A Theme Park Must Destroy Its Chris Burden Knockoff, and Other News

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Urban Light (2008) by Chris Burden

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An Indonesian theme park is ordered to destroy its knockoff of Chris Burden’s Urban Light.

Rabbit Town, an Indonesian theme park focused around the recent phenomenon of “selfie tourism,” has been ordered to destroy a flagrant copy of Chris Burden’s Urban Light (2008) and pay the late artist’s estate $69,000 in damages. The hotel magnate Henry Husada, who founded the theme park, argued that the two works bear no resemblance despite the fact that both are symmetrical displays of ornate lamp posts arranged in rows of descending height. “This is a landmark case for the Indonesian court system, and a win for all artists globally,” Yayoi Shionoiri, executive director of Burden’s estate, told Artnet News. “We believe this decision sets a precedent that artist rights can be protected internationally through the application of the copyright framework.” 

India’s moot parliament redesign faces criticism as the country battles a new Covid-19 wave.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reconstructing part of New Delhi, but the Herculean task is fueling anger because it is estimated to cost billions when the country is undergoing another harrowing coronavirus wave. Covering an area as vast as 50 football fields, the rebuilding of central Delhi will include a new parliament building, a museum that will take over the present 94-year-old structure built during British colonial rule, and new government offices. While many details remain undisclosed, experts say that a new prime minister’s residence is in the plan.

Favelas 4D by MIT’s Senseable City Lab

MIT is mapping Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela with innovative 3D laser scanning technology.

MIT’s Senseable City Lab is attempting to understand Brazil’s favelas with an interactive digital environment. “Favelas 4D” uses 3D laser scanning technology to survey the urban typography of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela, Rocinha. The project will map the spatial complexities of dense, multi-layered settlements with open source tools like Google Street View and satellite imagery in hope of understanding urbanization, not in the context of master planned developments, but rather with informal settlements constructed without urban planning.

For the second year in a row, Burning Man cancels its festival in the northern Nevada desert.

The Playa will stay empty for the second year in a row. Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell has announced the festival’s cancelation, citing too many uncertainties between now and the scheduled dates of Aug. 26 to Sept. 3. “Although here in the United States we may be feeling the weight lifting and the light at the end of the tunnel brightening, we are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have,” said a statement from organizers. Goodell recently faced backlash from the Burning Man community after teasing a plan to require attendees to show proof of vaccination.

The Acropolis in Athens, Greece

In Athens, a planned renovation of the Acropolis sparks accusations of catering to tourists.  

Archeologists in Greece and around the world are speaking out against plans to renovate the western entrance of the country’s most visited attraction, calling them “contrary to the internationally recognized and established principles concerning the preservation, conservation and safeguarding of antiquities” and that they “mark an extremely dangerous path.” The proposal calls for the restoration of the ascent to the Acropolis, including a marble staircase whose origins trace back to the first century AD, the return of an ancient southern access to the terrace, and the removal of past restoration work deemed incorrect.  

Marie-Josée Kravis will succeed the embattled Leon Black as MoMA’s new board chair.

Now that Leon Black is stepping down as MoMA’s board chair due to his controversial ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the museum has finally named Marie-Josée Kravis as his successor. “A respected leader, philanthropist, and collector Mrs. Kravis has long supported the Museum’s mission to champion the important role of art in our lives,” a museum spokesperson said about Kravis, who has been on MoMA’s board since 1994 and served as its president from 2005 to 2018. 

Lunar crater illustrations by Bettina Forget

Today’s attractive distractions:

This overdue Sabrina the Teenage Witch VHS results in an arrest warrant.

A billionaire blames his business success to tripping on hallucinogenics.

Bettina Forget illustrates the woefully few lunar craters named after women.

With 73 functions, the Swiss Champ XXL army knife is a true jack of all trades.

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