Bits: León Ferrari, Trayvon's Hoodie, Youssef Abdelke

David Hammons, In the Hood, 199
• The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, now under construction in Washington and expected to open in 2015, hopes to acquire and present the hoodie worn by Trayvon Martin the night he was killed. Director Lonnie Bunch -- who has gathered civil rights touchstones from handcuffs used to restrain Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in 2009 to a guard tower from Angola State Penitentiar -- says the hoodie became "the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol. Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.”

Vice reporter Tim Pool says his hacked Google Glass is the biggest change to his reporting toolkit since the iPhone. Pool--who with his organization The Other 99% started Occupy Wall Street's livestream--has used Glass to cover conflicts in Cairo, Istanbul, and New York. “Glass allows me to keep my focus--When I'm running, having my hands free is particularly important," he says. "When things get intense with plastic bullets, I don't want to stare at a camera, I just hit record. It puts me more in the moment when I have a POV shot.”

•  Hours before he was arrested by Syrian regime forces July 18, artist Youssef Abdelke signed a pro-democracy petition that called for "the departure of Bashar al-Assad." Petitions are appearing online calling for his release, and artists in the region are rallying in solidarity. One, Syrian artist Houmam Alsaye, says, “From the point of view of the regime, Youssef is a weapon – one that uses pen and paper.”

• George Saunders gives a commencement speech: "Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.  Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial."

RIP León Ferrari: the Argentine political and conceptual artist whose work tackled issues from human rights abuses by his government to the "barbarism of the West" has passed away at age 92. Best known for his sculpture showing a nearly-life-sized Christ crucified on a Vietnam-era US fighter jet, his work often used religious imagery. Highly critical of Argentina's military rulers, he left the county to live in exile in Brazil from 1976 to 1991. His son was taken by the military and is presumed dead. Of the political nature of his art, he once wrote:
“The only thing I ask of art is that it helps me express what I think as clearly as possible, to invent visual and critical signs that let me condemn more efficiently the barbarism of the West. Someone could possibly prove to me that this is not art. I would have no problem with it, I would not change paths, I would simply change its name, crossing out art and calling it politics, corrosive criticism, anything at all, really.” 

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