in L.A. Weekly honours the pervasive darkness in the artworks present. What If Utopia, curated by Ruben Esparza, brings together thematic works by queer artists working in a wide range of media. Of the grimness that underpins many of the seemingly celebratory art pieces, Ilona Berger of LAST projects (who helped select many of the artists showing) says, “there are many reasons for the ‘darker’ aesthetic. Trauma is one of them, and that’s very particular to our community.” Despite recent steps forward like the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan, the LGBTQ+ community still faces widespread discrimination, something that can’t be forgotten, even when imagining Utopia.
5) Pies Good Enough to Display
Finally, is pie an art form? German baker Karen Pfieff-Boschek might just prove that it is. Pfieff-Boschek grew up baking, and spent some time working textile art, which now informs her pie-making practice. The artist reportedly bakes 3 pies each week, the majority of which she gives away (after posting pictures on Instagram, of course.)