Daily digest: Making fake snow for the Winter Olympics, clearing up the Mastaba, and more

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Daily digest: Making fake snow for the Winter Olympics, clearing up the Mastaba, and more

Christo in front of a drawing of Mastaba in 2012 (Photo by Wolfgang Volz/© 2012 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation)

Good morning and welcome back to another daily news roundup that touches on everything from earthquakes in Texas to the skies of Paris.

Here’s what you need to know today:

The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing had to make mountains of fake snow

Beijing is a dry city, but as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics, one would assume that there would be at least some snow. And if you’ve been watching, there definitely is. Just off-screen, however, lies parched brown mountains—the areas fake snow wasn’t blown over. This year’s games rely entirely on manmade snow, and as climate change intensifies, the ability to manufacture snow and ice will likely only escalate.

H/t to the New York Times

There’s been some confusion over Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Mastaba

It turns out that the reports on the posthumous realization of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s massive Mastaba in the United Arab Emirates were wrong, as the artists’ estate confirmed that the project was still in the planning phases and required approval from the government. Additionally, as with all of the duo’s projects, Mastaba would be self-funded and is still lacking the money to begin construction. If it does win approval, though, the largest sculpture in the world, built from 410,000 steel barrels, would potentially be built in the Liwa Desert.

H/t to Dezeen

The number of earthquakes in Texas doubled last year, likely because of fracking

The number of earthquakes in Texas over a magnitude 3.0 more than doubled in 2021 from the year before, rising from 209 last year up from 98 in 2020.  The cause, however, isn’t a mystery. Scientists and officials are blaming wastewater injections from fracking, where excess water is pumped back underground and can disturb undetected geological formations. The number of earthquakes measuring 4.0 or greater also shot up from zero in 2017 to 15 in 2021—that’s powerful enough to damage buildings. Even Texan regulators are starting to crack down on new drilling permits as a consequence.

H/t to Gizmodo

David Adjaye named the first winner of the new Charlotte Perriand Award

Sir David Adjaye is the first winner of the new Charlotte Perriand Award, created in memory of the French architect and designer as a way to honor architects who have outsized impacts in their field. The honor is administered by the Créateurs Design Awards.

A portrait of david adjaye in pencil
David Adjaye (Drawing by Gary Dadd)

“She was really expansive in thinking about what the profession could be, and understood the role of designers in their responsibility toward making the 21st century as beautiful and as empowering and as edifying [as possible] for people of all races and for our human civilization to thrive,” said Adjaye of Perriand.

Paris’s first aerial gondola seems to be on track

Paris has given the green light to an urban gondola that will ferry passengers from the city’s southern suburbs to the urban core in 2025. Coming in at an estimated cost of only $149 million, the Cable A project has been delayed by privacy concerns (alleviated by tinting one of the gondola car windows), but once complete will be more of a workhorse transit option than flight of fancy.

H/t to Bloomberg CityLab

Protestors rallied against the Venice Biennale’s expansion plans

Three hundred protestors descended on the Venetian Arsenale this past weekend to protest the further expansion of the Venice Biennale, which plans to turn half of the Arsenale into a new site for the festival’s historic archives. Far from an isolated group though, political figures from Venice to Rome have backed the protestors but Venice’s mayor isn’t backing down.

H/t to The Art Newspaper