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Reaktion Books, June 2021

“It is said that the darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.”

-Thomas Fuller

We are a people on the brink in many ways. A world besieged by plague and isolation struggling to hold the line lest our patience be for naught. And now for many clinging to their last shred of resilience, mother nature has begun to squeeze an icy grasp testing not only the limits of individuals but of systems designed to make our modern lives safe and comfortable. And yet every day the light stays a little longer. Where once darkness fell as afternoon met evening, now there is a glow, however faint, through the dinner hour. The light will return. The warmth will return. Life as we knew it will return. Take heart.

Bek Anderson spoke to us from New Haven in December of 2020. The Yale graduate and photographer moved from her studio into her garage along with her partner when the pandemic set in as both felt it was important to work from home. As fate would have it, her partner had built a greenhouse for them the previous fall and so as lockdown proceeded, their summer garden was prolific. This prompted not only an installation at the Yale School of Architecture titled Garden Pleasures, framing the garden as a social and egalitarian place, it also led them to host a pay-what-you-can farm stand they called Produce for the People from their front porch. To hear more about this and Anderson’s other work, listen to the complete interview.

Brian Curtin is an Irish artist living in Bangkok, Thailand. When the pandemic first began, he returned to Ireland to lock down but has since come back to Thailand were he says the safety measures are truly impressive. There is also political unrest in Thailand though as it is illegal to speak ill of the monarchy in the country, Curtin was unable to say much more than the basic details of the situation. In June of this year, Curtin will publish a book through Reaktion Books U.K. titled Essential Desires: Contemporary Art in Thailand. To hear more about his work, his life in Thailand and his book, listen to the complete interview.

Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

We’ve come so far – hold on.

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

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Bek Anderson is reading She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Brian Curtin’s book Essential Desire: Contemporary Art in Thailand will be available in June.

Deadlines

The ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and the Deutsches Museum announce an open call to artists interested in a dual residency at both facilities. The Intelligent Museum invites artists who apply machine learning, especially Deep Learning, in their practice. The call is open to artists in all genres. There is a monthly stipend for a maximum of three months as well as a budget for materials. For more information, visit the website. Deadline for proposals is February 28.

 

Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center 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.

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