• We’re up for a Webby! The nominees list for the 2012 Webby People’s Voice Awards—honoring the best of the web—has just been released, and the Walker’s “gamechanging” new website makes the cut, in the category of best art site. Voting is open to the public through April 26.
• “A casual treatment of death is central to Mexican cultural identity,” writes Julia Cooke, who cites designer products made out of grenades or gunmetal. Only a few, though—like Pedro Reyes’ shovels made from melted-down gang handguns—move beyond glib one-liners.
• After being slapped with a 15 million yuan ($2.4 million) penalty for alleged tax-law violations, Ai Weiwei is suing Chinese authorities. He argues that the fine for tax evasion was unlawful, as he wasn’t given access to witnesses or evidence used against him.
• For their first solo show in London, art provocateurs Eva and Franco Mattes—aka 0100101110101101.org—present a show with a title that changes daily and offers a display of works the duo claims includes fragments stolen from masterworks by Duchamp, Warhol, and others. “A lot of the works were so crazy, strong and powerful when they were made, like Duchamp’s Fountain, but became so accepted and it was like energy had been sucked out of them by being put in a museum,” the pair said. “The work maybe dies a little bit. We consider what we did a tribute to these artists – it is like a medieval relic, you keep it because you want to protect it and preserve it. We were acting out of faith, not anger.”
• There’s nothing like Minneapolis’ Minnehaha Falls in springtime, writes Andy Sturdevant, who shares a photo from an 1983 visit there by Jorge Luis Borges. Wrote the late Argentine poet:
The wry mythology of the Wisconsin and Minnesota lumber camps includes remarkable creatures – creatures that no one, surely, has ever believed in. The Pinnacle Grouse had just one wing, so it could only fly in one direction, and it flew around one particular mountain day and night. The color of its plumage would change depending on the season and the condition of the observer.
• While last Friday’s Cat Break showed us LOLcat/architecture mashups, today’s demonstrates that wacky cat photography predate the internet by a century and a half: “Probably the progenitor of shameless cat pictures was English photog Harry Pointer (1822-1889), who snapped approximately 200 photos of his perplexed albeit jovial ‘Brighton Cats.’”
• Damien Hirst’s sculpture Hymn, installed outside Tate Modern, was tagged with the word “Occupy” after a writer at The Occupied Times of London identified him as “the man who has defined the capitalist approach to art more than any other.” Kester Brewin writes:
Sharks. Death. Love. God. Money. If Hirst is anything, he is the brash Goldman Sachs of the art world. He has a vast personal fortune of over £200m, accumulated through an alchemy that would leave even the most brash bankers in awe: stock medicine cabinets, spots of paint, flies, butterflies and severed cows heads transformed into pieces that sell for millions.