Wandering Eye: 'Yelp for people' vanishes, the future art museum, and more

Technology is quickly advancing; our cameras take better pictures, and our screens and website platforms display those pictures better, and that means that documentation of art shows in exhibition spaces can give us a pretty good sense of what the art is like without us ever having to take our eyes off our devices. We don't need to go to the MoMA to see Van Gogh's 'Starry Night,' for example, because we've seen it all over the internet and as commoditized products and reproductions; the aura has been destroyed, as Walter Benjamin would say. With some of this in mind, it's important for institutions to rethink how and why they are relevant, and to envision how they'll adapt in the future. A post on the online art criticism journal Momus reaches out to various established artists and museum directors and collects interesting visions for the future of the museum. Sculptor Olafur Eliasson says the museum of the future "does not simply collect the shapes of the world in the form of artworks and objects – it shapes the world. It is a reality-producing machine. It engages in public discourse and policy-making." Stefan Benchoam of the Nuevo Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Guatemala envisions a hyper-local institution that would "utilize culture to address urgent local issues, creating solid and tangible ties with their audiences," rather than "champion[ing] their brand with grand museum outposts, colonizing various parts of the world." (Rebekah Kirkman)


Mother Jones has a fascinating—and chilling—piece about the "threat assessors" who try to prevent mass shootings. They've already stopped more than 150, by Eric Holder's count. And the way they do it will be familiar to fans of "Minority Report," the 2002 Tom Cruise movie. Mass shootings are a growing phenomenon, so much so that researchers identified a "Columbine Effect" for high school copycats of that 1999 massacre. "It's a cult following unlike anything I've ever seen before," one longtime security specialist tells MoJo. Cue the psychologists, who search the killers' past for patterns in words and deeds, then try to identify similar patterns in those who have not yet attacked anyone. "When there are individuals who prompt a sense of anxiety or fear but no law or policy has been broken," one assessor tells the magazine, "that's the real work." But read to the end, because there is another way. Australia tried it two decades back. "Suicides and murders with guns declined dramatically, and Australia has had only one public mass shooting" since, the story says. Can you guess what actually works? (Edward Ericson Jr.)


People seem to generally agree that Peeple, the so-called "Yelp For People," is a terrible idea. But hey, let's hear from John Oliver—he calls it "the kind of bullshit mash-up that Silicon Valley loves"—on the subject anyhow. He spends five minutes mocking the app and the idea, put forth by its founders, that the ratings will somehow bring about positivity ("The internet is basically a faucet that dispenses hate, racism, and the occassional sad orgasm," he says). Better still, he skewers one of the founders who allegedly went on her Facebook page to complain about all the unsolicitied criticism her app for unsolicited criticism has been receiving. Now, the conversation has turned to whether or not Peeple is a hoax and if the app will go forward now that its sites have vanished. The faucet of hate wins again. (Brandon Weigel)

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