The new president is giving every mildly liberal person reason to hope their pet cause might be advaced in the next four years. So what about my pet cause: creative freedom? Things appear optimistic. After all Barack Obama enters office with the first-ever presidential arts platform drafted during the campaign. Among other things the platform promises increased funds for the [...]
An art installation, sponsored by the new Czeck EU Presidency, and displayed in the European Council building in Brussels has become a litmus test for EU sensitivities. The conceptual artist David ?erný was commisssioned to invite 27 artists from EU member states to represent their country as they see it. The idea was to gather specifically personal, non-government approved and possibly [...]
The latest scandal around Facebook's ban on images of nursing mothers, which show a glimpse of the areola or nipple, only presents us with the latest case of nipplephobia - an extreme panic reaction at the view of the female nipple (to my knowledge the male nipple fails to exert such power). Facebook's action was a misguided enforcement of its [...]
A recent incident a Berkeley's Addison Street Gallery forced the City to review its guidelines on art shown in the gallery. The guidelines, which included a blanket ban on any representations of guns, had led to the cancellation to The Art of Democracy, a touring poster show. After letters from the ACLU and NCAC, the City decided to modify its [...]
In a highly publicized incident this March, the San Francisco Art Institute cancelled Don't Trust Me, an exhibition by Algerian-born French artist Abdel Abdessemed consisting of video footage of animals being killed by a single blow from a sledgehammer.
“Balance” has become the stalking horse for efforts to undermine academic freedom, to pressure journalists to self-censor or tone down critical reporting, and to justify censorship of art. What the proponents of "balance" demand is that any expression on a controversial topic be accompanied by opposing views, no matter how prevalent the latter may already be in public discourse. Frequently, the demand for “balance” results in the cancellation of the entire discussion. Such situations suggest that the rhetoric of balance has been co-opted as a subtle and insidious disguise for censorship.