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A Vocabulary for the World

What does it mean to be a composer? Like many words, its definition and cultural significance have accrued through the ages. The definition—someone who writes music—is plain enough, but the way the word has been used in Western culture for the last 300 years

Notes from the Anthropocene #2: Infrastructure

In November 2014, after grand juries in Missouri and New York refused to indict police officers for the killings of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, over 170 cities across America exploded with nightly demonstrations that blocked major highways, bridges, and even commuter rail and subway lines.


In 1978, when Francesca Woodman was 20 years old and beginning a life as an artist, John Berger wrote “Uses of Photography.” In the essay, Berger distinguishes between two functions of the medium: private and public.

Film In Conversation

PEGGY AHWESH with Rachael Rakes & Leo Goldsmith

Peggy Ahwesh has been a film and videomaker since the 1970s, working across genres, styles, and approaches throughout. More recently, she has been making work during her stays in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, filming and teaching at Al-Quds Bard College.

Theater Comes Home
Gideon Irving is Living Here

In a spacious apartment on the Upper West Side sits a bespectacled young man, donning a knit beanie in a cozy and cluttered room. He is comfortably situated amidst an array of electronics and speakers. Guitars, banjos, and similar-looking (though probably more exotic) stringed instruments hang on the walls. He picks up a banjo and starts into a song. The music rings of American folk sounds, blended with other cultural influences. His voice is big and uninhibited, never lacking in sincerity.

From the Publisher & Artistic Director

Dear Friends and Readers,

Artists throughout the ages have served a critical need by bringing the deepest apprehensions, recurring nightmares, and anxieties of humankind to the surface, giving them visual expression.

Editor's Message Guest Critic

Tools and Contemporary Art

From the get-go, Manhattan was the center of my universe. My curatorial career began at MoMA in the early 1970s, when international phone calls were expensive and audio cassettes cheap. New York City was bankrupt, the art world small, no one had money, yet energy and ideas soared.


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Art Books

Field Notes


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2015

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