Questlove Takes Home Top Honors at Sundance, and Other News

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Still from “Summer of Soul” by Questlove

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Questlove’s documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival wins at Sundance.

Summer of Soul, a documentary about what’s often referred to as the Black Woodstock, and a feature about a hearing daughter in a deaf family took home top honors at the Sundance Film Festival’s first virtual edition. In the nonfiction category, both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award went to Summer of Soul, a gripping montage of never-before-seen concert footage and history lesson by first-time filmmaker Ahmir Thompson, also known as Questlove. In the dramatic features category, both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award went to Coda, an acronym for “child of deaf adults.” Sian Heder wrote and directed the inspiring tale, which stars Emilia Jones as a young adult who serves as an interpreter for her blue-collar family in Gloucester, MA. Heder also won the directing award for American features, while the film won a special honor for its acting ensemble. 

Is this Silicon Valley car dealership’s reinvention of the parking lot the future of housing?

A Toyota dealership in Silicon Valley is redeveloping its parking lot into an 88-unit apartment building—a growing trend in expensive housing markets. “The single-story model of a showroom, a service department, and display lot is becoming cost-prohibitive, even for some of the best brands in America,” says Adam Simms, owner of Price Simms Auto Group in Sunnyvale. “So it forces us to think about how we maintain a presence in these expensive markets where there’s a lot of car business to be had and still make the economics work at the dealership level.” That doesn’t mean the dealership is going away, just optimizing its space. The design firm leading the project, Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, says the mixed-use model is starting to take hold. “A lot of the old retail sites, basically they’re just old. And they’re being replaced, whether by other buildings or by the internet,” says director of design John Thatch. “So that’s a big area that excites me. We take these spaces that are parking lots and we create mixed-use projects and we bring people in and make this world more walkable.”

Faulty touch screens result in a recall of more than 130,000 Tesla Model S and Model X.

Tesla has agreed to recall 134,951 Model S and Model X vehicles after a request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) citing faulty touchscreen displays that may increase the risk of fatal crashes. Among the safety issues specified was the loss of rearview or backup camera images, exterior turn-signal lighting, and windshield defogging and defrosting systems that “may decrease the driver’s visibility in inclement weather.” Tesla agreed to the voluntary recall and acknowledged the problem, but pointed to manual solutions in cases of emergency: “The driver can perform a shoulder check and use the mirrors. If the screen is not visible to control the climate control and defroster settings, the driver will be able to manually clear the windshield.” The company says 88 percent of U.S. owners have gotten over-the-air updates to some functionalities that may be lost if displays fail.

Damien Hirst's “shipwreck” pieces (right) will display with Galleria Borghese's permanent collection (left)

Damien Hirst’s shipwreck will display with classical works at Rome’s Galleria Borghese.

In 2017, Damien Hirst first unveiled Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable at Venice’s Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. According to an imaginary narrative, the exhibition’s 190 shipwrecked sculptures were recovered from the sea bed. Those pieces will soon head to Rome’s storied Galleria Borghese, which is known for a permanent collection that features classical works by Caravaggio, Titian, and Bernini. “Colossal to very small sculptures—all made of precious materials such as bronze, Carrara marble, and splendid malachite—will be displayed alongside [Hirst’s] Colour Space paintings amongst the permanent collection,” the gallery said in a statement. “The vision [for the Hirst show] combines contemporary art with that of the past, prompting us to reconsider their respective status and create new boundaries.” While more details of the exhibition remain forthcoming, hopefully critics find more artistic value here than in the British artist’s 2017 venture, which the Daily Telegraph declared a “spectacular, bloated folly, an enormity that may prove the shipwreck of Hirst’s career.”

Ricky Powell, who captured era-defining portraits of Basquiat and Warhol, dies at 59.

The photographer, best known for his work with the Beastie Boys and capturing the downtown New York arts scene in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, has died at the age of 59. In his heyday, he would peruse downtown Manhattan, taking candid portraits of musicians like LL Cool J and Madonna, as well as artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Sofia Coppola, and Jean-Michel Basquiat—all of which have been shown in galleries and published in monographs. Powell found his way into photography after finding a camera left behind by his former girlfriend. He then started documenting art openings and hip-hop shows in lower Manhattan. In 1986, he quit his job peddling lemon ices to join the Beastie Boys on Run DMC’s Raising Hell tour, launching his most iconic years of endlessly roaming his neighborhood with a camera in hand. 

“Day and Night” by M.C. Escher

Today’s attractive distractions:

The illustrator Noelle Stevenson chronicles her day through Hourly Comics.

A new documentary shows how M.C. Escher became fascinated by patterns. 

This photo project redesigns and diversifies former beauty advertisements.

The storied Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles inspires an original typeface.

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