weekend links: AI auction estimates, Whitney protests, the cost of reading

An art auction at Sotheby’s. Image courtesy Sotheby’s/ Artsy.

An art auction at Sotheby’s. Image courtesy Sotheby’s/Artsy.

Can AI predict what the final price of a painting will be at auction? Devin Liu takes up this question by designing an AI model to predict Rothko painting prices. Turns out, there’s a lot more to selling art than just a model of supply-and-demand. [Artsy]

Joseph Pierce thought that WorldPride would be a time when he could fully express himself as a queer Native American. But when marching, he discovered that some people weren’t part of any tribe—they were there to dress up. Cultural appropriation of Native American wear has been an ongoing, settler-mentality-fueled movement that Pierce worries has infected even the most accepting communities. [Hyperallergic]

The backlash against the Whitney Museum grows, as four artists have withdrawn from the 2019 Whitney Biennial over the continued presence of Whitney vice chair Warren Kanders, CEO of Safariland, a global defense manufacturer. Artists Korakrit Arunanondchai, Meriem Bennani, Nicole Eisenman, and Nicholas Galanin have lent their voices to the growing chorus of dissent against Kanders. A reminder that so much institutional art is funded by bad actors, and that some things are more important than art exhibitions—even very prestigious ones. [Artforum]

With cheating scandals plaguing the country and the uncovering of a college-admissions cheating ring, one has to ask if “talent” is simply a coded term for “wealth.” In both The Gifted School and The Expectations, the question of what it means to be a talented yet wealthy student is brought up. Katy Waldman dives into these books to uncover the root of this issue. [The New Yorker]

The benefits walking has on creativity have been known for centuries, and the practice is constantly being lauded as one of the easiest ways to get the brain moving. But in the modern day, where desks that are attached to a treadmill cost an arm and a leg, is the practice of walking to be creative diminishing? Michael LaPointe takes up this question and reviews literature that glorifies the practice. [The Atlantic]

After reading The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy and attending one of her talks, Ayşegül Savas became painfully aware of how few people in the audience had actually read her work. Reading takes a lot of time, and most people would rather deflect the question Have you read my work? rather than directly answer it. In this essay, Savas goes over her own personal experience with the cost of reading, and how women especially are treated in the literary fields. [Longreads]

The collapse of society is coming—any day now it seems. Here’s some mood reading to get you in the right mindset for when you’re fighting your old PTA head for the last can of soup in what used to be a Walmart. [The Millions]

—Nicolas Perez