Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey launch skateboard protest art for Trump’s 100th day

April 27, 2017 by  
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Artist-activists Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey have teamed up to launch a new series of artwork today in response to the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. The pieces are printed on an intriguing medium: limited-edition skateboards. The collection is debuting at The Skateroom , a social entrepreneurship initiative that uses funds from its custom, fine-art skateboard decks to support at-risk youth. This is the second time The Skateroom has worked with Ai Weiwei , a contemporary artist and political activist whose work has drawn the ire of Chinese government on more than one occasion. His Study of Perspective collection showcases a series of photos shot between 1995 and 2003, with the artist flipping the finger at iconic landmarks and symbols of authority across the globe. Though it’s not a new series, the spirit of ideological opposition is one that remains especially relevant in today’s political climate – and the piece The Skateroom has chosen to highlight takes aim directly at the White House. LA-based street artist Shepard Fairey , perhaps best known for his iconic and controversial Obama “HOPE” posters , has also adapted one of his existing political works for The Skateroom. No Future is a simple, black and white stenciled image that denounces hate speech and propaganda – two subjects that have become disturbingly urgent in this new era of fake news and “alternative facts.” Related: Creepy Skull Sculptures Rise from the Remains of Dead Skateboards The collaboration with both artists makes perfect sense – Weiwei and Fairey have both attempted throughout their careers to use art as a force for positive social change, so The Skateroom’s mission is a clear match. These politically-charged works will debut at Art Market San Francisco from April 27th-29th, and will be available to purchase at The Skateroom online store. The Ai Weiwei print is available in a limited edition run of 666 hand screen-printed 7-ply Canadian maple skateboards, the first 66 of which will be signed by the artist and priced at $3,000 each. The Shepard Fairy edition will be slightly more limited, with only 450 skateboards available, priced at $450 a piece. + The Skateroom Images courtesy of The Skateroom

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Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey launch skateboard protest art for Trump’s 100th day

New anti-Trump resistance posters go from ‘HOPE’ to nope

January 20, 2017 by  
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The 2008 HOPE poster designed by Shepard Fairey was so popular, the Obama camp officially approved its widespread distribution. But the new President, who will today swear to defend the U.S. Constitution as 44 others have done before him, probably won’t like the posters made for his inauguration day. The Seattle-based nonprofit Amplifier Foundation commissioned Fairey, Ernesto Yerena, and Jessica Sabogal to work with photographers on a project called We the People. These new posters say no to hate, no to fear, and no to the blatant racism stoked by Donald Trump and his followers. The Kickstarter campaign raised nearly $1.4 million – far exceeding the $60,000 goal. This has allowed the group to take out full page advertisements in the Washington Post, reminding readers and anyone else in D.C. for the inauguration of the values laid down by our forefathers. “Much of Washington will be locked down on Inauguration Day, and in some areas there will be severe restrictions on signs and banners,” the campaign notes. Related: Obamba – the US clean energy transition is irreversible “But we’ve figured out a hack. It’s called the newspaper! On January 20th, if this campaign succeeds, we’re going to take out full-page ads in the Washington Post with these images, so that people across the capitol and across the country will be able to carry them into the streets, hang them in windows, or paste them on walls.” The posters identified segments of the American population who will be most vulnerable under the new administration, including Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, and members of the LGBTQ community, and put their faces on the posters with positive messaging. “It’s really about making sure that people remember that ‘we the people’ means everyone, it means all the people,” Fairey told CNN . “I think the campaigns were very divisive, more from one side than the other. But (it’s) just reminding people to find their common humanity, and look beyond maybe one narrow definition of what it means to be American.” Via CNN Images via Amplifier Foundation / screenshot

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New anti-Trump resistance posters go from ‘HOPE’ to nope

This moth is named after Donald Trump

January 20, 2017 by  
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Maybe this will get Donald Trump to care about the environment: a biologist just named a new species of moth after the President-elect. Neopalpa donaldtrumpi bears an eerie resemblance to its namesake, by sporting a wild crop of blond scales on its head. Evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari hopes the clever appellation will highlight the need for continued conservation – he came up with it right as Republican congressmen announced their intentions to roll back the Endangered Species Act . It appears some biologists still have a sense of humor even as a president who threatens to be terrible for the environment is slated to take office. Nazari, who is unaffiliated and based in Ottawa, Canada, was scrutinizing the Bohart Museum of Entomology ‘s specimen collection at U.C. Davis when he saw some small moths that stood apart from the others because of their strange wing markings and small genitals. DNA barcoding couldn’t identify the moths, which means Nazari had stumbled across a new species – and he had the perfect name in mind. Related: San Francisco man singlehandedly revives a rare butterfly species in his own backyard In his research article published by ZooKeys , Nazari said, “The new species is named in honor of Donald J. Trump, to be installed as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017… The specific epithet is selected because of the resemblance of the scales on the frons (head) of the moth to Mr. Trump’s hairstyle.” The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi also bears another hilarious similarity to its bombastic namesake. It’s a member of the twirler moth family, named for their tendency to spin in circles when stressed (Trump’s Twitter rants, anyone?). In his article Nazari said, “The discovery of this distinct micro-moth in the densely populated and otherwise zoologically well-studied southern California underscores the importance of the conservation of the fragile habitats that still contain undescribed and threatened species.” Via mental_floss Images via Vazrick Nazari

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This moth is named after Donald Trump

Cape Town has just 100 days of water left

January 20, 2017 by  
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Cape Town, South Africa has been struck by severe drought – and now residents have just 100 days of water left. The local government is asking citizens to conserve, while fire fighters are using sea water to battle two nearby wildfires. According to University of Cape Town Environmental and Geographical Sciences lecturer Kevin Winter, “We can’t see any rain on the horizon,” Winter notes. “ And right now, in terms of dam storage levels, we’re probably approaching the ‘100 days left of storage.’” Eyewitness News reports that dams around Cape Town are sitting at just 42.5 percent full, but they could drop to as little as 20 percent full in the next few months if the city doesn’t take drastic water conservation measures. Xanthea Limberg of the City of Cape Town adds that reaching the 20 percent storage mark represents a pretty risky situation. “This is a very low margin of safety because it becomes very difficult to extract the last 10 percent,” she explains. “We’re really encouraging residents to help us ensure that we can save water.” Thousands of liters of the remaining water is being used every day to battle two large, raging wildfires that recently sprung up nearby. In response to the situation, fire fighters are resorting to the “extreme measure” of using sea water to fight the fires. Via Eyewitness News Images via AerialcamSA and magemu , Wikimedia Commons

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Architects creatively upcycle waste into a surprisingly chic office space

January 20, 2017 by  
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Tiny budgets can be hard to work with, but they often help us become more creative by necessity. That’s what happened for Indian architecture firm Design Work Group (DWG), which was asked to convert an old building into software company Peacock Technology’s new workspace. To minimize costs without compromising aesthetics, the architects creatively recycled discarded materials—from car tires to old floppy disks—into furniture and decoration. Located in the Special Economic Zone of Icchapor in Gujarat’s Surat city, Peacock Technology’s new office is proof that resourceful upcycling can create a welcoming environment for both work and play. DWG rose to the challenge of sticking to a tight budget by using reclaimed materials that proved to be easy to find since the port city of Surat had many demolished wooden houses, the parts of which were sold in nearby scrap yards. “We found this as the best way to incorporate the architecture of the city in to our interior,” write the architects. Related: Willem Heeffer’s Mandala Office Retrofit Pops With Bold Colors and Recycled Materials The scrap yards provided a bounty of materials, including paper tubes, reclaimed wood , tires, glass bottles, plumbing pipes, and more, that the architects combined with Peacock Technology’s waste that included materials like keyboards, floppy disks, and old CDs . The architects teamed up with art students to transform the materials into furnishings, such as seating made from tires, a CD tabletop, and a receptionist desk made from reclaimed bannister pieces and leftover wood. + Design Work Group Via ArchDaily Images © Bhavesh Raghavani

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Architects creatively upcycle waste into a surprisingly chic office space

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