Northumbria University: Design meets artificial intelligence to create new visual search engine

Northumbria University: Design meets artificial intelligence to create new visual search engine. “Novel methods of searching the nation’s gallery, library and museum collections could soon be revolutionised by a visual search platform designed in collaboration with Northumbria University. As the sector worldwide moves towards presenting collections online, the Deep Discoveries project was launched to explore ways of creating a computer vision search platform that can identify and match images across digitised collections on a national scale.” A beta version of the search is available.

Google Blog: New designs for Chrome and Chrome OS, by Latino artists

Google Blog: New designs for Chrome and Chrome OS, by Latino artists. “This year Chrome partnered with Latino artists to create a collection of themes that celebrate our heritage. You can use them to customize your Chrome browser and Chromebook wallpapers. The work reflects a variety of meaningful subjects, from family to the subtle ways we all stay connected. This collection continues our work commissioning contemporary artists to visually show how people use Chrome and Chromebooks to get things done, explore, find and connect.”

Zion National Park: Zion National Park and Zion National Park Forever Project Announce Annual Art Show

Zion National Park: Zion National Park and Zion National Park Forever Project Announce Annual Art Show. “Now in its 13th year, Zion National Park Forever Project (Zion Forever) and Zion National Park, are hosting an annual art show running September 16 through November 6, 2021. The event honors the contributions and influence that original art has had on the National Park Service and shaping our Nation’s public lands. This year’s event titled Zion: A Legacy of Art will feature the works of 20 nationally acclaimed artists. Seventeen returning artists and four new artists join this year’s invitational list.” The art show will take place virtually.

The Conversation: How Zimbabwean artist Kudzanai Chiurai has reinvented the idea of a library

The Conversation: How Zimbabwean artist Kudzanai Chiurai has reinvented the idea of a library. “Zimbabwe born artist Kudzanai Chiurai is a phenomenon. He is one of the most challenging and inventive figures in contemporary African art. From large scale photos of fictional African dictators to experimental films and protest posters, rich oil paintings and minimal sculptures, his work is housed in the world’s top galleries and collections. Chiurai, though, frequently shrugs off gallery spaces to show in warehouses, on the street or in urban locations.” This reminds me a bit of Hany Rashed’s work on a much larger (beyond family) scale.

Mother Jones: Artists in Louisiana Mobilize on Instagram for On-the-Ground Hurricane Relief

Mother Jones: Artists in Louisiana Mobilize on Instagram for On-the-Ground Hurricane Relief. “In the days after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, leaving at least 26 dead and ravaging homes, historical sites, power lines, and cultural spaces, artists began self-organizing to shore up the staggering holes left by federal and state emergency response.”

The Conversation: Virtual exhibition breathes life into Lesotho’s musical tradition and clay art

The Conversation: Virtual exhibition breathes life into Lesotho’s musical tradition and clay art. “The start of the news broadcast on Radio Lesotho is signalled by an unforgettable vibrating sound, rather harsh, as if made by a large bird. This is the lesiba, a musical bow. The lesiba was played by boys and men as they herded cattle, before radios and cellphones began to take the place of the national musical instrument. Nowadays, there is little apparent concern for maintaining interest in the lesiba at school or any other national level in Lesotho. The unique sound of the instrument – once evocative of a rural way of life – seems to exist in a disconnected, disembodied fashion on the radio.”

Free Malaysia Today: Digital art of Hermitage Museum to be sold as NFTs

Free Malaysia Today: Digital art of Hermitage Museum to be sold as NFTs. “Russia’s Hermitage Museum, the largest art collection in the world, announced Tuesday it will sell several masterpieces, including a work of Leonardo da Vinci, in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT). The Saint Petersburg-based museum in partnership with the Binance NFT marketplace will run the auction starting Tuesday and until Sept 7, the Hermitage said in a statement.”

Laughing Squid: An Explanation of Medieval Art Memes

Laughing Squid: An Explanation of Medieval Art Memes. “The Archivist at Curious Archive digs into the origins of some of the oddest art images from the Medieval era that have since become popular as modern memes. He notes that while a number of pieces reflected such trends as ‘homunculus’ (‘little man’), the ‘Danse Macabre’ (‘Dance of Death’), and ‘The Vitalis of Milan’, many others were created with a sense of humor, perhaps to make their audience laugh.”

Conde Nast Traveller: What lies outside the window? A new wave of digital artists show and tell

Conde Nast Traveller: What lies outside the window? A new wave of digital artists show and tell. “For artists, windows have always been the frame within a frame and an escape. During the pandemic, they became a primary medium of inspiration and expression. And a vantage point for street photography, a tool for projection and a framing device for stories. The coming together of the physical window and digital art allowed people to access the view from a window in Mumbai or New York no matter where they were. As we locked ourselves indoors, artists adapted the physical world outside into a digital avatar.”

Getty: Art and the Black Power Movement

Getty: Art and the Black Power Movement. “In 2017–2019, the landmark traveling exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, shone a light on Black artists from the early 60s to the early 80s. A new expansive book conceived as a companion to this exhibition compiles hundreds of important texts from the era reflecting on the influence and power of Black art…. On September 9, the book’s editors, Mark Godfrey and Allie Biswas, will join Getty curator LeRonn P. Brooks for an online discussion about this cultural dialogue. They will explore the powerful ideas put forth by artists and writers who confronted questions of Black identity, activism, art, and social responsibility during the Black Power era.” Free and virtual (Zoom)

Business Mirror: Online forum crosses intersection between art and activism

Business Mirror: Online forum crosses intersection between art and activism. “Artist groups pushing for social justice converged to examine how art and activism cross paths to rally and protest against oppressive regimes. In the recent online forum, titled ‘Intersections of Art, Activism and Social Justice in the Philippines,’ several art movements discussed their roles in critical discourse and protest movements from the Marcos dictatorship to the Duterte administration.”

Jackson Hole News & Guide: Western Visions art ready for online perusal

Jackson Hole News & Guide: Western Visions art ready for online perusal. “The 2021 Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival doesn’t start until Sept. 9, but the National Museum of Wildlife Art already has its 34th annual Western Visions Show and Sale hanging — at least virtually. All 140 or so paintings and sculptures for the museum’s signature FAF event, its biggest fundraiser of the year, can be viewed [online].”

Legal Cheek: Museums legal threats to Pornhub are an ‘exhibition of hypocrisy’

Legal Cheek: Museums legal threats to Pornhub are an ‘exhibition of hypocrisy’. “As Burcu Günay points out, throughout history museums have progressed from merely exhibiting collections to being centres for observation, learning and questioning. Attempts to restrict access to these culturally important artworks goes against this trend. It also contravenes the values espoused by International Council of Museums (ICOM), where both France and Italy are influential. Although debate has recently become fraught over the extent to which museums should play an active role in society, the ICOM agrees that museums have a core social public function. Accessibility is therefore key to achieving these goals.”

BBC: Twelve-year-old boy makes £290,000 from whale NFTs

It would be very easy to turn this newsletter into NFTBuzz, which is why I am mostly avoiding the flood of NFT-related articles that make it into my Google Alerts. But sometimes… BBC: Twelve-year-old boy makes £290,000 from whale NFTs. “A 12-year-old boy from London has made about £290,000 during the school holidays, after creating a series of pixelated artworks called Weird Whales and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs).”