Sunday Reads

Venice Biennale’s Top Prize Goes to Lithuania [NYT] ..Wood said the Lithuanian pavilion had “this very clever way of framing people’s everyday activities and leisure” — lying on towels, playing board games, applying suntan lotion, chatting, reading — with a “quite powerful activist dimension” of warnings against ecological disaster and species extinction. “It’s pedestrian movement meeting this overarching framework of a story that was joyful and melancholic at the same time,” she said.

The Messenger: How a Video by Arthur Jafa Became a Worldwide Sensation—and Described America to Itself [artnews] Just a year after its gallery debut at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York, Love Is the Message has already been seen in museums across the world. Its opening sequence is bold: clips from within a Google rabbit hole sewn together into an unforgettable suite, the moving images enthralling and amusing and terrifying the viewer: A black man named Charles Ramsey talking about calling 911 when he found Amanda Berry, who had been kidnapped a decade earlier by bus driver Ariel Castro and kept in a basement while Castro and his brothers raped and tortured her; the crowd at a Howard University basketball game dancing to “Swag Surfin” by Fast Life Yungstaz; police officer Michael Slager shooting and killing the unarmed Walter Scott; Barack Obama singing “Amazing Grace” at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston; the rapper Earl Sweatshirt spitting “the description doesn’t fit, if not a synonym of menace, then forget it”; Michael Jackson in a trucker cap dancing in the back seat of a town car; the sun with explosions like spores licking off its surface; an unarmed black woman in Texas getting pulled over after she left a Walmart and being handcuffed in front of her two kids when the police got word of a black person with a gun in the area; Cam Newton running toward the end zone; a Steph Curry behind-the-back pass; Miles Davis in giant sunglasses; a small black child being told, “That’s what the police do to you. Put your hands up against the wall.”

The big picture: an outing with nanny and photographer Vivian Maier [guardian] . The contents of the lock-up were put up for sale and bought by three collectors of photography. One of those collectors, John Maloof, who happened to be researching a book on the history of a particular Chicago suburb, bought 30,000 negatives unseen. When he pieced together a little of Maier’s life he put a selection of her images out on Flickr and they became a viral phenomenon

Pot shots: the plant photographs of Luigi Ghirri – in pictures  [guardian] Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri created his project Colazione sull’Erba (Breakfast on the Grass), images of trees, pots and plants in Modena, in 1972-74. The title is inspired by Edouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, but instead of focusing on nature’s bucolic side, Ghirri portrays its manmade aspects. He later wrote that “the mythical image of nature and home takes centre stage” in the series, which is being published in a new book. Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino has said Ghirri, who died aged 49 in 1992, was his greatest influence.

How Björk brought her sci-fi, feminist fairy tale to life [NYT] “Cornucopia,” the iconoclastic artist’s new live extravaganza at the Shed, features a 50-member choir, seven flutists and music describing a feminine, hopeful future.

Hyperallergic Required Reading The study said the 2,624-year-old tree indicates that bald cypress comes in fifth on the worldwide list of tree species with the oldest individual, sexually reproducing, non-clonal trees. The oldest is a Great Basin bristlecone pine in Nevada dated at 4,900 years, based on a list compiled by Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research in Fort Collins, Colo.

Palazzo delle Prigioni

‘Society Has Become the Biggest Panopticon’: An Interview with Shu Lea Cheang.

The queer cyberfeminist pioneer’s Taiwan Pavilion at Venice Biennale explores surveillance, pleasure and control. By @zachblas [frieze]

SLC In the Taiwan Pavilion, a tower of ten projectors will be installed in one gallery, inverting the function of an operating surveillance system. There will also be a small gallery recast as the control room, which will be set up with computer monitors to expose how the surveillance system in the installation functions. We will be asking people to send in selfies. These images, as well as the 3D scans captured by the surveillance cameras will then be manipulated. It’s like in your work, where you use 3D modelling to morph facial recognition data to produce unrecognizable forms: the idea is to obscure.

ZB Don’t forget the detail that I thought was so intriguing about the control room: that it’s modelled after Hugh Hefner’s control room in the Playboy Mansion!

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