weekend links: MacArthur awards, Grimes, Weird Facebook

A mural in Las Vegas. Image courtesy of Chase Stevens/Noisey.

This year’s MacArthur “genius grant” award winners were announced this week. Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ben Lerner, Nicole Eisenman and Lin-Manuel Miranda were some of the writers and artists to be granted the $625,000 award. Congratulations! [MacArthur Foundation]

I’ve always held a soft spot for Grimes, the Montreal artist who used to make witch house and other weird, unpopular electronic music. Now she makes weird but popular electronic music for Jay Z’s Roc Nation and gets profiled in The New Yorker. The underground is collapsing in on itself. [The New Yorker]

Speaking of weird: is Weird Facebook a thing? Is it a “new” thing? It seems like this article is just about how people do weird stuff on the Internet, but it does touch on the ever-fascinating world of Internet art. Could Ryan Trecartin or Tao Lin have come to exist without it? Love it or hate it, the Internet continues to breed strange, beautiful and occasionally disturbing creations. [Best Stories Online]

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the best pictures require none at all. Case in point: this image of John Waters in a graduation gown. His commencement speech at RISD this year is being made into an illustrated book. Here’s an interview with the always-entertaining provocateur. [Wall Street Journal]

Jerry Saltz is kind of a dick, but he may have a point here: Are “bad boy” women artists routinely ignored? His use of the term differs from what you might expect though. “For a woman to paint in any way excessively, loudly, using thick paint or brash color, is a near taboo,” he complains. And here I was thinking that he had discovered the female Dash Snow. [Vulture]

Banksy’s back in the news, as one of many high-profile artists transforming Las Vegas into a giant art exhibit. If he keeps taking on big projects like this, I might actually start to like him. [Noisey]

Writer and literary theorist Ihab Hassan passed away earlier this month, and our friends at American Short Fiction recently published some of his last work. Three short pieces that touch, sadly, presciently, on death. Rest in peace Ihab. [American Short Fiction]

—Sean Redmond

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