The Center for Art & Advocacy Names Right of Return Fellows, and Other News

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(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) Antwan Williams, Gary Tyler, George Morton, Rahsaan Thomas, Omari Booker, Kendra Ware. Images courtesy of The Center for Art & Advocacy

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The Center for Art & Advocacy Names Right of Return Fellows

The Center for Art & Advocacy has announced the sixth class of its Right of Return Fellowship: Antwan Williams, Gary Tyler, George Morton, Kendra Ware, Omari Booker, and Rahsaan Thomas. Launched in 2016 by artists Jesse Krimes and Russell Craig in partnership with the Soze Agency, the fellowship is the first to offer support and mentorship to previously incarcerated artists with an annual $10,000 award in unrestricted funds and $10,000 in project development funds. The award also provides resources and community to the fellows to support creative projects focused on transforming criminal, legal, and immigration systems.

In other people news, Bruno Vinciguerra is stepping down as Bonhams’ global CEO and executive chairman after leading the auction house for five years; it will be led by executive chair Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard until a new successor is named. Aaron Seeto has been appointed as deputy director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. He served as founding director of Jakarta’s Museum MACAN since 2016. Stephen Burks was named the first recipient of the new Bruno Mathsson Design Residency, which will allow him to explore the extensive furniture industry in Jönköping, Sweden, over the course of a month. —Ryan Waddoups

“Van Gogh’s Palette” at Musée d’Orsay. Photography by Lucid Realities, TSVP, Musée d’Orsay, Vive Arts

An immersive Van Gogh exhibition broke attendance records at the Musée d’Orsay.

The Musée d’Orsay’s latest Vincent van Gogh exhibition, “Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise: The Final Months,” broke attendance records with 793,556 visitors over roughly four months, showcasing works from the end of the artist’s career. Utilizing immersive technology, the show provided interactive experiences, including an AI-powered recreation of van Gogh called Hello Vincent. Despite drawing attention to van Gogh’s suicide, the show highlighted his enduring popularity and his ability to inspire hope. The success follows a trend of immersive digital art exhibitions worldwide and underscores the ongoing fascination with the artist’s life.

Foster + Partners starts construction on One Beverly Hills with completion set for 2025.

Foster + Partners has started construction on One Beverly Hills, a project revitalizing 17.5 acres in the city center with two residential buildings, a new hotel, and dining and retail spaces, set to open in 2025. Collaborating with design collective RIOS which is spearheading landscape architecture, the development will feature 10 acres of gardens and open space, integrating landmarks like the Beverly Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. Prioritizing pedestrian and bicycle access, the scheme incorporates new pathways and lanes connecting different parts of the site, with Wilshire Boulevard transforming into a green gateway showcasing 200 species of California native plants. With a focus on sustainability, including rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling, the project aims to redefine Beverly Hills’ western gateway, becoming a dynamic mixed-use focal point for the city.

The under-construction Tor-Alva in Switzerland. Image courtesy of Hansmeyer/Dillenburger

Production kicks off on the world’s largest 3D-printed tower in a Swiss Alpine village.

Production has kicked off on the “Tor Alva” or “White Tower,” a 3D-printed tower in Switzerland set to become the tallest of its kind. Fabrication is underway at ETH Zurich, where the tower’s first eight columns began printing in February, marking a departure from traditional concrete construction methods by eliminating the need for formwork. The tower, featuring 32 branched Y-shaped columns with unique ornamentation, will stand nearly 100 feet tall and host music and theater performances in the village of Mulegns. With six floors including a rooftop panoramic performance space, the project showcases the possibilities of computational design and digital fabrication in architecture and construction. The tower is expected to open in summer 2024.

OpenAI debuts a text-to-video AI model that generates complex scenes and characters. 

OpenAI has introduced Sora, a new video-generation model capable of creating realistic and imaginative scenes from text prompts. Sora can generate photorealistic videos up to a minute long, featuring complex scenes with multiple characters, specific motions, and accurate details of subjects and backgrounds. While the model struggles with simulating physics in complex scenes, its ability to “accurately interpret props and generate compelling characters that express vibrant emotions” has yielded some impressive results. OpenAI is currently testing Sora with select users for feedback, acknowledging potential challenges in accurately simulating complex scenes and interpreting cause and effect instances. 

New York City is suing social media platforms for exploiting young users’ mental health.

New York City is suing social media giants TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, alleging that their platforms’ designs contribute to mental health issues among young users, costing the city $100 million annually in related health programs and services. Mayor Eric Adams emphasized the unprecedented nature of the city’s actions, comparing it to past efforts addressing dangers like tobacco and guns. The lawsuit seeks both monetary damages and equitable relief to fund prevention education and mental health treatment. While the social media companies have defended their platforms, highlighting efforts to support users and parents, the lawsuit confronts the challenges of holding such companies accountable under US law, particularly Section 230, which shields tech firms from liability for user-generated content.

Image courtesy of Advance SF

Today’s attractive distractions:

Rebecca Solnit reflects on San Francisco sitting in the shadow of Silicon Valley

A rare Jungle Book painting will soon go on display in Rudyard Kipling’s home.

According to Nicole Brinkley, issues at Goodreads go beyond review bombing.

An art insurer warns museums that a “pandemic of selfies” is threatening artwork.

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