Editor’s Letter – February, 2013

February 20, 2013

Editor Marisa Mazria Katz with artist Lee Ran in Beijing.

As Creative Time Reports enters its fourth month we are thinking about the myriad ways we have presented artists’ insight into issues around the world. From videos of traders sweeping across the Kuwaiti stock exchange to readings of poetry against the backdrop of a quiet Haitian night, the singular nature of Creative Time Reports’ mission means no two pieces published on our site are ever alike. As we continue to reflect on our work and improve the site, we invite you to share your feedback. Let us know what you’re thinking by commenting on our article pages, via Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. We are eager to engage with and respond to your ideas, as are our contributors.

Beginning this month, we will publish on a bi-monthly schedule, with dispatches appearing on the first and third Monday of every month. In between, our social media editor, Todd Florio, will work to unravel each of the pieces, sharing interesting quotes and tidbits, as well as your comments on the articles. Feel free to use these platforms to pose questions to the artists as well as the Creative Time Reports staff.

We kicked off our new schedule with three strong pieces. Leading the way was Laurie Anderson, who unpacked the complex issue of a mushrooming global population with former New York Times correspondent and author of the 2010 and 2011 UN World Population Reports, Barbara Crossette.

Next, the focus turned to Israel, where approximately 60,000 African refugees now live, and the government has authorized increasingly draconian measures to detain and deport migrants. In his video, Playing a Role, Israeli artist Nir Evron showcased the architecture of a new detention center used to hold up to 4,000 migrants near Israel’s border with Egypt.

Artist Liam Gillick sat down with Creative Time Chief Curator Nato Thompson for his monthly podcast “Forms of Life” to talk about the limits of our understanding of contemporary art, culture and politics. Later this month, Gillick will touch upon many of the themes presented in the podcast for the prestigious Bampton Lecture Series at Columbia University, entitled “Creative Disruption in the Age of Soft Revolutions.”

We are thrilled to report that The New York Review of Books picked up our feature by Afghan-American artist Mariam Ghani, called “Filming the Many Afghanistans.” In the essay, Ghani tracks the country’s intricate history of Independence Day (Jeshn) celebrations using rarely seen footage from the archives of the country’s national film institute, Afghan Films. Although a portion of Afghan Films’ archives was destroyed when the Taliban came into power, according to Ghani, the negatives survived.

On the second anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian uprising, artist Lara Baladi presented a three-channel video that combines news imagery from Tahrir Square with film clips and public speeches, connecting the Egyptian struggle with civil rights and other past social movements. The piece “Alone, Together. . . Tahrir Two Years Later” was also featured on the savvy art and politics journal Guernica.

Since the start of 2013 we have upheld our commitment to featuring artists’ voices from around the world by publishing stories that covered the Israeli elections, Sudanese refugees in the United States, the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti, Pakistan’s immigrant community and Colombia’s 50-year-old civil war.

Finally, I just returned from a trip to Beijing where I met with wonderful artists—including Ai Weiwei. I plan to feature their thinking and perspectives in the months to come, as well as reading your comments on articles.

We look forward to having you join the conversation.

–Marisa Mazria Katz