1. Microsoft’s Underwater Data Center
One cylinder comprising 864 servers and 27.6 petabytes of storage has been dropped by Microsoft off the coast of Orkney in Scotland. The goal is to see if the tech giant can save energy by cooling in the sea. And the location was chosen as the French-built cylinder will draw power from an undersea cable and the Orkney’s renewable energy supplies. The experiment, known as Natick, will most likely last for five years—a follow up to something similar, executed off the California coast in 2015. Read more at the BBC.
2. Olafur Eliasson’s First-Ever Complete Building Design
On 9 June, the first building designed entirely by celebrated artist and designer Olafur Eliasson (and the architectural team at Studio Olafur Eliasson) will open its doors. Known as Fjordenhus, the 92-foot-tall castle-like structure sits in Denmark’s Vejle fjord. KIRK KAPITAL commissioned the building, and will reside within—along with several site-specific Eliasson pieces, furniture and lighting. There’s something both future-forward and nostalgic to the structure, composed of four intersecting cylinders. Read more at Archinect.
3. The Delightful History of the Lawn Flamingo
Don Featherstone might not be a household name, but his life’s work is wildly famous worldwide. Featherstone, just after graduating art school in 1957, created the pink plastic flamingo—undeniably one of the world’s most popular lawn ornaments. Reproduced over 20 million times, Phoenicopterus ruber plasticus (as its creator called it) is more than a kitsch decoration, as Artsy’s Alexxa Gotthardt writes, it’s “a barometer of taste; the brunt of jokes; the city of Madison, Wisconsin’s official bird; a symbol of LGBTQ pride; and the titular inspiration for a fabulously naughty 1972 cult film by John Waters” and so much more. Originally sold in pairs through the Sears catalog (for $2.76 a set), the playful ornament reflected its sculptor who used to say, “Don’t take yourself too seriously, because you’re not getting out alive anyway.” Read more about the plastic flamingo and Featherstone at Artsy.
4. Antarctica’s First-Ever Pride Celebration
Ross Island, Antarctica might seem like the end of the Earth, but the remote location is very much connected to the rest of the world and has launched its first-ever Pride celebration. Employees based at the McMurdo Station research center have been flying the rainbow flags joyfully and this weekend will have their official Pride Month party. Evan Townsend, who works at the station tells Earther, “It’s important to celebrate pride in the extreme places and the mundane. Every person who celebrates is another example of who queer people are and what we can do. It’s a chance to remind the world, and ourselves, that our potential is limitless and is in no way inhibited by our sexuality or gender identity.” Read more at Earther.
5. National Geographic Documents Rachel Rossin’s Use of Tech in Art
One of the most important minds in virtual reality today, artist Rachel Rossin‘s work has redefined perceptions about the medium and its capabilities. In a short documentary that clocks in just under three minutes, National Geographic sits down with Rossin as she explains her attempts at delivering a randomness that mimics life. The artist takes tactile work into the digital realm and also pulls physical sculptures from what she’s programmed in her other worlds. There’s nobody making work like hers, and there’s also nobody addressing the developments in VR and AR quite like Rossin. Watch it for yourself at National Geographic.
6. Benjamin Hubert’s Unhackable, Design-Forward Cryptocurrency Wallet
Anyone with an understanding of cryptocurrency understands the importance of its management and storage. Designer Benjamin Hubert has proposed a design-forward and unhackable “wallet,” in the form of an aluminum wrist accessory much like a faceless watch. Known as TROVE, the app-connected piece stores the currency offline, locked by the wearer’s ECG signature. Thus, it becomes impossible to forget the authentication. It also happens to be quite good looking. Learn more about the object at Wallpaper*.
7. 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO Sells for Record-Setting $70 Million
Chicago-based David MacNeil has turned over a reported $70 million for a Tour de France-winning 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO. “Only 39 examples of the 250 GTO were built by the legendary Italian marque between 1962 and 1964,” according to CNN, “and it’s extremely rare for an owner to part with one at any price.” In addition to being perceived of as a “Van Gogh of the car-world,” the 250 GTO also grants MacNeil membership into one of the most exclusive invitation-only clubs out there: the owners-only 250 GTO Tour, held across Europe. A glimpse at the car affirms that club membership into an exclusive set of any sort is not the reason for purchase. It’s simply gorgeous.
8. How to Take Honest iPhone Photos
During the recent Adobe 99U conference, Brooklyn-based Aundre Larrow discussed his work as a portrait photographer and the immense importance of “honest photography.” What he means by that is “pictures that don’t rely on editing or retouching and portray people as they really are,” and the trick to that is understanding just how essential light is. Larrow says, “Photography is painting with light” and because so many of us have access to smartphones now, “we now have a responsibility to create responsibly.” Read all of Larrow’s tips for honest iPhone photographs at Artsy.