The upside of prolonged self-isolation – besides flattening the curve, of course – is catching up art, podcasts, films, videos, and more you’ve been meaning to check out, or having sufficient to let yourself really go down the rabbit hole to new discoveries. 

Here’s a steadily growing list of how ICA staff have been occupying, educating, and distracting ourselves, from brushing up on the Tudors to exploring audio technology to discovering art and artists anew. 
 

Listen

Album cover for Beverly Glenn-Copeland's Keyboard Fantasies, featuring the silhouetted head of an African American man within an abstract stained glass image.

The Music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland
I first came upon the music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland last June during Pride, and his music resonates even more in this current moment. Glenn-Copeland is a singer, composer, and transgender activist based in Canada who had a long career writing music for children’s public television programs including Sesame Street. Throughout his career he quietly released his own solo works, and 30 years after the release of his awe-inspiring masterpiece, Keyboard Fantasies, he found new success when the album fell into the hands of a Japanese record store owner and was reissued, introducing his music to a new generation around the world. Now, at the age of 76, Glenn-Copeland is receiving critical acclaim and just performed for the first time in the United States this past December at MoMA PS1; this summer he was to tour around the globe. Glenn-Copeland’s uplifting music transcends time and categorization, is healing to the soul, and radiates positivity. I recommend starting with Keyboard Fantasies, and if you are feeling generous, you can support him by purchasing his music via Bandcamp on the first Friday of June or July, when 100% of the proceeds from all purchases go directly to the artists on the platform. I also recommend the lovely documentary Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story, if you would like to learn more about this icon in the LGBT community. —Chris Hoodlet, Membership Manager
Explore Glenn-Copeland’s music

 


May 4
Watch

The Oedipus Project
In moments of crisis, I look to the past to comprehend the present. So often, playwrights help us make meaning out of situations that seem impossible, no more so than the ancient Greeks. On May 7 at 7 PM, I’ll be watching scenes from Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex, featuring an incredible cast of actors including Frances McDormand, Oscar Isaac, Jeffrey Wright, and David Strathairn. The play offers prescient parallels to our current moment and reminds us that in extraordinary circumstances, wisdom from the past can help us find our way forward.
Watch the Oedipus Project
 

The text "Nettay.com, May 4th-9th, 3 PM daily, Paramodernities Live" is overlaid on an image of a woman in red dancing on a black background, framed in the foreground by outstretched arms holding sheets of paper.
A headshot of choreographer Netta Yerushalmy. She has dark curly hair pulled back and an open orange hoodie over a leopard-print top.

Netta Yerushalmy, Paramodernities Live
When Pam Tanowitz and Simone Dinnerstein performed their phenomenal New Work for Goldberg Variations at the ICA in 2017, I was enthralled with one of the dancers in particular, Netta Yerushalmy, who combined electric physicality with conscientious precision. As it happens, Yerushalmy is an accomplished choreographer in her own right, creator of the celebrated Paramodernities, a “hybrid of academic conference, dance performance, and town hall gathering” in which 20 dancers and scholars deconstruct and contextualize iconic modern dance works. A dance nerd’s dream! I’d been hoping to catch it in person, but now, Yerushalmy is presenting the piece online in daily installments from May 4 to 9, each followed by a 20-minute discussion. And it’s all FREE (but please support the company with a donation if you can). — Kris Wilton, Director of Creative Content and Digital Engagement
Watch Paramodernities Live 

 

The text "NATIONAL GALLERY" overlaid on a photo of a woman looking at paintings in a gallery.

National Gallery
National Gallery by Fred Wiseman is a documentary about the National Gallery in London. The New York Times writes, “If you miss visiting museums – the crowds, the docents, even the chatter of audio guides – you won’t find a better substitute than this.” If you haven’t seen a Wiseman film, this is typical of his work.  After my ICA VA experience, I especially appreciate the work of the docents in the film. I watched it on Kanopy, which anybody with a library card has access to.    Gregg Handorff, Visitor Assistant  
Watch National Gallery 

 

Headshot of an African boy against a blue sky. Text reads "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind"

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
We watched this film with our 6-year-old son and loved it. It is based on a true story about a 13-year-boy in Africa who designs a windmill to save his family and village in times of need. It makes for great conversation about climate change and reinforces love for family, perseverance, science, and thankfulness. It really is a joy to watch and shot and directed beautifully! — Ami Pourana, Creative Director
Watch The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind 

 

 Visit 

Logo for "THIS LONG CENTURY"

THIS LONG CENTURY
THIS LONG CENTURY is one of my favorite websites. Founded in 2008 and edited by filmmaker Jason Evans, THIS LONG CENTURY is an “ever-evolving collection of personal insights from artists, authors, filmmakers, musicians and cultural icons,” including many artists from the ICA’s collection, such as Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Liz Deschenes, Sanya Kantarovsky, Senga Nengudi, and Collier Schorr, among others. For the month of April, THIS LONG CENTURY is screening a series of amazing film and video works from past contributors as part of two programs: OUTSIDE and INSIDE. The filmmakers have donated their work, so should you partake, please donate to one or more of the selected US-based Non-Profits and Relief Funds to help people in need right now. — Jeffrey De Blois, Assistant Curator
Visit THIS LONG CENTURY 

The Retreat Space
Three weeks ago, I launched an online community for those seeking refuge, healing, art, play, growth, and connection. I’m rallying amazing artists and healers who are offering free online retreats you can join at home, on a variety of topics (yoga, feng shui, painting, etc.). We are also developing a library of recorded meditations, interviews, and guidance from contributors all around the world. I’m just getting started, and would love for the ICA community to contribute and join us for a retreat! Sign up for email updates for new event info. — Quinn Papazian, Watershed Project Manager
Visit The Retreat Space 
 

Graphic with "LIMA ONLINE: "Every Wednesday at 20h00 CET - lectures - screenings - conversations" on a colorful abstract background.

LIMA Online
This archive/database of video, performance, and motion-based art. has a lot of artists I love, and the gallery that runs it served me cookies and coffee (excellent, by the way). Some videos are only available at De Appel, but a lot are available online. They also run screenings, lectures, and other educational programming! I look at it a lot for my own practice, and to find other artists. — Alan Vincent, Visitor Assistant
Visit LIMA Online 

Kadist 
Kadist is an interdisciplinary art platform with an international collection that reinforces art’s relevance today and its contribution to key issues of our time. Their innovative program not only focuses on onsite exhibitions but initiates connections and collaborations around the world. Deep dive into their collection online as well as their current online exhibition, “AP: Assembled Personalities.”  — Mehtap Yagci, Executive Assistant
Visit Kadist 

 

Listen

Logo for "The Lonely Palette"

The Lonely Palette
The Lonely Palette is my personal favorite art history podcast, with each episode exploring a single artwork in depth. Tamar Avishai, the creator and host, masterfully combines museum visitor impressions with historical and social context and lots of fun anecdotes along the way. — Amy Briggs Kemeza, Tour Programs Manager 
Staff Accountant Meg Curley agrees: “the host gives a wonderful audio experience of a painting (usually in a Boston museum) along with some context in a very inviting and charming way. It’s great because it’s already tackled the challenge of how to talk about art that you can’t go see in person. — Meg Curley, Staff Accountant
Listen to The Lonely Palette

 

Read

Book cover for Building and Sustaining a Creative Life

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists
This book by Sharon Louden is a great read and offers advice to working artists and individuals graduating from art school (like me) entering the art world and the realities of being a working artist and how to support yourself through many different paths in life. — Nina Miller, Visitor Assistant
Read Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists

Hito Steyerl, “If You Don’t Have Bread, Eat Art!: Contemporary Art and Derivative Fascisms”
I revisit Hito Steyerl’s legendary essay on art as a refuge for capital in times of social upheaval every time we veer into some new catastrophe. I really wish it would start getting less relevant, not more. — Amelia Menzel, Retail Operations Coordinator
Read Hito Steyerl

 

Play

An still from an animated scene with trees and a structure resembling a space station.

The Outer Wilds 
I’ve been messing around with The Outer Wilds, a cute, quirky video game about exploring a small solar system that gets wiped out and then reset by a supernova every 22 minutes. Each location seems to contain a clue about what’s happening, left behind by a prior civilization. The hope here is that you can find something to break the time loop, stop the supernova, and save all the happy aliens you meet, but it feels like there’s going to be more to it than that. It’s winning awards left and right for its writing and presentation. Not all video games are art, but this one definitely ticks off all the necessary boxes. — Scott Colby, Associate Director of Data Systems and Web Development
Check out The Outer Wilds

 

Drawing of a monster with 5 eyes, mouths, noses, and legs.

Monster by Betsy Gibbons

Roll a Monster
There is a fun drawing game I have been playing over video calls with some of the little people in my life. You draw any shape to be a body shape and then one person rolls a die to determine how many of the following to add:

  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Noses
  • Mouth
  • Hairs (or sections of hair)
  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Tails
  • Horns

 

>It is fun and interactive. You get to see and hear each other on the video call and also have time to focus on your own drawing and share it at the end. There are lots of printable versions of this online, but I have found that all you need is blank paper or cardboard or whatever to draw on and pencils/paper/markers to draw with. — Betsy Gibbons, Director of Teen Programs

 

 


April 15

Listen

Logo for "Museum Confidential"
Logo for "Museopunks"

Museum Confidential / Museopunks
From the Philbrook Museum of Art, this podcast focuses on issues relevant to museums and takes you behind the scenes for discussions with museum workers about the most relevant topics of the day. I love that the voices of museum staff are heard, as well as those of artists, archivists, authors, and others who live within the larger scope of the museum field. Similarly, Museopunks explore some of the sector’s most stimulating questions and ideas – and features a local voice from the Peabody Essex Museum, Ed Rodley. —Carrie Van Horn, Associate Registrar
Listen to Museum Confidential
Listen to Museopunks

 

Logo for "The Distance: Coronavirus dispatches"

The Distance: Coronavirus Dispatches
In a shameless plug, I am listening to The Distance: Coronavirus Dispatches. They are 3-to-5-minutes first-person audio “postcards” on Spotify of stories from around the globe about how people are coping with this crisis, and my daughter is one of the producers. —Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director
Listen to The Distance

 

Logo for "Recording Artists"

Recording Artists

I’ve been listening to Recording Artists, a podcast using archival interviews with artists from the Getty Archives. The first season is dedicated to women artists, including Eva Hesse, Alice Neel, and Betye Saar, which resonates with me, given the ICA’s collection strength in art by women. The podcast is hosted by Helen Molesworth (an ICA alum), who invites living artists to respond to the archival interviews.  It’s fascinating to hear voices from the past with voices of today. —Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator
Listen to Recording Artists 

 

Logo graphic for "Sugar Calling"

Sugar Calling: “Everything Is Always Keep Changing”
While not explicitly about visual art, this debut episode of author Cheryl Strayed’s new podcast Sugar Calling, in which she speaks with the brilliant and deeply humanitarian author George Saunders, offers inspiration to artists of all kinds during this incomparable time. —Kris Wilton, Director of Creative Content and Digital Engagement
Listen to Sugar Calling

 

Look

Instagram image of a hand placing miniature furniture in a realistic-looking gallery space

Shelter In Place Gallery (SIP)
Local artist Eben Haines has used his time indoors to construct a light-filled, free-standing gallery – in his living room. The Shelter in Place Gallery, built at 1:12 scale, is currently showing a “massive” (22” x 14”) canvas by Wilhelm Neusser. If not for the intrusion of a seemingly enormous hand in certain images, one would have a hard time believing you won’t be able to visit this space, regardless of a quarantine. —Shane Silverstein, Performing and Media Arts Coordinator
Visit Shelter In Place

 

Logo for "Art at a Time Like This"

How Can We Think of Art at a Time Like This
How Can We Think of Art at a Time Like This? is an online exhibition and platform for the exchange of ideas at this time of crisis, co-curated by Barbara Pollack and Anne Verhallen. Subscribers (it’s free) receive a daily account about a different artist, a sort of art appetizer to the day. Through this channel, artists are invited to respond to the times through their works and words, each with a different voice and form of expression that resonates during the current crisis. One featured artist is ICA Artist Advisory Council member Mickalene Thomas. —Grace Baljon, Leadership Giving Officer 
Visit How Can We Think of Art at a Time Like This

 

Cover of a book titled "Birgit Juergenssen" with a black and white photo of a woman pressing her cheek against glass.

Birgit Jürgenssen
Searching for a chair led me to discover my new muse, Birgit Jürgenssen, a Viennese photographer, painter, and sculptor. She would have been 71 this month, though she died of pancreatic cancer in 2003 at the age of 54. Questioning women’s roles in society, her work revolved around the female body and its transformation. Her self-portraits and surrealist shoes are exquisite! —Liz Adrian, Director of Retail
Learn more about Birgit Jürgenssen

 

Learn

 

Logo for "What Is Contemporary Art?"

MoMA Online Course: What Is Contemporary Art?
The news can be so cumbersome, and the volume of online art resources so overwhelming in this complex time with everyone rushing to publish virtual content. MoMA’s online course What Is Contemporary Art? (available for free through Coursera) allows us to go back to the basics and enjoy a refresher in the contemporary art we love so deeply. Through articles, analysis of art works, videos by artists in their studios and neighborhoods, and more, I’m excited to keep learning and looking at art. —Grace Baljon, Leadership Giving Officer
Check out What Is Contemporary Art?

Logo for "The Great Courses Plus"

The Great Courses Plus 
I have been listening to history lectures (making great use of the free trial). I’m currently an expert on Tudor/Stuart England and European History, and working on ancient Egypt. There are also some art history courses and lots of other instructional videos that make me feel productive while I listen to/watch them in the background.
Check out Great Courses Plus 

My other distraction has been audio books through Libby (free loans with a library card). Having an audio book playing in the background helps me focus, and keeps my mind from straying into anxiety-producing territory! —Brittany Eckstrom, Assistant Manager of Visitor Services
Visit Libby

 

Watch

A building reading "Abbey Road Studios" with overlay text "The Abbey Road Mic Collection with Sylvia Massy"

The Abbey Road Mic Collection with Sylvia Massey
This is a video about microphones and recording technology that I found fascinating. It is a great example of how meticulous care and precision shape the music we love. Also, Club Passim in Cambridge is streaming concerts pretty much every day. —Daniel Abbugattas, Production Manager, Audio
Watch The Abbey Road Mic Collection

 

A woman standing behind dozens of boxes of Cheez-Its in a large commercial kitchen

Gourmet Makes
Have you ever wondered what it takes to make your favorite snack foods? In Bon Appétit’s YouTube series Gourmet Makes, professional pastry chef (and Harvard alum) Claire Saffitz creates “gourmet” versions of popular treats. Savory and sweet, there’s an episode for everyone (having trouble picking one to start with? Vulture has ranked every episode). While this isn’t directly relevant to my work in contemporary art, as an artist and an educator, I am finding inspiration in Saffitz’s process of reverse engineering. Even more so, I think her embrace of both her successes and her failures is an important lesson for all of us. —Lenny Schnier, Education Department Coordinator
Watch Gourmet Makes

 

Wrestlemania 36’s Firefly Funhouse
But the biggest artistic achievement of the entire month was Wrestlemania 36’s Firefly Funhouse match between Bray Wyatt and John Cena. Wyatt, a Pee-Wee Herman-ish children’s show host who turns into a demonic clown, pulled Cena into his funhouse universe and forced John to confront and then fall victim to his own hubris through vignettes layered with symbolism, deep insider references, and a scathing comparison to a previous face of the company who’s become vilified as a negative influence on the sport overall despite his success. The growing popularity of this creative, cinematic approach to match construction is quickly reshaping the idea of what a professional wrestling show can be. —Scott Colby, Associate Director of Data Systems and Web Development

 

Plan Your Vote