Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Nina Chanel Abney's newest art project, the rediscovery of a breed of singing dogs, Crack Magazine's initiative for young directors and more

Nina Chanel Abney’s First AR Artwork, “Imaginary Friend”

Created with voice, script and music assistance from Chris Chalk, Jeanette E Toomer (Jet) and El Tsid and available on the Acute Art app, Nina Chanel Abney’s latest artwork is an AR companion known as “Imaginary Friend.” Unveiled 28 August, the piece is Abney’s first-ever augmented reality work and was made to be a kind of talisman. As the New York-based artist tells artnet, “I’m offering it to anyone who’s suffering right now. I’m offering it those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. I’m offering it to those who have lost their loved ones due to the pandemic. I’m offering it to the families and friends of people murdered by police and hateful individuals. I’m offering it to the protestors risking their lives to be on the streets right now in support of Black life. I’m offering it to the Earth, which is obviously in need of great healing right now.” Users simply download the Acute Art app, and place “Imaginary Friend” on the floor. With sparkling chimes and jazz playing in the background, the character offers up stories, blessings and advice. Abney further explains, “This new project is a departure from my usual practice, and reflects this wild new locked-down world we live in. But it’s also a continuation of the same, both in terms of how I use caricature, ambivalence, and absurdity to process grief, and in terms of this crisis being an amplification of the traumas that people have been experiencing in day-to-day life and on screens for decades.” Read more of the interview with Naomi Rea at artnet.

Image courtesy of Nina Chanel Abney and Acute Art

Crack Magazine’s “Three Minutes” Program for Emerging Directors

Bristol-based Crack Magazine just announced a new program (or “incubator scheme”) called Three Minutes, providing opportunity and funding for five young, emerging directors to make music videos. Run by Crack, the initiative received financing from the England European Regional Development Fund, as well as support from Shure, Burberry and Film London’s BFI network. Unsigned directors under 26 years old may answer the open call with a pitch for the video along with a “personal statement and portfolio of two to three previous artistic works.” Those selected “will be paid London Living Wage for the pitching and production process and each video they’re working towards will have receive a minimum budget of £12,000.” Find out more at It’s Nice That.

Image courtesy of Crack Magazine

Believed Extinct in the Wild, Singing Dogs Found in Indonesia

First studied in 1897, the rare New Guinea “singing dog” exhibits a vocalization pattern like a humpback whale—a long, drawn-out call that’s distinctly different from a dog’s bark or a wolf’s howl. Researchers suspected the singing dog went extinct after going unseen in the wild since the 1970s (there are roughly 200-300 in captivity around the world, however). But new evidence suggests that a pod of “ancestral dogs” found in the Indonesian highlands are the evolution of the lost singing breed. Blood samples determined that this breed and the ancient species do not share an exact genome but researchers believe that they’re so alike that they cannot possibly be separate types of dog, suggesting they did not in fact go extinct but rather wandered to more remote areas. Read more and watch a video of the wild breed at Vice.

Image courtesy of YouTube User Silver Cross Fox

Redefine Meat’s 3D-Printed Plant-Based Steak

This week, Israeli start-up Redefine Meat teased their newest product: a 3D-printed steak made from soy and pea proteins, coconut fat and sunflower oil. While plenty of companies have brought ground “meat” products to market, whole cuts account for the majority of real meat purchases globally. “Steaks, roast, slow-cooking, grilling—everything that an animal can do we want to do the same or even better,” Redefine Meat CEO Eshchar Ben-Shitrit tells Reuters. Right now, his company’s machines can print 13 pounds of meat an hour; the next generation of printers, which are set to be available next year, could produce as much as 44 pounds an hour. Redefine Meat also plans to keep their products comparable in price—from $5 to $12 per pound. Read more at Business Insider.

Image courtesy of Reuters

Tong Art Advisory’s “Open Air” East Hampton Exhibition of Emerging + Mid-Career Artists

In a region dominated by galleries and fairs centered around blue chip artists, Tong Art Advisory’s Open Air exhibition presents more than 20 works from 15 emerging and mid-career artists (ranging in age from 22 to 35 years old). Housed in an open garage (with 40-foot-long walls and 30-foot-high ceilings) in East Hampton, the exhibition sees 10% of sales donated to each individual artist’s charity of choice. Highlights are aplenty but artist Alexandra Noel’s paintings incorporating the USPS logo, which honor her grandmother’s lifelong employment at the institution, certainly stand out (their sales also benefit the USPS). The exhibition, available to view by appointment, runs through 7 September at 4-10 Sherrill Fosters Path. Learn more at Tong Art Advisory’s Instagram.

Image courtesy of Oscar Yi Hou

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 Nina Chanel Abney and Acute Art