“My Last #Tweet” by Ludo (via woostercollective.com)

This week, scoring US Congress on the arts, Gangnam Style opinions and facts, science looks at us looking at art, the Seattle Art Museum goes all female, the highest skyscraper is going to be built in five months, Daniel Liebeskind is not an architect, and more.

 The Americans for the Arts Action Fund has released its US Congress candidate ratings, which is based on congressional votes on arts-related bills since 2008. Only these eight states have candidates who have all scored an A or A+: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

You may be interested to know that with the exception of one North Carolina Democrat only Republicans scored Fs in the ratings.

 As Gangnam Style continues to tear through global pop culture like a dancing bull in a china shop, there have been a number of interesting reports and opinions on the K-pop phenomenon. Here are a few worth noting:

 A scientist is taking a very serious look at art viewing and his research reveals some interesting facts:

“Among Mr. Tröndle’s more surprising conclusions was that there appeared to be little difference in engagement between visitors with a proficient knowledge of art and ‘people who are engineers and dentists,’ he said, adding that artists, critics and museum directors often walk into the middle of an exhibition space, scan it and then maybe look at one work before continuing on, while visitors with moderate curiosity and interest tend to move diligently from work to work and read text panels.

… That visitors tended to feel more stimulated by sculptures and installations that impeded their progress through the galleries was also noteworthy. ‘People want to trip over the art,’ he said.”

 Jen Graves reports on the recent all female exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum that have transformed the institution:

“To start simply: What does it mean to stuff the concerns of half the population into one-quarter of one year? There’s the distinct feeling that we’d better get all the girl business out of the way right now, or else we will miss our chance. SAM, which is run almost entirely by female administrators, has good intentions. But you know what they say about those.”

 China is going for it and they’re builing the world’s tallest skyscraper with ready-made ‘Meccano’ pieces. Yes, the skyscraper would be “taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and include schools, a hospital, 17 helipads and apartments for over 30,000 people. The foundation is scheduled to be laid in November with a completion date set for March 2013.” That’s pretty amazing.

 Wait, are we supposed to stop calling Daniel Liebeskind and Renzo Piano “architects” anymore? According to the Architects Registration Board, yes.

 AP reports that this week the US. returned 4,000 looted archaeological relics to Mexico:

“More than 4,000 archaeological artifacts looted from Mexico and seized in the U.S. were returned to Mexican authorities on Thursday, in what experts say is one of the largest repatriation ever made between the neighbouring countries.

… More than two dozen pieces of pottery were seized in Kalispell, Mont., where U.S. Homeland Security agents discovered that a consignor had paid Mexican Indians to loot items from burial sites deep in the Mexican Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico, authorities said.”

h/t @godVeveryone

 In other archeology news, BBC reports that archaeologists in Guatemala say they have found one of the oldest Mayan tombs ever uncovered and it’s in great condition and hasn’t been looted.

 In peculiar art news, the Vatican will have a pavilion at the next Venice Biennale in 2013. But they’re not the only newbies, according to The Art Newspaper:

“Eight countries will also participate for the first time in next year’s biennale: the Bahamas, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Republic of Kosovo, Kuwait, the Maldives, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Paraguay.”

 And finally, did you know some fish can make “art”?

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

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Hrag Vartanian

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