Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Underwater dining, robot dogs, '80s film posters reimagined by Ghanian artists and so much more

Glorious Photo Series Protests Russian Anti-LGBT Laws

Defiant, powerful and gloriously triumphant, Roman Gunt and Nick Gavrilov’s new photo series captures young couples kissing in front of various state institutions, landmarks and more—in support of Chechnya’s queer youth and in protest of Russia’s anti-LBGTQ+ laws. Debuting exclusively at Dazed, the images are “subversive postcards of radical love.” Created as a response to the prosecution and torture of LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya, the series is ultimately meant to be hopeful and celebratory, with Gavrilov saying, “The LGBTQ+ community is now growing and becoming stronger in Russia, and the most important thing is to support them. We wanted to channel positive energy that would affect the future generations.” Read and see more at Dazed.

Farewell to Andre Williams, R&B Singer and Godfather of Rap

Zephire “Andre” Williams—singer/songwriter and arguably the inventor of rap—has passed away in Chicago at 82 years old. Nicknamed Mr Rhythm, Williams worked in the music industry in various positions since the 1950s, from procuring and developing new talent to songwriting and producing. He co-wrote “Shake Your Tail Feather,” produced for Parliament-Funkadelic, teamed up with the Dirtbombs—his desire to make and explore music was, by all counts, quite insatiable. In the ’50s in Chicago, Williams created a “sing-speak style, mixing humor and innuendo with the ruling R&B and doo-wop musical styles of the time,” which is widely viewed as the origins of rap. Garth Cartwright writes, “To most people, his name will be unfamiliar, but to me he was one of the great heroes of American music.” Read more at the Guardian.

1980s Film Posters From Ghana

Bucking the stereotypical blockbuster movie posters, Ghanian artists during the ’80s created gorgeous and witty hand-painted versions. Taking the core ideas of each film and combining them with popular culture and “complex iconography,” the posters (many of which will be on display until 23 March at the Brunei Gallery) represented Ghana’s blossoming film industry. These posters are evidence of a heightened interest in seeing Western film and making their own. See more at It’s Nice That.

Soulection’s 400th Episode

Soulection (Soundcloud sensation turned Beats 1 radio show) is hosting a ticketed recording of their 400th episode in Los Angeles on Saturday, 23 March. Joe Kay, the show’s co-founder and head A&R, recorded the first episode in January 2011 and has since amassed over five weeks’ worth of recorded audio, toured his DJ sets and expanded the brand to include a roster of other artists. To watch the 400th episode unfold in-person (with guest appearances and live sets) visit the event’s website. For those unable to attend, the episode will be available on Beats 1 shortly after.

Europe’s First Underwater Restaurant

Piercing out of the water and onto the shoreline of Båly, Norway is Under, an underwater restaurant by Snøhetta. Essentially a concrete tube, the restaurant is constructed out of a 34-meter-long and 1/2-meter-thick slab of concrete—allowing for an organic appearance and ample protection from the surrounding water. Diners enter above sea-level and descend down a flight of stairs to the main dining room and bar. The tables in the main seating area are turned to face the floor-to-ceiling window that looks out into the ocean. Plus, the restaurant will work to highlight the biodiversity of the ocean with its menu and offer space to marine biologists for research when it’s not open. Read more at Dezeen.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop + Tombot’s Robo-Dog Companion

On a mission to improve the quality of life for senior citizens dealing with loneliness and depression, Tombot’s robotic puppy—which has exceeded funding on Kickstarter—emulates real-life dog behaviors. With artistic design by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the robo-dog certainly looks the part. And, as it’s a responsibility-free pet, companionship is manageable. Tombot’s touch-sensitive pup isn’t the first in this category, but it is the most accessible financially for this level of interaction. There’s a market out there, paved by Sony’s (beloved original and brand new) Aibo. Read more about the product and its competitors at Gizmodo.

Supersonic Aircraft’s Shockwaves Shot by NASA

The first-ever images of two shockwaves interacting, taken by NASA, appeared online this week. These photos—shot using a 150-year-old German technique—are some of the first of supersonic flights in the air and not in a wind tunnel. Seeing how the shockwaves interact with one another and on their own, NASA may be able to reduce the noisiness of sonic booms—the result of pressure changes when an aircraft breaks the sound barrier. The shots are mesmerizing, too. See more at Fortune.

New York Public Library’s Lou Reed Archive

Before NYC rock icon Lou Reed passed away in 2013, he did not give instructions on how to handle the large collection of recordings, photographs, notes and other artifacts from his prolific career. His wife, Laurie Anderson, decided to donate the collection to an institution that would display it for the public—and to “present raw material and let people make up their own minds.” Two years after the New York Public Library acquired the archive, it’s going to be available to view in the performance arts branch at the Lincoln Center location. And 6,000 limited edition Lou Reed library cards will be available, too. Read more at the New York Times.

Instagram’s In-App Checkout Feature

Some 23 brands—including Nike, Adidas and Warby Parker—are testing a closed beta version of Instagram with an in-app point of sale. A big, blue “Checkout on Instagram” button will indicate when a product is available. Pre-stored payment information, done through Facebook, will then allow for much quicker purchasing. It’s the latest shopping feature rolling out from the app, and more developments are expected. Read more at The Verge.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning.