Kambui Olujimi Hosts a Symposium at Lincoln Center, and Other News

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“Founding Mirrors” (2022) by Kambui Olujimi

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Kambui Olujimi Hosts a Symposium at Lincoln Center

From Oct. 7-8, the Brooklyn-based artist Kambui Olujimi will bring the existential questions posed in his seminal exhibition, “North Star: Meditations on Weightlessness,” to life in a two-day symposium at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium. With “North Star,” Olujimi asked, “What does the Black body, devoid of the ‘inescapable’ gravity of oppression, look like?” Now, he continues the conversation with a series of panels and performances with the likes of Sanford Biggers, Naomi Beckwith, Arthur Jafa, and more. The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will also feature the world premiere of Olujimi’s feature film, North of Never. —Jenna Adrian-Diaz

Discovery Tower by Zaha Hadid Architects

Neom shares renderings of a crystalline supertall skyscraper by Zaha Hadid Architects.

Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled visuals for the 1,082-foot-tall Discovery Tower for the Trojena ski resort in Neom, Saudi Arabia. The skyscraper features a crystalline structure with multiple tapering columns and will include observation decks, restaurants, and high-end retail spaces. The tower is part of a larger Trojena development, master-planned by German studio LAVA architects, which will also feature buildings by Dutch firms UNStudio and Mecanoo, U.S. studio Aedas, and Australian studio Bureau Proberts. The development aims to be fully operational before the Asian Winter Games in 2029 and is part of the larger, controversial Neom project in northwest Saudi Arabia, which has faced human rights concerns.

Universities snapping up unused office space at a bargain to grow their campuses.

Colleges and universities are taking advantage of a market slump and buying up vacant office buildings to expand their campuses. Sacred Heart University converted General Electric’s former headquarters into classrooms, spending $31.5 million on a property once valued at more than twice that amount. The trend is nationwide, with 49 private and 16 public four-year institutions making such purchases since 2018. However, this repurposing isn’t solving the larger issue of a 24 percent nationwide office vacancy rate, a problem intensified by the pandemic’s push towards remote work. Some schools are even acquiring hotels to meet the demand for on-campus living. While these acquisitions are often cost-effective for educational institutions, they can take properties off local tax rolls, affecting municipal revenues.

Image courtesy of Axiom Space

Prada will design spacesuits for NASA’s Artemis III lunar expedition slated for 2025.

NASA’s Artemis III mission, set for 2025, marks the agency’s first crewed lunar expedition since 1972. Adding a touch of luxury to space exploration, NASA has partnered with Axiom Space, which in turn is collaborating with Italian luxury brand Prada to design the mission’s spacesuits. The partnership aims to leverage Prada’s expertise in raw materials and innovative design to enhance astronaut comfort and address human factors often overlooked in traditional spacesuits. This mission is also groundbreaking for its diversity, as it will send the first woman, Christina Koch, and the first person of color, Victor Glover, to the moon.

Raven Chacon and Carolyn Lazard are among four artists named MacArthur Fellows.

The MacArthur Foundation has awarded its annual fellowship to 20 individuals, including visual artists Raven Chacon, Dyani White Hawk, Carolyn Lazard, and María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Each will receive an $800,000 stipend over five years to advance their work or even change career directions. Raven Chacon, a Pulitzer Prize–winning artist, is known for compositions that blend visual art, performance, and music to explore settler colonialism and Indigenous histories. Dyani White Hawk received the grant for her multidisciplinary art that emphasizes Indigenous practices on modern art and traditional Native American materials. María Magdalena Campos-Pons explores global inequalities and diaspora through her artworks, while Carolyn Lazard focuses on issues of institutional ableism and accessibility, often using everyday objects to critique medical and legal systems. 

Otobong Nkanga, a Nigerian-Belgian environmental artist, receives the Nasher Prize.

Otobong Nkanga, a Nigerian-Belgian artist celebrated for her distinct approach to addressing global resource extraction, has been honored with the Nasher Prize, one of the art world’s top accolades. The prize comes with a $100,000 award and a laureateship at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, where Nkanga will work with curators on public programming, an exhibition, and a published monograph. This recognition offers her a platform to reintroduce herself to American audiences; her last solo U.S. exhibition was in 2018 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The Nasher Prize, now awarded biannually, underwent a rigorous selection process involving more than 160 nominees and a jury of nine experts. Nkanga aims to use her art to inspire younger generations to rethink their relationship with the environment.

Image courtesy Donguri Kyowakoku

Today’s attractive distractions:

Mattel debuts a Barbie doll modeled after Stevie Nicks on the Rumours cover.

This writer only wanted a pool, but got a $31,000 lesson in the perils of Zelle.

Can feeding psychedelic forums into AI create a new class of antidepressants?

Studio Ghibli unveils portable humidifiers shaped like its beloved characters.

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