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In Brief

This week’s news shorts from SAIC, Chicago and beyond.

By News

Al Franken Questions Apple’s Fingerprint Tech

Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and Law, recently sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook questioning its new technology that uses iPhone owners’ fingerprints as security badges to gain access to their phones. According to the BBC, Franken’s questions in the letter address his concern that a hacker lifting a person’s fingerprint could “impersonate you for the rest of your life.” Apple has not responded to the letter.

Famed Korean Artists Collaborate on Show, Programming at SAIC

The first exhibition in the U.S. of work by Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho opened Sept. 20 in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sullivan Galleries. In collaborations with the likes of Toyo Ito and others, the artists explore “the world as it is today by imagining a postapocalyptic future,” according to a release. The massive multimedia exhibition will be the centerpiece for months of associated programming, including forums and other art projects that will include SAIC faculty and students.

Sotheby’s and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Stand-off Over Statue

An ancient sandstone statue of the mythic Hindu warrior known as Duryodhana has been the subject for several years of a battle between Sotheby’s and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is acting on Cambodia’s behalf. Both sides recently filed papers in the United States District Court in a bitter turn of each accusing the other of acting unethically. The Attorney’s office accused the auction house of trying to sell the Khmer empire relic, “despite what the government views as evidence that it was looted,” reported the New York Times. Sotheby’s accused the attorney’s office of blocking a $1 million dollar private sale that would have brought the statue back to Cambodia, because the government wanted sole credit for the statue’s return.

Kickstarter Founder Says He Wants Museums to Use The Site

The Art Newspaper reported recently that Yancey Strickler, the founder of Kickstarter, a crowd-funding website, announced that he wants museums to explore the potential of social media for fundraising. “If Tate or MoMA wanted to talk to us, we’d love that. That would be breaking new ground,” Strickler said. Kickstarter has raised nearly $770 million for creative projects since its inception in 2009. So far the only institution that has used it as a fundraising platform is the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn. It raised $50,000 to develop its website.

Reclaiming the Young Black Man

The often-overlooked South Side Community Arts Center recently mounted an exhibition in response to the heavy street violence plaguing the South Side of Chicago in recent years. “Maleness to Manhood: Reclamation of the Young Black Man” is an exhibition of the work of 44 black male artists, each contributing a single piece. The center had been planning a retrospective, “but as the…crisis in the neighborhoods got to be overwhelming, the call changed,” said Executive Director Heather Robinson in the Chicago Reader. “That’s when we got this tremendous response.” The show closes Oct. 5.

Former SAIC Instructor Publishes “Mayor 1%” About Rahm Emanuel

Kari Lydersen, who taught an Intro to Journalism course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, published a book reviewed recently by the Chicago Reader. “Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99%” documents the mayor’s actions during his tenure while maintaining journalistic objectivity. According to the Reader’s Ben Joravsky, she “remains remarkably dispassionate as she chronicles the mayor’s efforts to close schools, fire teachers, bring NATO to town, shutter mental health clinics, and privatize city operations, to name but a few highlights of his first two years in office.”

Chicago Area-based Redbox Scammed

Users of the Redbox movie and video game rental kiosks have found a way to keep the rented discs without being charged. The Chicago Sun Times reported that some renters are opening up video game cases to find a slip of paper with a bar code instead of a disc. Users found a way to duplicate the barcode sticker that each Redbox disc has to track credit card information and date of rental. The bar code is placed back into the case fooling the kiosk into thinking the game was returned. “If the problem was widespread it wouldn’t be a profitable business for us,” said Redbox Vice President Joel Resnik.

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