Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Frieze's 30th anniversary, lab-grown leather, LEGO art, a 5,000-year-old brewery and more from around the web

Netflix’s Anime Scholarship for Tokyo’s Sasayuri Video Training Institute

Netflix, along with Japan’s WIT Studio, will offer a full scholarship to the new anime course at Tokyo’s Sasayuri Video Training Institute. Animator Hitomi Tateno, of Japan’s world-renowned Studio Ghibli, designed the six-month program and will teach it herself. There are only 10 spots available in the program, which is accepting applications now through 28 February. It’s available to residents of Japan only (but non-citizens can apply if they speak Japanese conversationally). Read more at It’s Nice That.

Image of My Neighbor Totoro (1988), courtesy of Studio Ghibli

LEGO’s 1,552-Piece “Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh

Imagined by 25-year-old PhD student Truman Cheng, LEGO’s new 1,552-piece toy set replicates Vincent van Gogh’s swirling masterpiece “Starry Night.” Cheng uploaded his 3D brick vision to the Danish toymaker’s Ideas website, where the brand crowdsources concepts for future products. Cheng received resounding support from other public users for his replica of the painter’s iconic colors and brush strokes. Cheng will earn one percent of the royalties—and the consumer kit will come with a miniature van Gogh figure, too. Read more about its development at designboom.

Image courtesy of LEGO

Public School’s Lab-Brewed Bio-Leather Sneakers

Through Slow Factory’s One x One science incubator program, Public School NY teamed up with Dr Theanne Schiros (of Columbia University and FIT) to make sneakers designed from leather grown in a natural fermentation process. The method (similar to how kombucha is made)  results in a material that can be formed to any mold, without excess—drastically reducing the waste produced. “The idea of a bacterially spun nano-fiber for textile applications was wildly exciting as a regenerative material with a closed-loop life cycle,” Dr Schiros explains to MOLD. Plus, variations in color and texture can be achieved through experimentation—such as the addition of onion skins for a yellow tone or the addition of bubbling beeswax for a rigid exterior—and the leather is 100% biodegradable. Learn about the fascinating process at MOLD.

Image by Jon Brown courtesy of One x One

5,000-Year-Old Large-Scale Brewery Discovered in Egypt

Believed to be the oldest known “industrial-scale” brewery in the world, a 5,000-year-old facility has been discovered in the North Abydos excavation site, located in the southern Egyptian city of Sohag. Consisting of eight areas, each with around 40 earthenware pots arranged in rows, the brewery would have produced about 5,900 gallons at a time. “That’s enough to give every person in a 40,000-seat sports stadium a pint,” says expedition lead, archaeologist Matthew Adams. Dating back 3150 BC, when King Narmer ruled, the brewery’s size and scale “also highlights the wealth of Egypt’s rulers from the start of the pharaonic period, which likely began with Narmer, though some accounts place his rule at the end of the predynastic period,” Livia Gershon writes for Smithsonian Magazine. Find out more there

Image courtesy of Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Pigs Capable of Playing Arcade Games

Researchers at Penn State determined pigs can play arcade games and simple video games with joystick controls, using their snouts. The swines—Yorkshire pigs named Hamlet and Omelette, and Panepinto micro-pigs Ebony and Ivory—were tasked with directing a small circular cursor into a color-coded wall. If they completed the challenge they were rewarded with food. But, even when the food dispenser broke during play, the pigs were still compelled to keep going. Success rates varied between the animals but the experiment proved their ability to understand certain situations and to manipulate a joystick. Read more at BBC.

Image courtesy of Eston Martz / Pennsylvania State University

Frieze’s Three-Day Online Festival, Anniversary Sessions: 30

From a discussion about eternity between photographer Collier Schorr and playwright Jeremy O Harris to an Arlo Parks acoustic performance and virtual cocktail hours at Roberta’s in Brooklyn and Rita’s in London, Frieze’s three-day online festival (17-19 February) celebrates the international art organization’s 30th anniversary. Matthew Barney, Anicka Yi, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kara Walker and many others will also take part. The series of events arrives on the heels of two Frieze developments: the platform will host year-round pop-up exhibitions in London for its member galleries, and it’s undergone a Pentagram-helmed rebrand that includes a custom typeface. The festival coincides with the launch of a Frieze membership, which grants members admission to digital talks, early booking at their fairs and much more. See the Anniversary Sessions schedule on the Frieze website, where you can also learn more about their membership.

Image courtesy of Frieze

The Creative Collective NYC + Black History’s “BLK HST: Reclaiming Our Stories”

The Creative Collective NYC and Black History’s virtual exhibition BLK HST: Reclaiming Our Stories profiles dozens of influential Black individuals who achieved “firsts” throughout US history. From Matthew Alexander Henson, the first person to reach the North Pole; to Cheryle Browne Hollingsworth, the first Black contestant in the Miss America pageant; Doris S Davis, the first Black woman to govern a metropolitan city; and Deford Bailey Sr, the first Black musician to perform at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, these profiles spotlight Black excellence and success. “Although all of the unique stories in this exhibit might not be often heard, their contributions should be honored. We stand on the shoulders of giants and we are thankful for all the doors they opened for us,” the organizers write. The online venue—designed by School of Space on Arium, an all-new virtual events platform—can be accessed through the registration link starting 17 February.

Screenshot captured within BLK HST: Reclaiming Our Stories

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 MOLD Magazine