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YouTube // wikitree4you

Super-Chill Rapper Wins South Korean Space Out Competition

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YouTube // wikitree4you

Attention, loafers: There’s a new record to beat. Seoul-based rapper Shin Hyo-Seob, also known as Crush, has taken the gold medal in this year’s Space Out Competition.

The contest consists of 90 minutes of sitting and zoning out, with no phones, computers, tablets, or other distractions—and no sleeping, either. Entrants work hard to do nothing, drinking tea and receiving massages while medical staff monitor their heart rates to measure stress levels. A sportscaster with a microphone provides running commentary for the audience. Here's a video from the first-ever event:

It may seem absurd, but the Space Out Competition is both a work of social commentary and an attempt at remedying South Korea’s well-established stress epidemic.

Artist WoopsYang invented the contest in a period of intense stress in her own life two years ago. "I was suffering from burnout syndrome at the time, but would feel extremely anxious if I was sitting around doing nothing, not being productive in one way or another," she told VICE.

It’s hard to sit around by yourself without feeling unproductive. But in a group setting, doing nothing is a statement. “I thought to myself, ‘We would all feel better if we did nothing together as a group.’”

In addition to a dedicated break, the competition also serves as a work of interactive performance art. Busy people rushing through the park are confronted with a sea of strangers, all sitting quite still, completely un-fussed. "The best way to view this competition is from one of the surrounding tall buildings, looking down," WoopsYang said. "You'll be able to see a small patch of stillness amidst all the hectic movement."

This year’s competition in Seoul’s Ichon Hangang Park saw 70 competitors, including Crush, who told VICE he was determined to be the most intensely relaxed person there. “I practiced at home,” he said.

[h/t VICE]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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Made.com
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Art
What the Homes of the Future Will Look Like, According to Kids
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Made.com

Ask a futurist what the house of tomorrow will feature and she might mention automatic appliances and robot assistants. Ask a kid the same question and you’ll get answers that are slightly more creative, but not altogether impractical. That’s what Made.com discovered when they launched Homes of the Future, a project that had kids draw illustrations of futuristic homes that served as the basis for professional 3D renderings.

According to Co.Design, the UK-based furniture retailer recruited children ages 4 to 12 to submit their architectural ideas. The doodles, sketched in pen, marker, and colored pencil, showcase the grade-schoolers' imaginations. Paired with each picture is concept art made with a 3D illustrator that shows what the homes might look like in the real world.

The designs range from colorful and whimsical to coldly realistic. In one blueprint, drawn by Ameen, age 10, a neighborhood of rainbow buildings and flowers float among the clouds. Another sketch by Ellis, age 7, shows a “home built to last” with titanium, bricks, a steel roof, and bulletproof windows. Some kids seemed less concerned with durability than they were with the tastiness of the infrastructure. Cherry-flavored bricks, candy windows, and a giant jelly slide were just some of the features built into the future homes. Sustainability was also a major theme, with solar panels appearing on two of the houses.

Check out the original artwork and the 3D versions of their ideas below.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Made.com.

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