This week, we appreciate the unceasing prosperity of ideas, practices, and empathy awarded by global interconnectivity.
The dynamism of Janet Echelman’s suspended, porous urban sculptures parallels the evolution of her unpredictable career. In her scintillating interview, Echelman recounts certain unforeseen and inauspicious moments of crisis that in hindsight motivated a steady expansion of perspective, technique, and vision. The worldly sculptor is no stranger to improvisation, and so expects new sets of variables for each new project and site: topography, history, natural forces, local fauna, and even the color of the sky inform the dimensions and effects of her vibrant and mesmerizing webs. Like an iridescent bubble, Echelman’s work is unique from every angle and a contribution to any environment fortunate enough to be enlivened by its presence.
California-based writer and curator Tyler Stallings is investigating a burgeoning field at the border of art, academia, and culture – Latin American science fiction. Far from superficial, the discipline represents an untapped reservoir of insight into post-colonial conceptions that offer utopic projections of the future and poignant analogies of present living conditions. Stallings speaks about constructing an immense archive, the merits of literary journalism, and the space for improved support systems on American soil.
What have you been reading lately? Alex Hamilton, one of our users, has been flipping through Optical Media by German theorist Friedrich Kittler, an historical text charting the linear but muddled evolution of artistic sensory perception, a process catalyzed by the discipline-blurring effects of advancing technology. Julie Saul, of the interview found above, is braving the impressive and unfinished tome The Man Without Qualities by Austrian modernist Robert Musil, a witty and terrifying account of the existential paralysis that is part and parcel of the desire for truth.
California Humanities is providing quick grants and extended grants to nonprofit organizations interested in fostering a dialectic between academia and the local California community via interactive lectures and demonstrations. CalHum endeavors to propagate an appreciation for the humanities in the general public while encouraging the higher educated to put their theory into practice. Applicants have until October 25 to collaborate in the increasingly important pursuit of an animated and thriving democracy.
Remember, the urge to create is a contribution in itself.