Bits: 02.15.11

Raphaël Zarka, Riding Modern Art, 2007

• The Indianapolis Museum of Art, which has "152 acres of gardens and woodland," outlines its environmental stewardship work, and how it measures its carbon footprint.

• Kentucky Rising activists, including poet Wendell Berry, ended a four-day sit-in protest at the Kentucky governor's office yesterday afternoon, emerging from the building to a crowd of 1,000 people. Highlighting the destructive practice of mountaintop-removal mining, Berry vowed to keep pressure on the governor, who's up for reelection. He said, “We came because the land, its forests, and its streams are being destroyed by the surface mining of coal, because the people are suffering intolerable harms to their homes, their health, and their communities.”

• Read Wendell Berry's poem, "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front."

• Michael Bloomberg's family foundation is making $32 million in grants to arts organizations around New York City; 250 small and midsized art groups in operation for at least two years have been invited to apply.

• Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has cancelled his first retrospective in mainland China. AFP reports that the show, scheduled for the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, was canned after its organizers told Ai the show was "politically sensitive." Ai has long been a critic of China's communist government, and has paid the price: he's been arrested, beaten and jailed, and in November his studio was razed. "The timing is sensitive and politically they feel it is not suitable at the moment," he said.

• Italian collecitve IOCOSE has futzed with Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds, an installation of 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, to create Sunflower Seeds on Sunflower Seeds: On Jan. 31, they left real sunflower seeds in with Ai's replicas, apparenlty shooting some of the seeds in with slingshots.

• Vintage book cover: Secrets of the Shopping Mall, apparently a horror book, via Brian Ulrich.

• Banksy's Exit Through The Gift Shop is up for an Oscar, prompting questions about how or if the incognito artist will accept his trophy. Amid the hubub: a sighting of a new Banksy piece in LA, and a new mini-documentary on the artist.

• With Crashvertising -- what Bruce Sterling calls "wry and smirking European anticapitalist intervention-art," Italy's Kook-Artgency sends a team "immediately to the spot, showing an advertising campaign on large scale posters and giving away safety vests with a brand’s logo to all the people involved in the road accident. Furthermore, 'a special warning triangle with your brand message is located near the cars,' and 'gadgets or other advertising stuff are given away to people in the area.'"

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