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Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Experimental cities, self-driving cars, alien life and more in our look around the web

1. Isle of Dogs’ Animation Teams Explains Their Stop Motion Process

For anyone transfixed by the visuals of the latest animated Wes Anderson film, “Isle of Dogs,” animation director Mark Waring and lead animator Jason Stalman begin to explain some of their meticulous process in a new short documentary, “Making of: Animators.” As both are quick to admit, it’s not easy trying to get a performance from puppets—in essence lumps of rubber, metal and silicon. From phonetic breakdowns paired with handmade replacement faces on the humans to lip syncing paired with dogs, the 27 animators and 10 assistants. Watch the wondrous video over at YouTube.

2. 20 Years of Ed Templeton’s Punk Photography

Renaissance man Ed Templeton is a creature of many talents and professions: skateboarder, skateboard company owner, artist and photographer among them. Templeton began taking photos in the early ’90s, at first to document the skate culture. Spending 20 years photographing punks (or, perhaps more accurately, people with mohawks), Templeton now has work on show at the hair-centric exhibition “Hairdos of Defiance” in LA. From the “Chelsea hawk to the lazy hawk, and the dreadhawk to the rat-hawk,” all kinds of modernized versions of the hairstyle (appropriated from a Native American tribe, which is a fraught story in itself), Templeton captured them all. Yet, he explains, “For me, punk was an attitude where you just didn’t care. Spending an hour fixing your hair—for my sensibilities, that’s not punk.” Read more at Artsy.

3. Another Self-Driving Car: Jaguar’s I-PACE

Joining forces, Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover have announced they’re going to design and build “the world’s first premium electric fully self-driving vehicle” called the I-PACE. Planning to add some 20,000 I-PACEs to the fleet over the next few years, the partnership’s aim is to make transport more accessible for everybody—focusing on passengers—and also creating safer roads. Further, by focusing on passengers’ different needs, the trips will be more tailored—for example “one for working remotely as you commute, one for dining with friends, even one designed for napping!” Read more at Medium.

4. Astronauts Opine on Alien Life

At a Darren Aronofsky-hosted discussion for National Geographic’s new “One Strange Rock” series, numerous astronauts touched upon their belief in alien life. Between their advanced scientific background and an outside-of-Earth perspective, astronauts are uniquely qualified to opine on the subject. That said, “We have to think through things to find the evidence,” Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, added—reminding everyone of the value of facts over feelings. But with a septillion stars out there (according to one potentially low estimate), it seems like. Or, we on Earth could just be different, special and alone. Read more at Mashable.

5. Speakers May Disappear From Cars Next

With sound technology forever in development, systems in automobiles undergo major changes from time to time (bye bye, tape decks). Thanks to advancements from German auto-component supplier Continental, speakers might be the next to go. This is because the company has developed technology that turns the entire car into a sound system. The rear window becomes a subwoofer; the windshield, floor and seat frames deliver midrange sound; the A-pillars become tweeters. This is all according to Dominik Haefele, the leader of the team that developed this high fidelity, immersive sound technology. The system, known as Ac2ated Sound, may appear as early as 2021. You can read more about its development at the New York Times.

6. Photographer Aida Muluneh Explores Masks and Face-Painting

Ethiopia-born photographer Aida Muluneh‘s works explore and upend perceptions of masks and face-painting by invoking the traditional and incorporating the global. Muluneh, who founded the Addis Foto Fest, seeks to use her photos to respond to everything from stereotypes, biased media depictions of Africans and African Americans, and even the imagery of war. Her work can be seen within the “Being: New Photography 2018” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, now through 19 August. View more photos, and read her artist statement, at the Washington Post.

7. Nendo’s Trippy New Hourglasses

Brilliant Japanese studio Nendo has just unveiled their trippy and unconventional new hourglass designs, created to “change the perception of the flow of time.” The four amorphic hourglasses look somewhat like an alien digestive system, with different-shaped crevasses and tubes altering the speed and angles of flowing colored sands. The beautiful and mesmerizing pieces will be on display at the forthcoming Milan Design Week. See more at Dezeen.

8. Minnesota’s Never-Built $10 Billion “City of the Future”

Distraught with the urban mess cities had become, Athelstan Spilhaus (creator of the comic “Our New Age,”) proposed a $10 billion utopian urban plan to be built in rural Minnesota back in 1967. Unfortunately, it would never come to fruition, but The Minnesota Experimental City and Spilhaus have become the subject of a new documentary, “The Experimental City,” directed by Chad Freidrichs. As the Smithsonian notes, “The Minnesota Experimental City had the support of NASA engineers, Civil Rights leaders, media moguls, famed architect Buckminster Fuller and even vice president Hubert Humphrey. Many were drawn to the plan by Spilhaus background as well as his rhapsodic conviction for the necessity of such a city.” Read more about the extraordinary city and the documentary at Smithsonian Magazine.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning.


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