General Motors Will Sell Only Zero-Emission Vehicles, and Other News

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GM’s new electric Hummer pickup

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General Motors commits to selling exclusively zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

General Motors has pledged to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035—one of the most ambitious plans yet for a legacy automotive company. Observers see the move as an important signal of the transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy, a bedrock of President Biden’s agenda. “General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener, and better world,” G.M.’s chairman and chief executive, Mary T. Barra, said in a statement. “We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.” Though they only make up three percent of new car sales globally, electric cars are the fastest-growing segment of the auto industry.

Sarah Meister, MoMA’s photography curator, departs to lead the Aperture Foundation.

The announcement arrives after a yearlong search to replace the former executive director, Chris Boot, who is returning to his home country, England, after ten years helming the photography nonprofit. Since the photographers Ansel Adams, Dorthea Lange, and Minor White established the foundation in 1952, Aperture has been a major force in shaping discourse, staging exhibitions, and publishing monographs and a quarterly magazine. Along with these responsibilities, Meister will assist in finding a new physical headquarters for the foundation, which, prior to the pandemic, was a gallery space in Chelsea.

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

The Museum of the Bible has returned more than 5,000 disputed objects to Egypt. 

The Egyptian government claimed that the institution lacked oversight in establishing what artifacts were legally exported and sold, and confirmed that nearly 5,000 artifacts have been returned to their home country. While most are only half or partially intact—funeral masks, manuscript fragments, coffin parts, and statue heads—the museum also cites insufficient and unreliable provenance information available in 2009, when Steve Green, president of the U.S. company Hobby Lobby and the board chairman and founder, began acquiring objects for the museum’s collection. The transfer comes after years of negotiation over the illegally acquired objects, namely papyri, that are of major interest to scholars.

Remote workers, tech titans, media companies—everyone is moving to Miami.

In the age of pandemic, everyone is moving to Miami. Remote workers free from the anchor of the office aren’t the only ones fleeing to the tropical confines of South Florida. Companies and commerce titans are relocating, too: Blackstone Group, Elliott Management, Jon Oringer, stock photography provider Shutterstock, media mogul Bryan Goldberg, and yes, even our very own Surface Media. Chalk it up to the weather, favorable tax policies, lifestyle, or lax coronavirus restrictions, but the migration is real and, it seems, permanent. 

“It was a lightning-in-the-bottle moment,” said Mr. Suarez, 43, who became mayor in 2017. “For them to hear an elected official saying, ‘Hey, we want you, hey, we appreciate you’—I didn’t realize what a sensitive moment it was in terms of how people felt they were being treated by the governments where they lived.” Maybe it’s just the fish and swim-work balance, as our very own CEO Marc Lotenberg, put it. “I’m in the pool, my son in one hand, iPad in the other. That’s how I’m working at 3 PM,” he said over salmon salads at the Miami Soho House. “When is that happening in New York? I’m not going back to the traditional office again.”

Frank Gehry’s proposal for the Los Angeles River

Frank Gehry may build raised parks and a cultural center over the Los Angeles River. 

Ever since the Los Angeles River was blanketed with concrete, working-class communities along its banks have struggled with poverty, overcrowding, and higher rates of Covid-19 infection. Seeking to rectify this systemic problem, Frank Gehry has unveiled a bold plan to transform the river into a vast system of urban parklands. While not quite as flashy as the Pritzker Prize winner’s gleaming Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown, the proposal aims to bring “elevated platform parks”—massive, bridge-like green spaces constructed on concrete girders above the flood channel’s floor. The parks would support a lush landscape of trees, grass, ponds, horse trails, and walking paths, and a $150 million cultural center. “I’m excited about the cultural center and want to see it built,” Gehry told the Los Angeles Times. “I think it’ll grow into something very special because it’s so important to future generations.” 

Blue-chip artists encourage residents of Britain to stage the world’s largest exhibition.

Some of the art world’s biggest names, including Antony Gormley, Sonia Boyce, and Anish Kapoor, are encouraging residents of Britain to turn their front windows into a gallery as part of a nationwide initiative to stage the world’s largest exhibition. The Great Big Art Exhibition encourages Brits to create art surrounding one theme—Gormley, who launched the program, chose “animals—with the materials they have at hand. The resulting artworks will be placed on front porches or windows. “I think we could now celebrate the diversity and extraordinary range of creative talent there is in Britain,” Gormley says. “People will say, ‘I’m not an artist, I don’t draw things,’ but I think actually everybody can, once they get going.” Sonia Boyce, who will represent the U.K. at the next Venice Biennale, has chosen portraits as the second theme.

Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower in Taipei’s Xinjin District by Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Today’s attractive distractions:

This twisting skyscraper absorbs nearly 130 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Would you eat a bowl of Kraft’s bizarre new candy-flavored Mac n Cheese?

The USPS debuts stamps with work by the obscure painter Emilio Sánchez

Lately, technology moguls have been obsessed with building utopian cities.


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