Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Skateboarding Helsinki airport, picking Jeff Koons' brain, JetBlue stocks cricket bars and more in our weekly look at the web


1. The Disaster Issue

The witty DIS Magazine, subverting the hierarchy and language of over-styled fashion and art magazines, ignites an atypically hopeful discussion on the “unpleasant and unattractive subject” of ecology from the perspective of art and culture. This “disaster” issue features interviews with Christian environmental groups, reporting from the People’s Climate Change March, a “music for plants” mix and more—and it’s probably unlike any climate change-related coverage you’ve ever read.

2. From Jack-o’-Lantern to Pumpkinstein

California farmer Tony Dighera is giving the traditional Jack-o’-Lantern a run for its money by bringing “Pumpkinstein” to life. Dighera grew over 5,000 Frankenstein-faced pumpkins in his first year, which he created by growing the pumpkins in a plastic mold that he designed. The entire crop of monstrous squash has already been sold, at $75 a head.

3. Working Around the World: In Photos

The work day is different for everyone and the results from the 2014 Urban Photographer of the Year competition beautifully, emotionally and informatively illustrate the vast range of working experiences across the world. The contest’s theme, “Cities at Work,” drew over 11,500 submissions covering a wide spectrum of jobs in urban areas. The meticulous arrangement of a display window in Germany sits in jarring contrast alongside a sewer worker in the sprawling Indian city of Kolkata. In light of the wide spectrum of diversity and inequity of working conditions around the world, the result is a collection that captures the unfailing spirit of unification among those of us who clock in each morning—whatever our role.

4. Underwater Dreamworlds

In her newest project SOUNDSCAPES, visual artist Susi Sie of Berlin uses ink on water to generate an undulating monochromatic atmosphere that threatens to hypnotize the viewer. Using a 100mm macro lens and her own experimental techniques, Sie needs no extra special effects to capture the surreal visualizations that materialize naturally. The video is appropriately accompanied with equally transfixing music by Banabila & Machinefabriek.


5. A Planetary Font

Design duo Benedikt Groß and Joey Lee are on a new mission: to build a font, dubbed Aerial Bold, from satellite imagery of architectural and infrastructural letterforms across Earth. It’s nothing short of a planetary typeface, but their ambition doesn’t stop there. They’re hoping to develop a set of tools for non-domain experts (regular folks) to explore geographic data and use it in new, imaginative ways. The project is now live on Kickstarter.

6. Nancy Fouts’ Surreal Artwork

When artist Nancy Fouts moved from Kentucky to the UK in the ’60s as a debutante, no one could have predicted she would go on to cofound Shirt Sleeve Studio—a prolific design company that would take on everything from album covers to advertising clients. Or, that she would produce years worth of striking surrealist art. In a new candid interview, Fouts talks shop, discusses her humorous labeling of Salvadore Dalí as “a prick” and the very nature of artist ego.

7. The Hedonism of Northern Soul

While fashion photographer Elaine Constantine would achieve great acclaim, she’d never lose love for her northern England roots—and the wild Northern Soul music scene she was a part of. In her first-ever feature film, Constantine revisits the underground movement, centered around the obsessive discovery and celebration of rare soul records from psychedelic ’60s America—not to mention plenty of drugs and dance parties. The film, a labor of love, captures the subversive movement in a way few others could.

8. Helsinki Airport Becomes a Skatepark

Rebellious by nature, skateboarders dream of a carefree session in the most off-limits spots—malls, art museums and government buildings just to name a few. Longtime skateboarding legend Arto Saari made this dream a reality with an unlikely shoutout from Finnair to turn the Helsinki Airport into a skatepark. Saari invited a few of his favorite skaters to wreak havoc on the runways, baggage claim and anywhere their imaginations would take them. A noted photographer in his own right (and in a partnership with Leica), Saari talks about the “Match Made in HEL” project, skate culture and photography in this recent Highsnobiety interview. The insights of the interview aside, the surreal shots of skaters tailsliding the baggage claim carousels and boosting airs on the jetway with planes in the background are definitely worth a look.


9. Nightmare on Elm St: Inspired by a True Story?

Apparently Wes Craven wasn’t totally making things up when he introduced Freddie Kruger to the newly-terrified world. According to a new video, Wes Craven got his inspiration from a reported trend of healthy Southeast Asian immigrants unexpectedly dying in their sleep. While the connection to nightmares hasn’t been proven—it’s obviously pretty hard to ask a dead person about their experience—some researchers suggest that simply believing that nightmares can kill can turn night terrors deadly.

10. Brain-picking Jeff Koons

Four of i-D magazine’s favorite (which for them, is admittedly synonymous with avant-garde) fashion designers—Gareth Pugh, Walter Van Beirendonck, Bernhard Willhelm and Jeremy Scott—confronted artist Jeff Koons with questions of their choice. Learn Koons’ preferred museum, what song he wants played at his funeral, his favorite work by another artist, why he’s so obsessed with balloons (and shiny things)—and who he’s got his money on in a hypothetical wrestling match between Duchamp and Warhol.

11. JetBlue Swaps Peanuts for Crickets

Airplane cuisine has a bad reputation—and for good reason. The dubious dinners served at cruising altitude are rarely appetizing and almost never healthy. As of late, airlines have began to step up their game by offering higher quality dining options and more nutritious snacks. This week JetBlue announced it would be offering a healthy snack box for Mint and Core passengers on JFK to LAX routes—and we’re not just talking granola bars. The box contains EXO bars, a cricket flour-based protein bar sure to spark more than a few conversations (i.e. Tweets) when the new food options debut next year.

12. Dirty Furniture

New bi-annual publication Dirty Furniture aims to explore the “relationship between people and the things they live with.” They’ve planned just six issues and will end in 2017, with each focusing on a different piece of furniture. The launch issue covers all things couches—from the “female in repose” trope throughout art history, what American artist Bryan Christiansen discovered underneath abandoned sofas, analyzing the current vogue for untidy living rooms and interestingly, surveying whether couch designers take home the very object they created. And if not, whose couch do they have in their living room? Lounge furniture has never seemed so relevant and we’re already looking forward to Issue 3, “Toilet.”

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily on Twitter and published weekly every Saturday morning.