Link List #87: Losing the human touch with AI-generated artwork and inanimate objects with feelings—be careful how you sit on that chair
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Journal > Link List #87: Losing the human touch with A…

This week we hear how NPR podcast producer Ian Chillag talks to things, we delve into crypto entrepreneurs who dream of redesigning the island of Puerto Rico, and we pay a visit to the factory making the least fashionable sandals in the world—or should that be the most fashionable? With the help of Juergen Teller and Cathy Horyn, we’ll let you decide.

  • A bar of soap, a lamppost, a can of cola—NPR podcast producer Ian Chillag talks to things. Why? Because he wondered how a chair feels about being sat on all the time. The show, entitled Everything is Alive, is not scripted, each thing is represented by an actor who tells the life-story of this particular inanimate object on its behalf. Tune in to learn the first hand experiences of Louis, a Go2-Cola-Can, about why it never got drunk on a birthday party, how it took a road trip, how it ended up in the back of a fridge.

  • In 2017 Puerto Rico was hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria, leaving the island severely damaged. A year later, many Puerto Ricans are still without electricity, and while the government launched a tax incentive program that has started to attract foreign capital, locals fear their vulnerability will be exploited through a new type of colonialism. The Guardian has published a 10-minute video exposing the ambitions of the wealthy crypto entrepreneurs who plan to regenerate the island according to their very own version.

  • What do Wes Anderson, Cathy Horyn and Juergen Teller have in common? A quest for a symmetrical world? Not quite. Visiting the remote town of Görlitz, that’s what. Say where? Görlitz, you know, that well-preserved fairy tale locale in eastern Germany with medieval architecture fit for the movies, and lest we forget, home to the Birkenstock sandal factory? The Cut sent Juergen and Cathy to delve into the history of our beloved Birks and their prolific rise (in part due to Phoebe Philo who, in 2012 when at Céline, lined a two-strap Arizona with mink causing a fashion frenzy for the orthopedic shoe). Read on to journey into the world where cork and buckles take center stage—the family saga alone is worthy of a Grimm’s fairy tale.

  • Besides the Royal Family there’s another famous clan in the Netherlands: In the early ’80s Willem “The Nose” Holleeder kidnapped Freddy Heineken, the owner of the famous same-named brewery. He and his accomplice got arrested, the money, however, disappeared. The case and its protagonists were loved by the media despite the brutal and criminal lifestyle they were famous for. In 2013, Willem’s sister released tapes and books about her brother—which consequently put him back in jail. She lives in hiding ever since but appears in this New Yorker piece about the black dressed woman with many faces and the special bond she has with her big brother.

  • French art collective Obvious believe that creativity isn’t just for humans. The three founders started teaching a computer about art history and showing it how to make its own work. Since then, Obvious have produced 11 artworks with the help of AI. While there’s some debate over whether or not this still constitutes as art, Christie’s certainly seem to think so and have, for the first time in their 252-year history, auctioned the first AI-generated art piece at Christie’s in New York.

Hopefully you enjoyed the reads from this week’s Link List, but if you’ve still got an internet itch to scratch, you can find more here.

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Text & Photography: The FvF Team