In its favour, if Google Glass didn’t exist, all these Silicon Valley guys would be having affairs or buying unsuitable motorbikes
A central thesis of Inventing Abstraction is that creativity is developed through social networks. The exhibition’s curatorial team developed a graphic representation of the connections between artists in the exhibition with the help of specialists in network analysis from Columbia Business School and the Museum’s in-house design studio.
For more information on the way networks foster creativity, watch an interview with Paul Ingram, Kravis Professor of Business, Columbia Business School, on MoMA.org.
I started verynice in my apartment as an undergrad at UCLA by staying up late every night to design all kinds of things for non-profit organizations that I would find on craigslist and on campus, at no cost to them. At the time, I had a difficult time seeing verynice as a business, and I never bothered to ask myself the question: “How do I scale the impact I am making?”
Beginning in the late fifties, The New Yorker ran a series of short Talk items about captivating graffiti slogans. Most of these accounts were brief, including simply the location and a description of the graffiti in question. The magazine chronicled an early example of literary graffiti that would take on greater artistic significance. In 1957, a keen-eyed New Yorker contributor published a small item about someone who had recently visited an “espresso joint” in Greenwich Village. The visitor took note of a phrase that was written, in elegant calligraphy, on the wall beside his chair: “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Years later, the playwright Edward Albee, who was often asked about the title of his 1962 play, told The Paris Review how he’d been inspired by a line of graffiti that he had seen scrawled on the wall of a Greenwich Village establishment during the mid-fifties. Perhaps this was the very same scribbling the magazine had noted in its pages nearly five years before the play’s début.
The Reconstructionists: Celebrating Badass Women
What do Buddhist artist Agnes Martin, Hollywood inventor Hedy Lamarr, and French-Cuban author Anaïs Nin have in common? Their names may not conjure popular recognition, and yet, for Lisa Congdon and Maria Popova, these women represent a particular breed of cultural trailblazer: female, under-appreciated, badass. They are “Reconstructionists,” as the writer-illustrator duo call them — and for the next year, they’ll be celebrated on a blog of the same name. Every Monday for 12 months, The Reconstructionists will debut a hand-painted illustration and short essay highlighting a woman from fields such as art, science, and literature. The subject needn’t be famous, but she will, as Popova, the creator of Brain Pickings, puts it, “have changed the way we define ourselves as a culture.” We spoke with Popova, and illustrator Congdon, about the inspiration behind their project.
How’d you come up with the name ‘Reconstructionist’?
Maria Popova: It’s very challenging to celebrate women without pigeonholing the project into some stereotypical and alienating feminist corner, the most dangerous part of which is the preaching-to-the-choir quality that many such projects tend to have. So when it was time to come up with a title for the project, it couldn’t be something too literal or too obvious. After sifting through hundreds of letters, diaries, autobiographies, and other writing, I suddenly remembered something Anaïs Nin had written in a 1944 diary entry — about “woman’s role in the reconstruction of the world.” It was perfect. It was the only common denominator between those women – they aren’t all artists, or all writers, or all to be expected in the pages of a tenth-grade history book. They are simply all reconstructionists.