Link About It: This Week’s Picks

The transformation of a legendary Berlin nightclub, political billboard art, virtual museums and more from around the web

The International Council of Museums Continues to Question What Defines a Museum

The International Council of Museums is on an international crusade to answer the question “what is a museum?” in an effort to update their definition—one that hasn’t changed much since the ’70s. The Paris-based non-profit works on behalf of museums everywhere and, according to Rick West (president of the Autry National Center of the American West), the question that acts as a blockade to a new definition lies in whether museums are “houses of collections and beautiful stops on the tourist trail” or institutions that engage with larger swaths of society. The current definition (reinforced by UNESCO) is that museums are “non-profit institutions ‘in the service of society.’ They exhibit ‘the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment,'” according to The New York Times. Read more about the continued dialogue between roughly 900 members (of some 40,000 total) from the International Council of Museums at The New York Times.

Image courtesy of the GPA Photo Archive

Calcium in our Bones + Teeth was Created by Exploding Stars

Reinforcing the often-shared sentiment that we are all made of stars (popularized by astronomer Carl Sagan), a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal posits that half of the calcium found in the known universe—including inside human bones and teeth—originated from stars exploding in supernovas. An international team of nearly 70 scientists collaborated on the findings, after an observation of an “anomaly” by amateur astronomer Joel Shepherd went viral in the scientific community. The event happened to be the explosion of a rare calcium-rich supernova. Read more about the mystery of calcium, and the unfolding repercussions of the cosmic event, at CNN.

Image courtesy of Aaron M. Geller/Northwestern University

World’s First Interactive Virtual Museum, VOMA

Curated by art dealer Lee Cavaliere and conceived by artist Stuart Semple, the world’s first fully interactive virtual museum—the Virtual Online Museum of Art (VOMA)—is set to open on 14 August. With pieces on loan from various art institutions around the world, VOMA will display important, well-known works (including Édouard Manet’s “Olympia,” Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” and Caravaggio’s “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas”) as well as “commissioned artworks by international contemporary artists as part of its newly launched Digital Firsts Commission Programme.” Each will be presented in high-resolution with plenty of information and references for further reading. VOMA exists thanks to “a global team of architects, CGI designers, gaming experts and curators to create a digital building that can adapt to any specific time zone or geographic location.” When visiting, viewers will notice environmental impacts on the space and the art from lighting, rain and even wind. Find out more at The Jakarta Post.

Screenshot courtesy of VOMA “First Look” YouTube

Artists Unite on People For the American Way’s Billboard Campaign

Acclaimed artists Carrie Mae Weems, Hank Willis Thomas, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ed Ruscha, Christine Sun Kim and more have partnered with the progressive advocacy group People For the American Way (PFAW) and their billboard campaign, ENOUGH of Trump, is funding on Kickstarter now. If the campaign’s $40,000 goal is reached, the artists will install 12 “ENOUGH” billboards along the highways and downtown centers of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—states Trump won in 2016. Each billboard will highlight one artist-designed message from the coalition, which Weems has championed. Learn more at Kickstarter, where a pledge can guarantee a reusable bag or a print from a number of beloved artists.

Billboard rendering featuring new work by Alyson Shotz

Legendary Berlin Nightclub Berghain to Transform into “Studio Berlin” Art Venue

Running from 9 September through the duration of pandemic distancing restrictions, one of the world’s most famous nightclubs, Berlin’s Berghain, will transform into an art center showing works by the likes of Tacita Dean, Anne Imhof, Olafur Eliasson, Rosemarie Trockel and Wolfgang Tillmans. In fact, more than 80 artists will be presented in the 3,500-square-meter space. Known as “Studio Berlin,” the venue—reworked in collaboration with art collector Christian Boros—will host guided tours (in several languages) that can be booked online. This will likely be the easiest way to bypass the club’s historically tough door. Read more about the works—and the Boros Foundation art historians that will lead the tours—at The Art Newspaper.

Image courtesy of Michael Mayer

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning. Hero image courtesy of People For the American Way