The situation in Ukraine and Crimea has rapidly worsened, but what was happening before all that? It was only a few weeks ago that protesters in Kiev were battling in the streets, demanding for the resignation of Yanukovych and closer relations with the European Union. Artist Tomas Rafa was in the thick of it, documenting the triumphs, violence and life in the square.
See more of the front lines in Tomas Rafa’s intimate and fiery photographs and video at Creative Time Reports.
Nicolas Wills (top) and Jazael Olguín Zapata (bottom), We Were Not Born to Illustrate Books, 2013. Courtesy of Crater Invertido.
These awesome drawings were inspired by legendary Tropicália musician Tom Zé. Known for his pioneering role in Brazil’s Tropicália movement—a surge of iconoclastic art, music and politics during the country’s military dictatorship of the 1960s— Zé remains a significant influence for artists and musicians around the world today. Though Tropicália ended as quickly as it began, Zé’s music—a polytonal amalgam of styles including Western rock and psychedelia as well as Bossa Nova and Bahian Samba—reemerged from São Paulo’s fringes in 1989, when David Byrne signed him to his Luaka Bop record label.
Mexico City-based art collective Crater Invertido present a mix of songs by the legendary Tropicália musician Tom Zé, as part of a new publication aimed at disseminating Zé’s music and ideas to a Spanish-speaking audience. Head over to Creative Time Reports to listen to the mix!
For his public performance Fahrenheit 451:Reprinted, Istanbul-based artist Ahmet Ögüt worked with a crew of on-duty firemen to assemble and operate a mobile book-printing studio inside a Helsinki fire truck in August 2013. After the artist acquired the rights to reprint 20 books banned by various countries in modern times (from The Communist Manifesto to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), the firemen produced 1,500 new copies of the titles. Here, a fireman hands out a banned book as part of the performance.
For an episode of Forms of Life on Creative Time Reports, Nato Thompson, Creative Time’s chief curator, spoke with Ahmet about this project as well as community organizing beyond the art world, based on his experience of assembling the Silent University for migrants and refugees during his Tate Modern residency.
As part of Creative Time Reports’ partnership with The Intercept, artist Trevor Paglen offers a glimpse of America’s vast surveillance infrastructure, photographing three of the United States’ most powerful intelligence agencies–including the NSA–and placing the images in the public domain.
NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY (NSA)
With a 2013 budget request of approximately $10.8 billion, the NSA is the second-largest agency in the U.S. intelligence community. It is headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland.
NATIONAL RECONNAISSANCE OFFICE (NRO)
The NRO is in charge of developing, deploying and operating reconnaissance satellites. With a budget allocation of $10.3 billion, it is the third-largest U.S. intelligence agency. Its headquarters are in Chantilly, Virginia.
NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (NGA)
The NGA is responsible for collecting, analyzing and distributing intelligence derived from imagery. According to documents provided by Edward Snowden, the NGA’s latest budget request was $4.9 billion—more than double its funding a decade ago. It is headquartered in Springfield, Virginia.
Anonymous members of Pussy Riot circulated an open letter this morning, shortly after recently imprisoned Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova performed at an Amnesty International benefit concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Referring to their two former colleagues, the authors write, “We are no longer Nadia and Masha. They are no longer Pussy Riot.” Their letter is presented in full, unedited, on Creative Time Reports.
Thanks to all of you, Creative Time Reports now has over 10,000 followers on Facebook! We first launched in October 2012 to present artists’ unflinching perspectives on the most challenging issues of our times. Since then we’ve had the privilege to work with some amazing artists and thought leaders. Here are some pieces you might have missed that we loved:
World-renowned artist Ai Weiwei grapples with his 2011 arrest and continual censorship, expressing skepticism that the Chinese Communist Party will ever relax its control over civil society, and cautious hope that people are nonetheless beginning to imagine change.
In January 2013, Illinois’ Tamms “supermax” prison closed its doors after 15 years of operation, during which hundreds of men were held in solitary confinement indefinitely. Here’s how artists, writers and the families of prisoners shut down the notorious facility.
Connecting Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance with inequality, climate change, and the “war on terror,” artist Trevor Paglen argues that future administrations will respond to environmental and economic crises with the authoritarian tools of a rising “Terror State.”
In this short film by Laura Hanna, composer and sound artist Matana Roberts shares her brush with the New York police tactic known as “stop-and-frisk,” which civil rights advocates have denounced as a form of racial profiling.
Mariam Ghani - Afghanistan: Parable of the Garden (in English and Dari)
As Afghanistan prepares for the 2014 withdrawal of most (or all) American troops, and potential economic collapse, Mariam Ghani reveals the layers of history that the divided nation’s citizens will need to sift through in the coming moment of self-determination.
Three years after Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake, poet and essayist Tom Healy looks “behind the sound bites of trauma” with award-winning Haitian novelist Edwidge Danticat, who shares stories of her childhood and reflects on immigrant life in the United States.
"New York had entered the pantheon of big cities that people visit and observe and patronize and document, but don’t actually add to." – Moby on why he left New York for Los Angeles.