“Even for the Oscars—even for the Oscars—this is a really, really lot of white people,” writes NPR’s Linda Holmes of the newest slate of nominees (dubbed the “whitest Oscars since 1998“). “Every nominated actor in Lead and Supporting categories—20 actors in all–is white. Every nominated director is male. Every nominated screenwriter is male.” The 2015 awards’ lack of diversity sparked the hashtag #Oscarssowhite, while many in the media characterized the omission of MLK biopic Selma, which received a lone nomination, by the Academy as a “snub” (Google News currently shows more than 6 million results for the search Oscar + Selma + snub).
- More than two years after he shelved his popular YouTube persona, art critic Hennessy Youngman, artist Jayson Musson is back with a new web project, The Adventures of Jamel, a comedy premised on a hip-hop–triggered time-travel device.
- Having gone missing shortly after its 2003 launch and thought to have been destroyed, the European Space Agency’s Beagle 2 probe has just been spotted on the surface of Mars and photographed by a NASA orbiter. And reportedly still inside it, intact, is an instrument calibration target painted with Damien Hirst’s iconic dot pattern.
- The celebrated humanitarian design group Architecture for Humanity has closed abruptly after nearly 16 years. At its peak, the San Francisco–based nonprofit had more than 60 chapters that organized community-based design projects, often in response to natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes. “It’s easier to find funding for an app,” one observer noted, than for a group that “transforms lives in places most Americans don’t know exist.”.
- The State Department’s Art in Embassies program has announced that it’ll be honoring seven visual artists with its Medal of Arts this year. Congratulations to Julie Mehretu, Maya Lin, Xu Bing, Mark Bradford, Kehinde Wiley, Pedro Reyes, and, at 81 years of age, Sam Gilliam.