Last weekend ended with a huge loss to the world of art, music, new media, and the avant-garde. David Bowie’s passing came as a big unexpected blow to many and the past week has been filled with tributes and reflections, all circulating and finding many audiences on social media. My round up this week bookends two pieces I found of particular interest—one talking about the phenomenon of feeling immense grief at the death of an artist, and the other telling the story of Bowie’s incredible foresight and understanding of the Internet’s power in its infancy. In my own circles, Bowie’s passing was remarked upon by many who understood his powerful influence on the artistic process, encouraging individuals to be their own unique selves, providing a living example of what it means to make art on one’s own terms. Releasing an album only days before his death speaks to his commitment to both his craft and his audience. I was also tremendously moved by the range of responses, from people my parent’s age (Bowie’s generation) telling stories of working with him, to people my age who remember buying their first Bowie albums and going to his concerts, and to many of my students, past and present, who took to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter this week to share their favourite Bowie moments mined from his vast archive of material.
The week was also filled with news of both the Golden Globes results, and of course the Oscar nominations (I have links reflecting both) and there was once again talk of the lack of diversity and also the problem women face in finding power and recognition in the highest ranks of Hollywood. As I am teaching an American New Wave Film course this semester, I have included a link to a fantastic interview I heard this week with Illeana Douglas. She has just released a new memoir I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived in and Out of the Movies, discussing her life in the thick of 1970’s Hollywood (this one also goes on my reading list). Many more intriguing picks to share this week, and I am beginning to add podcast episodes to my mix since I spend several hours a week listening to them on my commute. So much media, so little time—ENJOY!
List of links (for quicker clicking):
- Why we grieve artists we’ve never met, in one tweet
- Stephen Colbert Interviewed the Guerrilla Girls Last Night
- "The Unbundling" PODCAST
- Remembering a Time When New York City’s Subways Were Covered in Graffiti
- Oscar Nominations 2016: All the Major Snubs and Surprises
- A Match Made in Hell: Mr. Brainwash Paints the Kardashians à la Renoir
- At 15, Wikipedia Is Finally Finding Its Way to the Truth
- The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'So much pain was implanted in that time' VIDEO
- Illeana Douglas says Hollywood owes women more credit PODCAST
- BowieNet is proof David Bowie was an Internet visionary before Napster