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Burning Man Opposes Geothermal Project, British Council Curator Freed by Iran, and More: Morning Links for January 14, 2022

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The Headlines
NFT NEWS NOTICES. There always seems to be drama in the NFT space. Quentin Tarantino  and  Miramax  are  feuding  over the director’s plan to sell NFTs of  Pulp Fiction –related material at auction, the  Wall Street Journal   reports . Miramax, which produced the 1994 classic, maintains that Tarantino does not have the right to mint the tokens. Meanwhile, former  First Lady Melania Trump  is  drawing criticism  for her plan to sell one of her hats, as well as  an NFT of a watercolor of herself ,  CNN  reports. “It’s unseemly,” an unnamed senior Trump White House official said. Lastly,  Wikipedia  editors have voted that, for now, NFTs should  not appear on the site’s list  of the priciest art sales, with one voter noting the ongoing debate about their status as art, per  Artnet News .
A FRIDAY ARTIST UPDATE.  Sculptor  Hugh Hayden  is about to unveil  an ambitious new work  in  Madison Square Park  in New York, with 100 school desks sprouting branches. “My wood is like bone-in chicken, with the foot even—you’re still seeing this is a tree,” he told the  New York Times . A bit west of the park, artist-composer  Haroon Mirza  just  opened a show  at  Lisson Gallery  that involves “a mini-sun made up of halogen lights that is surrounded by an array of solar panels,” he told the  Art Newspaper . “These solar panels will be generating electricity which in turn powers an ecosystem of works” in the space. Mirza said that he is thinking about whether we are a “parasitic species” or “a species that is symbiotic with the rest of nature and the biosphere.”
The Digest
GOING PUBLIC.  South Korea’s second-largest auction house,  K Auction ,  will be listed  on the nation’s  KOSDAQ  exchange later this month, the  Korea Herald  reported, and  Sotheby’s , which went private in 2019, is said to be  exploring an initial public offering , with  Goldman Sachs  and  Morgan Stanley  advising,  ARTnews  noted.
Aras Amiri , a curator for the  British Council  who was arrested on espionage charges in 2018 while visiting her grandmother in Iran and sentenced to 10 years in prison, is back in the United Kingdom after the nation’s Supreme Court ruled that her conviction was against Islamic law.  [The New York Times]
The Americana collection of the late book dealer  William Reese will be sold in a series of auctions at Christie’s , with a low estimate of $12 million. The house is billing it as one of the most valuable single-owner book troves to ever come to auction.  [The New York Times]
The  National Gallery of Art  in Washington, D.C., will close its East Building from the end of February until June for renovations related to accessibility and its atrium skylight.  [The Washington Post]
The  Burning Man   organization has come out against a proposed geothermal project in Gerlach, Nevada, where it owns land, saying that it “would forever alter the environment, viewshed, and quality of life in the area.”  [Reno Gazette Journal]
An original page of a 1984  Spider-Man  comic that shows the superhero in a black costume for the first time sold for a crisp $3.36 million at  Heritage Auctions .  [Sky News]
The Kicker
SKATING ON THICK ICE.  For a three-day piece that runs through this weekend, performers are taking turns  dancing atop a 2.5-ton ice block  that has been suspended above the Sydney Harbor in Australia, the  Guardian  reports. Naturally, it will melt as they dance (for a total of nine hours each day). The work, titled  Thaw , is the creation of  Joshua Thomson , the artistic director of the theater group  Legs on the Wall  , who said he wanted “to push the conversation and the awareness around climate change.” Not exactly subtle! Also not exactly something you see every day. Thomson admitted that “yes, it has an element of spectacle.” [The Guardian]

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