Mattel released new Barbies that come in three body types and seven skin tones. (via Mashable)

Mattel released new Barbies that come in three body types and seven skin tones. (via Mashable)

This week, global warming and archaeology, Barbie’s new looks, Christine Chubbuck’s mysterious suicide footage, photos that got a photographer banned from North Korea, drone racing, and more.

 According to an article from Hakai Magazine that was syndicated in Smithsonian magazine, global warming is having a somewhat unexpected archaeological impact on indigenous lands in the far north. Once locked in frozen Alaskan dirt, Iñupiat artifacts are being lost to the sea:

Indigenous Alaskans have coped with eroding coasts for centuries or more. In 1852, locals told British captain Rochfort Maguire that erosion forced their grandparents to move Nuvuk more than two kilometers inland. So the community was concerned, though not entirely surprised, when in the 1990s human remains began to poke out of a bluff along the Nuvuk beach. The disintegrating coastline was claiming a graveyard that was once far inland. “The wishes of the community were to see [the bones] reinterred near where they were originally buried,” says Jana Harcharek, Director of Iñupiaq Education for the North Slope. Following careful procedures specified by village elders, a team of volunteers and students, led by Jensen since 1997, reinterred the bones. The team has subsequently found and reburied dozens more. “Anne has always been very consultative—she consults with elders and community members about how to proceed. She’s helped the community tremendously,” adds Harcharek.

 The Van Abbemuseum’s Too Much World: The Films of Hito Steyerl is now available online as a downloadable PDF.

 Flint, Michigan’s water problem has shocked everyone, but filmmaker Michael Moore, who is a Flintstone (yes, that’s what they’re called), has a fantastic (and unbelievable) list of 10 things they won’t tell you about the water tragedy, including:

For Just $100 a Day, This Crisis Could’ve Been Prevented. Federal law requires that water systems which are sent through lead pipes must contain an additive that seals the lead into the pipe and prevents it from leaching into the water. Someone at the beginning suggested to the Governor that they add this anti-corrosive element to the water coming out of the Flint River. “How much would that cost?” came the question. “$100 a day for three months,” was the answer. I guess that was too much, so, in order to save $9,000, the state government said f*** it — and as a result the State may now end up having to pay upwards of $1.5 billion to fix the mess.

And here is how hard it will be to fix the mess:

Replacing a typical service line takes three people. “You need an operator to run the equipment, one guy hand digging to make sure you don’t get into any other utilities, and another guy getting the floor busted out in the basement,” says Harrington. As long as they don’t run into any problems, the whole job should take the team about half a day. Harrington estimates that he could reasonably call in about 20 such teams to work full time until the job is done. Assuming the rate is forty pipes a day, roughly 249 days a year (nights and weekends, y’all), the Flint plumber’s militia could bang the job out in just over two years.

 The on-air suicide of 29-year-old Florida morning-show host Christine Chubbuck, who shot herself in the head during a live broadcast in 1974, is the subject of two new films at Sundance. It is also the subject of a riveting piece at New York Magazine’s Vulture:

On July 15, 1974, a few weeks before her 30th birthday, Chubbuck did a few minutes of Suncoast Digest before reading a strange statement: “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first: attempted suicide.” She drew a revolver from below the desk, placed it behind her right ear, and pulled the trigger. Her body slumped down, and the stunned tech operators faded the screen to black. It’s estimated that only a few hundred people saw the act when it occurred.

 For years people have been told to not read the comments on blog posts, but Anil Dash makes the case that such behavior helped create the troll-induced mess we’re in today:

How do we fix it? Simple: Hold platforms accountable. Whether it’s a big news publisher or a large social network, if we’re sharing information or ideas on a platform and are immediately overrun by abuse that threatens to silence smart conversation or the potential for meaningful connections to be made, put the burden on the platform. Instead of “Never read the comments”, we can simply say the name of the publisher, owner or CEO of the site in question, and then mention that they don’t want to invest in solving abuse on their site. If we’re being charitable, we can say they simply haven’t invested enough in preventing abuse.

But either way, the solution is about sharing the pain of online harassment with those who have the resources and the power to prevent it before it starts. Right now our tendency is to treat it like a joke, so there’s no wonder why those in charge, who don’t face the abuse dished out from the communities they host, treat online abuse like a joke too.

 ArtNews has a report from the Knoedler forgery trial. It’s full of silly details, but that’s probably fitting for this legal soap opera:

Elderfield is the chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He looked the part, wearing a gray three-piece suit and large spectacles. (On the stand, Elderfield, who worked as a curator at MoMA for 30 years until retiring in 2008, played down his current honorary title, saying that it had no benefits beyond a MoMA admissions card.) He was soft-spoken to the extreme, so much so that a sizable portion of the court room let out a frustrated murmur when he began talking because no one could hear him. Throughout his testimony, the stenographer asked him to repeat himself (at one point Elderfield had to spell out the name Paul Cézanne, the subject of a recent class he taught at Princeton) and one of Freedman’s lawyers interrupted the questioning to say he couldn’t hear. A bailiff finally went and adjusted Elderfield’s chair, placing him closer to the microphone.

 Photographer Éric Lafforgue was banned from North Korea for a series of photos, including this:


PetaPixel has the full story.

 Ghostface Killah and Martin Shkreli are having words (online, mostly via TMZ), and it is getting ridiculous. First, GK:

Then MS:

Then GK again:

YouTube video

I can’t keep up.

 Art F City has a great gif that perfectly summarizes this week’s crazy nude sculpture controversy in Italy:


 The former mayor of Diyarbakir’s Sur district, Abdullah Demirbas, wrote an important op-ed in the New York Times. He writes:

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said recently that military operations in the besieged Kurdish towns would continue until they were “cleansed” of ”terrorists.” “You will be annihilated in those houses, those buildings, those ditches which you have dug,” he threatened. But what peace can be built through destruction? Decades of military policies against the Kurds have shown only that violence begets more violence.

 Drone racing is a thing?

YouTube video

 This 1970s penthouse condo in Chicago, which is being called “Austin Powers-style,” is on the market for just $158,000. The photos are a blast from the polyester past:


Required Reading is published every Sunday morning ET, and is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth a second look.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.