Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Radical housing concepts, a futuristic surf film, an endearing illustrated depiction of Wuhan and more

Resources for Laid-off Bar + Restaurant Workers

“A slew of programs, grants, and resources—from grassroots efforts to government relief—have begun to take shape” for those let go from bars, restaurants and other hospitality destinations, as Food and Wine reports in a story that will continue to be updated. These include the Restaurant Opportunities Center, Rethink, NYC Hospitality Alliance, The Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation, Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, and so many more. If you are a member of the workforce that’s been laid-off indefinitely, head to any of those sites or learn about even more options—including many local efforts around the US—at Food and Wine. The same applies if you are interested in or capable of offering support, as many accept donations.

Filmmaker Daniel Askill’s Futuristic Film, “Electric Wave,” Starring Three Extraordinary Women Surfers

From filmmaker Daniel Askill (best known for groundbreaking music videos for Sia and Lady Gaga), the short film Electric Wave depicts futuristic surfing scenes in richly stylized, and sometimes allegorical, moments. Seven-time World Surf League Champion, Steph Gilmore, as well as legendary free surfer, Leah Dawson and emerging talent Coco Ho star in the exquisite cinematic experience, which was shot overnight at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in California. Japan-born, Malibu-based composer Aska Matsumiya contributes an evocative original score, which only heightens the grace and intensity of the surfers. It was produced by CONVICTS to usher in the launch of Audi’s new fully-electric e-tron. You can watch the entire film on YouTube now.

Laura Gao’s Lovely “The Wuhan I Know” Comic

When Laura Gao’s family first moved to Texas, nobody knew about her hometown of Wuhan, but now its name saturates newspapers, television and conversations in real life and online—often with racism included. A talented artist, Gao decided to create a comic “to shine light on what people don’t know: the beautiful culture, rich history, and strong people of Wuhan.” Along with thoughtful artwork, The Wuhan I Know shares compelling information about the city, its people, history and food. She provides much insight. But perhaps most importantly, Gao reminds us that for 11 million people, Wuhan is home. See more at her site.

Adobe Offers Two Free Months of Creative Cloud

With an increasing number of creatives working from home, Adobe has stepped in to offer current users two free months of Creative Cloud. Simply navigate the CC website and proceed to the cancellation page, there, users will be offered two months free before formally canceling. (You can give any reason for cancellation.) After accepting their offer for two free months, a $60 credit is applied to your account. This isn’t a coincidental secret promotion; it’s a direct response to support individuals (especially freelancers) who are facing immediate financial difficulties. Read more at Digital Arts Online.

Italy-Based Filmmaker Spence Siss’ “INSIDE” Video Project

Photographer and filmmaker Spence Siss typically profiles fashion and music industry figures, but his newest project INSIDE documents his life in quarantine in Civitanova Marche, Italy. Initially, he pointed the camera outward, letting it capture anything it could from vantage points within his home. But by day six, the focus turned inward: Siss making coffee, drinking it slowly as he looks out the window, working out, showering. He does his best to form a routine. To continue watching these artful depictions of life inside, tune to his Instagram channel. “I’m definitely going to keep documenting my experience during the lockdown,” he says.

Jon Rafman’s Ongoing Google Street View Photo Project

Named for the nine cameras mounted atop Google Street View cars, Jon Rafman’s 9 Eyes photo project is made up of screenshots from Street View that span the utterly dull to the surprising and surreal. Be it shards of sunlight over a field, nude sunbathers or lone donkeys, the images mesmerize. Perusing these pictures can feel voyeuristic—and they bring up questions about neutrality, privacy, ethics and aesthetics. Take a look at the pages and pages of images, dating back to 2008, at (Beware, there are some images of violence included.)

XTU Architects’ Radical Housing Concepts For Offshore Oil Rigs

Entitled “x_lands,” XTU Architects’ radical housing concept transforms the bones of offshore oil rigs into verdant sanctuaries. These platforms, very much a symbol of our reliance on oil, pose particularly interesting for adaption thanks to their vast scale and innate structural support. In addition to the greenery, XTU Architects proposes several different window-laden, container-like additions (and even some bubbles) to house human life. Read more at designboom.

Technology + Ethics Behind Turning Trees into Power Generators

In its earliest stages, and developed by graduate students from Keio University in Tokyo, the “biological microgrid” Raiki will aim to harvest electricity from trees by drawing from the “triboelectric” effect in foliage. This is a phenomenon of movement, much like static electricity, generated when positively charged leaves come into contact with negatively charged materials (like a tree trunk). Industrial designer Catalina Lotero explained this at Design Indaba 2020, where she also questioned the ethical impact by asking, “Is it ethically correct to use something that’s alive and tweak it like a product?” Read more about the technology and its underlying questions at Quartz.

NASCAR Replaces Canceled Races With Esports Invitational

After canceling the NASCAR circuit’s next three races, the organization quickly opted for an innovative alternative. By expanding upon an 11-year-old simulated racing league NASCAR already operates (exclusively for SIM racers and not real-life drivers), the next three races will commence virtually on a video game version of the Homestead-Miami Speedway. All of the sports most popular drivers will control cars from simulator stations—like the type typically found in arcades—and announcers will provide commentary remotely. The race, officially called the FOX NASCAR iRACING ESPORTS INVITATIONAL, will be televised on FOX’s major channels (FS1 and the FOX Sports app) on 22 March. Given the inherent dangers of the sport, and the longstanding lobbying done in favor of switching to simulated races, this could be a glimpse into the sport’s future. Read more at NASCAR’s blog.

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