Link About It: This Week’s Picks

A space-centric museum, how VR affects cognition, a video game-inspired watch and more from around the web

New Exhibition Shines Light on Influential Swiss Artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp

A significant figure in various movements including Constructivism, Dada and Modernism, Sophie Taeuber-Arp historically has been “left outside the fine art canon,” but a new exhibition—beginning at London’s Tate and traveling to Basel and New York—is set to shine a light on her immense career. Making art from 1906 to 1943, Taeuber-Arp worked with and alongside the likes of Kandinsky and Miró, but remained almost unknown outside of Switzerland. Creating everything from textiles to paintings, set design, costumes, choreography, dance and marionettes, Taeuber-Arp was not only multi-disciplinary but also prolific. Find out more about her influence, career and legacy at It’s Nice That.

Image courtesy Hans Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp

The World’s Biggest Astronomy Museum to Open in China

Set to open 18 July, the 420,000-square-foot Shanghai Science and Technology Museum will be the largest museum in the world dedicated to astronomy. The building, designed by Ennead Architects, mimics the institution’s focus on space; its form is void of “straight lines or right angles, echoing the geometry of the universe and the dynamic energy of celestial movement.” Along with a massive sphere at its center, the building’s design creates a connection between visitors and the cosmos, thanks to cleverly placed atriums, windows and arched paths. Find out more about the science-inspired structure at designboom.

Image courtesy of Arch-Exist

Tag Heuer’s Super Mario Smartwatch Animates The Nintendo Character To Gamify Fitness

Limited to 2000 production pieces, the Tag Heuer Connected + Super Mario smartwatch finds the Swiss luxury watchmaker kicking off a longterm partnership with Nintendo. The watch gamifies fitness and rewards wearers as they reach activity goals with compelling animations of Mario, who acts like a supportive digital coach. Bonus “Easter egg” features are unlocked along the way. Further, the brand looked to the 1985 iteration of Super Mario Bros for retro elements to incorporate into the digital watch face options. As it employs Android’s Wear OS, the watch can also connect to the wearer’s Google email account, calendar and more. Read more at The Verge.

Image courtesy of Tag Heuer

Glimpse the Milky Way Galaxy Within This Cosmic Jelly Cake

From the Brooklyn-based, queer-owned “jelly cakery,” Solid Wiggles, The Cosmos cake offers a mesmeric, near photo-realistic interpretation of the Milky Way. From condensed milk spirals to edible glitter, the delectable visual—imagined and executed by Solid Wiggles’ proprietors: pastry chef Jena Derman and cocktails maven Jack Schramm—is the result of several meticulous processes that include centrifuges and syringe-tipped knives. And remarkably, everything one sees before digging in all happens to be underneath the surface of the Jell-O itself. Read more about The Cosmos and other jelly cakes at Atlas Obscura.

Image courtesy of Solid Wiggles 

Virtual Reality as a Tool to Sharpen Cognition

Detailed within a study published by the journal Nature Neuroscience, with research led by UCLA professor Mayank Mehta, virtual reality simulations have been observed to increase (in mice) the active brain phenomenon known as theta rhythms—which are, according to Fast Company, when “your brain thinks not just in frequencies but in syncopated beats.” This important, if not mysterious, rhythm is deeply important to cognition. Mehta is “arguing that something within VR itself—or at least the VR system his lab has built for the mice he studies—can impact the brain at a deep, electrical level, which could impact treatment and learning separately,” and ultimately lead to breakthroughs in understanding how the brain works. Read more about the study and its implications at Fast Company.

Image courtesy of PxHere

The Inaugural, Free to Attend Disability Futures Virtual Festival

Free and open to everyone from 19-20 July, the Disability Futures Virtual Festival will present thoughtful dialogue between, and groundbreaking art from, several of today’s leading disabled artists, performers, designers and writers. The inaugural online event showcases the work of the 20 multi-disciplinary creative fellows of Disability Futures—a fellowship created for and by disabled practitioners; supported by the Ford Foundation and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. The gathering even includes a digital dance party.

Photo by Michael Bernstein
Hi, Are You Single? (2017)
Photograph, Color
Production still from Ryan’s solo play Hi, Are You Single?
The Public Theater/Under the Radar

Image description: Under cool stage lighting, Ryan Haddad sits at the end of a bed beside his metallic walker. He wears square glasses, a teal polo, patterned shorts, and lower leg braces

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 Arch-Exist