35 Great Articles and Essays about Art and Culture
The best writing about, art, film, TV and why we like the things we do
A One-man Art Market by Bryan Aappleyard
Andy Warhol is an art-world colossus whose work accounts for one-sixth of contemporary-art sales. How did that happen, and is he really worth it?
The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur by William Deresiewicz
Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it?
The New French Hacker-Artist Underground
by Jon Lackman
Thirty years ago, in the dead of night, a group of six Parisian teenagers pulled off what would prove to be a fateful theft from the French ministry of telecommunications...
Double Vision by Lawrence Weschler
Try this: Closing your right eye, gaze to the right with your left. Notice how your nose, looming huge, blocks a good part of the view in that direction...
Thinking in the Rain by Susan Orlean
An artist takes on the umbrella.
The Origami Lab by Susan Orlean
For centuries, origami patterns had at most thirty steps; now they can have hundreds and scientists have started applying its techniques to medical, electrical, optical, and nano-technical problems...
On the Market by Alice Gregory
It was obvious from my very first day that Sotheby's would be exactly as I had come to imagine it...
TV and Radio
Leaving Reality by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Where do you go after you leave the cast of The Real World? To a universe where your only job is to be young and famous and keep the party jumpin'. Or to a tiny hell of endless exploitation.
Peyton's Place by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Practically every day, cars stop in front of our house and people get out to take pictures of it, and of us--me and my wife and daughter--if we happen to be outside...
If You See It, Is It Real? by Chuck Klosterman
I have always wondered this: Why am I able to see any random television program, often for less than ten seconds, and immediately recognize which network the show is airing on?
Dead Man Laughing by Zadie Smith
My father had few enthusiasms, but he loved comedy.
Host by David Foster Wallace
Before him stands a Shure-brand broadcast microphone sheathed in a gray foam filtration sock to soften popped p's and hissed sibilants. It is into this microphone that the host speaks...
Why Music? by The Economist
Biologists are addressing one of humanity's strangest attributes, its all-singing, all- dancing culture
One More Time by Elizabeth Margulis
Why do we listen to our favourite music over and over again? Because repeated sounds work magic in our brains
The Shazam Effect by Derek Thompson
Record companies are tracking download and search data to predict which new songs will be hits. This has been good for business -- but is it bad for music?
Inside The Playlist Factory by Reggie Ugwu
At the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley, small teams of anonymous, hardcore music fans race to solve the record industry's toughest problem
FX Porn by David Foster Wallace
The inverse relationship between the amount of special effects in a film and the quality of its story
Flick Chicks by Mindy Kaling
A guide to women in the movies
Addicted to Speed by James Gleick
No matter how fast a movie goes these days, it is not fast enough
Exit Through The Gift Shop
How street art crossed over
The original 1983 hip hop culture documentary
A Remix Manifesto
Everything Is A Remix
The central role of copying in creative endeavours
The Antics Roadshow
Travelling the world to meet some leading contemporary pranksters
25 Great Essays about Words and Writing
Our favourite essays about reading, writing, speaking and journalism.
20 Great Articles about Music
Classic articles about music and the people who make it
10 Great Articles about Movies
Great writing about the film industry
The Trendspotting Generation by Daniel Radosh
Lately there is a vague sense that more and more people seem to be doing or thinking or buying something or other that might possibly reflect the mood or psyche or spirit of the nation as a whole
Middlebrow by Devin Friedman
"Hi, my name is Devin Friedman, and I like Sting. And yes, I'm wearing J.Crew. And I could really go for a Chipotle burrito. I'm middlebrow. Admit it. So are you."
That's Not Funny! by Caitlin Flanagan
Today's college students can't seem to take a joke
You Say You Want a Devolution? by Kurt Andersen
Even as technological and scientific leaps have continued to revolutionize life, popular style has been stuck on repeat, consuming the past instead of creating the new
Welcome to Airspace by Kyle Chayka
How Silicon Valley helps spread the same sterile aesthetic across the world
Death by Harry Potter by Chuck Klosterman
Ignoring a cultural phenomenon today may render you completely irrelevant in a few years. Just so you know
The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything by Linda Holmes
The vast majority of the world's books, music, films, television and art, you will never see
Real Genius by Chuck Klosterman
An introduction to the highly advanced theory of Advancement, an entirely new way to appreciate Sting, Val Kilmer, C-Murder, and other profound artists.
Nostalgia on Repeat by Chuck Klosterman
Why do we feel nostalgia? And are infinite entertainment choices changing the way we look back?
The Faux-Vintage Photo by Nathan Jurgenson
How social media increasingly force us to view our present as always a potential documented past
Important Kitty Litter Questions Answered by Paul Ford
It is a kind of clay and it is directly responsible for Internet culture
The American Room by Paul Ford
Behind the nation's closed doors, with YouTube
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream
Streaming Dreams by John Seabrook
On TV, airtime is a scarce resource; on YouTube, it's infinite
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klostermann
A Low Culture Manifesto.
Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler
An amazing reflection on the role of the museum.
A collection of JJS' best magazine journalism and essays.