Around The Way 5-16-2014

Kara Walker, “A Subtlety” at Domino Sugar Factory, Photo by Hrag Vartanian [Hyperallergic]
Kara Walker, “A Subtlety” at Domino Sugar Factory, Photo by Hrag Vartanian [Hyperallergic]

In Japan you can’t walk into a cafe without either hearing Bossa Nova or Jazz. It’s like a permanent auditory fixture in just about any shopping center or restaurant. Professor E. Taylor Atkins talks about how Jazz came to Japan. By Patrick Jarenwattananon [NPR]

“Over the years a racialized component emerges in such language—basically a kind of model minority discourse that presumes that Asians have no soul and have no business trying to be artists, especially in proximity to Blackness, which is, in the white imagination, a realm of pure intuition, apparently devoid of intellect. No such critique, I should add, is typically leveled at white jazz musicians, of which there are many.” Jazz musician Vijay Iyer gives a speech to Yale’s Asian American alumni about reconciling with America’s dark past. [Asian American Writer’s Workshop]

Americans watch an average of five hours of TV a day and Alexander Zaitchik wants you to “Kill Your Television.” He asserts that watching edited images aimed at disabling “critical thought” promotes passivity and critical thinking. Bout my “Game of Thrones though?” [Salon]

This is why I defriended yo punk ass. By Drew Hoolhorst  [The Bold Italic]

A write up on The Gutai art movement in post-World War II Japan by Ellen Pearlman. Last year they had a huge show at NYC’s Guggenheim. The Gutai rep a common case of “imported-exports,” meaning, in Japan artists have to get famous over seas before they’re recognized at home. [Hyperallergic]

The number of Asian-American students committing suicide is higher than any other racial group in the states. Why? Two Asian-American scholars talk about Tiger parenting, expectations pushed upon Asian-American students and education. [NPR]

Remember a couple months ago a couple was sailing across the world with their two young children and the Internet called them bad parents?  They told their story to This American Life.


The history of sugar and the Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is about as bat shit crazy as any part of American history. By 1890, Domino was producing half of U.S. sugar. Working in the factory was considered “torturous.” Artist Kara Walker’s installation, A Subtlety pays homage to centuries of slave labor and the people that produced sugar.  Hrag Vartanian writes about Walker’s giant Anjamama sugar sphinx and gives an interpretation of the work, hereAllison Meier gets into the heated debate about the factory’s future, here. [Hyperallergic]

Marc Maron chews the fat with artist Shepard Fairey. Listening to Fairey talk about the late 80’s makes you realize how old he is and how long he’s been around, not exactly a flash in the pan. [What the fuck?]

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