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For the past century, the curator has been the deciding factor in what is shown by museums and galleries, reassuring audiences of the importance of what they are seeing. While acknowledging other commercial and audience drivers, the centrality of curatorial decision-making has been sacrosanct.
But when the curatorial team from the Art Gallery of Western Australia embarked on an epic quest to document the art of the Kimberley region in the state’s north west, they abandoned this idea of a single authorial voice in favor of a new model of partnership and exchange.
When They Blew the Levee is a fierce love letter to the power of community, one encoded to Black sociality, the broader American social imaginary, and the mythical power of the Mississippi River. In praxis, it is a political tool—a lyrical baseball bat—for the residents of Pinhook, Missouri to wield in a rally against the sustained structural violence of a biased justice system and racialized world.
As the water quality coordinator for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) for nine years, I organized and hosted the Mississippi River Forum. A monthly informational and networking series, the River Forum was one of my more visible tasks. A fundamental organizing principle of this ongoing series was to bring together a disciplinarily diverse group of water resource practitioners and decision-makers for conversations with people beyond their typical working relationships.
The Minnesota National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) is a 72-mile National Park Service unit along the Mississippi River as it flows through the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. MNRRA is an open secret in the Twin Cities, and it is not widely known as a national park, even by people who live and work within its borders.
There is something quite embarrassing about reading a book in public that appears to be upside down. The collaborative piece of work known as Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet is separated into two parts: “Monsters and the Art of Living” and “Ghosts on a Damaged Planet.” The reader must physically turn the book upside down to get from one part to the other. On each cover’s bottom right corner, a hint of the other side’s cover is present…
National Parks are often referred to as “America’s best idea.” Recent scholarship and well-publicized difficulties within the agency have shown that, perhaps inevitably, the National Park Service and the extensive system that it manages, has taken on important characteristics of the society of which it is a part, for better or worse.