1) Art Books Resist Digitization
Though advances in technology have the potential to make print books a thing of the past, many still value the feeling of holding an actual book over the simplicity and ease of digital files. Art books are no exception, an idea which is explored in this New York Times article on the existence and future of art books and exhibition catalogues. It seems that these types of books are far easier to objectify than novels and textbooks, and leaps in printing technology continue to make them even more interesting and beautiful as art objects themselves. Some might argue that having a heavy, beautifully-bound exhibition catalogue on one’s coffee table is something of a status symbol. It's still difficult to replicate the texture and weight of a good art book in digital formats - perhaps this is for the best.
2) Islamic Geomtric Art Inspires Engineering Scientists
The geometric stone patterns on 1,000-year-old Iranian tomb towers have inspired scientists to create new materials for possible use in spacecraft engineering. A team of Canadian researchers has created metamaterials that can be stretched out and remain stable in the stretched state until they are squished back together, a property which has many practical applications across different fields. The geometric patterns found on the tombs were recreated using a laser cutter on sheets of rubber. Dr. Ahmad Rafsanjani, a scientist at McGill University in Montreal, found that the simplified geometric patterns gave the rubber an auxetic quality, meaning it stretches in all directions and can be snapped back and forth between stretched and contracted states.
3) Women Well-Represented at Art Dubai 2016
Of the 500 or so artists participating in the tenth edition of Art Dubai, around 45 percent are female, according to director Antonia Carver. As a press statement on the fair says, this is a significantly higher figure than the representation of women seen in “the majority of other international art fairs.” The article in the Art Newspaper goes on to detail some of the female artists who are garnering the attention of collectors both within the Emirates, in India and in Europe and the United States. The majority of arts administration workers in Dubai are female, a factor which could set a good precedent for equal representation in years to come.
4) App Lets you Frame your Selfies and Food Pics
Let's end on a fun note: a new app released by Eli Wilner allows you to place your selfies, food photos and more in a selection of over 100 ornate frames. Wilner is best known as one of the most sought-after art framers in the world, having framed a number of pieces for institutions such as the MET, Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Each of the frames available in the app was built in real life by Wilner, and some of them cost as much as $250,000. Thankfully, they are much cheaper in digital form. The app is a fun way to add a bit of class to your photos, and also serves as a good reminder of the importance of framing. It's a careful, labor intensive art - one that's often overlooked by museumgoers.