The Sixth Street Viaduct Is Already Struggling, and Other News

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The Sixth Street Viaduct in Los Angeles. Photography by Iwan Baan

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L.A.’s new Sixth Street Viaduct has become a magnet for vandalism and street racing.

“For the third consecutive night, the Los Angeles Police Department said on Twitter that it was forced to shut down the 6th Street Viaduct, saying it was due to “questionable activity.” An LAPD spokesperson on Monday could not confirm the specifics of what took place Sunday that caused the bridge to be closed again. The 3,500-foot bridge that connects Boyle Heights to downtown Los Angeles has been open to traffic for just two weeks, but it’s quickly become a popular spot for street takeovers, illegal racing, dangerous stunts and vandalism.” [H/T Los Angeles Times]

The Ford and Mellon Foundations announce this year’s Disability Futures Fellows.

“Nasreen Alkhateeb, a filmmaker who has documented Kamala Harris on the campaign trail; Antoine Hunter, also known as Purple Fire Crow, a Deaf, Indigenous choreographer whose work has been performed around the world; and Tee Franklin, who is writing new Harley Quinn comics for DC, are among the second class of disability futures fellows, the Ford and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations announced on Wednesday. The fellowship provides 20 disabled U.S. artists, filmmakers and journalists with unrestricted $50,000 grants administered by the arts funding group United States Artists. They are chosen by peer advisers who are themselves disabled artists. The fellowship supports people at all stages of their careers, and the class includes emerging and established artists.” [H/T The New York Times]

Censorship of “People’s Justice” (2002) by Taring Padi at Documenta 15. Photography by Peter Hartenfelser/IMAGO

Documenta 15’s new director isn’t forcing art reviews at the contentious show

“Alexander Farenholtz, who assumed the helm of Documenta last week, wants to get the troubled exhibition back on its feet. The sprawling quinquennial has been roiled by an ongoing controversy that culminated with the removal of an artwork featuring antisemitic imagery from the exhibition and the ouster of Sabine Schormann, the general director of Documenta’s parent company. In recent interviews with German press, Farenholtz, Schormann’s replacement, said there will be no formal review of remaining works in the show for antisemitic content, unless the Indonesia curatorial collective Ruangrupa, who are helming this edition, choose to do so.” [H/T Artnet News]

A petition against Instagram’s recent pivot to reels quickly attracts 200,000 signatures.

“Instagram is running the risk of falling victim to the Kylie Jenner effect. As Instagram users have started launching complaints over the social media app’s recent move to promoting short-form videos (known as Reels), Jenner, one of the app’s most-followed women, posted an Instagram Story boosting a popular post urging the platform to “Make Instagram Instagram Again” by focusing on photo-sharing, rather than Reels. The petition featured in the original post shared to both Jenner and Kardashian’s stories—the former to an audience of 353 million followers and the latter to 326 million followers—has received a boost of over 50,000 signatures, with more rolling in by the second. The description of the petition argues for the return of chronological timelines, an algorithm that prioritizes photos over video, and more consideration for the platform’s creators.” [H/T Rolling Stone]

The Line, a linear city envisioned in Saudi Arabia. Image courtesy of Neom/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia is planning a 100-mile-long mirrored skyscraper megacity in Neom.

“The promotional material is striking: two mirror-encased skyscrapers stretching 100 miles across a swathe of desert and mountain terrain, providing a future home for 9 million people. So extravagant is Saudi Arabia’s plan to create an urban utopia that even those working on the project, known as the Line, do not yet know if its scale and scope can ever be realized. Skeptics and supporters alike were given more insight into the extraordinary ambition of the development—the centerpiece of the futuristic Neom site near the Gulf of Aqaba—when the kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, outlined central aspects of what he intends to be one of the most ambitious urban developments built in modern times. Neom has consistently raised eyebrows due to proposed flourishes such as flying taxis and robot maids, even as architects and economists have questioned its feasibility.” [H/T The Guardian]

Sturtevant will restage Claes Oldenburg’s The Store at Thaddaeus Ropac in London.

“One of the most famous performance-installations by the Swedish-American Pop Art giant Claes Oldenburg, who died earlier this month, will be recreated at Thaddaeus Ropac gallery in London this September. Well almost. Those familiar with The Store (1961)—in which Oldenburg turned Green Gallery in New York’s East Village into a storefront filled with sculptures of foodstuffs, hardware and clothing to comment on the shifting boundaries between art and commodity—might find the works at Ropac slightly jarring. This is because what they will see will actually be a restaging of a 1967 work by the American postmodernist Sturtevant, then a young artist who made her name replicating works by her better-known male contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

The U.S. Capitol’s interior will be updated to meet the demands of a 21st-century office. 

“In complete accord, the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress has approved a series of recommendations for updating facilities around the United States Capitol building, including upgrading offices of Congressional representatives. The proposed orders are a response to March 17 testimony presented to legislators by AIA member Katie Irwin. Irwin, a senior associate at Quinn Evans in Washington D.C., introduced insight and ideas to members of Congress for updating and improving the U.S. Capitol and its surrounding campus to meet “demands of a 21st century office.” Among her ideas are increased daylight, improved signage and accessibility, acoustic features, and workspaces designed to accommodate hybrid and digital work.” [H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]

Image courtesy of Archie Read

Today’s attractive distractions:

This new face mask has a material that can deactivate coronavirus particles.

A 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite unearthed in the Sahara is baffling scientists.

Chinese artist Nut Brother is staging a rock concert to combat air pollution.

This clever off-the-grid toilet uses sand and a conveyor belt to flush waste.

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