Link About It: This Week’s Picks

An essay on the Compton Cowboys, a documentary about disco icon Sylvester, advice for recent graduates and more

An Ongoing List of Black-Owned Art Spaces Around the World

With 85+ spaces so far, Dazed Digital’s ongoing list of Black-owned galleries, museums and art spaces includes locations all over—from London to Lagos. Another industry in which systemic oppression and racism quietly festers, the art world sees “no shortage of the works of Black artists being exhibited, sold, and auctioned, but there remains a disparity between the number of Black artists on the walls and Black people in positions of power within institutional walls.” While this list shines a light on Black-owned spaces and their importance, it’s by no means complete, and Dazed writers Ashleigh Kane, Thom Waite and Gunseli Yalcinkaya encourage readers to submit suggestions to ashleigh.kane [at] dazedmedia.com. We look forward to watching this resource continue to grow. See more at Dazed Digital.

Tips For Recent Grads From Design Industry Experts

Published by It’s Nice That, several useful tips, tricks and tactics offer recent graduates advice on getting their foot in the door. They speak with founders, freelancers, and full-time employees: Ayo Fagbemi, strategist at Portland, Oregon’s Wieden+Kennedy; Swiss studio Kasper-Florio co-founder Larissa Kasper; Joey Phinn, a motion designer at London studio FutureDeluxe; Singapore studio Swell co-founder Felix Sng; and NYC-based freelance illustrator Amber Vittoria. Each of these respected and talented experts advise people looking to break into the industry, and Fagbemi emphasizes that it’s not easy—especially this year—saying, “It is about trying as hard as you can to look after your mental health and the health of your friends around you. It’s going to be difficult and in these moments having and creating a community around you is gonna be vital. A community that, despite not having a ‘job,’ will continue to create. Showing that a job is not the sole way you can contribute in this industry. Getting comfortable creating and improving your skills for yourself.” Read more at It’s Nice That.

NASA Renames Headquarters After Mary Jackson, Their First Black Woman Engineer

NASA has renamed its Washington, DC headquarters after the brilliant, late Mary Jackson—the first black woman engineer at the space agency. She worked at NASA, in various positions, from 1951 through 1985 and her building is located on the recently renamed Hidden Figures Way (named for the film that highlighted Jackson’s work, along with mathematicians Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan). While it’s been some 15 years since Jackson’s death, this is a significant step in NASA publicly recognizing and honoring the immense knowledge, time and energy that Jackson dedicated to space exploration. Jackson’s daughter Carolyn Lewis says in a statement that her mother was “a scientist, humanitarian, wife, mother and trailblazer who paved the way for thousands of others to succeed, not only at NASA, but throughout this nation.” Read more at The New York Times.

Neolithic Discovery at Stonehenge

Archaeologists have described the discovery of a circle of 20 shafts (each over five meters deep and 10 meters in diameter) near Stonehenge as the “largest prehistoric structure ever found in Britain.” The 4,500-year-old pits provide evidence of these Neolithic people’s immense ability—not only to count and design (as each shaft is carefully positioned) but also their desire and determination, as Vincent Gaffney (professor at the University of Bradford) explains, “I can’t emphasize enough the effort that would have gone in to digging such large shafts with tools of stone, wood and bone.” While it’s commonly understood that Stonehenge itself was built in accordance to the sun’s movement (more specifically the solstices), Gaffney says the circle of pits was probably a “huge cosmological statement” so important that these people (mostly farmers) needed “to inscribe it into the earth itself.” The shafts, which create a boundary, “may have guided people towards a sacred site within its centre or warned against entering it.” Perhaps equally astounding, these enormous ditches had been believed to be natural sinkholes until newer tech, “including geophysical prospection, ground-penetrating radar and magnetometry,” revealed them to be carefully created by humans. Read more at The Guardian.

Amazon Music’s “Love Me Like You Should: The Brave and Bold Sylvester” Documentary

Disco icon Sylvester may best be known for the international hit singles “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and “Dance (Disco Heat)” but the recording artist’s groundbreaking career also furthered queer visibility in popular culture. Through the compelling new documentary Love Me Like You Should: The Brave and Bold Sylvester, produced for Pride 2020 by Amazon Music in collaboration with filmmaker Lauren Tabak and writer/consulting producer Barry Walters, Sylvester’s story comes to life once more and the true extent of his impact—inside and out of the music industry—is explored. The filmmakers also incorporate interviews with Billy Porter, Sylvester’s sister Bernadette Baldwin and many others, too. Watch the 15-minute documentary on YouTube.

Vegan Leather from the Prickly Pear Cactus

As interest continues to rise in sustainable and vegan leather alternatives, two Mexican entrepreneurs have founded Desserto, an organization dedicated to exploring the capabilities of the Opuntia cactus, more commonly known as the prickly pear. This perennial grower can yield organic material to harvest every six to eight months for about eight years. No irrigation systems are needed, it is dried under the sun and naturally tanned, so no extra energy is required in producing their buttery, flexible cactus leather. Read more at Popular Mechanics.

The Compton Cowboys Ride at Black Lives Matter Protests

Through photography by Ivan McClellan, Walter Thompson-Hernández and Akasha Rabut, as well as an essay by Miss Rosen, Dazed Digital explores the Compton Cowboys’ (a group of childhood friends “continuing the cowboy tradition of rebellion and reclaiming its roots”) recent participation in protests against systemic racism and police brutality in LA. Randy Hook—the cowboys’ leader and executive director for the non-profit organization Compton Junior Equestrians—explains that they wanted to get involved, and first contacted Mayor Aja Brown. With her approval, the cowboys mounted up and headed to City Hall. Hook says, “There’s something very powerful about being Black, being cowboys on horses, and fighting for American values even though we are the oppressed party. We wanted to be sure we left that message on a global scale that Compton is not what people think it is—it’s a community, love, and peace. We care about our kids and we want them to have a better future.” See more at Dazed Digital.

Exploring the Flavor Developments of Haribo Gummies

From its 16 factories across Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and soon the US, international confectioner Haribo produces roughly 100 million “Goldbears” gummy bears each day, as well as several other styles of cherished sweets. The 100-year-old company appeals to so many globally thanks to their dynamic production methods, which cater to the different palates of consumers around the world. The exact recipe, which began with “gelatin, sugar, a copper kettle, a rolling pin, and the magic of thermodynamics” is still unknown and has morphed over time. “Because of the way we produce our candies, we can make a lot of flavors and profiles with agility,” Lauren Triffler, head of corporate communications of Haribo of America, explains to Popular Science. This results in substantial experimentation and exhaustive testing by the brand’s food scientists as they seek the appropriate flavors, aromas and even textures that correspond to people’s perception of a fruit taste (more so than the fruit’s actual taste). Read more about consumer desires and how Haribo develops products at Popular Science.

DesignMiami/ Opens Their First-Ever Permanent Web Store

Though DesignMiami/ cancelled their June fair in Basel this year, the powerhouse design destination has opened the figurative doors on their permanent web shop. This new online marketplace hosts more than 800 20th- and 21st-century collectible objects, carefully drawn from 52 of the world’s most renowned design galleries. Prices range from $100 works on paper to historic treasures fetching more than $1 million—and items can be filtered by gallery, era or product type. Further, the design fair partnered with Anava Projects on a collection of more than 100 limited edition drawings by acclaimed designers, with proceeds benefiting GlobalGiving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. Browse the offerings at the Design Miami Shop, online now.

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