“There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them…” -Seneca
We live in a world saturated with information. Some of this is valid, factual information while much of it is incorrect, misinterpreted or even simply fabricated. Knowing how to discern which is which is part of our responsibility as media consumers. Across the ages, humans have longed for knowledge, yearned to understand the world and the universe around them. With the many advancements we have made here in the 21st century, even still we are like babes in the woods, surrounded by darkness in a sense. Truly we do not know far more than we know, even now. We must avoid the temptation to believe in those things which feel right and instead insist on rigorous fact.
Ingrid Berthon-Moine spoke to us from London at the end of July. She described a situation in which people were going in two very different directions in terms of COVID precautions. Before the pandemic, Berthon-Moine frequently went to her studio. After spending many months working at home, she has returned to the studio but feels a shift. Now, she reports, she would prefer to work from home, avoiding the commute and the noise. When we spoke, she had just finished a collaborative project titled Handheld. The piece involves work commissioned from other artists that are placed in a box with ten compartments. Upon opening each compartment, the viewer is presented with the works of art. Each recipient of the box keeps it for two weeks during which time they are able to handle the art. The work plays with the taboo of touching art as well as the more urgent taboo of touching objects during the height of the pandemic. To hear more about this and Berthon-Moise’s other work, listen to the complete interview.
Dr. Seema Yasmin is an award-winning journalist, doctor, professor and author. At the moment she is working on a young adult non-fiction book addressing false information and examining why humans are so susceptible to it despite having information to counter it. The book is aimed at teenagers in the hopes that they can learn to be critical thinkers. Yasmin reports a study that came out at the end of July that found that among adults who say they believe in science, there was a higher percentage of people likely to fall for information that contains pseudoscience. This issue stems from the lack of scientific literacy in our education these days. To hear more about her work and a frank discussion about the growing problem of misinformation, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Accept that there are things we simply do not know yet rather than filling the void with untruths.
Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.
Books to Read
The Allegro Prize is open to artists of all ages from around the globe. There are three cash prizes up for grabs. All submitting artists must include an artist biography and at least three examples of work. In order to help artists during this ongoing time of pandemic, the prize organizers have decided to waive entry fees for this year. To learn more and apply, visit the website. Deadline is September 28.
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius. His book, Making it in the Art World, is available now with bonus content here.