Link List #94: Mandarin ducks, micro-influencers, and why Jerry Saltz doesn’t go to dinner parties - Friends of Friends / Freunde von Freunden (FvF)

Link List #94: Mandarin ducks, micro-influencers, and why Jerry Saltz doesn’t go to dinner parties


For our last Link List of the year we’ve been scrolling through best-of lists and reminding ourselves of the images that most captured 2018. We’ve been looking at new trends in social media influencing, listening to Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz, and reading about the power of bodybuilding for trans men. Until 2019, enjoy.


    • 1 Do you remember when it seemed like half of New York City was going wild over a beautifully plumed mandarin duck? How about when the British Prime Minister dance-shimmied her way onto the stage at her party’s national conference? This image gallery published by The Atlantic might not be, in the publication’s own words, “the most heart-wrenching or emotional” collection of photographs taken last year, but they do paint a picture of what it was like to live through the unique landscape of 2018.
    • 2 According to Wired Magazine, brands are falling out of love with influencers. As more and more big name YouTube and Instagram stars are causing controversy with their outlandish behavior or downright racist comments (Jeffree Star, we’re looking at you), brands are tapping into the “micro-influencer” market—people who have between 2,000 and 50,000 followers—in an attempt to create a more “authentic” buzz around their products.
    • 3 Jerry Saltz, arguably the most well-known living art critic, is the latest writer to be interviewed for the journalism podcast Longform. In this hour-long chat, Saltz sheds his provocative social media persona and reveals himself to be a modest, likeable, and sympathetic character. Alongside his views on the current state of art criticism, Saltz discusses how he made a living before he started writing about art and reveals why he hasn’t been to a dinner party in 20 years.
    • 4 For The New Yorker, Rachel Lipstein spoke to the creators of Man Made, a documentary on the world’s only all-transgender bodybuilding competition. “Bodybuilding offers a ready metaphor for personal transformation,” she writes, “and the film embraces it, showing how exhibiting one’s strength, after years of privately embodied pain, can be freeing—even euphoric.”
    • 5 If you’re already overwhelmed by the onslaught of “best-of lists,” might we suggest taking a look at Lit Hub’s best book covers of 2018. From “Surreal and weirdly computer-glitchy” to “brilliant simplicity,” give your retinas a treat and scroll through 75 of the best and boldest pieces of cover art from this year as chosen by book designers.

Hopefully you enjoyed the reads from this week’s Link List, but if you’ve still got an internet itch to scratch, you can find more here.

Also, be sure to check out FvF Mixtapes for some tracks selected by our friends and favorite artists, and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with FvF stories.

Text: The FvF team
Photography: Philipp Langenheim